With Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials hoping to reduce the numbers of heroin users in Fort Worth and North Central Texas by eliminating heroin dealers, a new controversy has been sparked. Some feel that dealers will be targeted illegally. As at least one lawyer claims, you wouldn’t want to abuse drug dealers’ rights, right?
Just whose rights are protected when a heroin addict buys a fix and then dies from an overdose? What about the people who love and worry about them? We certainly shouldn’t be protecting the dealers here.
First, Heroin Addiction Doubles
This controversy began about a year ago when a special task force was created to deal with the skyrocketing increase in heroin users in Fort Worth, Dallas, and up into Oklahoma. Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials decided to pool their resources in an effort to stem the deadly and ever-rising tide of heroin deaths throughout the area. They erected billboards urging people to turn in known heroin dealers. With heroin addicts doubling between 2010 and 2012, the concern to stem this tide of addiction has been genuine. Kevin Cokely reported on this effort on NBCDWF.com
The DEA decided on the billboards because of two particular conditions contributing to increased numbers of heroin users in Fort Worth and the surrounding region. First of all, the people in North Central Texas found pain pills more readily available in recent years, just like people all over the country. Doctors began prescribing them whenever a patient complained of pain from an injury or illness, giving very little thought to alternative therapies that wouldn’t cause addiction. When people became addicted but could no longer get prescriptions or afford pain pills at street cost, they turned to heroin.
The second issue revolved around the perfect conjunction of roads in the North Central Texas area, a perfect storm of heroin trafficking brewing. Interstate highways 30, 35, 20, and 40 all provide easy access to dealers moving heroin up from Mexico. Most of it leaves the area and travels to other parts of the country, but much of it stays right where it is for the benefit of heroin users in Fort Worth, Dallas, and beyond.
So law enforcement officials became determined to make it easier to find the people selling death one little glassine bag at a time. Desperate to reach out, they erected the billboards along those highways we mentioned, urging people to contact them with the information necessary to track down the bad guys.
Then, A Lawyer Wants to Protect the Dealers?
And now the legal eagles have entered the picture, who no doubt dream about polishing their ACLU cards while they’re bent on protecting those same dealers. The lawyers, began protesting. How could the DEA encourage people to turn in heroin dealers? That would be snitching, according to one Dallas attorney.
In his editorial on the subject, he actually urges readers to read George Orwell’s 1984, a frightening dystopian novel. If you call the tip line because you know of a dealer and you want to protect heroin users in Fort Worth, Dallas, or its multi-county area, the attorney says, you’ll be sucking up to the Thought Police, guilty of betraying your loved ones, family, and friends. He doesn’t give any thought to the heroin users you know, the ones who need help before they sooner or later hit some kind of horrible rock bottom. Who cares about them, as long as you don’t give in to some benevolent dictator, right?
Can this lawyer actually believe his own drivel? One can only be amazed at his commitment to his mission, to provide the best defense that a successful, wealthy, low down heroin dealer can afford. This lawyer claims that the so-called Little Snitches will result in false accusations, people pointing fingers at one another just because they want to see someone prosecuted for selling smack. What kind of smack is that? He predicts that prosecutors will misbehave. The alleged dealers will suffer damage to their reputations if they’re arrested, even if they’re not convicted. This just seems too outrageous.
Do the Right Thing
During times like these, when heroin has risen to epidemic proportions, and many heroin users in Fort Worth and throughout Texas are dying before they manage to find help at a methadone program, it’s best to remember that dealers suffer very few pangs of guilt over the lives they damage. You have to ignore lawyers like this guy, who actually says that dealers’ disrespected civil rights will be a bigger issue than the damages experienced by heroin users in Fort Worth.
The Big Question About Heroin Users in Fort Worth and Dallas
At this point we have to discuss the big question, which is whether heroin users in Fort Worth and Dallas will actually turn in their dealers. If you’re the family member of someone who’s using, you can be the one to submit the tip. If you go to the website, you’ll find a resource center on the right-hand side of the page. One of the choices is “How do I…” and if you click on it, the second option is “report illegal drug trafficking.” Unless you decide that you’d rather plan a funeral, it’s time to take action and get your loved one some help.
Many pain pill addicts and heroin users in Fort Worth, TX have found help at a local methadone program, because they get help from an entire team of substance abuse treatment professionals. This team of people will teach them how to deal with the issues that led them to addiction, and the medication they take will allow them to manage their withdrawal symptoms and control their cravings.
You can pick up the phone and call that tip line if you like, because heroin dealers really don’t care if they put heroin users six feet under— but it’s up to the addict to pick up the phone and call the methadone program. Show your loved one that you will support his admission into treatment.