The use of opioids such as heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl can be extremely dangerous. These opium-derived drugs are highly addictive and are almost impossible to quit once a person has become dependent on them. Often, a person becomes addicted to opioids after an injury or illness necessitates the use of pain management medicine. For example, a person may be originally prescribed a pain pill such as Percocet to be taken for a finite amount of time. When the pills run out, the person can no longer function without them and therefore seeks illegal means of finding relief. The terms “opiate” and “narcotic” are sometimes used interchangeably with the word “opioid.”
Tragically, opiate overdoses result in thousands of deaths a year. In fact, in 2016, an estimated 64,000 people lost their lives to opiate overdoses, many of which were unintentional. In some cases, users do not realize the potency of the drug they use, or do not realize that it has been combined with another substance. Some people who manufacture and sell narcotics cut their product with fillers, such as baby powder to increase profits, while others add additional drugs. For example, many batches of heroin sold on the streets also contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and is responsible for a large percentage of opioid overdoses.
Actions Aimed at Minimizing Overdose Deaths
As a means of managing this crisis, 25 states have passed legislation to increase criminal penalties for those use manufacture or sell fentanyl-containing drugs. Florida has recently passed an unprecedented law in order to fight opioid overdose and death. Florida governor Rick Scott signed a law which came in effect in October of last year which expands the state’s first-degree murder code to include selling a lethal dose of fentanyl. This means that a drug dealer who is caught selling products which include fentanyl has the potential to face the death penalty. In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in November of last year that it has used its emergency scheduling powers to categorize fentanyl and similar substances as schedule I drugs in the Controlled Substances Act.
Aggressive Criminal Defense
If you are facing drug-related charges, you need an experienced Joliet narcotics defense attorney . A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you in your decision-making process. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we believe that clients accused of a crime deserve a passionate and effective defense. Jack Zaremba has the experience and skills necessary to help those accused of a crime get their life back on track. Contact at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation today.