Opioid painkillers are highly addictive, and they are also quite dangerous. Between June 2017 and September 2017, there were 1,798 suspected opioid-related deaths in Arizona alone and 11,733 suspected opioid overdoses. Opioids can be particularly harmful when taken by pregnant women. They are prescribed in cases where other drugs are ineffective, but their use must be carefully monitored, and they should be used only for short periods.
For this reason, opioids are heavily controlled. Sadly, even with safeguards in place, some people who are given opioids for short-term use become addicted to them, and there is an epidemic of opioid abuse and dealing across the whole country, not just in Arizona.
If you have been charged with selling or dealing opioids, then it is important that you get the best legal advice that you can. Robert A. Dodell, Drug Defense Lawyer, sees many people come to ask for advice about drug dealing charges. Some of those people are those who have made some bad decisions and have been selling drugs that they were prescribed for their own use, or dealing illegally in drugs. Others are wrongfully accused. Whatever your circumstances, Robert A. Dodell is here to offer judgment-free legal advice and support.
The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act is designed to attack the opioid epidemic from all angles, protecting those who are suffering from chronic pain, while providing those who are struggling with addiction with support and treating them with compassion.
Opioid addiction is a public health emergency, and the Arizona Department of Health Services is looking for ways to prevent overdose, provide people with access to medication-assisted treatment, and also help to prevent addiction by ensuring that prescriptions are appropriate.
As a part of the act, the law in Arizona has been reconsidered. Lawmakers have opted to institute a “Good Samaritan” law, which will encourage people to call 911 if they suspect someone has taken an opioid overdose, and allow the person who has overdosed to receive the necessary emergency care. Prior to the enactment of this law, those who witnessed overdoses were often reluctant to call for help because they feared prosecution for their own drug use. The new law will make it easier for bystanders to seek help without fear of prosecution themselves.
Another new initiative is the Angel Initiative, which allows citizens to turn in their drugs to the police, and seek treatment for their addiction, without fear of prosecution. The initiative was first launched in October 2016, but on a very limited scale. The early attempts led to 123 people entering into treatment, and the plan now is to open it up to more counties, to allow even more people to get assistance.
Lawmakers want to see bad actors who write dangerous prescriptions punished more heavily, and to prevent fraudulent marketing, pill mills, and doctor shopping. Accountability should be in the hands of the manufacturers and the doctors, with pills not making it onto the streets.
If you have been struggling with an opioid addiction, or are involved in the sale or trade of opioids illegally, seek help as soon as possible. If you are facing a drug crime, reach out to the Law Offices of Robert A. Dodell today and discuss your legal defense options.