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Confidential Informant Program Keeps Addiction Hidden During Heroin Epidemic Part 1

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Officials seeking help from a confidential informant isn’t a new method of conducting an undercover investigation.  In light of how severe and widespread the heroin epidemic has become throughout the nation, it would be wise to consider the informant’s mental health and whether they are suffering from the disease of addiction themselves instead of just having them assist in the plea bargain.  After a heroin overdose caused the death of a 20-year-old student and confidential informant from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst around this time last year, questions have risen as to whether or not his addiction was properly addressed by officials or overlooked to catch more criminal cases of their own.

Confidential Informant Program at Universities

Logan, which is the middle name of the UMass student and what his family wished him to be publicly addressed as in order for their privacy to be concealed, had an incredible life ahead of him that was cut short by the gut-wrenching draw of addiction.  He didn’t have the face of heroin that people might presume.  Hockey was his regular after school activity in high school and he had a steady, well-rounded grade point average with the ambition to study in the medical field.  Logan’s parents were visiting him at college for the weekend with lasagna in their hands when they found his lifeless body and for the first time, it was revealed to them that their son was an addict.  “I was never informed,” Logan’s mother made sure to point out.  But school officials knew he was involved with drugs because a hypodermic needle was found on the boy.  How could the school know and not notify his family?  Now Logan’s mother expresses her frustration over not having been informed, “If you find a needle, you have to assume it’s heroin and if it’s heroin, you have to say something because that’s the drug that kills everybody.”  Her son was involved in a deal with the school though, which kept UMass from notifying her of the discovery.  The confidential informant program is a type of deal that some schools offer to students when they are found to be in violation of alcohol and/or drug policy.  The program acts as a trade off for protection from drug charges, in addition to keeping the information withheld from the student’s parents.  So why wouldn’t a young student immediately jump toward the deal that gets them off rather lightly?  That must have been what Logan was thinking, as he text messaged a friend it was “an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

The real issue with this is that young students are being subjected in as a pawn to take a criminal stance against the war on drugs when in reality addiction should be viewed as the illness that it is – a disease that leads to death, which was proven in Logan’s case.  Logan’s mother has obviously played the scenario over and over again in her mind, “If I was informed, things would have been a lot different.  I would have more than stepped in.  I probably would have pulled him out of school and got him help or whatever he needed.”   This is where the mind takes off.  Does the confidential informant program really have the addict’s best interest at heart?  Is conducting an investigation and focusing on the criminal path of drugs more important than addressing the addict’s need for treatment?  Why do officials even practice these confidential informant programs?

To get a more in depth look at the answers to these compelling contemplations, read the next part of the following blog series and get the full story about Logan.  The next part will focus on where the legal system may have overlooked the nature of the disease in addiction in a college student and instead were focused on the criminal aspect in the war on drugs.

Click here: Confidential Informant Program Keeps Addiction Hidden During Heroin Epidemic Part 2

Are you struggling with addiction yourself and worried because you don’t see a way out?  Contact The Watershed for help today because you don’t ever have to feel overlooked and you are worth a life of recovery.

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