Crystal meth has the reputation for being the biggest drug problem in Oklahoma, but in recent years, prescription drug abuse has become more prevalent, leading to a significant number of overdose deaths in the state. Often, these drugs are prescribed legally, but when a patient becomes dependent upon them, they turn to illicit means of obtaining more. Because drugs such as OxyContin, Darvocet, Vicodin, Adderall, and Ritalin are readily available in many Oklahoma homes, these drugs may be easily sold or distributed illegally.
Prescription painkillers, muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety medications, and even ADHD medications can be obtained illegally in many ways:
- Stolen prescription medications
- Stolen prescription pads
- Doctor shopping
- Illegally prescribed medications
Selling or distributing prescription drugs is prohibited except by authorized and licensed professionals. Even for these professionals, including doctors and pharmacists, regulations and laws must be carefully observed.
Oklahoma Drug Distribution Penalties
Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of drug in possession.
However distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances is a felony even as a first offense.
Possible consequences of a felony drug distribution conviction include:
- Up to Life in Prison
- Fine of up to $100,000
- Forfeiture of assets including cash and vehicles
- Probation or parole
- Mandatory drug testing and counseling
- Collateral consequences of felony conviction, including prohibition of firearm possession and the loss of voting rights
- Deportation for citizens of other countries
Penalties may be enhanced for certain elements of drug distribution, including the sale or distribution of drugs on school grounds or in close proximity to a school. Because prescription drugs may be stolen from a parent’s medicine cabinet, and because some students sell their own ADHD medications for quick cash, drug distribution near a school is a common juvenile drug offense.
Prescription Drug Monitoring
As prescription drug abuse becomes an increasing problem in Oklahoma, the legislature continues to look for new ways to reduce prescription drug fraud and illegal prescription drug distribution. One of those measures is the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. As part of the Oklahoma Anti-Drug Diversion Act, the PMP was enacted to “deter the abuse of prescription drugs.” It requires pharmacists and dispensers to report the dispensing of scheduled narcotics within five minutes of delivering the drug to the customer, and it requires the dispenser to check the Oklahoma Meth Registry before delivering or filling a prescription for a product containing pseudoephedrine.
Prescription Drug Fraud
According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the state. Among the most commonly abused drugs are narcotic painkillers, and as a result, these are the most frequently illegally distributed drugs. Prescription painkillers (opioids) are the leading cause of death from drug overdose, and Oklahoma is one of the leading states in prescription drug sales per capita.
Common illegally distributed prescription and OTC drugs include:
- Hydrocodone – Lortab, Vicodin, Lorcet
- Oxycodone – Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan
- Benzodiazepines – Alprazolam, Xanax, Valium
- Barbituates – Seconal, Phenobarbital
- Sleep Medications – Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata
- Amphetamines – Dexedrine, Adderall
- Methylphenidate – Ritalin, Concerta
- Dextomethorphan – Robitussin-DM
If you are accused of illegally distributing prescription drugs or distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), you face a difficult legal battle that could end in years behind bars. Do not attempt to handle your case alone. Find an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can handle your case for the best result.
Drug Distribution Defense in Oklahoma
At Phillips & Associates, our attorneys are dedicated to the protection of defendants’ rights. We work tirelessly to provide effective legal representation and aggressive defense. Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced litigators with the skill, resources, and expertise to successfully handle your defense. If you or someone you love has been charged with drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or prescription drug fraud, call today to speak with an Oklahoma drug defense lawyer equipped to handle your case. Call (405) 418-8888 to schedule your no-risk case evaluation.
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