Tracking Down the Sources of the Prescription Drug Epidemic
We hear the dramatic term epidemic so often that it can begin to sound banal, but the statistics on the abuse of prescription drugs are shocking. In Ohio, as in other states across the country, fatalities from prescription drug overdoses are now greater than from motor vehicle crashes. The misuse of legal pain medications is becoming as much of a law enforcement problem as illegal street drugs. Unlike the criminal organizations that control the trafficking of heroin or cocaine, the illegal distribution and sale of prescription opioids often begins in a licensed pharmacy or medical office.
Case in point: Two Columbus pharmacies and a medical center were raided this month on suspicions that these “pill mills” were issuing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances. Two physicians from the medical center recently lost their medical licenses for unprofessional prescription practices. The Attorney General Healthcare Fraud Unit is especially interested in whether these businesses were abusing Medicaid or Workers Compensation programs.
People suffering from chronic or debilitating pain should get proper medical help, including effective doses of prescription opioids. At the same time, the healthcare system is struggling to ensure that patients do not become addicted to their prescription medications — and law enforcement is struggling to keep pain killers and other prescription drugs out of the hands of people who have no prescription. When unscrupulous doctors and pharmacists abuse their positions to rake in illegal profits, these tasks become much more difficult.
Being arrested for illegally possessing, distributing or trafficking prescription drugs can have devastating consequences for your employment and professional reputation. You may be facing serious criminal charges and jail time. Contact a reputable criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your best defense strategies.