One would hope that in this day and age we could feel safe walking to our local drug store to pick up some Tylenol or sunscreen and not fear for our lives. In America, this is fast becoming rare, especially in cities like Daytona Beach, FL where drug addiction is running rampant.
Daytona Beach is known to have a large homeless population and that in itself wouldn’t be worrisome. It is the number of homeless people who also happen to be drug addicts or any people in Daytona Beach who are addicted to drugs.
Opioid overdoses and drug addiction has skyrocketed in Volusia County in recent years. More people are suffering from addiction and having overdoses than ever before. Drug-related offenses have also increased.
It should come as no surprise that Daytona Beach is a hotbed for drug activity considering the sizeable homeless population along with the clear poverty line. There is a large amount of movement in and out of the city as it is a tourist town. People who live here know that everything isn’t as bright as it seems.
The famous A1A on the beachside runs parallel to Ridgewood Avenue, which is an area everyone knows you should steer clear of at night time. Many neighborhoods off of Ridgewood deal with crime, and Ridgewood itself has housed prostitution rings and more. It is an unsavory area, to say the least.
Crossing through Ridgewood before it meets up with A1A though is the International Speedway Blvd, and at the intersection of Ridgewood and International is a normal, low key Walgreens. Within this Walgreens are the normal needs like toilet paper, milk, and even a pharmacy.
The pharmacy is what drew the attention of Louis Curler on Tuesday, April 23rd. Armed with a rifle, the man entered the Walgreens intending to rob the pharmacy for drugs. He might think this was a good idea but his drug-addled mind probably only had one thought: to get more drugs.
Curler hopped the counter and demanded drugs, brandishing his rifle wildly as dismayed onlookers stood there. When Curler barged in, there were 10 people in Walgreens: six employees and four unsuspecting customers. This was a terrifying situation for everyone involved. No one expects someone to come in with guns out, but it happens all too often.
Quick thinking employee Martha Quinones knew something was wrong and immediately started herding people out, including an elderly lady who dropped her cane. She knew she needed to act fast.
Police was immediately called and arrived at the scene promptly. They wasted no time rushing inside. They found Curler turned and injecting himself with something behind the counter, drugs that he supposedly had grabbed. They gave him a warning and when he didn’t comply shots were fired. Curler was hit in the left buttocks and then safely detained. He is expected to make a full recovery.
This is yet another example of how drug addiction can take over someone’s rational mind and cause them to act out aggressively and violently to get drugs. Drug use may start as a choice initially, but once it turns into drug addiction, there isn’t anything they can do.
Drugs cause a chemical change in the brain that makes you crave them beyond all reason. It is a dangerous chronic disease and should be treated as such. Those who have drug addiction are not always in their right mind when they are trying to access drugs.
This doesn’t mean that what Curler did was in any way okay, it wasn’t. It’s just another example of the violence that drug use can lead to.