Madisonville Police Department (MPD) is seeing a positive outcome in Kentucky’s efforts to reduce synthetic drugs sale and use, according to 14News.com.
MPD officials noted that the passage of House Bill 481 earlier this year has been a crucial step in resolving the problem which mostly affects local high school students.
Lt. Josh Mitchell said, “It gave us some leverage in doing something. Before our hands were kind of tied. Gas stations were selling it, grocery stores. We knew it was bad, we knew what the research was.”
In April, House Bill 481, also known as Synthetic Drug Bill, was signed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. It bans entire classifications of synthetic drugs and allows law enforcement to use the state’s forfeiture laws against retailers who sell synthetic drugs.
According to Mitchell, in only a matter of months since HB 481 was passed, synthetic drugs in Madisonville are no longer as prevalent. Two local stores busted for selling the drugs have since shut down.
Mitchell added that the bill has made people become more aware of the health risks associated with synthetic drug use.
“You never know what you’re going to get in a package of them, so if you use it four, five, six times in a couple months you might not have any effects and then that one package you’re in the emergency room in ICU,” Mitchell noted.
MPD officials affirm they will continue to fight the sale of synthetic drugs on the streets and said that tips coming from the public will be instrumental in curtailing such drug activity.