Heroin Use is On the Rise in Bay County & Panama City

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!

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