LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area county is trying to tackle the drug usage problem.
La Crosse County’s Heroin and Illicit Drug Task Force held its first meeting Thursday.
Members said La Crosse County isn’t the only area with a problem.
Mike Desmond is the co-chair of the task force, and executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse.
“There are some serious drug issues, and we can’t hide our head in the sand about it. We have to address it and we have to address it now,” said Desmond.
La Crosse County Sheriff Steve Helgeson who’s also on the committee said drug use affects people from all walks of life.
“We’re seeing everything from teenagers all the way through retired persons. It doesn’t seem to make any difference as far as economic backgrounds, race,” said Helgeson.
Helgeson said heroine and meth are the biggest concerns.
He said when people become addicted it leads to health and criminal troubles.
Helgeson said the group will look at what other cities and counties have done across the state and the country to see what’s worked and what hasn’t.
He said prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement are all important components.
“We hope to save lives. We hope to reduce the amount of drugs that are being used in our community,” said Helgeson.
Desmond said fixing the drug problem requires a team effort.
“If we see an area of the community that needs help, a problem that needs fixing, I think we all have a responsibility to step in and say to say what can I do to help,” said Desmond.
Desmond said the group hopes to have an aggressive plan six months from now about what can be done to help solve the problem.