The Illegal Sale of Prescription Drugs
Due to their potential for abuse and addiction, many prescription drugs have been categorized by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the same category as opium or cocaine. These include Ritalin and Dexedrine (stimulants), and the painkillers OxyContin, Demerol and Roxanol.
Many illegal street drugs were at one time used or prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists but were later banned when the evidence of their harmful effects could no longer be ignored. Examples are heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and Ecstasy.
Abuse of prescription drugs can be even riskier than the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. The high potency of some of the synthetic (man-made) drugs available as prescription drugs creates a high overdose risk. This is particularly true of OxyContin and similar painkillers, where overdose deaths more than doubled over a five-year period.
Many people don’t realize that distributing or selling prescription drugs (other than by a doctor) is a form of drug dealing and as illegal as selling heroin or cocaine, with costly fines and jail time. When the drug dealing results in death or serious bodily injury, dealers can face life imprisonment.
Types of Abused Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs that are taken for recreational use include the following major categories:
- Depressants: Often referred to as central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) depressants, these drugs slow brain function. They include sedatives (used to make a person calm and drowsy) and tranquilizers (intended to reduce tension or anxiety).
- Opioids and morphine derivatives:1 Generally referred to as painkillers, these drugs contain opium or opium-like substances and are used to relieve pain.
- Stimulants: A class of drugs intended to increase energy and alertness but which also increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
- Antidepressants: Psychiatric drugs that are supposed to handle depression.
Selling Prescription Drugs Illegally
Federal law makes it illegal for any person who does not have a license to write prescriptions to sell or give a prescription drug to another person (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)). Licensed health care professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists, cannot knowingly sell or give prescription drugs to someone who does not have either a valid need or valid prescription for the drugs. “Selling” does not necessarily mean a cash transaction; instead, “selling” can include giving or exchanging a prescription drug, as well as an offer or agreement to sell or exchange (21 U.S.C. § 802(8)).
The illegal sale of prescription drugs has surged recently, especially involving pain medications like Vicodin and Percocet. The demand for pain medication for recreational rather than valid medical purposes has led to a corresponding increase in unlicensed, illegal internet sales of prescription drugs. Also, bogus “pain management clinics” have sprung up, run by licensed health care professionals who write and sometimes also fill unnecessary prescriptions.
What Is an “Illegal Sale?”
A prescription drug can be sold illegally in a number of ways. For instance, a person who has a valid prescription can be convicted of illegally selling drugs if he sells or gives his drugs to someone else. And a doctor or health care provider can be guilty of a crime by writing prescriptions that are either not medically necessary or for an amount of drugs greater than a person actually needs (which sometimes takes the form of writing multiple prescriptions for one person using many different and fake names). Similarly, a pharmacist who knowingly fills an invalid prescription can also be charged with this crime. Source
E-FORCSE! The State of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
The Electronic – Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation program (E-FORCSE) is Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The PDMP was created by the 2009 legislature in an initiative to encourage safer prescribing of controlled substances and to reduce drug abuse and diversion within the state of Florida.
Section 893.055, Florida Statutes, requires health care practitioners to report to the PDMP each time a controlled substance is dispensed to an individual. This information is to be reported through the electronic system as soon as possible but not more than 7 days after dispensing. This reporting timeframe ensures that health care practitioners have the most up-to-date information available. Source
West Palm Beach Oxycodone Charges Attorney
Oxycodone is a powerful and addictive pain medication that is often abused as recreation. Oxycodone charges include possession of Oxycodone, drug trafficking, racketeering and prescription fraud. These may lead to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years or longer, as well as fines and a criminal record that haunts you the rest of your life.
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, Florida, our defense team has many years representing clients charged with drug crimes. We have a thorough understanding of Florida laws and how to apply them to your unique case. Contact our firm to discuss your case in a free initial consultation.
Many Oxycodone offense cases involve false allegations. The police may notice the medication during a routine traffic stop and charge you with possession. If the amount of Oxycodone is over four grams, the police can charge you with drug trafficking. However, neither of these are valid allegations if you have a prescription for the medication or the pills were left over from a former prescription. If you have a prescription, having possession of the drugs is legal.
The law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., is involved in many high profile criminal cases throughout Florida. One of our cases involved a doctor charged with racketeering and administering Oxycodone, Methodone and Roxicodone unlawfully. By being proactive, we can often resolve these cases in our clients’ favor.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.