The statistics don’t lie – heroin abuse is on the rise in Florida
and the consequences are deadly. Heroin deaths more than doubled in 2013
compared to 2012 and there are no signs that the use of this drug will
be slowing down anytime soon.
What led to the increase in heroin use?
Governmental officials in Florida worked tirelessly over the years to eliminate
the much-abused pill mills. While their intentions were good, the results
have had an unfortunate effect. With the elimination of most pill mills
throughout the state, users are now turning to heroin to fuel their addiction.
Studies show that the demographics of heroin users are much different than
they used to be. What was once a problem in the inner-city only has now
shifted to suburbia, becoming a very middle-class mainstream issue. This
generation of addicts is also younger, with the majority of users aged
between late teens and mid-20s.
The pill mills are a classic case of supply-and-demand. Illegal pills are
much more difficult to obtain and users aren’t willing to pay the
high price that dealers are asking. As a result, they’ve capitalized
on the cheaper, and more addicting, heroin. Mexican drug cartels are filling
the market with white heroin, a much purer blend that has devastating effects.
Treatment centers are clear pictures of the rise of heroin addiction. In
2013, heroin admissions to public treatment centers jumped by 50 percent
and estimates show that this number will only continue to grow in coming
months and years.
Florida Doesn’t Treat Heroin Offenses Kindly
Earlier this month, three young men were arrested after the largest seizure
of heroin in Bay County. The investigation also revealed a heroin distribution
ring and police reports indicate that the heroin confiscated in this case
is worth more than $13,000.
Those caught for
similar offenses will likely be faced with harsh penalties. Simply being in possession
of heroin in Florida is a third degree felony punishable by up to five
years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Manufacturing, selling, and
distributing the drug only incurs a more severe sentence.
If you were recently arrested for any offense involving heroin, you need
an aggressive legal advocate on your side. Albert Sauline is a Panama
City criminal defense attorney with more than a decade of experience.
He can fight for the outcome you need, so
contact his firm today!