If you are like many people in West Virginia, you have heard or read reports about the ongoing problem of drug addiction in the United States. No longer is this problem focused solely on illegal substances like cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin. Today, there is a widespread problem associated with addictions to legal prescription medications.

As explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are one of the most commonly abused substances. They are highly addictive and have long been prescribed relatively freely by doctors for their effective ability to control and ease pain. Other medications that may contribute to serious addictions are those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These stimulants may initially control a problem but then may likely cause another problem. The same thing is true of drugs used to help people with sleep disorders or serious anxiety.

Taking a prescription medication for any reason other than the one for which it was prescribed is considered a misuse of the drug. This includes taking a different dose or taking a drug prescribed to a different person even if the reason for using the drug is the intended one. An example is taking oxycodone prescribed to someone else to manage your own pain. For many people, the addictions that develop from prescription drug use may lead them down a very serious path that includes criminal activities or charges.

If you would like to learn more about prescription drugs and how they may be a factor in a criminal drug charge against you, please feel free to visit the prescription medication page of our West Virginia criminal defense website.