Egypt Officials Educate Residents About Illegal Drugs

SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 -- Posted at: 11:55pm

EGYPT, AR - Egypt Police Chief Don Mullenix organized and hosted an informational meeting Thursday night. He said some of the illegal drug problem in that town has been solved, but leaders continue to push to get it out of that community. Mayor Don Scruggs knows how quickly drug dealers can move their business into a city.

"It was obvious they were making drug deals across from city hall at the pay phone there," said Scruggs.

A larger than normal problem began about two years ago when the neighboring town of Cash started a police department.

"..and when they did, drug traffic at the pay phone went way up," added the Mayor.

That's when Scruggs and city council members decided they needed a police department too. They wanted to silence the sales calls coming into the pay phone.

Mayor Scruggs explained, "Now there's usually a police car across the street, so we don't have that problem any more here in town."

However, city leaders know drugs are still a problem - especially off of rural roads. Don Mullenix is the police chief and a private investigator who deals with drug addicts, makers and sellers who are involved in child custody cases. Those children are his main concern.

"For the last six years mainly about 99.5% of all my case that i work and my employees work are child custody ... drug related cases that's all we work," said Mullenix.

Holding meetings like the one Thursday night is one way to battle the problem. Mullenix said knowing what illegal substances look like, how they're made and the effects they have on a user is especially important for parents and grandparents.

Trisha Riggs, a resident of Egypt and a mother of four, responded after listening to the featured speakers, "I was surprised what people put in their bodies. I would consider everything up there poisonous."

One ounce of meth costs as little as $300 to make and has a profit of nearly $3,000. When you add in the fact that it gives users amazing highs, and can be extremely additive after one use, therapist Michael Teague believes it's easy to see why drugs like meth are such a problem.

"People I know have intellect and resources to stop, but they simply can't or won't," said Teague.