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SRPD Shares Alcohol and Illegal Drug Info at Voices in the Maze Meeting

Members of the Salt River Police Department share a presentation at the Voices in the Maze meeting in August.

The dangers of alcohol and illegal drug use was the topic of discussion at the August Voices in the Maze meeting at Salt River High School.

Voices in the Maze members meet once a month to discuss topics that affect the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The group meets in the family resource room at the school in a social setting that often includes a potluck dinner. The group is open to anyone who is interested.

At the August 10 meeting, Jakupi Orhan and Delvin Duong, both with the Salt River Police Department, shared a presentation with statistics on alcohol and illegal drug use in the Community. About a dozen people attended the roughly two-hour discussion. Many asked questions about the department and about strategies to fight alcohol and drug abuse.

The three biggest drug-related issues affecting the Community are methamphetamine, heroin and inhalant abuse of “whippets” or “whip-its,” Orhan said. Alcohol is also a big issue, he said. Abuse of fentanyl, an opioid pain medication, is also an issue in the Community, Duong said. The dominant type of substance abuse varies with the age group.

In 2016, Duong said, Salt River police responded to 570 calls related to illegal drugs and 871 alcohol-related calls. For juveniles, there were 27 calls related to illegal drug abuse and 37 calls for alcohol.

“Look at the numbers 27 and 37,” Duong said. “That may not [seem] high [to you], but for kids, I think that’s a high number.”

The next Voices in the Maze meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., September 21 at the high school.