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How seriously is prescription abuse penalized in Ohio?

Many Ohio residents may not even be aware that they have controlled substances in their pockets or that they commonly ingest substances that are considered drugs. Prescription drugs, such as opioids, are considered controlled substances, but possessing them is legal if the person has a valid prescription for it.

So what then is prescription drug abuse? It is when someone takes a drug that was not prescribed for them or takes a dosage larger than what was intended. Additionally, it can also be a crime to transport medicines across state borders in containers they were not originally in. Furthermore, it can also take place when the person who prescribes the medicine does not have the proper license to do so. There are also strict limitations on who can refill a prescription and how many times. In Ohio, drugs obtained through prescription fraud can result in serious penalties.

In 2014, the state led the country in opioid overdose deaths, and in 2016, more than 4000 people died. Data demonstrates that overdoses related to prescription drug abuse have decreased, because lawmakers have cracked down on both prescribers and those to whom drugs are being prescribed. For example, fifth degree felony are the charges one would face for prescription fraud and it would lead to driver's license suspension, up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2500. Prior convictions would mean penalties would become more severe.

With the state treating drug crimes seriously, there is no reason that those who are facing them should not do the same. There are certain elements the prosecution must prove to charge someone of a crime and an aggressive defense attorney can poke holes in their theory. Additionally, experienced attorneys can also work out deals of alternative sentencing for first time offenders.

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