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Meth: A Big Problem, But Not Quite an Epidemic in San Angelo

More than 160 people have been arrested on meth-related charges so far this year in San Angelo. Officials say the drug is a problem, but not yet an epidemic here in the Concho Valley.
At two and a half months pregnant, with two young children at home, Cassandra Torres was addicted to methamphetamine.

"I was on it all the time," Torres said. "It was like every day for me. I couldn't stop."

It took child protective services intervening for her to get help.

"I think it was a prayer answered because I used to pray about it and ask God to give me the strength to stop but I couldn't stop," she said. "And when CPS intervened, that's when I -- it opened my eyes -- and I thought I need to do what I can to get my kids back."

She's six year sober now, with healthy children and a full-time job.

"It's been a dramatic change," Torres said. "I'm very grateful everyday. It's just been a total turnaround."

She thanks the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council for her recovery.

"Having that courage to stay in the game, to stay in the program, is commendable," Eric Sanchez, CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of the Concho Valley said. "Their love for their children, their families and for their own life is so strong that they want to do whatever it takes to get the help they need."

In 2012, ADAC cared for 400 clients. One-third of them were meth users.

"We have seen it just be a steady issue in our community, and not just in San Angelo, but the whole Concho Valley," Sanchez said.

ADAC is here to help people who have an addiction. They're doing their part to protect the community, while the police department is doing theirs.

"More community involvement," San Angelo Police Lieutenant Tracy Fincher said of what the department is doing to help seek out and arrest meth distributors and users. "The patrol officers just working with the community every day, talking to the members of the community, getting information."

The SAPD expects to arrest a total of 200 people by the end of the year on meth related charges. They've arrested 163 people so far, one being during a traffic stop over the weekend. The person arrested had 35 grams of meth in their vehicle.

Michelle Kingston, KLST News.
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