Fighting the drug war on the home front

&8220;In the course of history many more people have died for their drink and their dope than have died for their religion or their country.&8221;

&8212;Aldous Huxley

Drugs are a problem in Shelby County.

That is an indisputable and disheartening fact but unfortunately the reality of modern society.

The fight to control or eradicate drug abuse is a difficult, some say insurmountable, task.

As a civilized society, the task is certainly one we must accept.

The future of our county and the health and well-being of our citizens depend upon it.

Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force leader Capt. Ken Burchfield recently shared with the Shelby County Commission

a grant application filed with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

Outlined in the application are key areas of high drug activity and the task force&8217;s plan to target them.

The areas included are the &8220;Hill&8221; in Alabaster, the Creswell community in Harpersville, the Shelby community in southern Shelby County and Egg and Butter Road in Columbiana.

Make no mistake that our county&8217;s drug problem, or that of any other community, is not isolated to a handful of streets or neighborhoods; it is pervasive and infiltrates all socio-economic areas.

Drug abuse in our county runs the gamut of substances, from crack cocaine to prescription medicine.

In fact, according to the grant application, 69 percent of drug-related deaths in Shelby County since 2005 can be attributed to pharmaceutical drug use.

The commission approved a match to the proposed $229,972.62 grant from ADECA to provide funding for the task force as it begins its fourth year of service in January.

The battle against drugs in our community will not be easily won, but with strong leadership by Capt. Burchfield and those who work with him, drug dealers&8217; days of making &8220;easy money&8221; through drug pushing are numbered here.

Rest assured, they can expect even greater efforts to eradicate their dastardly deeds from our county