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Drugs worth over $52m seized by Ohio Highway Police, K-9 units in 2017

Law enforcement agencies are striving hard to combat the drug epidemic ravaging the United States. The authorities are fighting the battle on all fronts, such as the Ohio Highway Police (OHP) that prevented drugs worth $52,418,987 in 2017 from reaching the hands of the people. The increased vigilance of the OHP and the K-9 (canine) units not just provided highway safety, but also managed to curb drug-related crime in 2017.

Until 2011, the primary objective of the OHP was to ensure road and highway safety and pull up drunken drivers, but in recent times, prevention of crime and law enforcement has become as important as traffic compliance. The sniffer dogs have played a laudable role by assisting the OHP in tracking violators and drug smugglers. As a result, the number of drug arrests made since 2012 has spiraled by 118 percent. Overall, the police successfully offloaded drugs worth $320,099,500 before it could make inroads into either Ohio or a nearby destination in the past seven years.

Understanding how OHP functions

Some of the most dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana are regularly smuggled in the country through land, sea (using sealed containers that are surrounded by pepper and then vacuum-packed to lead the sniffer dogs astray), and air (drones, catapults and elderly drug traffickers masquerading as tourists and travelers). In Ohio, the “Heroin Highway,” or the stretch of Rt. 33 between Columbus and southeastern Ohio, is notorious for drug peddlers and speeding vehicles to get past the patrol. After the crackdown on pill mills, many were left with no option other than seeking a cheaper substitute for prescription medicines, heroin, from the Columbus retailers.

As OHP public affairs commander, Lt. Robert Sellers explained that the prime objective of the OHP is to ensure that the drugs do not reach the communities. In order to achieve that objective, the patrol officers have to be conscientious and be aware of what is happening behind the rolled up windowpanes of the passing cars. This includes observing the changes in body behavior and driving pattern of suspects for example, someone who is inordinately passive or pleads excessively could have a cache of drugs in his/her car.

Even before the conspirators become aware and seek help, the OHP and smart sniffer dogs do their job. While for the officers issuing a speeding ticket is certainly important, noting criminal activity is all the more necessary to control the current public health crisis. Being proud of their dual goals, Sellers said, “We can focus on two goals at the same time.”

Help at hand

Ohio is one of the American states to be hit hardest by the current opioid crisis. The increased vigilance of the highway patrol is one means to stem the rot. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the numbers of those who were affected by the opioid crisis had skyrocketed to mind-boggling proportions – from 296 overdose deaths in 2003 to 2,590 mortalities in 2015, equivalent to a 775 percent increase in a span of 13 years.

In addition to derailing one’s professional and personal life, the drug habit can cause the user to experience emotional and physical pain. Many users report that their life seems devoid of purpose and they get driven by an intense desire to commit suicide. Regular use of any drug can lead to tolerance to the drug and ultimately addiction. In case appropriate action is not taken in time, it can be fatal.

If you or a loved one is addicted to any drug, it is time to seek professional support. The representatives at the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can give you more information about the perils of addiction and appropriate treatment modalities tailor-made to suit individual needs. Feel free to call our 24 hour drug addiction helpline (855) 441-4405 or engage in our drug addiction help online chat for instant help.

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