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Opioid addiction help urged

Rhode Island residents who are arrested for and charged with drug crimes understandably may be concerned about the penalties they may face if they are ultimately convicted of the offenses. In addition to criminal or legal consequences, however, many people must also struggle with the problems associated with serious addictions to substances. In recent years, there has been a growing amount of pressure across the country to tackle the issues relating to opioid addiction.

Opioids are pain medications that require prescriptions to obtain. However, many street drugs have emerged as some efforts to curb the prescribing of these medications increased once the addiction problem became obvious. The President of the United States has a Committee on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. This committee published a report that is urging for the President to declare a national state of emergency to give the country more ability to provide help to people who are addicted to these drugs.

Many types of help are requested including the need for more treatment instead of more criminal punishments. Also requested is some protection to those individuals who might call for emergency help when someone has potentially overdosed on an opioid drug. Overall, there is a movement to help the nation view opioid addiction not as a crime but as a health issue.

In the meantime, people who are arrested for drug-related offenses might find it useful to discuss their situations and potential addictions with an attorney.

Source: The Washington Post, "White House opioid commission to Trump: 'Declare a national emergency' on drug overdoses," Christopher Ingraham, July 31, 2017

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