Oxycontin – Drug of Choice in Palm Beach County
Oxycontin is one of the most addictive prescription drugs on the market today. Millions of people are hooked on these pain killers across the country. According to recent figures, prescription drugs like Oxycontin are abused more than illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and ecstasy – combined. And Florida is the epicenter of this epidemic. In 2008, about half the country’s illegal prescription drugs came out of Florida. Many of these drugs come from pain clinics in Broward and Palm Beach County. Authorities say at least 50 pain clinics operate in Palm Beach County and over 100 in Broward County and they dispense 1.5 million pills of Oxycontin and other pain medications a month.
What is Oxycontin?
Oxycontin is the brand name of a time-release form of oxycodone. It entered the U.S. market in 1996 and by 2001, it had become the best-selling narcotic pain reliever in the United States. By 2008, sales in the U.S. totaled $2.5 billion. Sometimes people get confused by Oxycontin and oxycodone. Oxycodone is an “opioid” pain reliever that is the active ingredient in many prescription drugs including Oxycontin.
Pain Clinics & Doctor Shopping
Pain clinics operate throughout Palm Beach County despite moratoriums and referendums to stop them. Some clinics are legitimate and serve customers well. Others are “pill mills.” These are the facilities that many cities like Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach are trying to close down.
Doctor shopping is when a patient requests prescriptions from multiple physicians, often simultaneously, without making efforts to inform the other physicians. Some doctor shopping comes from legitimate patients who are in pain but have become addicted as a result of it. Other “patients” are drug dealers or people who abuse drugs for recreational purposes.
Oxycontin Possession and Trafficking
Florida mandatory minimum drug laws are severe. Possessing more than four grams of Oxycontin may result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years whether you intended to sell the drugs or not. In 2006, a woman from Pembroke Pines was arrested for having 48 pills without a prescription. 48 pills weigh 42 grams so that made it a felony drug trafficking charge. She is now facing 25 years in prison.
Defending Your Freedom and Rights
There is no easy way to beat a charge like this. Even if you are a first time offender and you are caught with one pill, a conviction will hurt your career and opportunities for other employment. It will also determine whether you qualify for government programs, including student loans. A defense attorney who has drug crime experience will fight to keep you out of jail and dismiss your case. There are many many ways to get off an Oxycontin charge. One aggressive and respected criminal defense attorney is all you need.