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Beware of Predatory Prescription Practices

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Prescription Pad

West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Kelly V. Landers helps you to understand your rights and responsibilities with respect to safe prescription practices. 

Prescription painkillers are dangerously addictive, and trusting individuals can be misled by unscrupulous doctors and pharmacists who over-prescribe and dispense mass amounts of opioids under the guise of lawful pain clinics.  It’s a sad commentary on our society that well-meaning people who become reliant on these highly addictive substances — often times after an injury and through no fault of their own — can be preyed upon.

Drug dealers have taken on the practice of acting as a “Sponsor” to individuals struggling with this very aggressive addiction.  Unlike the term used in Sobriety settings, in this case the term is much more sinister.  The “Sponsor” provides the addicted individual with a fake prescription and cash, and often drives that individual to the pharmacy.  The addicted person is allowed to keep 10 pills for assuming the risk of of filling a prescription for 240 pills.  In this scenario, the addicted person can be held responsible for trafficking more than 240 pills, thus becoming a defendant facing a 7-year minimum mandatory sentence.

Beware of anyone who asks you to fill a prescription for remuneration or for a third party.  If you use a fraudulent prescription to obtain pills, narcotics or any controlled substance, you are subjecting yourself to felony charges – even if you are doing so for somebody else.  Moreover, if you fill a false prescription for more than 50 pills, you can be charged with trafficking by merely possessing that amount – even if you do not intend to sell the medication.  Trafficking carries a three-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.

Florida law enforcement officers have begun to reduce the predatory practices described above, since Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill  (HB 7095) designed to curb the distribution of prescription opioids in February 2011.  A statewide system now keeps track of how many prescriptions for opioids doctors write and patients receive.  While law enforcement officers have reduced abusive prescription practices, they have not eliminated them.  Individuals who are legally prescribed narcotic pain medications need to be vigilant and understand the laws, as “blaming the doctor” is not a valid defense in court.

If you are concerned about your rights and responsibilities regarding your prescription medications, consult an attorney with experience in drug crimes.

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