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A prescription for pain medication can lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Drug Crimes

There are pain relievers available over the counter to help people with headaches or the inflammation that stems from a sprained ankle. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen are all readily available to those with mild health issues. When people have overwhelming levels of pain, they often need to see a doctor to address their symptoms. A physician can help address not just the pain itself but the underlying medical issue causing someone’s pain. They also have the ability to prescribe stronger pain relievers, including modern opioid medication like fentanyl.

Prescription-strength narcotic pain relievers can help those who otherwise struggle with intractable pain, but they come with a host of risks. It is very easy for people to overdose on opioids, and patients who have never had substance abuse issues may quickly develop a dependence on their medication. Unfortunately, addiction caused by medical treatment could very easily lead to someone’s arrest and prosecution.

Doctors limit access to opioids

Given the potential for abuse and how common it is for people to resell medication on the unregulated market, doctors carefully track the prescriptions that they issue for narcotic pain relievers. They typically try to taper patients off of pain relief as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, such practices do not eliminate prescription drug abuse. Patients who no longer have valid prescriptions may still have significant pain symptoms. They are also at risk of withdrawal symptoms if they have become dependent on their medication. Some people continue taking the same prescription pills by purchasing them on the unregulated market. They put themselves at risk of criminal prosecution as they try to manage their symptoms or avoid withdrawal.

Anyone caught while in possession of opioid pain relievers without an active prescription could face criminal prosecution. Attempts to acquire the medication from unregulated sources and secondary criminal activity that results from the need to fund someone’s habit can also lead to an individual’s prosecution.

Those facing drug charges related to pain medication may need assistance addressing the underlying cause of their conduct. They can also potentially sometimes limit the consequences of their arrest. Discussing the scenario that led to someone’s pending drug charges with an attorney may help someone mitigate the worst possible consequences of a recent arrest. Connecting criminal offenses to medical issues can be beneficial for those who face charges that relate to prescription medication.