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Prescription Drug Misuse in California

The recent years have uncovered a Pandora’s Box of woes and ills as a result of prescription drug misuse not only in California but in the whole of the United States.

Drug crimes

The following are the facts on this latest societal ill sweeping the nation:

About seven million individuals misuse prescription drugs, which is followed by marijuana abuse

  1. Nearly 70% of the prescription drugs misused were obtained from a friend or a relative

While originally prescription medication was used for proper purposes, when these specific drugs are abused or used for non-medical reasons, the effects can be an alteration of brain activity that would lead to drug dependence. It is for this reason that the Drug Enforcement Agency has listed specific substances in schedules, ranking them according to its potency and addictive nature.

The following are the most abused drugs in the nation:

Oxycodone

This is a semi-synthetic drug with hallucinogenic effects, whose brand name is Oxycontin. This drug has been one of the most successfully sold drugs in the market, reaching legal sales of up to US$2.5 million in 2008 alone.

Methylphenidate

Ritalin is the brand name of this drug that is prescribed for individuals suffering from ADHD and narcolepsy. This drug is often abused for its stimulating high and has an effect on appetite suppression in individuals.

Methadone 

his synthetic narcotic drug is used to soften the addictive effects of heroin and provide pain relief to cancer patients. With the crackdown on Oxycontin at an all-time high, methadone was the alternative drug of choice

Codeine

This drug is derived from natural opium and when taken in pure form is classified as a Schedule II drug. This is often combined with other prescription drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen for a stimulant high.

Hydrocodone

This is a Schedule II drug that when combined with acetaminophen becomes a schedule III Drug commonly known as Vicodin. This drug provides pain relief but at the same time is highly addictive.

There are several different crimes that fall within the purview of prescription drug misuse. These are as follows:

  1.  Possession of controlled substances without a prescription;
  2.  Prescription Forgery
  3.  Prescription Fraud
  4.  Illegal Trafficking of Prescription Drugs

When an individual is charged with prescription drug trafficking for schedule II drugs, the imposable penalties can be as much as twenty years in federal prison together with a US$1 million fine for the first conviction. Further offenses can increase the imposable penalties to thirty years in state prison and a US$2 million fine. For prescription drug possession or trafficking for schedule III drugs, the imposable penalty can be up to ten years in prison and US$500,000 fine for the first offense.

When an individual is facing prescription drug charges, it is best to engage the services of a skilled and experienced lawyer. The lawyers at www.californiadrugoffenselawyer.com would be able to provide the able legal representation needed by the individual charged with the said crime.

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