Drug use has taken a terrible toll on communities across the Keystone State. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose from heroin and other opioids is now the number one cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania. More than 3,200 people died from drug overdoses in this state in 2015. That represents an increase of over 20 percent from 2014. Many more people are struggling with the impact of drug addiction every day.

The story of one 29-year-old Pennsylvania man is representative of the problems so many have faced. The man is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. After returning home in 2011, he found civilian life hard to deal with. His attempt to return to college was unsuccessful, and the depressed local job market made it hard to earn a living. Soon, he developed a dependency on prescription painkillers. This dependency turned into a full-blown heroin addiction. Fortunately, he did not succumb to drug addiction, and he is currently in recovery.

Clearly, people like this man deserve treatment and empathy instead of judgment and condemnation. Still, many people in a position similar to his may find themselves subjected to scrutiny by police and prosecutors. They may find themselves facing drug charges such as drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maybe even drug distribution.

There can be serious consequences for those convicted on drug charges. People facing these kinds of allegations would thus be well-advised to take immediate action to safeguard their legal rights. Many have found that speaking to a criminal defense attorney about their rights and legal options is a wise decision.

Source: CNN, “In Pennsylvania, troubles lead some to drugs, others to Trump,” Dakin Andone and Victor Blackwell, March 16, 2017