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Detroit Legal Blog

Rising Rates of Prescription Drugs for Non-Medical Purposes

Jun 08, 2015, by Maurice Davis in Drug Crimes, Legal Blog

According to Trust for America’s Health, “Michigan has the eighteenth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the U.S.”

Prescription drug abuse has been a growing, country wide problem for over a decade. Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription pills has quadrupled and more than 50 million Americans have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Prescription pills are readily accessible and largely over prescribed, as many studies report. Since 1999, doctors have prescribed four times as many pain medications although there has been no marked increase in the amount of pain being reported by patients. These dangerous substances have flooded the streets, leading to wide spread addiction leaving no community untouched and over 40 overdose deaths every single day. Both federal and state legislative bodies have reacted to the prescription drug epidemic with stiff penalties for those convicted of a prescription drug offense.

An estimated fourteen people die from prescription drug overdoses out of a 100,000. The rates have nearly tripled since 10 years ago. In a recent statement from Andrea Gielen, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, “Fifty Americans die a day from prescription drug overdoses…more than 6 million suffer from prescription drug abuse.”

A conviction involving the illegal possession of prescription drugs could have serious and possibly lifelong consequences. If you’ve been charged with an offense, you may need help from a Michigan criminal defense lawyer. Illegal prescription drug use is regulated by Michigan statute 333.7403. It forbids possession of a controlled substance unless it was “obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice.”

Depending on the amount and classification of the drug at issue, sentences can range from no jail time to life in prison. Possession of the most dangerous controlled substances, Schedule 1 and 2 narcotics, is a felony crime, and sentences upon conviction can are harsh. Some convictions even result in a mandatory life sentence. Repeat offenders with more than 50 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic must serve life in prison with no possibility of parole.

If you’ve been charged with a prescription drug offense, contact Davis Law Group PLLC to speak with one of our Michigan drug attorneys. We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations at (313) 818-3238. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and work to exclude any evidence against you. Depending on your circumstances, an experienced drug offense lawyer may help you secure a favorable plea bargain or have your charges dropped all together.