All over the country, prescription drug abuse is running rampant. Whether the drug of choice is OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, or any other painkiller or prescription medication, the fact is that people are abusing these drugs at an alarming rate. In a recent survey, over 7 million Americans reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past 30 days. In 2006 and 2007, the Department of Health in Arizona reported a 41% increase in drug-related deaths among children and teenagers. The problem is becoming an epidemic and with more and more baby boomers getting older and having health issues, there are more pills available.
Prescription pain medication is one of the most widely abused drugs throughout the nation and in Arizona. In 2008, 10.5% of high school seniors in Arizona admitted to using a prescription pain reliever in the last 30 days. According to the DEA, 56% of teens believe prescription drugs are easier to get than illicit drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are OxyContin, Codeine, Percodan, Percocet, and Vicodin.
In Arizona the findings were pretty much along the same lines as the national statistics. The one disturbing trend that is occurring in Arizona is that OxyContin is becoming a gateway drug to heroin, and in some cases, vice versa. It has been reported that when a prescription drug abuser has exhausted their options for pills, they often turn to heroin. And if a heroin addict can’t score, they’ll gladly take OxyContin, as the effects are similar.
As you can imagine, the legal ramifications of a prescription drug habit can be staggering. Not only can you be charged with possession of a controlled substance, but in a lot of cases you’re likely to be charged with felonies. This would assume that you didn’t get caught in a fraud or theft to continue your drug habit. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a drug possession crime, you can look to hire a local drug defense lawyer to handle your case. The bottom line is to kick the habit and get your life back in order.