Earlier this week, U.S. senators called for a repeal or amendment of a controversial law that stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of its most effective tool to take on drugs in the country.
In April 2016, Congress passed the law that stripped the DEA of its most potent tool against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the black market.
By the time Congress passed the law, 200,000 people had died of overdoses of prescription opioids since 2000, more than three times the number of soldiers the U.S. lost in the Vietnam War.
As overdose deaths continue to rise, many in Utah and other states of our country are worried that the opioid war may get out of control now that the DEA’s efforts to halt the flow of painkillers into the streets has been undermined.
Here at the Jardine Law Offices in Layton, we took the issue into our own hands and decided to look into the current state of DEA’s fight against addictive painkillers and prescription narcotics in Utah and the state’s current trends in drug abuse.
The problem of drug abuse is especially true for Utah, which had the 7th highest drug overdose rate in the U.S. in 2013-2015. From 2000 to 2015, the number of deaths from the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs in Utah jumped by nearly 400%.
Last year, a few members of Congress teamed up with some of the U.S. biggest drug distributors to pass the controversial law that undermined DEA’s fight against prescription drugs in Utah and all across our country. The DEA had opposed the law for years.
The law put the brakes on DEA’s aggressive efforts against drug distribution companies that were suspected of spilling millions of prescription narcotics onto the streets of Utah and other states of our nation.
This was usually done through corrupt doctors and pharmacists who supplied narcotics to the black market. The illegal activities with such prescription drugs contributed to the disturbing rise of overdose deaths in our nation that show no signs of going away.
In the first nine months of 2016, overdose deaths reached a record nearly 20 per 100,000 population in the third quarter, a dramatic increase compared to the same period in 2015 or any preceding years.
Statistics show that 6 residents of Utah die every week from an opioid overdose. In fact, 80% of heroin users in Utah started with prescription drugs.
This past August, Utah started making baby steps toward addressing the devastating effects drug overdose has on its residents. A court order ruled that the state would have to let the DEA search a prescription-drug database without a warrant.
Before the ruling, Utah had been one of few U.S. states that required the DEA to get a warrant before getting access to the database, an effort that was designed to protect patient privacy.
Only time will tell how effective the measure is when it comes to tackling the ever-growing number of prescription narcotics on the black market in Layton.
Have questions? Consult a Utah drug possession attorney
If you believe that your patient privacy has been violated, don’t hesitate to consult our drug attorney at the Jardine Law Offices in Layton.
If you have been caught with a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in Layton, seek the legal advice of our drug possession lawyer immediately. Over the past 15 years, we have helped our clients avoid jail time for the crimes they didn’t commit.