Prescription medications are being abused and misused at a staggering rate by today’s youth. While the illegal consumption of prescription medication has been an issue for as long as the government has tried to control their use, abuse and deaths due to overdose have been on the rise for several years. 2016 was the first time in the United States that deaths from heroin, opiates and opioids were higher than deaths due to firearms.
Many parents feel blindsided by the fact that their child is abusing opioids or opiates. Thankfully, with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, your child can still have a future.
Prescription pill abuse can be deadly
There is a misconception among today’s youth that prescription medications are safer than street drugs. While there is less risk of adulteration or overdose due to not knowing the strength of the pills, abuse prescription medication can have a powerful negative impact on the human body, including real potential for overdose and death.
If you haven’t already done so, you should speak with your child about the dangers inherent in opioid abuse. It can be hard to talk about, but try to stay calm and non-accusatory. Your child will need your support if he or she is going to overcome a substance abuse problem.
What is the difference between opioids and opiates?
While most parents already understand the difference between heroin and opiates, the difference between opiates and opioids is a little unclear. Heroin, once a common medication, is now an illegal street drug, classified as Schedule I by the federal government and the state of Texas.
Opiates are the traditional painkillers most adults are familiar with: morphine and codeine. Opioids differ in that they are synthetic opiates, created in a lab (and not from a plant) to offer better pain management than traditional opiates. Unfortunately, opioids are as addictive, sometimes even more so, than traditional opiates.
Speak with your child as soon as possible about treatment programs as well, as your child will likely need professional support to end his or her substance abuse. Many times, the source of a prescription medication is a friend or relative, which makes your child think that it is safe.
What should you do if your child is charged with opioid possession?
In the state of Texas, the illegal possession of a prescription opioid with the intent to abuse it is a serious offense. If your child faces charges associated with opioid abuse, one of the first things you need to do to protect your child and your family is to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Drug charges at a young age can derail your child’s future. An experienced attorney can pursue alternate avenues to criminal charges, such as diversion to drug treatment programs. This legal professional can also review the details of your child’s arrest to see if any evidence was gathered illegally.