America, land of the free, home of the “Prison Industrial Complex.” Representing less than five percent of the Earth’s population, the United States houses roughly twenty-two percent of the world’s prisoners. Approximately half of those inmates have been locked away for drug offenses. With prisons overcrowding and statistics becoming increasingly dire, it’s high time that the focus of drug enforcement became rehabilitation as opposed to punishment.
On August 17th the National Drug Control policy took a step in that direction, as they announced a $13.4 million plan to fund several High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas or “HIDTA”s. Established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, the HIDTAs are programs that link the efforts of Federal, State, and local agencies to combat drug traffic hotspots. Five million dollars of this funding is slated specifically to focus on heroin, half of which will be used to tie law enforcement to health agencies that specialize in drug rehabilitation. This initiative comes as heroin related deaths and overall usage have surged with rates of use in women and young adults aged 18 to 25 recently doubling. It is part of the White House’s espoused strategy to treat the national drug challenge as both a public health and public safety issue.
At the same time the Orange County Heroin Task Force launched in Orlando, Florida. In 2014 Orange County and Osceola County led the State in Heroin overdose deaths with 90 incidents. The task force has the same treatment based approach in mind. The task force is comprised of community leaders with expertise in law enforcement, education and prevention, healthcare, and treatment. They are expected to meet for roughly six months to analyze the situation, make recommendations, and develop an action plan that addresses this critical issue. The goal is to try and guide heroin users to recovery instead of punishing them into a position of no return.
It’s never too late to turn the tide of addiction in one’s life. Seeking the aid of qualified health professionals is only a click away. The Recovery Village implements a multi-disciplinary approach to detoxification and drug treatment and continues to be with you every step of the way. It’s about creating a new life one without the burden of addiction and instilling freedom and health. Learn More »