Most people in Florida have heard numerous headlines or reports referring to an opioid epidemic facing the United States today. More people have become aware of this problem over the last couple of years yet the problem is far from being solved. The issues related to drug abuse and addiction relate to individuals' physical health and mental health as well as public safety, crime and more.
The United States Department of Justice explains that it is illegal for a person to abuse a prescription drug. However, it is now known that developing an addiction to come drugs is easier to do that many may have ever thought. This includes not just opioids but stimulants like those used to treat ADHD in children and common anti-depressants like Xanax or Valium. Once a person is addicted to a drug, it can be difficult to separate the actions they take to feed their addiction from the addiction itself.
Many entities had adopted a rather harsh and punitive approach to anyone involved in illegal activities related to drugs, regardless of the type of drug or how their addiction developed. There is a growing awareness of the need to provide treatment and rehabilitation for people facing serious drug addictions.
The National Institute of Justice believes that insufficient data sharing between the medical, legal, law enforcement and other communities contributed to the problems being faced today with regard to prescription drug addiction and crime. Better partnerships between these groups may be integral to helping the nation move beyond a downward spiral of drug addiction and provide the level of assistance people need.