According to a recent article in The Sun, opiate overdoes are now the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The article states that 1.9 million people are addicted to opioid-based prescription painkillers, with about 25 percent of those people addicted to heroin itself. Local health and law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep up with the growing number of heroin addicts, and overdose-related deaths are climbing.

According to the article, Essex County is located on a major drug pipeline that carries illicit drugs north. Now, law enforcement officials are noticing that some illicit drugs have been “branded” by manufacturers. In other words, the producers of heroin and other illegal drugs are actually creating brand name recognition with their products, and are basically creating corporations that manufacture and provide illegal but recognizable illicit drugs.

Recently, the article explains that the Essex County Heroin and Opioid Prevention Coalition (“ECHO”) has been selected to receive $120,000 in state funding over the next two years. The funds come in the form of a state health foundation grant and efforts to deploy the newly available resources will be handled by the Essex County Public Health Department. ECHO plans on hiring a part-time staffer to help move the project’s initiatives forward. Some of these initiatives include training for public school officials and first responders, prevention strategies, and harm-reduction strategies.

These efforts will help reinforce police presence on the thoroughfare through which the drugs move, which the article credits as keeping heroin prices higher than they would be without such a focused effort. The article mentions that law enforcement understands that they can no longer stop the problem by simply arresting offenders, as new offenders will likely simply take their place. However, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office has indicated their support for the expansion of a drug court program that is designed to steer offenders into treatment programs rather than just prison terms. Recently, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office has reported that they receive numerous calls on a regular basis from residents asking the office to address concerns related to drug sales and use.

Officials say that treating addiction in its earliest stages is an extremely effective method for reducing the problem in local communities. However, the article notes that there is a large gap between the amount of services providers are able to offer and the amount of services actually needed. Medically-supervised detox programs are critical in a successful attempt to curb the current problem and prevent it from continuous growth. The shortage of treatment programs is a problem nationwide, but officials note it is a serious issue in preventing addiction when people seeking treatment have to travel to Albany or further to secure such treatment at already overwhelmed providers. The state announced a proposal for a new treatment facility in Schuyler Falls in a continuing effort to extend available treatment options in the area.

Facing Criminal Charges?

Heroin and other drug addictions do not discriminate as to the people they affect. If you have found yourself facing drug-related or other violent criminal charges, contact Nave + Associates (formerly Anelli Nave)’s criminal defense team to schedule a consultation. Drug-related charges are serious, and facing such charges requires the experience and dedication of a criminal defense team that has handled similar charges for numerous clients. The sooner you are able to secure a criminal defense team, the sooner that team can begin to ensure your rights are protected and that all options available to you in your circumstances are presented.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave + Associates (formerly Anelli Nave) are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.