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Federal government recognizes opioid epidemic

States throughout the nation are dealing what many are characterizing as an opioid epidemic. People from all backgrounds are becoming addicted to the drugs, such as heroin and opioid drugs available via prescription. These addictions are leading to an increase in drug deals and overdoses. In the worst cases, users are dying. Residents of the state of Pennsylvania are not immune from this.

Getting to the root of the problem

Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the federal government recently allotted $53 million to be used to fight the epidemic. Pennsylvania is among 44 states, the District of Columbia and four tribes that were awarded portions of that money by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The money will be used to:

  • Improve access to treatment for opioid addiction
  • Strengthen efforts to prevent misuse of the drugs
  • Reduce the number of deaths related to the use of opioids
  • Support improved data collection of the misuse of opioids
  • Better track overdoses due to opioids

Criminal drug charges

While there is a movement to get to the root of the opioid drug problem, people will continue to be arrested for crimes related to its possession, sale and use. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, it is possible an accused could face conviction and harsh consequences. The outcome of cases of this nature is not a foregone conclusion. Working with a criminal defense lawyer who understands the nuances of opioid drug addiction could result in a more desirable outcome.

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