Officials are jumping into action to crack down on drug dealers.
On Thursday, a West Virginia arrest is the turning point in making a change in legislation to impose stricter penalties on drug dealers who provide illegal drugs to users who overdose. It's all in an effort to hold drug dealers accountable for not only distributing drugs, but causing deaths also.
In the past, when a drug overdose occurred it was treated as a medical emergency and law enforcement wasn't involved. EMS crews would respond to the scene and transport the patient to the hospital and the person who provided the drugs is never sought out or prosecuted. Due to the huge growth in heroin use across the mountain state, officials are cracking down on dealers and enforcing huge penalties for those caught, "Now that we've started to put this plan into place, the drug task forces are getting a phone call and saying, hey you might want to come over to this house there's an overdose and there might be evidence that you might want to collect," said United States Attorney, William Ihlenfeld II.
Now, law enforcement can come in immediately and process all evidence at the scene, and that evidence could lead them straight to where the user obtained the drugs. Once law enforcement tracks down the dealer, that person will be hit with some serious charges and could spend the rest of their lives in prison if they are convicted. Now, this doesn't just apply to drug dealers, it applies to any person who gives drugs to another and that person overdoses or dies from the drug use.