Many people who take medication prescribed to them by their doctor can get addicted to it without knowing, according to our drug crime lawyers. After all, you usually follow your doctor’s advice without question. A lot of medicines that are prescribed are extremely addictive. Patients who develop an addiction always need medicine and may try to get these medications using fake prescriptions or buy them illegally. Here are some facts about the prescription drug epidemic that you might not be aware of that is occurring across the United States.

Abusers of Prescription Drugs

People of all ages get into the unlawful use of prescription drugs. Surveys indicate that an alarming number of US citizens, aged 12 and up, have abused prescribed medication at some point in their lives. Millions of teens and youths between 12-17 years old are currently abusing prescribed medicine. Young adults aged 18-25 are also abusing prescription drugs in record numbers.

Prescription medication abuse among students in high school is alarming. What’s more alarming, is that this is not a young person’s problem anymore. Productive adults are being dragged into the prescription drug abuse circle in record numbers.

Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are widely abused in the US because they can be accessed easily, and are highly addictive. They are also a cheap alternative to changing a user’s state of mind and body depending on the type of drug one is abusing. Prescription stimulants are used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). They are normally prescribed to children who attend school. An example of a prescription stimulant is Methylphenidate. It contains Ritalin which has similar effects to cocaine. Amphetamine is another stimulant just like Methylphenidate. Alprazolam or Xanax and diazepam otherwise called valium are the most abused prescription drugs. These drugs are commonly prescribed to reduce anxiety and are being prescribed to patients in record numbers. Habitual users can take as much as 30 pills in a day, which creates a great demand for the drugs by addicts.

Crimes Associated with Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are the main reason why crime and addiction areincreasing in the United States, despite continued efforts to help addicts seek treatment rather than committing crimes to fund their addictions. Desperation leads to crime, even in “good” areas. In the past, the police were concerned with more traditional crimes; they now want to know what’s in the cabinet where you store your medicine.

Residents addicted to prescription drugs are targeting seniors and the sick in their homes. They are raiding these homes where they are sure to find medicine in the cabinet to steal. This type of crime is so common that the police in some areas are asking residents to give up bottles of strong medicine. In one incident, a man followed an elderly lady coming from a drug store at 9:30 PM to the parking lot. He removed a knife and demanded the senior citizen give him her medicine. The lady started to scream and attracted night guards nearby. The man was found with 1,000 Oxycontin pills in his back-pack.

One way the demand is met for prescription drugs is where dealers operate “pill-mills” often called “pain management clinics.” Doctors sell potent painkillers in exchange for money. Recently, a man was accused of murdering his wife in bed while she was sleeping. He said his actions were caused by a pill, doxylamine, that he was taking to help him sleep. A doctor present in that court said that doxylamine could cause you to act completely different.

Protect Yourself from Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs are meant to be taken according to doctors’ orders. If you find yourself in need of them after the appropriate time has passed, or if you seem to need a higher dose than has been prescribed, then it’s time to ask for help. The prescription drug epidemic has encouraged the creation of many treatment facilities. Seek help as soon as you feel it’s a problem so that you can prevent further damage to your health and life.

For more information, speak to our drug crime lawyers.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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