Prescription Abuse in Nevada – Legal Issues

drug_crimesPrescription Abuse in Nevada is Rising

The abuse of prescription pills has been on the rise for several years in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Sun reports that along with the skyrocketing use of painkillers, there is an increase of fatal overdoses.

Prescriptions Drugs Related to Rise in Suicide

The number of suicides attributed to prescription drugs is similar to the number of fatal deaths with firearms or car accidents with over 300 per year. The Sun studied the prescription drugs data from the Drug Administration, and they discovered that Nevada presently ranks fourth in the nation in the use of methadone, morphine and oxycodone.

Young people now use hydrocodone, which is the main ingredient in oxycontin more than any other painkiller. The Nevada statute 453.128 legally defines a prescription as an order given specifically to the individual for whom it is prescribed from a licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, veterinarian, advanced registered nurse or their assistants.

DUI and Prescription Drugs, NRS 484

The reason a statute has to be so detailed is because law enforcement needs the definition in order to charge someone they have arrested. Other statutes for possession or the intent to distribute are also defined precisely. Here is an example: most people know that driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs leads to being arrested for DUI, then convicted, if the driver is under certain medications prescribed from the doctor, the patient can be convicted of a DUI with Prescription Drugs.

Of course, adding alcohol magnifies the effect, and the charge would then be a DUI misdemeanor or felony under NRS 484. The most common prescription drugs abused are Loritab, Vicodin, Lorcet, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxcontin, Demerol, Ambien, Percocet and Lunesta.

This is a serious charge, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer is needed for a solid defense.