Late last month, a crowd of hundreds of police officers, community officials, medical personnel and others concerned about the rising use of illegal drugs and abuse of prescription drugs in Ohio joined Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for a daylong summit aimed at fighting Ohio’s drug addiction epidemic. Officials and attendees discussed new methods to prevent drug abuse, methods to reduce drug addiction in jails, and better goals for addressing the problem as a whole.
This summit is just the latest tactic employed by government officials and law enforcement to combat Ohio’s drug addiction epidemic. With a record 2,482 people dying from overdoses in 2014 and a likely even higher number to be reported in 2015, Ohioans are desperate to fight the rising scourge of drug abuse in the state. An important part of this effort will be a push to focus on treating drug addictions rather than punishing drug offenders for addiction-motivated crimes, such as possession.
Ohio Drug Epidemic Pushing Washington to Reassess Drug Treatment
The Ohio drug problem isn’t isolated. Drug abuse is rising at an alarming rate in cities across the U.S. As government officials increasingly recognize the problems inherent in punishing rather than treating addicts, bills flood into Congress to address the problem. U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, has sponsored one such bill, inspired by the need to address the drug problem in our state. His proposed legislation, the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), would provide incentives and resources to local communities to pursue new treatment strategies to combat addiction.
CARA specifically would target improvements to mandatory treatment programs for addicts. Since only 1 in 10 Ohioans voluntarily enroll in such treatment programs, most addicts only will ever be treated when forced to by legal means, which is why it’s so vital to improve these programs if we ever truly want to eliminate the drug epidemic. Of course, drug sentencing laws must also be improved for the full benefits of such laws to be effective, which is why other laws are being jointly debated in Congress to alleviate this burden. Based on the bipartisan support for these measures, it looks like there may be real progress too, as President Obama reiterated in his State of the Union address earlier this year.
How Your Cincinnati Drug Defense Attorneys Can Help
In the meantime, local Ohio efforts to fight the terrible cost of drug addiction in our state continue to be vital. Drug treatment has long been an alternative sentencing option for drug offenders, and judges and prosecutors are increasingly getting on board with such sentences. If you are arrested for a crime motivated by your drug addiction there may be options to get you the help you need.
If you have been arrested for a drug crime and want to learn more about your options, call the Cincinnati drug defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates today at (513) 338-1890 to find out how we may be able to help. We will always advocate for your best interests and do everything we can to get the optimal outcome for your case. Drug addiction doesn’t have to hold you back. Let us defend you aggressively against these charges and get you the treatment that you need.