Police chiefs talk opioid issue

WILTON – The current opioid and related drug problems were the main topics addressed by Police Chief Eric Olesen and Lyndeborough Police Chief Rance Deware at an informational presentation on April 10 in the high school media room. About a dozen people attended the two-hour question-and-answer session.

Olesen spent over an hour on the drug presentation. Deware then addressed telephone scams, home security, and women’s safety.

The opioid crisis isn’t just New Hampshire, Olesen said, “It’s nationwide. There has been a 300 percent increase in drug use over the past seven years.” More people have died from drug overdoses than in car crashes or the Vietnam War. The drugs can be natural or synthetic and are available almost everywhere.

Many addicts start with legally prescribed drugs, which have been over prescribed as being “non-addictive if used correctly,” he said. Doctors need to look at other means of pain control. Teenagers become addicted in high school frequently beginning with alcohol or marijuana.

“Learn the symptoms of drug use,” Olesen said. Handouts are available at the police station.

His suggestions: Gert rid of unused medications – drug take-back day is April 27, 10-2 at the Wilton Police Station.

Identify people in need, be suspicious. If you see something, say something.

If you suspect an overdose, call 911. Such calls are anonymous.

The biggest problem in the high school now is vaping, he said. “Our activity at the school has increased 79 percent. We walk through on a daily basis, let them know we are here.”

Deware listed the current phone scams: “spoofing” where the call seems to be from a known person; threats from the IRS, “the frantic call from a relative.”

“The IRS never calls,” he said. “They send a letter. Never give out a social security number. Be suspicious. Trust your instinct. You are probably right.”

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Home security includes using strong dead bolts on doors; motion-activated lights which can now include cameras; using a block at the bottom of sliding doors; lock doors, both house and car.

Never leave valuables in sight, especially in a car. “Theft is a crime of opportunity.”

Don’t leave your spare house key under a rock or the door mat.

Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street so the police can find you.

Safety tips for women include: be aware of your surroundings; don’t be on the phone while walking; don’t leave your purse unattended in a store; park in a well-lighted area; and lock doors behind you.

Carry a flashlight, Olesen said. “It can be used as a defensive weapon, as can car keys.” Have your keys ready in hand as you approach your car.

A program of women’s defense tactics can be arranged if there is enough interest, he said.

The program was sponsored by the Wilton Community Center – wiltoncommunitycenter@gmail.com. Stasia Millet served as moderator.