Many people picture career criminals and unemployed adults when they think about drug addiction. However, one of the most painful lessons from the opioid epidemic has been that addiction knows no age group, class or profession. People with chronic pain, a history or trauma or just a predisposition to addiction could find themselves unable to stop taking a certain medication when their prescription ends.
There are more professionals struggling with addiction than people realize, often because these addicts hide their substance abuse from everyone. Being a functional addict can be just as dangerous as completely losing control of your life due to substance abuse.
You maybe feel like you have your addiction under control because you can maintain your job. Although you buy pain pills from a neighbor or even a co-worker to help you manage your discomfort, you may feel like you still have control over your life. Unfortunately, you could learn the hard way that self-medicating with prescription painkillers can be a dangerous habit.
You could wind up arrested
Maybe you get behind the wheel one day and feel a little woozy, and your poor driving leads to a traffic stop. After interacting with a police officer, you could get arrested and charged with an impaired driving offense because of the painkillers in your bloodstream.
You might also get caught in possession of someone else’s prescription medication or in the act of buying the pills, which could lead to drug charges. Those charges can mean major penalties ranging from jail time to the loss of your professional licensing.
Your health and life could be at risk
Facing criminal charges is a serious concern, but it is far from the worst risk when you buy prescription medication on the unregulated market. You may have to substitute other medications or even heroin for your previous medication. You could also wind up with contaminated medication.
Fentanyl, for example, has been found in many unregulated drugs in recent years and can easily cause a fatal overdose. Contamination and dosing issues no doubt contribute to the ever-increasing number of opioid deaths reported in the United States every year.
Understanding how even well-managed substance abuse can lead to drug charges can help you regain control over your life.