Due to the sensitivity of their investigations, we can't show you the supervisors' identity or the officers faces of the Task Force, but we can show you what it's like if your house gets raided by the law enforcement unit.
"Unfortunately, meth is a problem here," said task force member. "And at the task force what we're basically focusing on are mid to upper level manufacturers and distributors."
The task force supervisor allowed our KLEW News camera into a home that they believed to be at the center of a distribution ring for meth. Knowing the law was at his door, the owner of the modest home left in a hurry without bothering to turn his TV off and ran off on foot from the task force. So why does a person with a humble existence have a 24-hour surveillance system set up? Your guess is just as good as the task force's.
"Defintely, you're looking at prison time," said task force member. "And if you have kids you're looking at kids that are going to be sitting home alone for ten, twenty, thirty years."
While no meth was found in the home that evening, the officers showed us two ounces of meth they confiscated from a separate arrest from earlier that evening. Those bundles were found in multiple body cavities. The supervisor says members of the task force work hard to erode the distribution meth in the area.
"So every time we can keep chipping away at it, it just makes it a little tougher for them to do business," said task force member. "And that's, unfortunately, sometimes all you can do."
There are also those who fight the drug war in another far more personal way, by counseling those who battle their addiction to the drugs the Task Force is dedicated to ridding the region of. Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Kellie Baker of Riverside Recovery said it's important to understand that addiction isn't something a person can simply walk away from. Baker said you have to change how you interpret and approach the subject.
"Come at it from a point where this is a disease and this person is in crisis," said Baker.
If you begin to notice negative behaviors from a loved one or a friend, you should keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs of addiction. She offered a few suggestions that should give you cause for concern.
"Not sleeping, not eating," said Baker. "Getting involved in projects that never end and never get finished. And of course a change in friends and associations."
Baker suggests contacting a local recovery center and expressing concern to the afflicted individual are the first steps you can take to help your loved one get on the path to recovery.
"Recovery is an act of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors," said Baker. "And so what we do is we help them recognize and get beyond that denial system as to how their behavior is affecting other people."
"I think it could go away," said task force member. "Whether it does, or not, depends on how we as a society take the problem and want to attack it. It's very expensive to fight the problem unfortunately."
It's our hope that by introducing you to addicts and those who fight the problem that you now have a better understanding about the complexity of methamphetamine use and its impact on the many people in our region.
If you or a loved one is afflicted by meth addiction go to stopmethaddiction.com for information about recovery.