Opioids are drugs that are strong narcotics and are often used to alleviate severe pain. In New Jersey and throughout the country, doctors often write prescriptions for such drugs to treat various conditions in their patients. In some cases, doctors have wound up facing criminal charges for giving opioids to patients who have no medical reason for using them. If you have a chronic back problem, for instance, your doctor might prescribe narcotics to help you feel more comfortable.
Many people have also faced criminal charges for sharing opioids with others after filling a prescription from their doctor. Such drugs are often sold on the street, as well. If your doctor writes a prescription for you, then you are the only person who may take the medication in question. Opioids belong to a class of medicines known as ”narcotic analgesics,” which are drugs whose primary purpose is to relieve pain, but you can’t legally share your prescription with someone, even if he or she is in great pain.
How opioids work to relieve pain
The human brain has receptors that receive messages from the body when it experiences pain. If you take codeine, hydrocodone, morphine or other opioids, the drugs bind to brain receptors to block the messages that make it possible to feel pain. Overdose is becoming increasingly common from opioids, which can cause depressed respiratory function.
If you are a patient, it is important to understand the risks involved in taking opioids. If you are a doctor who is prescribing such medications, you are obligated to inform your patients of the risks. Someone might offer you opioids on the street. Such drugs are often synthetic, meaning made in a laboratory, such as fentanyl or methadone. Not only can having these drugs in your possession lead to serious legal trouble, but if you take the drugs, your life may be at risk.
What to do if you are arrested for drug crimes involving opioids
As a New Jersey physician, you could lose your license to practice medicine, if you are convicted of drug crimes involving opioids. If you are a private citizen who has been arrested for an opioid-related drug crime, such as heroin possession or sale of a controlled substance, your freedom may be at stake.
In either case, as a defendant facing drug crime charges in New Jersey, you are guaranteed an opportunity to refute those charges in court. You may also enlist legal guidance and support before your trial begins. Facing charges does not necessarily mean you will be convicted and being convicted does not necessarily mean you will go to jail. Having a personal advocate by your side in court is often the key to obtaining a positive outcome.