Drug addiction and narcotics crimes continue to grow in the Lubbock area, and city and county leaders said it is time to take notice.

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said it is an even bigger problem than people think.

He said there are about 1,300 people incarcerated at the Lubbock County Detention Center, and 80 percent are in there struggling with addiction. 

"The explosion came in 2014 and the presence has only continued to increase. The sad part of that is the supply and demand kind of thing. The supply we know is certainly there, but unfortunately, that tells us the demand is here because of the volume we see come in every day," Rowe said.

That is why several Lubbock leaders hosted an addiction and recovery symposium at the civic center Friday, free of charge, for any citizen looking for support or resources.

District Five Councilman Randy Christian was one of the creators of this event, and he said they cannot sit back on the battle of addiction.

"This is long overdue. This is a disease that touches every corner of our community and really the entire world. It was time for us to pull back the curtain, open the door, and start the dialogue, and we hope there are many more dialogues well past today," Christian said.

He said there is only one way to beat addiction, and that is with a team effort. 

"There is hope in our community. Ask for it and come out of those shadows. I know that's tough because we have a lot of functioning alcoholics at work today, but clean up because your life will be so much better," Christian said.