Main Menu McGoughLawP.C., L.L.O.
Contact Our Firm:
After Hours/Emergency:
  • Nebraska’s Go-To Sex Crimes Defense Firm
  • Nebraska’s Go-To Drug Crimes Defense Firm
  • Nebraska’s Go-To Criminal Defense Firm

Can free needles and Narcan help opioid users?

In recent years, the United States has wrestled with an opioid crisis that saw more than 46 people dying each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids alone. Concern quickly turned to users spreading serious blood-bourn illnesses, such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, with shared syringes.

Some organizations have responded to the epidemic by opening free syringe exchange programs with naloxone and other resources to make users safer. Nebraska does not have a state syringe exchange program. However, some research indicates it should.

What are opioids?

Opioids are narcotics that can produce morphine-like effects. Some opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl and Methadone can be prescribed by a doctor. Other opioids, such as heroin, are always illegal.

How are syringes and Naloxone involved with opioids?

Most addicts abuse opioids when they break the time mechanism for distributing the drug into the body by snorting or diluting and injecting the substance. Using syringes that are not sterile can easily transmit serious viruses through contact with blood.

Naloxone, known commonly under the brand name, Narcan, can treat narcotic overdoses in an emergency. The nasal spray revived Demi Lovato during her recent overdose.

Providing users with safety kits

Some states have established syringe exchange programs that provide users with clean syringes, Narcan and resources to find treatment. The state of Nebraska currently has no official syringe exchange program or explicit laws regarding the practice.

Some parties have opposed the programs, asserting that clean syringes and other resources for drug abusers only encourages the act. Supporters argue that the program is meant to decrease further negative effects of an act that would likely be done with or without free resources.

Research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln advocates the expansion of syringe exchange programs and related educational programs after finding evidence that doing so lowers disease transmission significantly.

Penalty alternatives for users

Many syringe exchange programs do not collect names, addresses or other personal information. However, if law enforcement discovers that you are in possession of narcotics without a prescription or illegal narcotics, you could face serious criminal charges.

Exceptions to these charges may be made if you or a friend call authorities to report a potential drug overdose. This can procure immunity from minimal drug charges.

Other alternatives to criminal charges could include attending drug court, which offers addicts rehabilitation treatment as an alternative to criminal sentences. If you or a friend are facing drug charges, contact a criminal defense lawyer to learn more about your options.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • 10 Best 2016 Client Satisfaction American Institute Of Criminal Law Attorneys

Back To Top

Success Stories

  • Defendant was charged with sexual assault of a minor. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm got the alleged victim to confess that she made the whole thing up. Charges were dropped against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with possessing a large quantity of marijuana. Following a complete investigation by our firm, the State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with embezzling more than $300,000.00, from a previous employer. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm highlighted a number of inconsistencies and questionable statements. The State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with child abuse resulting in death. Following the investigation of our firm, depositions of key witnesses and presentation of our findings to the prosecutor, the State agreed to dismiss the charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The matter proceeded to trial and the jury found our client Not Guilty.

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • “Jim, Thank you for all of your help over the past couple weeks. I cannot emphasize enough how much better I have felt after receiving your help. Keeping my record clean as possible means a lot to me and I couldn’t have done it without you, thank you!” -TP
  • “Jim, It's always a pleasure to see you in court. Your effective, professional representation of your clients is so helpful.” -LW
  • “Jim, On behalf of the V family, please allow me to offer a HUGE thank you for your exemplary legal representation - especially considering you took on this case a mere 5 months ago. ” -CV
  • “Thank you so much Jim for everything you have been doing on my case, you are greatly appreciated. I will contact you if anything else comes up//until then God bless you! ” -SH
  • “Jim, thank you for everything. After I was resentenced I became eligible for camp custody. I am now on the RDAP list and doing fine” -MH
  • “JThank you so much for writing back. I read your response and I want you to know I completely trust you” -KV