EDITORIAL: Despite good news on drug front, Sanford's guard should stay up

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

As is the case with most communities, Lee County has seen its share of issues related to illegal drugs. But at least in 2012, there was one area where we ranked low — and in this case, it was a “good” low.

A recent report showed that methamphetamine lab busts reached an all-time high across North Carolina last year. But none of those 460 busts occurred in Lee County or in Moore County. Among our other neighbors, Harnett County accounted for 10 of the busts, while Chatham County accounted for just two.

That's not to say, of course, that methamphetamine hasn't reared its ugly head in Lee County. Capt. John Holly of the Lee County Sheriff's Narcotics Division told The Herald earlier this week, "We do see meth in Sanford and have made arrests in the past year."

No meth lab busts by law enforcement, though, is a good indication the illegal makers of the drug are working elsewhere to ply their trade. But there's still demand here: there have been arrests for meth possession, and officials say there's also been an increase in prescription pill abuse and heroin use.

It's foolish to think Lee County is immune. The use of drugs is a part — albeit a very ugly part — of our society. The illegality, the arrests and the busts may put a dent in the drug trade, but it won't stop drug use.

Law enforcement does the best it can to quell the drug trade in our community, but we have to keep pounding the message into our young people that no good ever comes from drug use. We need to keep preaching the ill effects and hope the message will at least make a dent in the problem.

A year without meth lab busts is a good start.