Program in DuPage County focuses on drug addicts

On behalf of Philip Nathe

In our last post we wrote about brothers who were arrested in connection with the alleged sale of heroin. Individuals from a variety of backgrounds are struggling with the use of this drug in Chicago’s western suburbs. So far this year, a total of 43 residents have died as a result of using the drug. Others who don’t die are often arrested and prosecuted for crimes related to their drug use. Because neither outcome is desirable to the community, the DuPage County Coroner and DuPage County State’s Attorney are working together to try to address the issue.

The county has a developed a program that rather than locking addicts up, seeks to help them address the underlying addiction. Among other things, individuals who graduate from the drug court program participate in drug tests and receive counseling. That approach seems to be working as the recidivism rate within three years of graduation is 8 percent, much lower than the 30 percent typically seen by other felons.

Though currently the program is available only to users, not dealers, as many individuals point out, the difference between the two is not always clear and someone may be both. Individuals accused of selling drugs to others are aggressively prosecuted by authorities. If convicted of a drug crime pertaining to the sale of heroin, one can expect to face hash penalties including time behind bars.

Whether an individual in DuPage is facing drug charges tied to use or the sale, because of the potential outcomes it is important that he or she takes the steps necessary to mount an aggressive defense. In most cases this is best accomplished by working with a criminal defense lawyer who handles drug cases.

Source: WBEZ, “DuPage County tries to keep drug users out of jail,” Katie O’Brien, Dec. 19, 2013

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Program in DuPage County focuses on drug addicts