Authorities in Florida are starting to realize that enforcement has only a small part to play in a multi-faceted approach to correcting the problem of illegal drug addiction. Other factors include treatment, education and prevention.
The sheriff’s office in Hillsborough County has recently taken steps to better facilitate the prevention and treatment parts of the equation. Last week it introduced an amnesty program that allows people with illegal drugs to voluntarily turn them in to one of multiple sheriff’s office locations. There will be no questions asked, and those who voluntarily turn drugs in will not face any legal repercussions.
The new amnesty program takes the drugs off the streets, preventing them from falling into the hands of someone else who might use them, possibly becoming addicted in the process. In addition, the sheriff’s office will direct those who voluntarily turn in their drugs to treatment providers who can help them overcome their addiction. This may be helpful for people who want to seek treatment but may not be aware of the right place to go. However, it remains an individual’s choice whether or not to seek treatment after turning in drugs. Law enforcement will not compel people to enter treatment programs purely on the basis of turning in controlled substances.
In addition to allowing people to voluntarily turn in drugs, the amnesty program also prevents the arrest of individuals voluntarily seeking treatment on charges of drug possession. Rather, authorities will arrange transportation to a treatment facility for those voluntarily seeking treatment.
There are currently eight locations in Hillsborough County where people can drop off their controlled substances. This particular program is currently confined to Hillsborough County. People facing prosecution on drug charges in any Florida location may find it worthwhile to contact an attorney.