Officials focus on 'repeat offenders' as Columbus drug arrests continue to rise

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Officials are acknowledging the apparent increase in street drugs and arrests in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Arrests are being made, but counselors say jail time is not the answer.

"Statistics already show that incarceration is not helping to fix the epidemic. What they need is treatment," says Edgar Cordoba of Talbott Recovery.

Edgar Cordoba, who works at Talbott Recovery in Columbus, says arrests are being made daily, and the drugs of choice are getting stronger.

"We are seeing an increase in opioids, meth and heroin use in the area," says Cordoba.

While there are many drug-related arrests, many do not stay in jail for an extended amount of time. More attention is being put on repeat offenders and the resources available to those in need.

Cardoba's agency and many around the Chattahoochee Valley are turning their focus to 'repeat' offenders.

"We have to educate, and we have to get better to figure out how to get long-term recovery with our current treatment providers and our law enforcement team to bring long-term recovery for these addicts," said Dayna Solomon, Muscogee County Drug Court coordinator.

Dayna Solomon, the coordinator for the Muscogee County Drug Court, says her department is working harder than ever to help those dealing with addiction.

She says the focus needs to be on keeping the drugs off the streets and the people on the right path.

"It's okay to get help. If you fall down, it's how you get back up," says  Cardoba.

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