Abuse of prescription pain killers, like Oxycontin, is increasing across the country. According to the most recent survey from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 55 percent of the fatal drug overdoses in 2008 involved a prescription drug, not an illicit substance like cocaine or heroine. This percentage is higher than all illicit drugs combined.
Even more alarming is the reach of prescription drugs. Where illicit drugs are often contained to urban areas, prescription drugs are everywhere.
Prescription Drug Abuse’s Impact on America’s Drug Fight
The increase in prescription drug use is forcing American politicians to reevaluate the nation’s policies on drug trafficking. For the last 40 years, the main goal of America’s War on Drugs was to stop heroine and cocaine from crossing the border. The worry now is prescription drug abuse and how to stop it when the drugs are not interdicted.
The government has responded by creating 37 “tactical diversion squads” within the DEA to focus specifically on prescription drug investigations. DEA officials state that 26 more squads will be added within a few years.
Penalties for Florida Drug Offenders
Because prescription drugs are not banned does not mean that possessing them without a prescription is legal. Possession of just one prescription pill is enough to get you arrested in Florida.
Penalties for possession of unauthorized prescription drugs depend on the amount of prescription drugs in your possession. The possible court penalties if convicted in Florida of illegal possession of prescription drugs include:
- Prison time
- Court fines
- Driver license suspension
- Vehicle or property forfeiture
Illegal possession of pain pills or other prescription drugs is a serious offense with serious penalties. If you, or a loved one, have been arrested for the unauthorized possession of painkillers, consult with an experienced prescription drug defense attorney.