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Public call for help, not penalties, for addicts

Florida residents who may either know someone struggling with drug addiction or who may themselves be battling this affliction know that beating it is anything but easy. When people who are uneducated about the realities of drug addiction simply want to throw the book at folks who use or seek illegal drugs or legal drugs in unintended ways, the problems may only get worse.

As the country at large appears to be coming to grips with the opioid crisis and the realities surrounding addiction, many in the state are calling for a shift in perspective and in approach to dealing with people who are addicted to drugs. The U.S. President recently declared a public health emergency what many now call the opioid epidemic. There may be great hope in this as people wait to see if the state of Florida will actually do what some believe to be the right thing.

That right thing might entail expanding drug courts, allowing people to call for emergency help if in the midst of an overdose without fear of reproach or criminal punishment and more. In general a philosophy of providing treatment to people who are ill rather than punishing people who are bad or who have done bad things is sought and asked for. When penalties are the default response to a drug-related incident, entire families are impacted, not just defendants.

Anyone in Florida who may be facing a drug crime charge might want to talk to an attorney to learn how they may seek the right help for their situation.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat, “Opinion: To solve opioid crisis, stop criminalizing a medical problem,” J. Robert McClure, October 22, 2017

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