By now, most Americans are acutely aware of the prescription drug addiction crisis that has spread throughout the U.S. If there is one thing that this epidemic has taught us all, it’s that addiction does not discriminate and individuals of every race, education level and socio-economic class continue to be afflicted and affected.
U.S. Prescription Drug Addiction Crisis
The following are five eye-opening statistics about the prescription drug addiction epidemic gripping the U.S.
- 52 million people in the U.S. age 12 and older admit to taking prescription drugs for non-medical reasons
- As of 2010, nearly 9 million Americans were believed to be addicted to prescription medications
- While the U.S. accounts for just five percent of the world’s population, its residents consume 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs
- An estimated five percent of Virginia residents use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes
- 54 percent of prescription drug abusers obtain the drug(s) from a friend or relative for free
The Rise of Prescription Drug Addiction in the U.S.
A significant percentage of prescription drug abusers were initially prescribed the medications to treat legitimate medical issues including painful injuries, chronic pain and mental health conditions such as anxiety and ADHD. Previously many doctors freely prescribed highly-addictive prescription medications like Oxycodone, Demerol and Adderall with little knowledge or regard of the possible ramifications.
For individuals who become addicted to prescription drugs, feeding one’s addiction becomes a constant struggle. When a prescription runs out or the amount is no longer sufficient to feed one’s addiction, some individuals may turn to illegal means to obtain the drugs they so desperately need.
Crimes Related to Prescription Drug Abuse
- Possession of an unauthorized prescription drug
- Prescription drug fraud
- Prescription forgery
- Distribution of a prescription drug
- Illegal purchase of a prescription drug
If you, or a loved one, are facing criminal charges for activities related to a prescription drug addiction problem, it’s important to get help. A criminal defense attorney will represent you and your best interests throughout your criminal case and work to obtain a dismissal or reduction of criminal charges. If this is your first criminal offense, an attorney may also seek to obtain a deferred or alternative sentence which may include participation in a drug rehabilitation program.