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Why injuries and illnesses may lead to drug charges

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

Some drug offenses represent overt violations of the law. People traffic in prohibited drugs and make other choices that they know are illegal. Other times, the situation that leads to drug charges is actually outside of an individual’s control.

Maybe they suffered a serious injury at work or in a car crash. Perhaps they developed an illness that required medical treatment. Frequently, substance abuse issues begin not with recreational drug use and intentional misconduct but instead with medical challenges.

Many prescribed drugs are addictive

People tend to think of prescription medication as inherently safe. However, prescription medications are controlled substances. The state regulates the possession and dispensation of those substances in part because they are dangerous to the public. They pose a risk of abuse or chemical dependence. Physicians may limit how much medication they prescribe and oversee someone’s reaction to treatment carefully to monitor for warning signs of substance abuse or bad reactions.

Doctors typically limit how much medication people take overall and may even intentionally taper someone off of a medication by slowly reducing the dose they receive over multiple days or weeks. Such efforts can reduce the risk of substance abuse issues but do not eliminate the possibility of chemical dependence by patience.

Patients may turn to alternate sources

Those who no longer have valid prescriptions for medications may start seeking out those same substances on the unregulated market. They may increase how much they take and how frequently they use the medication. Eventually, they may get arrested while in possession of a medication without a valid prescription. These defendants may need help, not punishment. The reality for many people facing drug charges is that they are in a situation that has spiraled out of their control. They may feel so afraid of withdrawal or so acclimated to using the substance that it takes an arrest for them to realize how much their life has changed since their medical challenges.

Pending drug charges can be a wake-up call to help people realize that they need rehabilitation support. Seeking alternative solutions to traditional prosecution, including drug court and rehabilitation services, can potentially help people overcome personal issues that began with a medical challenge.