R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Prescription drugs: prevention and penalties

Adults are not the only ones who have succumbed to the nationwide prescription drug crisis; drug use among children and teenagers is also on the rise. Amidst today's tense atmosphere regarding the topic, Texas lawmakers and locals alike have considered a number of approaches to combatting overdose.

Especially in recent years, prescription drugs have reached various demographics through its wide accessibility. President Trump's declaring the issue a national health emergency sparked fresh debate on whether current strategies are as effective as once thought. Despite Trump's failure to request funding for this emergency, many residents are stepping up to the plate and finding their own ways to help battle the crisis. And for those users fortunate enough to survive an overdose, the next looming challenge is the penalties if one is caught in possession.


KWTX News recently showcased the efforts made by some local drug treatment centers to put a halt to the prescription drug problem. While Trump's actions involving the issue disappointed some, experts at the Cenikor Foundation Treatment Center in Killeen reported an increase in calls about opioid treatment after the announcement. In fact, the center has seen a 20 percent increase in opioid patients in the last eight months. 


If the health risks are not enough of a determent, the legal conseqences could be. Southern Methodist University in Dallas provides a rundown of the penalties that apply to the possession of drugs, noting the state's minimum punishment of a jail term of no more than 180 days. In addition, penalties for prescription drug possession could include a fine, which cannot exceed $2,000. This minimum punishment seems serious enough on its own, but SMU also includes the maximum punishment: life in a correctional institution or for a term of no more than 99 years and no less than 15 years, and a fine that cannot exceed $250,000. 



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