Unfortunately, addiction is a reality for millions across the United States, with varying drugs gaining popularity. Recently, opioids are greatly impacting many residents of North Carolina.
Opioids differ from a lot of drugs in that unlike others that are illegal, opioid addiction usually begins because a doctor prescribes an opium-based medication. Although there are now less addictive options, many of those who have been prescribed them already are fighting a big battle.
In fact, since 1997, more than 400,000 people have died in the U.S. due to opioids. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), from 1999 to 2016, more than 12,000 North Carolina residents died from opioid-related overdoses.
The NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that the greatest increase in deaths were those involving synthetic opioids besides methadone (mostly fentanyl).
In 2017 (the most recent data available), there were 1,953 overdose deaths, an average of 19.8 deaths per 100,000 people in the state of North Carolina. This may not seem like a lot, but when you consider the fact that the national average is 14.6 deaths per 100,000 people it is quite substantial. However, this isn’t too surprising considering that in 2017 opioids in North Carolina were prescribed at a rate of almost 13 percent higher than that of the national average.
Investigations Help to Hold Large Corporations Accountable
Now that it has been brought to light, these higher rates of opioid prescriptions are considered a red flag for regulators when it comes to looking at big pharma companies and their abuses. As a means for keeping things in check, under the Controlled Substances Act companies are obligated to report any unusually large shipments of opioid medications.
These investigations have proven effective. For example, some previous investigations found numerous unreported shipments of opioid medications. In West Virginia, a town of just 400 people was shipped 3,7 million hydrocodone pills over the course of only three years.
By conducting these investigations, it is helping to hold companies accountable for their part in the opioid crisis. Unfortunately, addiction is often the catalyst for criminal drug charges – even those unrelated to drugs. Although addiction is a very serious disease, there is help available to anyone who is struggling if they seek help.
The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
Drug addiction is a serious problem, but one that is still criminalized. A drug conviction can have severe and long-lasting effects on your life. That’s why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney. At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you fight your charge. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!