A Drug Crime Lawyer Rockville MD Trusts Discusses Opioid Abuse
Every single day, at least 115 or more people in this country die as a result of an opioid overdose, making it one of the deadliest epidemics this country has ever faced. The misuse of this drug costs the United States over $78.5 billion a year, this amount encompassing the costs of addiction treatment, healthcare, productivity loss, and costs incurred by the criminal justice system. If you have been arrested on drug charges, it is highly recommended you contact a Rockville MD drug crime lawyer.
This is what we currently know concerning the opioid crisis:
- Approximately 4 to 6 percent of people who misuse prescription opioids move up to heroin
- Close to 80 percent of those who use heroin first misused prescription opioids
- Larger cities in 16 states saw a 54 percent increase in opioid overdoses
- Of those prescribed opioids for pain, between 21 and 29 percent misuse the drugs
- Heroin is the next step for 4 to 6 percent of those or abuse prescription opioids
- A huge increase in opioid abuse and overdoses has been seen in the midwest — up over 70 percent from July of 2016 to September 2017.
The National Institutes of Health is strengthening its efforts to fight the opioid epidemic by focusing on these five items:
- Working on developing new methods for managing pain
- Supporting research that focuses on addition and pain
- Changing the focus from opioids as a form of managing pain to recovery and treatment facilities
- Advocating the use of drugs that reverse overdosing
- Better means of educating the public about the dangers of the drugs and the current epidemic
Each state deals with drug traffickers in different ways. There are some states that charge dealers with murder if someone they sell the drugs to dies from an overdose. For example, in Florida, if someone provides heroin, cocaine or opioid fentanyl to someone who dies from an overdose of those specific drugs, they can face a first-degree murder charge and be sentenced to the death penalty or life in prison.
The Department of Justice has made a priority of ending the drug epidemic. They believe going after the major drug traffickers are the key to reigning in the availability of opioids.
If you are caught with illegal or controlled substances you need to be aware of the harsh penalties involved in the possession of these drugs. Two basic types of possession charges exist — simple and construction possession
What Is Simple Possession?
This means that you knowingly possess the illegal substance in your presence — it’s in your pocket, wallet, purse, backpack. If you take a friend’s bag and it contains illegal drugs but you are unaware, and are arrested for possession, you may have a solid defense because you did not know the drugs were there.
What Is Constructive Possession?
The court has to prove that the defendant intended to control the opioids, even if the substance is not found to be with them. If the drugs are found in the defendant’s home, car, hotel room where they stayed, storage facilities, etc., they can be convicted of possession.
If you have been charged with possession of opioids, it is imperative to contact a drug crime lawyer Rockville MD clients depend on to discuss your case and the consequences you may be facing if convicted.