Crime Trackers: Bisbee opioid problem growing, mayor says - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Bisbee opioid problem growing, mayor says

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BISBEE - People come to Bisbee for its charm, history and quaint lifestyle.

However, city officials said there's a drug problem and they're tackling it head-on.

Officials said it’s happening at Brewery Gulch. Mayor David Smith said the drug problem includes opioids.

Mayor Smith said, “I view the opioid problem two prongs, a community health issue and a law enforcement problem.”

A former drug addict said, there’s a lot of criminal activity that goes along with the drug problem, and he admits he was part of it. 

He had a $100 a day drug habit and said he was shooting up meth and heroin. 

He supported the habit by stealing, lying and conning, he said he did whatever he had to do short of murder to get his fix.

Then 12 years ago a judge and police chief in Huachuca City saved his life.

“There is that little window of when they(drug addicts) want to do anything they can to get clean and if you make it available they will.”

Mayor Smith and his team of 30 public safety and health officials want to come in with a new approach.

“An addict can walk into the police department or sheriff's department, turn in their kit, turn in any drugs they may still possess and say I need help and that they will be referred immediately and will be transported a treatment facility.”

The individuals wouldn't be charged criminally.

Some residents feel the mayor is heading in the right direction, “I like anything that helps keep the kids off drugs.”  Another resident said, “The solutions to the drug problem are being found here in Bisbee.”

The mayor said the target date to get the programs off and running and cleaning up brewery gulch is the first of the year. 

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