When most people hear about a drug-related arrest, illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine often spring to mind. However, while the use of these more traditional illegal drugs is declining in the U.S., the abuse of prescription drugs is increasing. Factors contributing to this increase include the fact that, for many Americans, prescription drugs are more readily available. Additionally, because they are legal and prescribed by a physician, there’s a false belief among many that prescription drugs are safe.
However, when prescription drugs are taken by individuals for whom they are not prescribed or for non-medical purposes, serious injury and even death may result. What’s more, not only is taking another individual’s prescription drugs dangerous and potentially deadly, it’s also illegal.
The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that roughly 33 percent of individuals age 12 and older who used drugs, first abused prescription drugs. Additionally, 70 percent of individuals who reported abusing prescription pain medication obtained or stole the drugs from a relative or someone they knew.
Today, the pressures imposed upon middle and high school students are greater than ever. For some, prescription drugs provide a way to escape and cope with their problems. As schools and communities take steps to crack down on the use and abuse of illegal prescription drugs, individuals who are found to distribute, possess or use these substances may face criminal charges.
Minneapolis area residents who are facing drug charges related to prescription drug abuse and use would be wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will investigate the evidence in a case and work to get charges dismissed or reduced. Taking steps to defend against criminal drug charges is especially important for juvenile offenders whose futures may be adversely impacted or who may be in need of drug abuse treatment.
Source: Whitehouse.gov, “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis,” 2011