LancasterThriving_WinterSpring2017 - 47

COMMUNITY: BUSINESS & COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
insurance claims related to opioid dependence diagnosis
soared by 3,204 percent from 2007 to 2014.
The current escalation in drug users and heroin availability
makes these potential
realities in our county.

A young man in Lancaster County Court last month
burglarized several homes and broke into vehicles, stealing
several guns which are likely now illegally possessed on
the streets.
While standing for
sentencing, he pointed to
heroin addiction as
his motive.

HOW IT STARTS

Drugs are at the root of
so many crimes in
Lancaster County.
"Drug-related" crimes
are not just drug-dealing
or possession charges.
Most property crimes (i.e.
burglaries), store robberies,
and purse-snatchings here
involve a drug motive. They
are drug-related crimes,
make no mistake, and they
make up the majority of felony and misdemeanor offenses in
the county.
Several criminal defendants charged in the past year or two
for sprees of armed robberies at local stores told police they
did it to get money for their addiction.

For many who engage in
criminal behavior, the spiral
to theft and robbery started
with a legal prescription,
when they were law-abiding
members of society.
It has been welldocumented that abuse of
prescription medications
- i.e. painkillers and other
opioids - can lead to heroin abuse.
The powerful painkillers in a pill bottle are just too difficult
to put down. When the prescription runs out, the user will
seek more prescriptions. If that fails, it is on to street drugs,
primarily heroin, which is currently a cheaper alternative.

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TRUST
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