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Prescription pain medication can lead to addiction and jail time

There are countless valid medical reasons why people end up receiving a prescription for pain medication. Maybe you got into a car accident and suffered soft tissue damage in your neck. Perhaps you had a surgery. Serious illnesses, chronic migraines and other injuries can all require pain relief for you to function on a daily basis. Sadly, pain relief prescriptions often prove to be both dangerous and addictive for some of the people who take them.

Addiction to pain medication, opioids and heroin has been on the rise in recent years. It has become so common that more people died in 2017 due to overdoses than breast cancerr or firearms in the United States. In order to protect citizens, law enforcement and the courts are cracking down on these drugs. In many cases, however, all they end up doing is creating criminal charges for someone struggling with a serious addition.

Not even doctors fully understand addiction

There are many factors that contribute to addiction, and science on the topic is still developing. There does seem to be some degree of genetic component that predisposes individuals to substance abuse and addictive behavior. Lessons learned during early life, as well as a culture, can also contribute to the likelihood of an addiction later in life.

There's no way to predict who may end up dependent on prescription opioids or opiates. Many people can take these drugs for a time and then stop when the pain diminishes or goes away. Other people find themselves unable to function without the help of ongoing medication. Over time, when prescriptions run out, that can push people onto the unregulated black market.

Pain pills and heroin can result in criminal charges

Even if you're only buying the exact same medication your doctor prescribed, getting them from anyone but a regulated pharmacist is against the law. Using the leftover medication from your spouse, your neighbor or your co-worker is illegal, even if you don't pay for the pills. Similarly, buying them from someone is also against the law, even if you feel like you need them.

If you have prescribed medications in your possession without a valid prescription or if its clear that you use them in a manner other than what the doctor prescribed, you could end up facing jail time. There are serious criminal consequences for offenses related to opioids, opiates and heroin in Florida. In some cases, seeking treatment for your addiction can help you when you face those charges.

Other times, you may need to consider your options for a criminal defense against possession charges. A conviction or a guilty plea to these kinds of charges could haunt you for the rest of your life.

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Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
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