Sheriff says Greenville County is now a 'High Intensity Drug Tra - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff says Greenville County is now a 'High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area'

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FOX Carolina/Sept. 19, 2016 FOX Carolina/Sept. 19, 2016

"We knew what this was," Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis said. "We knew this coming. We beat the streets every single day. We saw it, we knew what it was."

Law enforcement could see it coming, but Sheriff Lewis said many didn't know it could get to this point. "Sometimes law enforcement is that arm, we're the ones that stop you and find you with heroin and put you in jail, and hopefully that's a reckoning moment." 

Many have learned in the county, and in the nation, jail is not that "reckoning" moment, especially for the opioid crisis. "I'm listening to how these doctors talk about how they do this and it's fascinating to me to know what they have to go through every time they write a prescription."

Doctors from Greenville Health System, Bon Secours Sr. Francis, FAVOR, Greenville family partnership, EMS, and more have gotten the ball rolling in a program called "GONE," Greenville Opioid Narcotic Eradication.

"They're very aware that there are superscription written sometimes and overabundance through the state, and they are dedicated to make sure that doesn't continue by creating a new crop of doctors, making them aware of that problem so they don't continue the trend." 

The coalition is still in the beginning phases, and in order to find a solution, the federal government is checking in. "Now that we're a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, that opens up funding, that opens up manpower and resources that we've never had access to before." 

Sheriff Lewis said the Drug Enforcement Administration has now declared Greenville a "high intensity drug trafficking area." A title shared by major cities like Miami, Chicago, and Atlanta.
The D.E.A states there are currently 28 HIDTA, which consists of 18 percent of U.S counties."

"You as a citizen of Greenvile County you pay federal and state taxes, now you're seeing some of your federal money coming to use here in Greenville which is key and i think that's a huge component that not many people look at at that way, but now we're getting some bang for our buck," Sheriff Will Lewis said.

PREVIOUSLY: Greenville Co. Sheriff starts GONE program to combat opioid epidemic

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