The growing problem of opioids in the community isn't something to balk at. Law enforcement and treatment centers agree that more has to be done to help the people of Eau Claire, not to end up putting them behind bars. Recently, a public health emergency was announced. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated it would be taking new efforts toward eradicating the issue.
At this point in late 2017, the opioid crisis is bad enough that it has all states on high alert. It's an epidemic spreading across the country. Most agree that people affected by the epidemic need to receive treatment, but more funding is needed to help people cross the barrier from the streets into a treatment facility.
Opioids are designed for use with acute pain, but some have abused them for other purposes. Some doctors were advised to prescribe the medications for chronic pain, but that results in a tolerance. When a patient develops a tolerance, he or she needs more of the drug for the same effect. In the long term, that leads to addiction, both physically and psychologically.
Opioids don't just reduce pain. They also stimulate the "reward" sector of the brain, which results in some patients experiencing a kind of high. This can lead to misuse and abuse. Withdrawal is normal once the drug is stopped, which furthers the victim's likelihood of continuing to take the drug.
Those who struggle with drug abuse don't need prison. They need time to recover. Your attorney can help you defend yourself if you're facing charges, so you can seek the help you need to recover.
Source: BlugoldMedia, "Public Health Emergency Fails to Combat Opioid Addiction," Travis Nyhus, Dec. 14, 2017