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Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in Nevada

Statistics released by the Reno Police Department show that prescription drug abuse is increasingly becoming a national problem. In fact, it is now seen as the second most significant drug issue in the United States. Emergency rooms across Nevada treated almost 4,000 cases of prescription drug abuse in 2010, of which 60 percent were female patients.

Detectives attributed the rising number of abuse cases partly to the availability of prescription drugs through online and often illegal pharmacies, from which patients cannot be certain they receive the drugs they order.

Under Nevada law, the distribution of prescription drugs is tightly controlled. Violating this law can involve several offenses for patients and medical practitioners alike. For a patient, it is an offense to:

  • Obtain or take a prescription for a controlled substance unlawfully, from a manufacturer, pharmacist, doctor or other legal dispenser
  • Acquire a controlled substance or prescription for a controlled substance from one practitioner while being treated and supplied with a prescription from another practitioner
  • Use a controlled substance knowingly without possessing a legal prescription

If you commit either of the first two offenses, you could face up to five years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. If you commit the third offense, you could be facing a four-year suspended sentence. In certain cases of addiction, you may be able to choose to attend a drug abuse treatment program assigned by the court as an alternative to a prison sentence.

If you have been arrested for a prescription drug offense, be sure to contact a tough Reno criminal defense attorney to protect your liberty.

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