Over the past decade, our firm has seen an explosion in clients addicted to
Vicodin who commit felonies in order to get more of this very addictive drug.
Where does it start? How can it end? What do the courts in Ohio do with
clients charged with Deception to Obtain a Dangerous Drug, Theft, or Drug Abuse?
If you or someone you care about is or may be addicted to hydrocodone (Vicodin),
the cycle of the addiction tends to follow a similar path. I’ve seen
3 primary entrance ramps for clients to get on the expressway to Vicodin
addiction which leads to a felony arrest. First, is chronic pain that
our client cannot get under control. Some of our female clients suffer
from fibromyalgia and use Vicodin (in addition to other palliative measures)
to relieve the discomfort. Other clients have pre-existing back or other
degenerative conditions that doctors treat with narcotics like Vicodin.
Third, are recreational users who like feeling the effects of Vicodin
to numb emotional or mental pain (known as self-medication). It is my
experience that most of our clients will claim a pre-existing physical
condition despite the fact that the actual cause of the continued us is
actual chemical addiction.
For folks who have never tried hydrocodone, users report the high as “euphoric”.
Medical professionals remind us that hydrocodone is a narcotic that produces
effects and have addictive properties much like
heroin, opium, and morphine. Also, our clients tend to use alcohol with the Vicodin
as alcohol enhances the effects of Vicodin.
Physically, our bodies may have a difficult time metabolizing and processing
these pharmaceuticals in a safe manner. Long term liver damage, other
side effects, overdosing, or death can occur with little or no warning.
Detoxing from Vicodin addiction should occur in a medically monitored
environment that specializes in detoxification from opiates.
As a result of the addiction, cravings, and doing anything to get more
doses of Vicodin, our clients “doctor shop”. They will establish
physician-patient relationships with several doctors and those doctors
will prescribe Vicodin without knowing the patient is going to other doctors
with the same alleged ailments to get multiple prescriptions. What these
future clients do not realize is that Vicodin is heavily regulated and
monitored. Eventually, detectives will discover this pattern and arrest
the patient. Also, patients may have an inordinate times they have “lost”
their prescription or need a prescription “early to go on vacation”.
Doctors, family and friends should listen up if a person using Vicodin
says it is their “favorite”.
Also, we see many medical assistants, nurses, and other medical professionals
who will call in prescriptions using a patient’s identity. This is
called Deception to Obtain a Dangerous Drug and is a felony in Ohio. In
addition to facing criminal prosecution, the Ohio State Medical Board
or Board of Nursing will intervene if one of its licensees is involved
in this type of activity.
How do clients obtain this drug other than doctor shopping or calling in
a fake prescription? The internet is a very easy place to obtain these
drugs illegally. The black market of the streets of Ohio make it easy
to obtain pills.
We also represent people charged with trafficking in Vicodin each year.
This will be selling or giving Vicodin to other people – with or without
financial gain. The mere act of giving a controlled substance to another
person is drug trafficking in Ohio.
Our firm responds to these calls immediately and we take action quickly.
We will interview the client and refer them out to a licensed chemical
dependency counselor for an assessment. Depending upon the level of the
addiction, we will coordinate with our client and his / her family for
the client to enter treatment. If a criminal case is pending, we will
seek permission from the court for the client to enter treatment and allow
us to postpone the prosecution until the client is discharged.
The courts of Ohio tend to favor rehabilitation over punishment for first
offenders caught up on Vicodin addiction. We are quite proud of our role
in intervening , directing clients to treatment, and protecting them from prison.