This Means War

It’s no secret that the violent crime rate in Savannah has been steadily rising over the past year. What is the root of this evil? Drugs. From heroin to cocaine to meth, the trafficking of drugs can turn even the most upstanding citizens into felons. Local law enforcement is making groundbreaking efforts to combat the spread of illegal drugs in the Savannah area. With the combined efforts of the mayor, the police chief, the DA and the counter narcotics team, the good guys are gearing up for a fight.

 

 Violent crime rose by nearly 26 percent in 2015, with property crime increasing by 10 percent. Both are on the move again. Law enforcement officials agree that drugs breed crime. Although the numbers may be hard to pin down, 80 percent of crime may be drug-related, including shootings over drug debts and turf wars, thefts and burglar­ies.

In 1971, servicemen in Vietnam were returning home with heroin addictions. President Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy No. 1.”

The years that followed saw the establishment of the DEA; the dominance of Columbian drug lords; the birth of crack babies; the growth of military aid targeted at foreign drug suppliers; and the rise and fall of Gen. Manuel Noriega. Nancy Reagan said “Just Say No,” and President Clinton endorsed NAFTA, easing trade over the Mexican border. Incarceration rates surged. Drug-induced deaths today exceed those from motor vehicles and firearms, with skyrocketing levels of drug overdose deaths in Georgia.

American consumers are spending approxi­mately $100 billion annually on heroin, meth­amphetamine or “meth,” marijuana and cocaine; the U.S. government devotes about $50 billion combatting it. Savannah’s annual outlay is in the tens of millions.

To learn more about the uprising of drug wars in Savannah, check out our June/July issue.