There has been a significant amount of attention given to the nationwide opiate crisis. In 2017, Texas’ 5.1 opiate-related deaths per 100,000 people were significantly lower than the national average of 14.6 per 100,000 people. While Texas has a lower-than-average overdose rate, there is work to be done. Heroin-related deaths in Texas have doubled since 2007 and increased each year since 2013.
While Texas has a lower opiate overdose rate than the national average, law enforcement has continued cracking down on the trafficking of opiates like heroin. Federal officials arrested 43 people in Southeast Texas in effort to break up a suspected drug trafficking ring in March 2019. Law enforcement hopes that the arrest slows the distribution of illegal substances like heroin into Texas and into other states.
Small amounts carry big penalties
Possession of opiates like heroin or certain prescription drugs carries l penalties. The severity of the penalty is determined by how much of an opiate people have in their possession. Even Small amounts of opiates carry big consequences. Some of the penalties include:
- Up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for possession of one gram or less of an opiate.
- Between 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for possession of 1-4 grams of opiates.
- The possibility of up to 20 years in prison for possessing 4-200 grams of an opiate depending on the amount.
It’s not too late to get help
There are places to turn for someone struggling with opioid addiction. Texas offers many resources to those struggling with opiate and other forms of drug addiction. The Texas Drug and Alcohol Abuse Helpline is one resource for someone looking to turn their life around.