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Nebraska Addiction Treatment
Nebraska’s location in the Midwest makes it an ideal distribution hub for drug trafficking organizations. Despite this, the state’s substance abuse and fatal overdose rates are lower than the U.S. average. However, thousands of Nebraska residents still seek treatment for a drug addiction every year.
In 2017, there were over 15,000 primary treatment admissions for drug or alcohol abuse to government-funded centers alone. Methamphetamines and Cocaine were among the highest-reported drug for which the individual was seeking treatment.
A majority of Nebraska’s illicit drugs, like heroin and cocaine, are transported from Mexico, California, and southwestern states via private and commercial vehicles. After the drugs reach their final destination, they’re distributed in retail quantities in parking lots, restaurants, bars, hotels and even from private residences.
Like many other states, Nebraska has witnessed far too many residents succumb to a methamphetamine addiction. While the dangers of meth abuse are widely known, some Nebraskans still choose to experiment with it. Once they’re hooked, meth destroys nerves in the brain where dopamine is released, causing significant behavioral changes and a constant craving for the drug.
Laws Of Nebraska Drug Abuse
Nebraska classifies controlled substances in five schedules, according to how hazardous or addictive the substance can be.
Schedules I, II and III list drugs that are considered highly addictive and hazardous. Crimes involving one or more of these scheduled drugs generally carry the most severe penalties. Examples of these drugs include: heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and some anabolic steroids.
Schedules IV and V include some anti-anxiety medications and opioid prescription drugs. Most of these substances are very addictive, but penalties aren’t typically as harsh as schedules I – III. However, it should be noted that possessing any schedule IV or V substance without a prescription is still considered a serious crime.
Any person who is convicted of possessing, selling or manufacturing a scheduled controlled substance in Nebraska will likely face the following penalties:
|Class IV felony
|2 years in prison and 12 months probation after release; $10,000 fine
|Possession with intent to sell or manufacture
|Schedules I, II and III
|Class II felony or Class IIA felony, depending on the exact substance
|1 – 50 years in prison; variable fines
|Schedules IV and V
|Class IIIA felony
|3 years in prison and 18 months probation after release; $10,000 fine
Harsher sentences may apply to some offenders, depending on certain circumstances. For example, if a person distributes a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a daycare, school or recreational center, they’re punished by the next higher penalty than the original sentence. Violators who are convicted of distributing drugs to anyone under age 18 could also face these consequences.
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In Nebraska, possessing, selling or cultivating marijuana for recreational or medical use is illegal. Charges for each crime vary according to the amount of marijuana involved.
|Amount or type of offense
|1 oz less, first offense
|1 oz or less, subsequent offense
|7 days in jail; $500 fine
|More than 1 oz – 1 lb
|3 months in jail; $500 fine
|1 lb or more
|5 years in prison; $10,000 fine
|Sale or cultivation
|Any amount, first offense
|1 – 20 years in prison; $25,000 fine
|Any amount, subsequent offense
|3 years to life in prison
Just like other drug offenses in Nebraska, selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a protected area or to a minor is punishable by the second higher penalty.
Addiction Treatment Laws In Nebraska
Substance abuse disorders can sabotage family relationships and threaten the safety of entire communities. To reduce the risks of substance abuse, Nebraska has adopted several harm reduction measures which encourage residents to protect themselves from the risks of drug use. Harm reduction policies vary across states, but can include programs like clean syringe access centers or methadone treatment programs.
Naloxone Access In Nebraska
Opioid drug abuse is a fast growing concern for the U.S. and Nebraska. Many people addicted to opioids also develop a heroin addiction down the road. This means more people are at a greater risk of dying from an opioid or heroin overdose.
Opioid and heroin overdoses can be reversed with the timely administration of naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid or heroin overdose, like being unable to breathe.
Nebraska is one of 47 states with active naloxone access laws. These laws allow health professionals to prescribe naloxone to family members or friends of someone at risk of an opioid overdose.
A person who is considered to be at high risk for an opioid-related overdose might:
- Be taking high doses of an opioid prescription to treat a medical condition. Sometimes, a person may accidentally take too much of their prescribed amount.
- Participate in a methadone maintenance program or another type of opioid withdrawal treatment program. Treatment center staff and emergency medical professionals often carry naloxone with them in the event of an overdose.
- Have recently been discharged from an emergency care center following a previous opioid overdose. It’s very likely the person will abuse opioids again.
Thanks to the expansion of naloxone access in Nebraska, more people who experience a life-threatening opioid overdose can get a second chance in life. But it’s important to remember that naloxone won’t treat an opioid or heroin addiction. The only way a person can treat their addiction is through a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program.
Nebraska Drug Courts
When a person has an addiction, their excessive drug use causes clouded judgment, leading them to do things they never thought they’d do. Sometimes, that includes committing crimes to fuel their addiction.
Nebraska recognizes that many repeat drug offenders are normal people who have trouble overcoming substance abuse. That’s why nearly all of the state’s 12 judicial districts have an operating drug court to help non-violent drug offenders get addiction treatment.
Drug courts offer substance abuse treatment and counseling in lieu of traditional jail time. They’ve been effective in helping drug offenders around the nation return to society as sober, healthy citizens who are far less likely to commit a drug crime again.
Each of Nebraska’s drug courts is tailored to address the needs of specific populations – whether it be teens, adults or even entire families. Drugs courts work by targeting the inner cause of why a person commits a drug-related crime – their addiction. By providing drug offenders with the treatment they need, they’ll be less likely to re-offend afterward. Since the program’s beginning in Nebraska, over 1,200 people have graduated from drug court.
Treatment Centers In Nebraska
Nebraska’s many treatment options offer a beacon of hope for those suffering from addiction. From inpatient and outpatient treatment, to medical detox and Halfway Houses, getting the help you or your loved one needs is more possible in Nebraska than ever before — no matter your type of addiction or size of your budget.
Many of Nebraska’s centers offer financing options as well as accept most types of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. To find out what types of treatment options are covered under your plan, contact your insurance provider.
Finding the treatment center for your situation is essential to successfully recover from an addiction. Whether you choose a treatment center in Nebraska – or decide to travel out of state – it’s important to do your research so you or your loved one know all their options. If you’re ready to get help, contact a treatment provider today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- More from Jeffrey Juergens
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