Prescription Fraud Drug Crimes

Dedicated Criminal Attorneys in Marietta, GA

According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of Americans using one prescription drug every month has gone up from 44% to 48% over the past decade, while the use of two or more per month has increased from 25% to 31% and those using five or more has gone up from 6% to 11% in the same period. While many of these medications are non-addictive and are used for treating conditions such as asthma, arthritis and high cholesterol levels, others including painkillers, sleep medications and stimulants are highly dangerous and consequently are tightly controlled.

Prescription drugs may be legal, but make no mistake, many of them are as dangerous and prone to forming addictions as street drugs. In fact, many common illicit drugs, including cocaine and heroin have been prescribed to treat medical conditions. When a prescription runs out, the patient may experience severe symptoms of withdrawal and be compelled to take desperate measures to find more of the drug. Others become addicted to pharmaceutical drugs through recreational use.

Georgia Prescription Fraud Laws

It is illegal in our state to take actions to secure pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription, and depending on the circumstances of the offense you can be sent to jail or prison. Under Georgia Code § 16-13-78 (2012) "Obtaining or attempting to obtain dangerous drugs by fraud, forgery, or concealment of material fact," you can be charged with a misdemeanor and sent to jail for up to a year for obtaining, or attempting to obtain, prescription drugs by dishonest or fraudulent means, including forgery or alteration of a lawful prescription, as well as for providing a false name or address.

The more serious offense, § 16-13-43 "Unauthorized distribution; penalties," covers Schedule I or II drugs being secured through fraud, deception or theft. This statute also describes "doctor shopping," which involves visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain the same or a similar prescription. This offense is a felony, punishable by as much as $50,000 in fines and 8 years in prison.

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Contact Henrickson & Sereebutra, LLC as early as possible when you are under investigation for any type of prescription fraud. Whether you are a pharmacist who has been accused of unlawfully dispensing medications or a user who is under suspicion for altering a prescription or for stealing drugs, a former prosecutor from the firm is ready to assist you in fighting the charges. Having a knowledgeable Marietta drug crime lawyer can make all the difference in your case so do not hesitate to get in touch with the firm today!

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