AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Liberty Township woman is facing drug charges after police said they found her under the influence of drugs in Austintown. But it’s where the drugs were found that has raised some questions. We talked with an Austintown Police Department narcotics detective about the risk factors of finding drugs in public places.
Meagan Gore, 37, is now in the Mahoning County Jail on drug abuse charges.
Police found her in an Austintown grocery store around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 6. According to a police report, officers found needles and a bag of methamphetamine in Gore’s purse. She was also suspected of doing drugs in the bathroom after police said they found drug residue on one of the toilets.
“There’s always any type of risk when you don’t know what the item is in the bathroom that you may come in contact with,” said Det. Rob Whited.
Whited says certain drugs can affect people just by touching them.
“If somebody comes into contact with fentanyl and that’s absorbed through the skin, now they’re dealing with something a lot more catastrophic,” he said.
Luckily, the drugs found in that bathroom were not harmful to the touch. However, lots of these types of drugs look similar.
“All these different white powders that are out there are that you really truly don’t know what you’re coming into contact with,” Whited said.
Whited says it’s not common to find drugs that are left behind. If they are found, drug residue isn’t.
“If a drug is left behind, it’s packaged. It’s not going to be a loose item,” he said.
Whited says to let somebody know if you see a suspicious substance in a public place. If you must clean it, he says to be cautious. Don’t touch it with bare hands — use something to separate your hand from directly contacting the substance.
Gore was arraigned on Sept. 8 and her bond was set at $2,500. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.
She also had an outstanding warrant out of Liberty Township, the police report stated.