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Texans need treatment, not incarceration, for drugs

For many years now, law enforcement officials and the judicial system have adoptede a very punitive approach with people who have been charged with various drug crimes in Texas. This has actually been the case around the nation despite different laws in each state. At the same time, the nation and the state have been seeing a virtual explosion in the number of people developing serious addictions to opioid substances.

Finally people are starting to really talk about just how dangerous this situation is. There is a growing awareness that a new approach, one that emphasizes prevention and treatment rather than punishment, is needed. Certainly there are debates about what exactly that means and how to make this shift. Evidence of the growing addiction problem can be seen through many statistics provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2016 was the deadliest year ever for drug overdose deaths in the U.S. and more than 300,000 lives have been lost to overdoses involving opioids since 2000.

An estimated one million people used heroin last year and another 11 million inappropriately took or used prescription drugs. It is not known just how many of these people may have also faced criminal charges related to their drug addiction or use.

After being arrested for suspected crimes involving opioids or other drugs, people in Texas might want to contact an attorney to learn how they can get the right combination of treatment and defense. 

Source: USA Today, "Opioid epidemic 'getting worse instead of better,' public health officials warn," Michael Collins, October 5, 2017

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

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