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July 6, 2018 – People addicted to prescription opioids or heroin are far more likely to have run-ins with the law than those who don’t use opioids, according to a new study published Friday in JAMA Network Open. The study provides the first nationwide estimate for the number of people using opioids who end up in the American criminal justice system. The results suggest a need to engage law enforcement officials and corrections systems to tackle the opioid epidemic. The connection between the criminal justice system and substance abuse is well-known. About 65 percent of people who are incarcerated are known to have a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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