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Charging Addicts with Homicide, Will This Fix the Opioid Epidemic?

Charging Addicts with Homicide, Will This Fix the Opioid Epidemic?

As the opioid epidemic worsens, overdoses are occurring with substances such as fentanyl and heroin.

While big pharma companies are being charged for their responsibility in the worsening epidemic, drug-induced homicide laws in some states are seeing charges for addicts as well. We explore why an addict would be charged with murder and how these laws are harming those in need of help.

What Is Drug-Induced Homicide?

When someone is killed by overdose, it can be classified as a drug-induced homicide. Typically, drug dealers are the ones charged with murder when an overdose turns deadly, especially if it can be proven that they knowingly gave particularly fatal drugs to the addict. But in Louisiana, one man was charged in his girlfriend’s overdose death. He and his girlfriend used drugs together, and when his girlfriend overdosed on drugs he had provided, he was charged with her murder under Louisiana’s drug-induced homicide laws.1

Drug-induced homicide laws have their roots in the War on Drugs of the 80s, with harsh punishments for those who unlawfully distribute a drug that is the direct cause of someone’s death.

Getting sober is the best way to avoid deadly opiates and overdose dangers. Call 888-280-4763 to get help.

Charging Addicts with Murder Does Not Help Fix the Opioid Epidemic

Those who are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction do not need incarceration, they need the help of a drug rehab center in Gilman. Harm reduction experts explain that drug-induced homicide laws hurt addicts rather than helping them by reducing the likelihood that addicts will get help for someone who is overdosing.2 Rather than reducing deadly overdoses, the drug-induced homicide laws discourage people from seeking help for someone who is overdosing for fear of being charged with a crime.

Treating addicts like criminals is no way to help them find sobriety. Drug, alcohol, and opioid addiction treatment centers in Illinois can help those in need find their recovery. Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our treatment opportunities at Banyan Treatment Center Heartland.


  1. Rolling Stone – Why Heroin Addicts Are Being Charged With Murder
  2. Drug Policy Alliance – An Overdose Death is Not Murder
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.