Connecticut's Opioid Epidemic
Indeed heroin, as well as many other illicit substances, have been presenting a challenge to law enforcement officials--as well as the victims of addiction--for longer than the “War on Drugs” has existed. Drug abuse can cause a whole host of problems extending to every facet of life--in addition to hiring a criminal defense attorney and dealing with court, the emotional and psychological toll an addiction can cause on yourself and loved ones is catastrophic, especially if the end result is a fatal overdose.
The drug overdose statistics in Connecticut certainly seems to be illustrating this as more and more the reality for an increasing number of people. A study beginning January 2nd of this year 2014 and concluding on June 17th found a total of 151 opioid related overdose cases, which is more than half of all cases seen in all of last year.
Opioids are powerful narcotics that are highly addictive and highly dangerous. Heroin is perhaps the most well known of this class of substances, but they also include commonly seen medications for pain-- including, but not limited to:
- Hydrocodone, which is widely recognized as Vicodin;
- Oxycodone-- branded as Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone, and OxyContin;
- Codeine is also in this class, and can be found in Tylenol 3, some prescription cough syrups, and in other medications as well;
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed by Congress put in place a system to categorize psychoactive drugs and medications by Schedule. While heroin is considered a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration--deeming it of no medicinal value, and placing it in a class of drugs with the highest abuse potential--the epidemic killing citizens of Connecticut is less clear.
Opioid drugs extend far beyond Schedule I--in fact, prescription and street drugs containing opioids are present in all five substance schedules of the CSA, making them relatively accessible. Often people fall victim to opioids due to a medical condition or injury--becoming “medically dependant” on the drug, and left in a situation lending itself to health problems, legal problems, and even death.
If you or a loved one has become dependant on opioids, it is important to seek professional help immediately for health as well as legal reasons. Illegally possessing, distributing, and even fraudulently obtaining these substances can carry large legal implications in Connecticut if not handled with care.Serving clients in Fairfield County and across Connecticut, contact our criminal defense attorneys today for professional and individual services on any and all of your criminal law matters.