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Why injuries, surgeries and illnesses may lead to drug charges

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Drug charges are among the most common criminal infractions that occur. Frequently, people assume that those accused of drug offenses are hardened criminals. However, substance abuse issues do not just involve those who openly flout the law. Plenty of upstanding citizens find themselves struggling with chemical dependence due to factors outside of their control.

Those accused of a drug offense may have never had any desire to break the law and may not derive any financial benefits from their involvement with the unregulated market. They may simply need a way to obtain a medication on which they have become dependent.

Addiction often starts with medical issues

Contrary to what many people presume, addiction does not usually begin with a conscious choice to abuse a drug. Instead, addiction often starts with medical challenges. Someone gets hurt in a car crash or injures their shoulder at the gym. They go to see their doctor, who prescribes them medication to treat their symptoms. Pain relievers and muscle relaxants can help someone cope with the short-term symptoms produced by an injury. Pain relievers may also be necessary for those undergoing treatment for major medical issues, like cancer.

Unfortunately, doctors are subject to very strict oversight regarding their prescribing habits. They may end someone’s prescription before the patient actually overcomes their symptoms. In some cases, doctors ignore a patient’s complaints of lingering symptoms and prematurely end their treatment.

Patients then feel as though they have few options other than to seek out the same medication on the unregulated market. Pain relievers are among the most in-demand medications resold by those without medical licenses. People simply trying to self-medicate for debilitating symptoms or avoid withdrawal after becoming dependent on a medication could put themselves at risk of arrest and prosecution.

Drug charges may lead to an assortment of consequences, including jail time and large fines. Those accused of drug offenses may need to fight the charges they face if they hope to pursue the best life possible after overcoming their medical challenges. Drug court proceedings are one of several options potentially available to those dealing with major legal issues related to a substance abuse disorder.

Understanding the different possible solutions for pending drug charges can help people make the best choice given their circumstances. Those who overcome their sense of guilt or shame about a recent drug arrest may have an easier time pushing for justice in the criminal courts.