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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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Addiction and Drugs In Santa Ramona

[Brother Wyatt Langham, the author of this piece, is an ordained Priest, a Brother of the Franciscan order. Brother Langham is a known social activist and invested in seeking justice for those suffering oppression. He writes about social issues and topics related to inequality, justice and challenges we face in society.]

Santa Ramona is one of several many small cities dotting the Californian coastline. California is a region which is especially accustomed to drug organizations distributing to other regions in the country as it's geographical proximity to Mexico bears the advantage for gangs to move mass quantities across in order to sell and distribute product across the border. However, it is not just Mexican drug organizations that distribute drugs and this is not an article aimed at painting Mexicans as drug organization members. There are plenty of home grown gangs and distributors, producers even of drugs within the country.

How deep is the issue itself within this city? And does the proximity of the border from Mexico into California have any impact upon the city of Santa Ramona and drug usage and distribution within?

Anything from methamphetamines, Fentanyl and Cannabis is sold typically and distributed within the region. According to the Justice Department:

"Mexican DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations] are the primary wholesale distributors of drugs in the region, typically utilizing stash sites located at private residences, warehouses, and storage facilities in cities and towns throughout the region. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups use the area as a base of operations for illicit drug distribution to markets in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, Hawaii, Canada, and areas along the east coast. Traffickers primarily use private and commercial vehicles to transport drugs from the region.."

Wholesale distribution to American street gangs and drug organizations in turn see supply hitting all corners of society.

Customers come from all walks of life. In Santa Ramona alone, there have been reports of wild cocaine fueled parties, events thrown by the Santa Ramona Studios, film and movies production and other high society events in the recent past.

Other reports of drug abuse and substances draw from cases of overdoses in the South side where alcohol abuse and drug addiction are treated at the South side Clinic and yet are issues in both sectors of the city, according to the SRFD, who provide EMS and have handled a "...fairly high amount of ODs and drug induced illnesses and injuries in both North an' South side of the city." as stated by Chief Dimitri Rousseau of Santa Ramona Fire Department. "There have always been plenty of drug involved incidents our EMS see." Chief Rousseau also added.

Chief Brentt of SRPD states that:

"Drugs are often at the root of a good many cases in this city. It can be in the capacity of a direct motivation for the crime, the drugs or the production or movement of them itself, or it can be the factor the lowers inhibitions, causes people to make rash decisions, and take risks they would never normally take. Drugs are indirect related crimes committed for the money sometimes as well...Distribution I really could not say for sure. We recently confiscated, over 85 kilos of Cocaine we believe was destined from the streets from one individual, that could make a huge dent in the distribution, on the other hand I suspect it may well be just the tip of iceberg.

In relation to border related drug distribution, Chief Brentt asserts that, "We have no record of any cartel activity in recently, no. I did read something in the paper about some issues over the border.. but certainly there has not been any significant increases in activity due to cartels on this side of the border, that I am aware of."

Alcohol related crimes he also stated have been behind some incidents, saying that alcohol is:

" far the most common drug directly involved with crimes and more often confiscated from people or vehicles, than any others at the moment is Cocaine. We did have a bout for a while a couple of years ago of an lesser known manufactured drug called Crush, at that time, that was the most common, and particularly nasty in its effects, but fortunately we have not seen any cases involving it in a long time. Otherwise we get few cases pretty much running the whole spectrum of drugs."

Talking to Dr Evelyna Stone, director of the South side Clinic rehabilitation and treatment center presents a slightly different picture of addiction issues, according to the Doctor, there are decreasing numbers of cases for patients seeking treatment for substance abuse at the Clinic although she does state she is unaware of the amount of drug related incidents and cases that both the SRPD and SRFD pick up so cannot comment as to the rise or decrease of drugs in the city.