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Increase in Opioid Drug Sales Point to Drug Abuse

Between 2000 and 2010, there was a dramatic increase in the sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone in the United States. Both of these medications are opioid pain relievers. Oxycodone is a key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan; and hydrocodone is a key ingredient in Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab.

Pharmacies in the United States dispensed 69 tons on oxycodone and 42 tons of hydrocodone in 2010. This increase in these drug sales also coincides with increases in overdose deaths and pharmacy robberies.

This increase in opioid drug use is partly related to prescription drug addiction, which can be as dangerous and deadly as illegal drug use. Some drug abusers are physically dependent on these substances and will “doctor shop” to get their hands on medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports opioid pain relievers caused 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008.

Even if a person has a valid drug prescription, he/she could be charged with DUI in Arizona if he/she drives while under the influence of his/her medication. Arizona has strict DUI laws that allow a person to be charged if he/she has any level of drugs or alcohol in his/her system that impairs his/her ability to drive. Persons convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Arizona will face mandatory jail time, fines, suspended driver’s licenses, and must install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles when their driving privileges are restored.

If have been arrested for DUI related to prescription drug use, please contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: Dawn McIlvian Stahl from Flickr