When people think of drug crimes, illegal substances are often the first thing that come to mind. But across the United States, opiod abuse and drug crimes related to prescription pills are sweeping through even the most unassuming towns. In the Rio Grande Valley and other parts of Texas, police are observing a growing trend of opiod abuse in high schools, colleges and homes.

Use of theses drugs in high school is a particular issue for police, with one in 10 high school students reportedly abusing prescription drugs. Part of the issue in Texas is the ease at which people can access the drugs due to the proximity the Mexican border. In Mexico, many of these drugs can be obtained without a prescription.

According to statistics, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or family. Stealing prescription drugs or defrauding doctors are two of the most common drug crimes related to this epidemic. Experts recommend that parents or anyone with an opiod prescription lock medicine cabinets and avoid keeping prescription medications that are unused by properly disposing of the items.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that more than 115 people die from opioid overdose each day. In Texas, there was almost a 4 percent increase in overdose deaths between Aug. 2016 and Aug. 2017. This is an important issue, and people should be aware of the health and legal consequences of committing these drug crimes. Those who have had drug charges laid against them should contact a lawyer to understand their defense options.

Source: valleycentral.com, “Local opioid misuse on the rise“, Marybel Gonzalez, March 15, 2018