PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With more than 600 comments and 3,400 shares, a Facebook post written by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is widely circulating the commonwealth. But the content isn’t your average crime notice.
The Sheriff’s Office sent out the post as a public service announcement after a bag of methamphetamine was found in a public restroom. In the post, the Sheriff’s Office chastises the owner of the bag for losing it in the first place and makes a joke of the situation – ultimately seeming to condone the illegal substance use.
“Just a little PSA here………if you’re going to spend money on meth, at least be responsible enough to keep up with it and don’t just leave it laying around in a public bathroom all Willy Nilly like for anyone to grab a hold of,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote online.
According to the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) most recent quarterly report, drug overdoses are the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia — more than gun-related and motor vehicle-related deaths combined. And the statistic is nothing new. The VDH said drug overdoses have been Virginia’s leading cause of death since 2013.
In the Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office continued on to say, “I mean, how would you like it if your grandma picked up the lost and lonely meth, thought it was a free sample of Sweet & Low, and then sprinkled it on her oatmeal? Next thing ya know, grandma is out somewhere playing Enter Sandman on a Kazoo as she’s looking for Rudolph to whip his tail for running her over last year.”
In this, the Sheriff’s Office seems to want to warn the public of the dangers behind the drug. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the reality of substance abuse has the potential to paint a much more grim picture than your favorite Christmas characters. More than 100,000 Americans died from overdoses in 2021.
“It has reached a crisis proportion, and so that means we have to do every tool we can to try to attack this scourge,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a statement after launching the “One Pill Can Kill” counterfeit drug awareness campaign in November.
While the majority of Virginia’s overdose deaths come from opioid abuse, the VDH said fatal non-opioid overdoses are on the rise, with 24% more people dying from cocaine overdoses and 42% more people dying from meth overdoses in 2021 as compared to 2020.
The VDH found 551 Virginians died from a methamphetamine overdose in 2021.
The Sheriff’s Office ends the Facebook post with a call-out to anyone who may have recently lost their meth, offering its assistance with tracking down the seller of the drug to verify proof of purchase.
“Simply give us a written statement in detail describing where you left it and where you originally purchased it from,” the post read. “We can then contact the seller and if they confirm your recent purchase and advise us that their product warranty is still in effect, we will happily handle it from there.”
At the bottom of the post, several hashtags were used, including: #methisbad, #keepupwithyourjunk and #puppiescouldfinditandgethurt — but according to the VDH report, more than puppies are at risk.