Law enforcement for decades has been treating drug addiction as a crime. Our legislators just do not understand addiction. Drug addiction is a treatable condition and incarceration almost never solves the problem. When a person comes out of prison as a convicted felon, with no job, little opportunity and no money, most of the time, they return to using heroin, pills or cocaine. The system is not set up to help people. Law enforcement is a business. The prison system is a business. The more people that are arrested, the more those businesses thrive.
The heroin epidemic is a direct result of the police crackdown on opiates like Oxycontin, Oxydodone, Percocet and the other pills. They should have seen this coming. There were thousands of people addicted to pills. When the police cracked down on the pain management doctors and the pharmacies, what did they expect? Of course people turned to the easily available alternative, heroin. Now we have a heroin epidemic. No big surprise!
The answer is to address the fundamental problem of why people become addicted. How did they get addicted? What can we do to help them, not what can we do to put them in jail. Prosecuting the suppliers is an endless war that will never be won. There is a demand fueled by addiction. Someone will step up to fill that demand. Would we even have drug Cartels if the Government had gotten on the front end of this problem?
As a criminal defense lawyer here in Sarasota, I come into contact with addicts. I understand how easily they got addicted. Many addicts are normal people who had a car accident and got addicted by the treating doctors helping lawyers build up a personal injury file. Few people intentionally try to become an addict. It is not something they set out to do. Increased penalties is not the answer. More prisons is not the answer. The answer in intervention and treatment. People are dying every day from drug addiction. There is a new toxic pill on the market here in Sarasota that can instantly kill you. If you have a relative that is addicted to heroin or has been arrested for possession of heroin I may be able to help. These people need help, not prison. All inquiries are confidential.