Readers in Florida know that prescription drug abuse has been a problem for officials here in the Sunshine State. However, one recent report notes that more people are turning away from prescription drugs and choosing to use of heroin instead. This has led to an increase in drug possession charges for this type of narcotic.

In fact, the numbers of those facing drug possession charges for heroin had increased from 772 for the first three months of last year to some 948 this year. There was also an increase in the number of those in our state being killed in heroin-related crimes. The increase may in part be due to the state attempts to stop the flow of prescription drugs.

It appears that the use of heroin can come from the use of prescription drugs. In fact, the report indicates that many of those facing drug possession charges come to the use of heroin after suffering an injury. The injury led to the use of highly addictive prescription pills, but when those become too expensive or difficult to obtain, heroin is the next best choice.

Being charged with drug possession in Florida, regardless of the individual’s drug of choice, can be stressful for a person. In many cases, the person accused of the crime is in need of medical care as they work to fight a debilitating drug addiction. Despite this, they can benefit from their right to present a defense against the criminal claims. This defense can not only allow them to avoid serious criminal penalty but also enter into much needed medical abuse treatments that can be life-saving for some folks.

Source: Bradenton Herald, “As Florida shuts down pill mills, heroin fills void,” Audra D.S. Burch, May 13, 2013