Opioids are strong, potentially dangerous drugs. For the most part, they are used in controlled settings in hospitals or prescribed to patients who have chronic or serious pain. Unfortunately, opioids have led to the opioid crisis due to overprescribing and have caused an uptick in overdoses and drug crimes.
To help curb the opioid crisis, New York enacted new laws. These laws now require all prescribers with DEA licenses to have CME training (at least three hours) on Pain Management, Palliative Care & Addiction. The course has to be taken once every three years.
It’s not an addicted individual’s fault that they’re dealing with an addiction, especially when that addiction is a result of taking medications that were prescribed to them. Sadly, turning to opioids that are illegal, like heroin, to get high or to relieve pain may lead to criminal charges.
What kinds of penalties can you face for using opioids?
Whether or not you’ll be penalized for using opioids depends on the specific opioids being used, the quantity in your possession and if you do or do not have a prescription.
For example, if you are caught with over 500 mg of heroin but no more than an eighth of an ounce, you could face a Class D felony. Knowingly possessing any amount of this drug could lead to a Class A misdemeanor.
On the other hand, if you have a prescription for an opioid drug and are stopped with it, you may not face any penalties at all. You might face charges for a DUI or citation for reckless driving if you were impaired due to using the drugs, but drug charges themselves would be unlikely.
Drug charges are based on your specific circumstances
With opioids and drug charges, it’s hard to say exactly what kinds of penalties you could face until you look closely at the case. Different factors, like how much of a drug you have in your possession and how the drug is classed, will play a role in the charges.
Knowing your rights and being able to defend yourself is key under these circumstances.