Drug crimes are not just something that happens in the heart of big cities or sprawling suburbs, even small rural communities can have robust drug trades, bringing dangerous elements to country towns just as they exist in their big-city counterparts. The widespread use of heroin, in particular, has become something of an epidemic for North Carolina, which suffered just shy of 900 heroin overdose deaths from 2010 to 2015
The response to drug crimes, especially in smaller towns, is far too often an over-reaction of incarceration for those who are convicted. Fortunately, some law enforcement throughout the state are beginning to delve into approaches other than ordering jail time, in the hope of reducing incarceration levels and give those charged with low-level drug crimes the chance and the tools to turn things around.
One such program that is making waves is Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD. LEAD, a program founded in 2011 in Seattle, seeks to divert many with first-time or low-level drug charges away from a prosecution and probable prison sentence and toward options for treatment, housing help and community service.
While programs such as LEAD have yet to prove their efficacy in North Carolina, it is encouraging to see law enforcement taking strides to not just punish those who make mistakes, but help them get the tools they need to hopefully recover and ultimately avoid and overdose death. Surely, we can all agree that our fair state could fewer overdoses and more living, breathing, recovering citizens.
Just because you have been charged with a drug crime does not mean that this is the end of the road for you. Like anyone else, you deserve not only the best defense you can get, you also deserve to be treated as person and not as a criminal. An experienced drug crime defense attorney can help ensure that you and your case are treated with respect and help you pursue the help you need.
Source: northcarolinahealthnews.org, "Could Drug Diversion Programs Tested In Urban Areas Work for Rural, Too?," Taylor Sisk, accessed Oct. 07, 2016