Getting Arrested for Heroin Use in Arizona

If you have been charged for possessing heroin or other illegal drugs in Arizona, there’s hope for your situation.

Here’s what you need to know.

Table of Contents

Heroin Laws in Arizona

Federally, heroin is classified as a schedule 1 drug along with ecstasy, L.S.D., and marijuana.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency states that “schedule 1 drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

In Arizona, heroin possession laws are just as serious. Many variables are taken into account regarding sentencing a person for heroin possession.

Because possession of heroin in Arizona is a felony, the sentence can be about 2.5 years under A.R.S. section 13-702. Repeated offenses can result in 3.75 years or more.

If you are facing a first-offense heroin charge in Arizona, there are more options. The first option should be to seek the help of a reputable attorney if you can afford it.

The second most important step you can take if you find yourself in this situation (regardless of if it’s your first time) is seeking drug and alcohol rehab.

While we can’t offer legal advice and advise you to seek a lawyer for a consultation, we can share your options for rehab with you.

Heroin Violations

  • Use or simple possession of heroin
  • Production of heroin for use or sell
  • Giving heroin to another person
  • Possession with intent to sell
  • Possession of heroin manufacturing equipment
  • Transfer or transportation of heroin for sale
  • Possessing heroin through fraudulent means

Heroin Abuse Statistics Arizona

An in-depth understanding of this public health situation must help battle it. One of the key parts of Governor Ducey’s orders was creating an enhanced surveillance system.

This system aims to track and report any opioid-adjacent data so that state health officials can get important info in no more than 24 hours.

Early tracking shows that:

  • Men account for more than half of all opioid overdoses, with 59%.
  • Heroin makes up 36% of all opioid-related deaths in Arizona.
  • Opioid-related hospital visits in Arizona cost around $431 million per year.
  • People who are 25-34 years old are most likely to overdose. 
  • There was a 20% increase in opioid-related deaths from 2016 to 2018, from 800 to 949.

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The Impact of Treatment on Jail and Prison Sentences

Seeking rehab after being charged for heroin or opioid possession is generally the best decision you can make.

Depending on your judge and on the charge presented before him or her, going to treatment may mean the difference between a long prison sentence and probation.

Judges, officers, probation officers, and other officials who handle these criminal charges are not without compassion.

Arizona is in the midst of a crisis-level wave of heroin addiction problems. Not to mention the number of highly-deadly synthetic opioids that are being pushed on the street, disguised as heroin or other drugs.

As heroin abuse has grown over the last decade, many people have found themselves in the unfortunate position of heroin addiction, leading them to criminal charges.

Does Rehab Work for Heroin Addiction?

Treatment that addresses both mental issues and physical reactions of withdrawal is what an individual needs most. The use of heroin is often rooted in other psychological or psychiatric issues that have gone either undiagnosed or untreated. There can be an intense amount of shame and stigma associated with being labeled a “junkie” or a “heroin addict.” All of this should be addressed in treatment, along with withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin and other opioids are notorious for being difficult to quit and for causing extreme withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be combated with medications such as Methadone or Buprenorphine, which affect opioid receptors in the same way as heroin but are much safer.

Withdrawal symptoms for heroin alone often begin to subside after 7-14 days, depending on how much is used. After the withdrawal period, continued participation in some therapy programs, and in some cases, outpatient medication services are the key to sobriety for most recovering heroin users.

Heroin abuse is part of the gripping disease of addiction, and it affects all aspects of life, from your health to your children to your romantic relationships and even your pets. Like most chronic disorders, it can be treated and managed with specialized care.

The Arizona Opioid Emergency Response shows a current “increased focus on prevention, recognition, and treatment of opioid use disorder in patients receiving long-term opioid therapy,” which resulted from its implementation of various heroin addiction programs.

Rehabilitation treatment can be a major lifeline for people who are struggling with heroin addiction. It’s the best step especially for anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they face jail or prison time for possession.

Therapy Treatment for Heroin Addiction

There are several kinds of therapy available while in rehab for heroin addiction. Most therapies involve extensive talking and examination of the behaviors and motivations that led to drug abuse. Though medication helps with cravings, it is not considered a complete treatment. Most addicts who do not follow up with therapy return to drug abuse.

Effective forms of rehab therapies are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT asks that users stop and consider the negative thoughts and feelings that lead to drug use and react differently by employing proven coping mechanisms that fight off those negative thoughts and actions.
  • Contingency management therapy. CMT offers rewards and incentives for continued positive behavior such as abstinence from drugs in the form of food or entertainment vouchers and chances for cash prizes later in the program.
  • Motivational interviewing therapy. MIT addresses users who may or may not be ready to stop their drug abuse. Therapists guide patients through personal reasons and rationalizations of their drug abuse to recognize the positive value of stopping substance abuse and addressing their problems.

Why Should I Consider Going to Rehab?

Arizona is in the midst of a crisis-level wave of heroin addiction problems. Not to mention the number of highly-deadly synthetic opioids that are being pushed on the street, disguised as heroin or other drugs.

As heroin abuse has grown over the last decade, many people have found themselves in the unfortunate position of heroin addiction, which has, in turn, led them to criminal charges.

Here is why you should consider going to rehab if you’ve been abusing heroin

Long-term effects of heroin addiction are more obviously damaging and can consist of:

  • Nasal damage
  • Kidney and liver dysfunction
  • Lung problems and infections
  • Development of abscesses
  • Sleeplessness
  • Development of mental illness
  • Vein damage
  • Inflammation and infection in heart tissues
  • Erratic periods in women
  • Sexual disorders in men

Heroin Arrests Affect the Community

Drug addiction of any kind ultimately affects the children and families of substance abusers the most. 

Though people who use heroin don’t normally intentionally hurt their families, when the disease of addiction has taken over, they may do or say things that they normally wouldn’t. Deep addiction often drives users to spend money that is meant for rent or bills on drugs.

Heroin addiction may lead to job loss or could make a person steal money or items from their family to sell for more drugs. 

Children of people who get arrested for heroin possession in AZ can be temporarily taken away from a parent until they can show that they can be a fit, drug-free mom or dad. 

It’s important to consider all of the people affected by your heroin abuse and whether the risk of arrest and prosecution is worth it.

Understanding How Heroin is Impacting Arizona

Every day, more than two people die from opioid overdose in Arizona. Heroin is widely considered one of the most deadly drugs in America. Drug use that leads to heroin addiction causes costly and tragic consequences that echo across families and the communities they reside in.

After a nearly 75% increase in opioid-related deaths since 2012, Governor Doug Ducey declared a public emergency in June 2017. Recently enacted heroin laws have created harsher punishments for heroin possession in Arizona, increasing maximum prison sentencing for repeat offenders from 7 years up to 20.

Though Governor Ducey’s emergency order was officially ended in May of 2018, the fight against opioid addiction continues for Arizona families. If you or anyone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, we can help you find comprehensive addiction treatment.




Our writers are experienced in everything related to addiction, mental health, rehab and recovery.

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