By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Emily Moessner

The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force revealed Wednesday there were more than 1,500 drug-related arrests made over the past year in the area.

That’s according to the task force’s Annual Statistical Report.

“We have seen an increase in certain drugs,” said Capt. Wayne Robertson with the task force. “We have seen a rise in methamphetamine use and trafficking.”

In 2016, narcotics task force agents seized nearly $200,000 of meth. But now, agents are dealing with a an even cheaper, more dangerous drug.

“Heroin is one of our most dangerous drugs, and its probably one of our biggest threats,” Robertson said. But heroin is still outclassed, popularity-wise, by marijuana, cocaine and meth.

A look at the numbers:

  • 2014: $1.1 million in drug seizures
  • 2015: $1.3 million in drug seizures
  • 2016: $2.4 million in drug seizures

Drug-specific numbers:

<ul class=”sc-tabs”><li class=”active”><a href=”#” data-id=”1″>Marijuana</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”2″>Methamphetamine</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”3″>Cocaine</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”4″>Heroin</a></li></ul><ul class=”sc-tabs-panes”><li id=”sc-pane-1″ class=”active”><strong>2014:</strong> $737,909<br><strong>2015:</strong> $744,881<br><strong>2016:</strong> $1,044,547</li><li id=”sc-pane-2″><strong>2014:</strong> $146,789<br><strong>2015:</strong> $202,901<br><strong>2016:</strong> 190,530</li><li id=”sc-pane-3″><strong>2014:</strong> $82,990<br><strong>2015:</strong> $74,508<br><strong>2016:</strong> $791,829</li><li id=”sc-pane-4″><strong>2014:</strong> $5,280<br><strong>2015:</strong> $3,125<br><strong>2016:</strong> $2,535</li></ul>

Other interesting data:

<ul class=”sc-tabs”><li class=”active”><a href=”#” data-id=”1″>Money seized</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”2″>Meth labs discovered</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”3″>Weapons seized</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”4″>Search warrants obtained</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”5″>Average offender age</a></li><li><a href=”#” data-id=”6″>Youngest offender age</a></li></ul><ul class=”sc-tabs-panes”><li id=”sc-pane-1″ class=”active”><strong>2014:</strong> $868,000<br><strong>2015:</strong> 428,000<br><strong>2016:</strong> 639,000</li><li id=”sc-pane-2″><strong>2014:</strong> 84<br><strong>2015:</strong> 67<br><strong>2016:</strong> 38</li><li id=”sc-pane-3″><strong>2014:</strong> 86<br><strong>2015:</strong> 71<br><strong>2016:</strong> 153</li><li id=”sc-pane-4″><strong>2014:</strong> 292<br><strong>2015:</strong> 161<br><strong>2016:</strong> 161</li><li id=”sc-pane-5″><strong>2014:</strong> 28<br><strong>2015:</strong> 27<br><strong>2016:</strong> 29</li><li id=”sc-pane-6″><strong>2014:</strong> 17<br><strong>2015:</strong> 16<br><strong>2016:</strong> 14</li></ul>

The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force said they have a message for drug users and dealers.

“If you come to Tuscaloosa County,” Robertson said. “We’re strict on all drugs, and we’re going to continue to enforce the drug laws of not only Tuscaloosa, but the state of Alabama.”

The task force, Tuscaloosa Police Department and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said they’ll continue their efforts to seize drugs and arrest dealers, but also assist those seeking treatment with finding the help they need.

If you or someone you know needs help with drug addiction, find a treatment center near you here.

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