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Kansas City woman pleads guilty to selling heroin that led to overdose
A woman of Kansas City who was arrested in 2016 has pleaded guilty to selling heroin that led to her customer’s near-fatal drug overdose. According to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister, Loretta Gilliard, 34, will serve seven years in prison as part of a plea deal.
Gilliard was arrested after a customer overdosed on heroin in April 2016 at her residence in Overland Park, Kansas. On being found unconscious, he was given Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal drug, by the emergency medical personnel administered. When her life was saved, the user agreed to cooperate with the investigators and told them about 100 heroin purchases made from Gilliard, usually two to four times a week, along with a number of other drug transactions.
The situation is critical in Missouri, with the 2017 Status Report on Missouri’s Substance Use and Mental Health (MSUMH) revealing that in 2016, more than 56 percent of the young adults aged between 18 and 25 were likely to indulge in any illicit drug in their lifetime. Besides, more and more people from other age groups are also falling prey to drug addiction. This, in turn, is leading to other health issues like mental illnesses and suicidal behaviors.
Opioid crisis is real in US
A highly addictive opioid drug, heroin is illegal in the U.S. However, the drug is widely used across the country. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 475,000 people aged 12 or older were current heroin users in 2016. Official data show that the majority of drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths related to opioids (including prescription pills and heroin) was five times higher than in 1999. Besides, 115 people die due to an opioid overdose every day in the country.
Recent years have witnessed a sharp rise in overdose deaths involving heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Prevention, proper treatment, and effective responses to reverse opioid overdoses are crucial to fighting the crisis. To combat the problem, federal and state authorities have been taking regular initiatives like dedicated funding, making medication assisted treatment (MAT) easily available and training more staff. However, this is not enough. A lot more still needs to be done so that people dealing with opioid use disorder (OUD) can lead a sober life once again.
Fighting battle against addiction
If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin or any other substance, it is important to seek treatment immediately from a reputed drug abuse rehabilitation center. The Kansas Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can assist you to get one of the best drug abuse recovery programs that will help you embrace sobriety. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 816-399-2323 for complete information about different treatment options in your vicinity. One should remember the fact that substance use disorders can have life threatening consequences, if left untreated.