As you lean back in the dentist’s chair waiting for the procedure to start, you nervously glance around the room. Large tools loom ominously against the wall, sterile-looking cabinets line the room, and random pictures (is that a boat scene?) are slapped haphazardly on the ceiling.
Today’s the day—your wisdom teeth are coming out.
Though you’re not particularly anxious about the procedure, you are, in fact, dreading the awful pain that everyone describes—aches, discomfort, and days of not being able to eat. You hear the door creak open—it’s time for the surgery to begin…
Your procedure went perfectly and now you’re at home, snuggled up in a blanket watching a movie—but not without running to the drug store first to pick up your prescribed painkillers. Amazingly, at the end of the day your mouth feels fine—no need for the painkillers. Before you dispose of your pills, you have a thought—what if you give them to a friend who has been complaining of a toothache…
Though it may seem trivial, sharing prescription pills is illegal and punishable by heavy fines and jail time! To fully understand the consequences and potential outcomes of this action, Bryan Coulter, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, details below how your life could be impacted if you’re accused of selling or sharing prescription pills.
The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse
Casually perched in our medicine cabinets, lounging at the bottom of our purses, and frequently found in the center console of our cars, it’s hard to think that prescription pills have become so commonplace, yet so abused.
According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, 18 million people in the US misused their prescription pills. Even more alarming, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1999 to 2017, over 218,000 died from prescription opioid abuse.
To further stress the seriousness of prescription pill abuse, in 2017, The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 4.9% of children aged 12 to 17 misused prescription pills. With children increasingly abusing pills, many states have steepened the consequences for selling and sharing pills.
So What Prescription Pills Are Most Commonly Abused?
In the United States, the most commonly abused prescription pills are opiates, depressants, and stimulants.
Opiates, like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, when used appropriately and prescribed by a medical professional, can help relieve pain. When abused, these pills can lead to dependence, addiction, and even death.
Depressants, like Xanax, are often prescribed to people to help reduce anxiety and aid with sleep. If abused, these central nervous system depressants can severely affect the way your body functions by slowing down your body and mind’s normal activity.
Lastly, stimulants, like Adderall, are used to assist people with conditions like narcolepsy or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. If abused, these pills can dangerously elevate a person’s body temperature, increase their heart rate, and can cause seizures.
What Are the Consequences for Selling or Sharing Prescription Pills?
If you are caught selling or sharing prescription pills, your punishment is generally based on two things: the type of drug being sold and the amount.
To help weigh the seriousness of prescription pills, illicit drugs are classified into five schedules. Schedule one is defined as having the highest addiction risk (there are no prescription pills in this schedule), and schedule five is defined as having the lowest risk of abuse (this schedule includes pills for cough medications).
After determining the amount of pills shared or sold and the schedule that those pills are in, a person could potentially receive anywhere from one to five years in jail (or longer) and heavy, criminal fines.
So what can you do if you are accused of selling/sharing prescription drugs in Lafayette, Indiana?
Immediately Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Lafayette, Indiana
Let’s go back to the story of the wisdom teeth removal—after you gave your prescription pills to a friend, you were arrested…now what?
If you are accused of selling or sharing your prescription pills, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana to help represent you in court. Bryan Coulter, a criminal defense attorney for more than ten years, has extensive experience with effectively representing clients in court, as well as walking them through the courtroom process. For more information on how Coulter Law can represent you, contact us today for a free consultation and learn more!