Charged with a Prescription Drug Crime? A Drug Attorney in Saint Paul MN can Help
Prescription painkiller abuse is one of this country’s biggest public health issues. In 2011, more people overdosed on prescriptions than on all illegal drugs combined, according to the CDC. Opiates cause 15,000 deaths and over half a million ER visits every year, surpassing car crashes as the US’ most frequent cause of accidental death. To get more information, contact Brandt Criminal Defense.
Prescription Drugs can be a Helpful Tool
Because of safety concerns, opiates were at one time only given to terminally ill patients. However, many of today’s doctors see them as an essential pain management tool. These drugs can be very beneficial for those recovering from major surgery or suffering chronic pain. Almost 9% of people in America are prescribed opiates.
Conversely, these drugs are also highly addictive, leading to an enormous black market. Various studies show that opiate abusers come from all walks of life, from young professionals to the elderly. Unfortunately, many wounded veterans become addicted.
The Line Between Illegal and Legal Use
Where prescription painkillers are concerned, there is a very thin line between illegal and legal use. As the drugs are prescribed by a doctor, patients use them – some become dependent, and some allow family members to take them, leading to further addiction. Once the medical supply runs out, an addict will turn to the streets to buy the drugs.
Some pain clinics hire doctors who write prescriptions after a very cursory examination. These so-called “pill mills” are an issue in several states, including Ohio and Florida. Those obtaining pain pills through these clinics often sell them on the street for many times the original price.
Crackdowns on Painkiller Abuse
To contend with the epidemic, local and federal government agencies are cracking down on those who abuse painkillers. In 2011, prescription drug abuse fell to its lowest level since 2002, but it remains a significant issue. Today, almost 2% of Americans use pain medications for non-medical purposes.
A Drug Attorney Saint Paul MN can Help
A few states are holding doctors liable for overdoses and illicitly sold drugs, revoking their medical licenses. Some states have even enacted laws forbidding clinic ownership by those who are not doctors, and others have created digital registries of painkiller recipients and prescriptions. In other areas, pharmacy distribution of these drugs is severely limited. Your Drug Attorney Saint Paul MN can tell you more about the laws in Minnesota if you Visit the Website.