In the United States, the leading cause of accidental death is prescription overdose. Thus, the government maximized all efforts in order to defray further casualties of drug overuse. Now, it is illegal for any person to possess any prohibited substances and or controlled drugs without the proper prescription.Violators of this offense will be charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs and may suffer stringent penalties which include imprisonment and fine.
The persons who may be arrested for violation of this particular law include medical practitioners such as doctors and nurses who have access to prescription drugs. Illegal possession of prescription drugs may be committed in several ways such as altering prescriptions, forging prescriptions, impersonating medical professionals to gain access to prescription medicines, prescribing controlled substances for no particular reason, and obtaining prescription drugs from unauthorized persons.
There are various controlled substances in the market that are prohibited to be possessed by unauthorized individuals which include Vicodin, Xanax, codeine, hydrocodeine and oxycodeine. The penalty imposed for illegal possession of prescription drugs depends on the kind of drug involved, it’s volume and the number of convictions obtained by the offender.
The penalty shall also be based on the schedule of controlled substances. This schedule shows five schedules which reveal which of these controlled substances are less likely to induce addiction and which are most addictive. The prison term shall be based on the kind of drug involved. Usually, imprisonment is imposed only if the substance involved falls on Schedule 3 or 4 which includes prescription drugs. In Texas for instance, the offender caught in possession of illegal prescription drugs found on Schedule 3 or 4 will be penalized with 1 year imprisonment and fine which may amount to more than a thousand dollars.
Since drug overdose is being treated as a social sickness which must be treated, the penalties of illegal possession of controlled substances were leniently implemented by the courts specially if the defendant is a first time offender. In some jurisdictions, the offender will be given a choice on whether to serve jail time or to subject himself to a voluntary drug treatment. This option is one of the sentencing alternative programs being implemented by our courts. Now, the government has included a “Drug Court” which aims to rehabilitate drug users by way of referring them to drug treatment facilities where they will be compelled to participate in drug rehabilitation programs in lieu of serving their prison term.