Prescription Drug Charges
Anoka County Drug Crime Lawyer
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, certain medications have mind-altering properties and because of that, are abused by some for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone without a valid prescription. The NIH reports that prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after alcohol and marijuana, the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older.
The classes of prescription medications that are most frequently abused include: opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin or Oxycontin; stimulants for treating ADHD such as Adderall, Concerta, or Ritalin; and central nervous system depressants used to relieve anxiety such as Valum or Xanax. The most commonly abused OTC drugs include cough and cold remedies which contain Dextromethorphan. Prescription medications are abused by:
- Taking a medication that was prescribed to someone else.
- Taking a drug in a higher quantity or in another manner than what was prescribed.
- Taking a drug for another purpose than what it was prescribed.
- Taking ADHD drugs such as Adderall to improve academic performance.
When taken as intended, prescription drug use is generally safe to treat specific mental or physical symptoms. However, when they are taken in ways that are different than how they were intended, they can affect the brains in ways that are very similar to illegal drugs. For example, taking Oxycontin can affect the body similar to illegal opioids such as heroin.
Penalties for Prescription Drug Crimes
Prescription drug offenses are treated the same as other drug offenses under Minnesota law. There are five schedules of controlled substances in Minnesota known as Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. Many prescription medications fall under Schedule II, some of which include: morphine, Oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, and methadone, whereas drugs such as Norco are classified as Schedule III.
Under Section 152.025 of the Minnesota Statues, a person guilty of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree may be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison or a maximum fine of $10,000 or both if he or she unlawfully possessed one or more mixtures of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV, except for a small amount of marijuana.
A person can also be found guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree if a person procures or attempts to procure, possesses or has control over a controlled substance by means of fraud, deceit, using a false name, or pretending to be a licensed physician.
Protect Your Rights. Contact an Anoka County Drug Crime Lawyer!
Have you been accused of taking someone else's prescription or another prescription drug crime? If you're facing prescription drug charges, you could be facing imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines under § 152.025 of the Minnesota Statutes.