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Meth users come from all walks of life

My Opinion
Alan Stewart, Staff Writer

From the get-go, we need to emphasize that anyone ‘ whether they have had numerous run-ins with the law or are first-time offenders ‘ charged with a crime is, indeed, innocent until proven guilty in court.
Last week’s arrest of Corydon attorney Leah Fink and her boyfriend, Jeremy Ripperdan, on multiple methamphetamine-related charges had folks around the water cooler buzzing. One recurring theme quizzed to me was how someone who defends drug users in court could not only get caught up in drugs themselves, but to potentially throw away a career just to get high.
If what police allege is true, my answer would be: meth and the powerful hooks the drug has on people.
Before his press conference on Aug. 16, Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye noted that meth does not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor, white or black. After being questioned by another member of the media, he discussed Fink’s family up-bringing during last week’s interview. But, in reality, her upbringing had little to do with anything. Ripperdan’s family had little to do with anything, either. Fink or Ripperdan could have just as easily been street bums as an attorney, a doctor or a teacher.
Do an Internet search and you’ll find that a number of attorneys and judges have been arrested on the same charges as Ripperdan and Fink. Meth doesn’t care about your job, how much money you make or your standing in the community.
Simply put, meth’s boundaries are endless, and we shouldn’t look down on either of these individuals for their alleged crime.
Unlike other types of drugs, crystal meth is highly addictive. A user is much likely to become addicted simply after one use, putting his or her own health in peril and continually resorting to dealers for more. Meth has the potential to wreck more lives and impact more families than any other illegal drug.
And it’s not somebody else’s problem. There could be someone in your family who is a user, and you may not realize it. While it wasn’t meth, I had a cousin die as a result of cocaine usage. I never had an inkling that he used drugs.
Even after controlling meth precursors, the drug is still readily made in make-shift laboratories all across the country. The facts tell us that we can’t control the supply of meth so, therefore, we have to try to control the demand by educating people about the dangers of meth addiction. For those who are already incarcerated on meth charges, we need to get those folks rehabilitated and, again, educate them on the certain death they face if they continue to travel meth’s highway.

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