by Audrey Thomasson
LANCASTER—Deaths from opioids trump those from car accidents and gun violence, said Westmoreland Commonwealth’s Attorney Julie Sickol.
She joined Lancaster Commonwealth’s Attorney Jan Smith and Sheriff Patrick McCranie last week asking Lancaster supervisors to help in the fight against the rising numbers of heroin and opioid overdoses in the area by supporting a proposed “drug court” that would have jurisdiction in the four counties of the Northern Neck and Essex County.
Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the local “drug court” would be established in Westmoreland County, where the problem is currently greater and would require transporting defendants there.
Sickol said the purpose of the court is to avoid simply arresting addicts for using. Addicts would be offered the choice to enter a treatment program that in many cases would commit them to more time than they would receive in prison.
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