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Heroin possession and criminal charges: What you need to know

Heroin addiction and opiate addiction are reaching epidemic levels in the United States. As prescription drug companies reformulated their most-prescribed and most abused medications to make them less appealing to potential abusers, they effectively forced those individuals to go onto the black market. Heroin and opiates produce physical addiction and dependence, meaning that simply stopping their consumption can result in severe physical symptoms, called withdrawal, which can be fatal in extreme cases.

The increase in demand for black market heroin has resulted in an increase in overdose fatalities in New York and an attempt by law enforcement to crack down on heroin use. If you, or someone you love, have been arrested in New York for heroin possession, you need to obtain experienced legal representation as soon as possible.

Heroin charges and getting help

If a loved one is facing heroin charges, you may be hopeful that his or her conviction or guilty plea will result in the person "getting clean" while incarcerated. Unfortunately, thanks to advanced smuggling techniques and corruption within the prison industrial complex, drugs are usually as easy to obtain while in prison as they are on the street (though their adjusted price on the inside of a penitentiary is usually much higher).

This, combined with a lack of compassion and therapy to address the root causes of addiction, result in a poor outlook for addicts who are incarcerated ending their addiction permanently.

If people are struggling with a heroin or opiate addiction, they need support on many levels. From having access to drugs that can ease the experience of withdrawal to the therapies that can help them confront the psychological basis for their substance abuse, their needs are specific and too often ignored in the general prison population. In many cases, addiction treatment, therapy, and strong social supports are the only means by which addicts can overcome their problem.

How an attorney can help

An attorney will advocate for the best options for one's client, even in cases involving hard drugs like heroin. An experienced attorney who understands the recovery process can do a lot for a first or second time heroin offender. In addition to asking the courts to drop or lessen charges if one's client undergoes inpatient rehabilitation therapy and counseling, your attorney can also help prevent the long-term social fallout of a drug conviction.

Even if people convicted of heroin offenses are released and have overcome their addiction, with a criminal record involving hard drugs, they will struggle to find employment, funding for school, or even housing. A good attorney can fight for one's clients to minimize these impacts by arranging for lesser charges or even expungement from their clients' records following the successful completion of a treatment program and state probation.

Don't gamble with your future or the future of a loved one who is struggling with addiction. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as there is a heroin-related arrest and charges.

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Suffolk County Defenders Association New York State Defenders Association | Founded 1967 New York State Bar Association Suffolk County Bar Association | NY 1908

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