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Dysart Willis

Prescription drug addictions can lead to arrests, prison time

It's a two and a half hour drive west of Raleigh to Stanly County, North Carolina. The county near Charlotte is home to a retired pharmacist who has been giving advice to state senator Tom McInnis on how to address the opioid addiction problem plaguing North Carolina.

McInnis and many others are concerned that opioids are being overprescribed, leading to addiction and in some cases, arrests for drug crimes. "We've got a problem," the recently re-elected McInnis said recently. People get prescribed pain medications and then "can't turn them loose."

The Rockingham representative said he broke his arm early this year and became aware of the opioid prescription problem when he got an overly large prescription for pain. If he had taken all the pills prescribed, he said he might be living in a box beneath a bridge today.

Of course, he might also be living in a North Carolina prison. Unfortunately, our state is still in the habit of treating many people with addiction problems as if they are hardened criminals. Many observers believe a large percentage of those facing drug charges really need therapy and support rather than time behind bars.

The pharmacist says North Carolina is one of many places dealing with a surge in addictions and arrests revolving around prescription medications. 

Many of those arrested are good people who work as teachers, firefighters, construction workers, nurses and in virtually every other occupation. They struggle with a powerful addiction, make mistake and then face the possibility of years in a state prison.

In some situations, an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney can obtain a deferral for clients facing potentially harsh sentences. In other situations, charges can be dismissed entirely.

You can discuss your legal options with an experienced defense lawyer at the Raleigh offices of Dysart Willis.