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Law Enforcement and Media Finally Taking a Closer Look at Wisconsin’s Heroin Epidemic

Posted on in Drug Crimes

Wisconsin drug attorney, Wisconsin defense lawyerOver the last couple of years, the number of Wisconsin residents suffering from a heroin addiction has been rising, but law enforcement and the media have only recently started to look at the situation as an epidemic that warrants discussion. Now considered a “public health crisis,” it is thought to affect as many as 6,700 residents and is causing more overdose deaths than ever. How did we get here? And how can Wisconsin turn things around? Unfortunately, as with all addiction, the answer is not a simple one.

How Heroin Addiction Often Starts

The typical heroin abuser does not generally start using heroin, right off the bat. Instead, doctors say that most start off addicted to opioids, such as Vicodin or OxyContin. Once that becomes too difficult to secure, or too expensive, they often move to heroin to avoid the withdrawal process. Once addicted to heroin, the risk on their life becomes that much greater because of unreliable sources and the higher risk of overdose. Unfortunately, once the addiction has reached this point, it is especially difficult to overcome without medical and mental health intervention.

Arrests and Prosecution Not a Viable Solution

Although it cannot be directly proven, the attempt to manage heroin addiction through arrests and prosecution could very well be one of the many reasons behind the recent increase in users throughout the state. This is because, theoretically, those arrested are eventually released and, despite having served their time, they now have a conviction on their record and lack the resources needed to effectively stay clean. Once they start again, so does the entire cycle.

Rather than focus on arrests and convictions, law enforcement can and should focus on treatment and rehabilitation. Combined medical and mental health services, including behavioral interventions, have been widely successful. What is more, this approach does not aim to tear families apart, nor does it result in a prohibitive criminal record that could impact the individual’s ability to seek future employment. In short, it gives them a real chance at getting clean and returning to society.

Arrested for Drug Possession? Our Attorneys Can Help

Despite all evidence that a therapeutic approach is most beneficial for those addicted to heroin or other drugs, law enforcement continues to heavily prosecute those arrested on drug charges. In fact, even a first offense can carry hefty penalties that can put your job, your livelihood, and your future at risk. As such, it is critical that you seek immediate and aggressive legal help if you or someone you love has recently been arrested.

Backed by more than 40 years of experience, the skilled Milwaukee, Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help. A respected law firm with extensive experience in handling Wisconsin drug charges, we act swiftly and fight relentlessly to improve your chances of a positive outcome, regardless of the evidence against you. Get the legal defense you deserve. Call 414-271-1440 and schedule your consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://fox11online.com/news/crime/hooked-on-heroin-a-closer-look-at-northeast-wisconsins-epidemic

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction

 

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