Drug Overdoses Increase Due to Widespread Availability of Fentanyl

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hartford criminal defense lawyerIn recent years, many people have become aware of the opioid crisis that is affecting people throughout the United States. Due to the widespread availability of prescription opioid painkillers, many people have become addicted to these drugs, leading them to turn to illegal sources. To make matters worse, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has become more available, and this drug has led to many overdoses. In addition to risks that may affect a person’s health and well-being, those who use fentanyl or other substances may face drug charges that could lead to serious criminal consequences. 

Counterfeit Drugs Lead to Increased Risks of Overdoses 

Fentanyl is a drug that is synthesized in laboratories, and unlike drugs such as heroin, it can be created using chemicals rather than being harvested from natural sources. Because it is much easier to create and distribute, it is highly profitable for drug trafficking rings. Unfortunately, it is also much more dangerous, and it can be 50 times as potent as heroin. 

Because fentanyl is typically available in pill form, it is often made available to people who are seeking other types of drugs. Counterfeit versions of opioid painkillers such as Percocet or anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax often contain fentanyl, and those who use these drugs may experience dangerous or lethal overdoses. In many cases, teenagers or young adults are able to obtain these drugs by connecting with dealers through social media apps such as Snapchat or TikTok. Deaths caused by drug overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years, and more than 70,000 people were killed by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in 2021.

As drug overdoses continue to affect people in the United States, some officials have recognized that the traditional “war on drugs” is not an effective method of combating addiction to opioids and other substances. In the past, law enforcement has focused on punishing drug users by charging them with crimes related to the possession of controlled substances and forcing them into abstinence programs that are not helpful in preventing them from using drugs in the future. Currently, the administration of President Joe Biden is attempting to adjust the approach to addressing drug addiction by focusing on harm reduction. This approach may involve providing drug users with methods to stay safe, such as offering testing strips to check drugs for the presence of fentanyl, while helping people seek voluntary treatment options rather than subjecting them to criminal penalties.

Contact Our Connecticut Drug Crimes Attorney

Even though more public officials are recognizing the ways that people are affected by drug addiction, those who use drugs may still face criminal charges for possession or distribution of controlled substances. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand the ways substance abuse can affect a person and their family, and we want to help people receive the proper treatment rather than being subject to unfair criminal consequences. We can help a person understand their options when they are facing drug charges, including determining whether diversion programs may be available for those who are willing to seek treatment for drug addiction. To learn how we can help you address these types of charges, contact our Hartford drug crime defense lawyer at 860-290-8690 and set up a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/19/health/pills-fentanyl-social-media.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/us/politics/overdose-deaths-fentanyl-meth.html

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/external_publications/EP60000/EP68838/RAND_EP68838.pdf

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