A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report indicates that more people are abusing heroin and prescription drugs, resulting in a rise in drug overdose deaths in the U.S.
Drug-related crimes have become a major focus of law enforcement at both the state and federal level. In New Jersey, for example, prosecutors are cracking down on defendants charged with drug possession offenses, while NJ judges are imposing harsh sentences in drug distribution cases.
A major reason for the increased attention of lawmakers and law enforcement in New Jersey and elsewhere is the rise in drug OD deaths, particularly overdoses connected to heroin and prescription drug abuse.
Chuck Rosenberg, the acting administrator for the DEA, recently commented on the agency’s annual National Drug Threat Assessment and observed that the total number of deaths from drug overdoses is now higher than the total number of deaths caused by car accidents and handguns.
Although illegal drugs are responsible for many of the drug overdose deaths in this country, officials are increasingly worried about abuse of legally prescribed medications. According to the recently released DEA report, painkillers, prescription opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for a high percentage of the 120 drug OD deaths that occur every single day in the U.S.
Although the DEA’s annual drug threat report indicates that there has been a slight decrease in the number of people who admit to abusing painkillers and other prescription opioids, the reality is that this decrease can probably be attributed to an increase in the overall number of people who are using heroin. Worse yet, many of the new heroin users aren’t as familiar with the drug they are abusing, resulting in a rise in heroin-related overdose deaths in the U.S.
For more information about the steady rise in drug OD deaths across the country, access the BusinessInsider.com article, “DEA: Drug Overdoses Are the Single Leading Cause of Injury Death in the US.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with heroin possession, simple possession of marijuana, prescription drug possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey, you deserve to have a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. will help you fight your drug crime charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.