Articles Posted in Heroin

The Star Ledger recently reported that NJ bears the accolade of having some of the purest heroin in the nation. The reason for the potency of the heroin relates to the ease to which heroin is smuggled into the state. Our various seaports and Newark International Airport apparently make for an enticing entry point for heroin. Insofar as the drug enters the country here, it is less apt to be cut thereby correlating into heroin that is, on average, 72% pure.

The frequency of Heroin Possession and Intent to Distribute charges seems to rise continuously at our criminal defense firm. This should probably be no surprise given the fact that the DEA reports that use of heroin is double the national average in New Jersey among young adults. We witness all walks of life being arrested for heroin offenses. This is a powerful and high addictive opiate for anyone who makes the decision to ingest it more than once. Thankfully, we can assist many defendants who have been charged with heroin related crimes before they reach the point of no return.

I am certain that most individuals who abuse opiate prescription drugs have little thought of progressing to heroin. Nonetheless, when doctors refuse to refill prescriptions and/or the drugs become prohibitively costly, a readily accessible and cheaper form of opium is frequently enlisted – heroin. This pattern of progression to heroin is illustrated over and over again in our practice every day. Consider the following three (3) stories.

The first client that comes to mind is a gentleman for whom I am now guardian. He was a fireman in a large NJ city and sustained many orthopedic injuries during the course of his job. These injuries gave rise to over 15 surgeries and years of opiate pain medication. Eventually, doctors realized that he was abusing the drugs although all recognized that he endured significant pain on a daily basis. While no one would suspect that he would resort to heroin, he did when the opiate medication was curtailed and he began to get sick. I am sorry to say that he overdosed on heroin shortly into his usage and this resulted in permanent brain damage for which he now resides in a nursing home. He has three small children.

Another story involves an individual who also sustained an orthopedic injury for which he was prescribed opiate pain medication. He also had problems with addiction to the medication and, in fact, entered a drug rehabilitation facility to combat his problem. Unfortunately, he decided to “party” with an acquaintence he met in rehab and the suggestion was made that he try heroin to quench his opiate thirst. I am sad to say that this short deviation into heroin also resulted in an overdose that proved fatal. This banker left a wife and three small children.

Fox News recently released a report that indicated that the largest heroin bust in New Jersey history took place in the last few weeks. The quantity of heroin – 165 pounds. By way of comparison, a total of 300 pounds was seized statewide in NJ during the entire calender year of 2008. The report reinforces the fact that the supply of heroin in New Jersey continues to grow as manifested by this record possession.

Fortunately or unfortunately, our criminal defense firm has occasion to defend more and more individuals on heroin charges. The pain and misfortune that individuals can experience as a result of involvement with this drug is inescapable. It seems that the wreckage of heroin is virtually endless. All that one has to do is walk into any County Drug Court and recognize that individuals often accrue years of criminal arrests for heroin possession after they become hooked on the drug. The sad point is that while we  succeed in keeping most of these individuals out of jail (even in heroin distribution cases), the number of people who find themselves charged with a heroin offense continues to grow.

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