So-called pain management clinics continue to pop up and some have been linked to the improper selling of prescription drugs.
As the demand for drugs changes, so do the methods law enforcement officers use to combat the problem, according to Greg Ramey, Special Agent in Charge at the G.B.I office in Gordon County.
It’s an uphill battle for the local GBI agents who serve 12 counties in Northwest Georgia, but it is a fight worth making, Ramey said.
“Over the last several years Georgia has grown and with Metro Atlanta area and all the interstate access, it became what Miami was in the 80s,” Ramey said. “It became that (drug) hub with the population growth.”
Over the last couple of decades, Ramey said, law enforcement began seeing an influx of drugs coming from Mexico. Dealers had easy access to north Georgia and other areas due to the convenience of the interstates.
They were able to ship drugs in any direction, some times using “dummy cars” which were used as decoys, allowing larger shipments to go through undetected.
Along the way, small time users and dealers learned how to make meth themselves in so-called shake and bake labs.
As law enforcement began to piece these tricks together, they began to gain a small foothold on the meth problem.
“Law enforcement seems to have gotten a little handle on that but it’s a catch-up game,” Ramey said. “But you get a handle on it and the perpetrators orient themselves to something else, which is what we’ve seen here in north Georgia with the prescription drug pill mills.”