There has been plenty of press about the opiate epidemic that has swept the United States. CDC opioid death statistics. How the doctors neglect to warn people about the addictive properties of the painkillers which they are liberally prescribing and whether the FDA should approve such addictive substances to begin with are the subject for another article. Deceptive Marketing of Drugs. The hard truth that we must face, regardless how we got here, is that there is a crime wave that accompanies any opiate epidemic.
Fortunately, the vast majority of crimes associated with drug addiction are property crimes–theft, trafficking in stolen property, taking motor vehicles and even the noxious but not physically threatening identity theft. As such, they are often eligible for the residential DOSA alternative to prison. http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.94A.664.
“RCW 9.94A.664 Residential chemical dependency treatment-based alternative.
(1) A sentence for a residential chemical dependency treatment-based alternative shall include a term of community custody equal to one-half the midpoint of the standard sentence range or two years, whichever is greater, conditioned on the offender entering and remaining in residential chemical dependency treatment certified under *chapter 70.96A
RCW for a period set by the court between three and six months”
That portion of the statute pretty much explains how it works. Whether you support Obamacare or not, it has made chemical dependency treatment much more available. Now the residential, a.k.a., in patient treatment, required for the program is readily available. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Corrections work with ABHS to coordinate bed-dates, so far in an expedient manner.
Not that quitting an opiate is ever a cake walk, and neither is the up to two years of Department of Corrections supervision which includes random urinalysis, but a treatment oriented approach rather than lengthy prison sentences is a more appropriate remedy. Especially in a situation where a law abiding tax paying citizen became addicted to opiates on the advice of his/her doctor. Should you or a loved one find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance and charged with a crime, do not hesitant to contact The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC for our Compassionate Counsel and Passionate Defense of your situation.