Legal Blog

Deaths From Prescription Drug Abuse On The Rise in New Jersey

Author Clark & Noonan, LLC
Posted June 15, 2017
Category Drug Charges

Prescription Drug Abuse, The New Epidemic

Rx Drug Abuse and Related Crimes Are On The Rise

Deaths from illegal drug abuse and prescribed drugs has now surpassed deaths by homicide and from car accidents. Bloomberg reports:

In 1980, about 2.7 people died per 100,000 from drug poisoning, both from prescription and illicit substances, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2008, about 12 people died per 100,000. Roughly half of drug overdose deaths result from prescription painkillers. And for every person who dies from prescription painkillers, there are about 32 more emergency department visits.

Although the increased rate of deaths from accidental overdose from prescription drugs is largely attributed to drugs legally obtained by prescriptions, there has also been a rise in the number of drug crimes related to prescription drug abuse. Senior citizens, who may be confused about medications are particularly at risk for accidental drug overdose, however, a growing number of deaths are resulting from deliberate abuse of prescription drugs that are shared in schools, at parties, concerts, and other “recreational” uses from prescription drugs being sold illegally on the “streets.”

As more addictive drugs are being prescribed by doctors, the number of addicts has also increased. Crimes such as stealing a prescription pad to “borrowing” a prescription from a family member or for those who had a legal prescription but ran out and seek to purchase more drugs from illegal sources. Recent years have also seen a rise in the number of crimes involving individuals who never had a prescription but who are simply seeking to get high on prescribed drugs. As the demand and number of users of prescription drug increases, more  individuals have turned to street sources and other illegal methods to obtain their drugs.

It is against the law to give or sell your prescription drugs of any kind to any other person, and it is also illegal to steal, purchase, or “borrow” prescription drugs from someone else.

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