The Oklahoma settlement against Purdue Pharmaceutical will have no impact here in Florida. Did you know that only one in nine people addicted to an opiate gets treatment? Here in Sarasota and Bradenton, we are still seeing people overdosing as a result of opiate addiction die needlessly. In the meantime, companies like Purdue Pharmaceutical have made billions in obscene profits. This is not just an issue of law enforcement, it is a health crisis. The Florida legislature and law enforcement across the state still does not understand that this is a medical issue, not just a “crime” issue. The real drug dealers are the huge pharmaceutical companies that started this nightmare.
It was short sighted to simply create a drug database and crack down on the pill mills without dealing with all the people already addicted to the opiates. They simply switched to heroin and now Fentanyl. There are no old drug addicts. The all die. If you have a loved one addicted to an opiate, they need help and intervention. Unless and until the addiction problem is dealt with, law enforcement will never make a dent in the problem. As long as there is demand, someone will provide a supply.
The addiction leads to collateral crime. Addicts commit burglaries to support their habit. Addicts steal from their relatives and often pawn stolen items to support their habits. The pawnshops make a small fortune profiting from addicts “dealing in stolen property”. Addicts get charged with “defrauding a pawn broker” when the pawn shop operators know full well they are getting stolen property. The bottom line is that we have to treat this as a medical issue and get people help. As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer it is my opinion that probation for a drug addict without treatment is a trap and a slippery slope to State prison.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and you are an addict, you need help not jail. If you want to talk or discuss this issue feel free to call 941 366 3506