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Task force aims to combat heroin epidemic in Chicago suburbs

Chicago is amongst many cities across the U.S. currently facing a drug epidemic. For many, today's drug of choice is heroin. A highly addictive drug derived from the pain killer morphine, heroin is commonly snorted, smoked or injected. When used, the drug produces a euphoric high that often results in users becoming immediately addicted.

When thinking about heroin users images of strung-out junkies and criminals may come to mind. Many Chicago-area residents may be surprised then to learn that most users of the drug are white suburban teens. In response to the growing epidemic of drug use and abuse by Chicago-area teens, lawmakers recently approved the formation of a new anti-drug task force.

The Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force was established to help find alternative ways to address the growing teen drug problem. Historical data and numerous studies prove that traditional methods used to combat drug use and drug-related crimes have been largely ineffective.

Rather than pursue criminal drug charges and jail time for juvenile drug offenders, members of the newly formed task force hope to find alternative ways to intervene. Through education and awareness, the task force hopes to prevent further proliferation of drug use amongst Chicago teens. For those teens already hooked on heroin, addressing addiction problems is a major initiative.

Pursing drug charges and prison time for juvenile drug offenders is not effective in fighting the war on drugs. Alternative sentencing programs for drug offenders, particularly juvenile drug offenders, has been proven far more effective than more traditional sentencing measures.

Juvenile drug offenders can greatly benefit from drug addiction treatment programs. Likewise, community service and ongoing counseling and drug testing are all far more effective measures to help reform juvenile drug offenders and ensure they have the tools and resources to become more productive members of society when they reach adulthood.

Our law firm helps individuals facing drug charges. Our criminal defense attorneys utilize years of experience in helping to provide for the best possible legal outcome.

Source: Daily Herald, "Task force would address heroin "epidemic", Doug T. Graham, Feb. 8, 2013

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