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Heroin epidemic rages

As the presidential campaign heats up, candidates increasingly give stump speeches they have given dozens of times and then echo their repetitious statements in interviews with the media.

What we don't hear enough of in the midst of the political noise are frank, clear plans to address serious problems. One such issue plaguing Orange County and much of Central Florida: the epidemic of heroin addiction.

Politicians don't talk much about the issue, but it's one that affects people in all walks of life in Orlando. From those living hard times on the streets to those holding good jobs and residing in well-manicured neighborhoods, heroin knows no income boundaries or neighborhood lines.

Five years ago, the White House Office of Drug Control Strategy said that its goal was to reduce drug-induced deaths by 15 percent. Instead, drug overdose deaths have gone up, not down. The Centers for Disease Control says that drug-induced deaths are more common than fatalities from shootings, car accidents and alcohol abuse.

The federal government has named "high-intensity drug trafficking areas," of which the Central Florida counties of Orange, Brevard, Hillsborough, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole and Volusi are a part.

A recent editorial urged the White House to significantly step up efforts to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, a law requiring health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for addiction as physical illnesses.

Unfortunately, our society still addresses the problem of heroin addiction first and foremost, with law enforcement. For those arrested in Florida for heroin possession, life can become a legal nightmare from which many try to quickly escape with a guilty plea.

Those who do so can face harsh punishments, including jail time. Before agreeing to a prosecutor's offer, discuss your arrest with an Orlando criminal defense attorney experienced in protecting the rights and freedoms of those facing drug possession charges.

At the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., we examine your case for evidence of illegal search and seizure, entrapment and false accusations. We work to get charges reduced or dropped, and we're experienced in negotiating favorable agreements with prosecutors, as well as in presenting vigorous, effective defenses in court. Our Drug Possession Attorneys page has more information about how we can help you.

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