Heroin Addiction Research Paper

1127 Words 5 Pages
Heroin Addiction
Addiction reaches epidemic levels

Heroin use in the United States has skyrocketed. Over the past 11 years use has gone up nearly 63%. From 2002 to 2013 the number of heroin related deaths has nearly quadrupled. Those addicted to pain medication are replacing their pills for a more accessible, cheaper and longer lasting high from the drug that is heroin. The question in place is how do we stop this epidemic that is taking the United States by storm? How do we help treat those addicted to heroin while still following the rules and regulations put in place by our criminal justice system? Our criminal law is comprised of two parts- substantive and procedural law. Substantive criminal law is the branch that defines criminal offenses
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Prison is not rehab and more judges need to see that. To anybody who understands addiction they know that it is not always by choice. “Addiction involves inability to respond to punishment: it is defined medically as the compulsive use of a substance despite ongoing negative consequences. Since negative consequences and punishment are synonymous, if punishment cured addiction, addiction wouldn’t occur at all”(Szalavitz). When an addict gets sentenced to prison their addiction does not stop. They begin to experience both mental and physical withdrawal from the drug and will do anything they can to get it. This is shown in the case of Cameron Douglass, the 33 year-old son of actor Michael Douglass. Douglass, who is currently serving a five year sentence for possession and distribution of drugs, was found to be in possession of heroin and Suboxone, a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction, while in prison. This caused his sentence to be extended 4.5 years. Looking at substantive criminal law, which makes the possession of heroin a crime, having his sentencing extended by definition makes sense, however this may not have been the best option. Seeing as how he was originally incarcerated due to drug use and possession the court should have seen that he was not receiving the treatment that he needed. The most beneficial option would …show more content…
Cordova comes into play. The New Mexico Supreme Court reviewed an affidavit for a search warrant that stated that Cordova was in possession of heroin and was distributing it at his house. However, what that affidavit lacked to mention was how the informant got the information. Even though the informant said that they had “personal knowledge” about the use of heroin in the house there was no way to tell how credible that information was nor any information on how the informant knew about the alleged heroin use. Due to the fact that the court had no knowledge that the information provided by the informant was credible or reliable, the court did not find that the search warrant would have been reasonable. According to the Aguilar-Spinelli test an officers affidavit must meet two criteria: (1) it must have demonstrated that the informant was both reliable and credible, and (2) it had to reveal the informants basis of knowledge. This is key because it would eliminate the use of anonymous

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