Authorities discuss drug issues in Mississippi and Alabama

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The U.S. drug epidemic is affecting communities locally in East Mississippi and West Alabama. Mary Lyons with WEEMS Mental Health Center said addiction is a disease that gets worse over time but only one in ten people seek treatment.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie names methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol as the top three substances abused in the county. Like Lauderdale County, Choctaw County, Alabama's Sheriff Scott Lolley said meth is a problem in his area. Lolley says taking time to address the drug problem will help cut out other crimes also.

"If you don’t want to constantly deal with a lot of murders, just work drugs," Lolley said. "If you start working drugs you will lower some of these violent crimes.”

Lyons says drug abusers have the option to seek help before a drug addiction gets out of hand through a comprehensive recovery act. The act mandates insurance providers to allow mental health and substance abuse treatment access.