Meth: A Deep Rooted Issue in the F-M Area
Local police say the opioid epidemic has largely overshadowed the stagnant meth use in the area
FARGO, N.D. — After the Berthold Police Department made what might be the largest meth bust in state history last Tuesday, KVRR spoke with local law enforcement to examine the presence of the drug in Fargo.
Cass County Sheriff’s Office says the value of the meth seized in Berthold was likely over $100,000, but they say it’s unlikely the seizure will have an impact on meth in the FM community.
“I don’t think it’ll have a major effect on us because the suppliers aren’t manufacturing it locally,” said Lieutenant Shannon Ruziska with Fargo Police Department.
The three men arrested in the Berthold seizure were from Washington State. Both law agencies cited Washington State as a major supply source of meth in North Dakota.
“There’s lots of sources and every time one source leaves or gets arrested, three more jump into the game,” said Captain Mitch Burris with Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
In a time where media attention is focused on opioids, it’s easy to forget meth use is still a reality in Fargo.
“The usage is probably steady in the last ten years. It hasn’t really dropped off. As opiates came into our community, that usage increased. Meth stayed constant,” said Ruziska.
Ruziska says opiates have largely overshadowed meth.
“It’s not as sensational as the opiates. You don’t have the overdose and the lives that are lost and the short term lives that are so affected,” said Ruziska.
According to the Fargo Police Department, like opioids, meth knows no demographic.
“It covers all different demographics. All races, all religions, all economic levels,” said Ruziska.
Although police say the seizure in Berthold was a success worth commending, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
“We should be cautiously optimistic that we’re making a dent in some of these issues and that we’re making a difference on being out there and doing these things,” said Burris.
“Our ability to arrest as many as possible who are bringing the drugs in will deter more people from wanting to come here because they don’t want to go to jail. They’re here to make money,” said Ruziska, “You don’t make money in jail.”