MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Today, Gov. Kay Ivey announced she is putting $1.4 million toward reducing the number of illegal drugs being sold and used in Alabama.
This crackdown is coming at a time where the state’s opioid crisis is growing fast. Through the grant, seven regional drug task force offices will each receive $204,100 that will be used to cover overtime for officers, in addition to covering equipment purchases and operational expenses to assist in making more arrests.
Each regional office covers eight to 12 counties.
Eugene McIntosh, substance abuse coordinator for the Council on Substance Abuse, said illegal prescription drug use is still a big problem in the state.
“In the state of Alabama, we are in the top 10,” McIntosh said. “At one point, we were in the top five.”
“We must combat the illegal and illegally obtained drugs that rob so many people of productive lives and that destroy families,” Ivey said.
The task force is in its second year. So far, the group has been involved in 991 drug cases that have resulted in 606 arrests. This past weekend was National Drug Take Back Day, where McIntosh said over 100 pounds of drugs were give back to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The task force is made up of 93 law enforcement officers representing 46 state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies.