Your Teen Was Arrested on Prescription Drug Charges: What Now?
Unintentional overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers have more than quadrupled since 1999 and have outnumbered those involving heroin and cocaine since 2002. –National Institute on Drug Abuse
It’s a call no parent ever wants to get. Your child was arrested on serious charges related to prescription drugs. Perhaps your teen sold medications to his friends at high school. Maybe your 18 year old got mixed up with a bad crowd at work and now stands accused of possible felony counts.
You, meanwhile, are confronting a dizzying array of emotions related to the arrest: fear about what will happen to your teen; anger and sadness; confusion about how to help (maybe it was a mistake?); and helplessness that your child seems increasingly beyond your power to influence.
Appreciate That You’re Not Alone
Every day in the United States, around 2,500 teens take a prescription that’s not theirs for the first time. Almost as many teens abuse Ritalin as do cocaine, and the problem continues to grow.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published one study that said when teens use prescription opioids, 70 percent of the time they mix them with other drugs or alcohol, making them more likely to overdose.
Get the Facts
What does your teen stand accused of doing? Does she have a potential addiction issue? Emergency room visits from prescription abuse in teens went up 45 percent in six years. Some of the most commonly abused prescriptions and their brand names include:
- Opioids or opiates, such as Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin
- Stimulants, including Ritalin and Benzedrine
- Tranquilizers and sedatives, such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax and Nembutal
While your first impulse may be to panic or demand answers from your child, it’s better to take a deep breath. The legal problems your child faces likely came from a problem with deeper roots, and that may mean there’s something larger/more complex going on with your teen.
Take an inventory of the prescription medications at your home to find out if your child’s drugs came from home. Safely discard any unused prescriptions, and lock up the rest. Start a conversation with your child to find out his or her motivation for taking someone else’s medicine.
Contact a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney
If authorities caught your child with prescription drugs without a prescription, he or she may face juvenile drug possession charges, which can have serious consequences. Juvenile courts usually focus on finding a solution that will help rehabilitate your teen, but the legal consequences could affect his or her chances of getting into college, joining the military, or participating in extra-curricular activities. Depending on the nature of the allege crime and your child’s age, the court could try him or her as an adult.
The criminal defense team at Chehimi Law can help you navigate the Georgia juvenile justice system. We can protect your child’s rights and give you peace of mind. Call us for a private consultation: 678-459-5659.