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Mississippi hosts drug summit to combat opioid, heroin crisis

The Mississippi Drug Summit was held last week in Madison, led by Attorney General Jim Hood. The abuse of heroin and opioids is a nationwide epidemic that has grown exponentially in the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses between 2000 to 2015. Attorney General Hood believes that prevention, not criminal conviction, is the best option for fighting Mississippi's opioid and heroin problem and his goal during the summit was to educate the public on how to fight addiction.

With over 270 heroin seizures and 211 reported overdose deaths in Mississippi last year, the Attorney General's office, the Mississippi State Medical Association, the Bureau of Narcotics, the Highway Patrol and other agencies worked together to organize the three-day event. At the summit, speakers conveyed the message to communities that drug addiction is a societal problem which is best helped by a combination of prevention, education, aggressive law enforcement and meaningful treatment.

Attorney General Hood notes that over-prescription is a problem that needs to be addressed and may be prevented by doctor-prescribed drug regulation. Such regulations would help to ensure that opioids are being prescribed appropriately and with consideration for their potentially addictive properties. Many people seek treatment for pain and unintentionally become addicted to opioids, however they may still be arrested, convicted and subject to the long-term consequences associated with drug crimes. Those with criminal convictions on drug charges often face penalties for the crimes without being presented with proper treatment options for their underlying addiction issues.

The state will be providing support for addicts in the form of therapy, counseling and rehabilitation in hopes that there will be more recoveries and less arrests. For those facing criminal drug charges, a comprehensive criminal defense strategy that factors in options for recovery may be advantageous.

Source: News Center ABC 11 WTOK, Mississippi hosting drug summit to combat opioid crisis, Lindsey Jennings, July 10, 2017

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