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Opioid Abuse Awareness

San Diego Drug Offense Attorney

The recent death of Prince from possible opioid overdose has created a new urgency to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse in the country. On May 12, 2016, the House of Representatives passed a bill to address this reality, as heroin and prescription drug overdose kills more Americans than traffic accidents.

The bill will provide education, substance abuse treatment, and law enforcement efforts to address the crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Prescription painkillers, heroin, and other opioids were involved in 61% of the 47,055 drug overdose deaths in the country in 2014.

What is Considered an Opioid?

Prescription opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), codeine, and morphine (Kadian and Avinza). Heroin is also an opioid. Cocaine, methamphetamines, Ketamine, ecstasy, GHB, and LSD are not opioids.

Opioid abuse has created a real crisis across the country and here in California, especially with teenagers and young adults. Studies have shown that teenagers are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than other “street” drugs like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Some teenagers believe that prescription drugs are safer because they have been prescribed by a doctor – however, teenagers typically do not appreciate the dangers when they are getting high or self-medicating and this can lead to abuse and addiction.

Can You Be Arrested for Opioid Abuse?

In California, if someone is arrested for unlawfully possessing a prescription painkiller, the likely charge is Health and Safety Code Section 11350, possession of a controlled substance and/or Business and Professions Code Section 4060, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Contact Kern Law for Trusted Legal Counsel

Assuming the stop, search, and arrest were legal, and there is enough evidence for a conviction, there may be treatment alternatives available that could eventually lead to a dismissal of the charges. If you or someone you know are seeking representation for a drug-related charge, please contact my office today. Request a free, confidential consultation from a San D.