Research indicates that Arkansas is about in the middle of the pack nationally among states regarding the so-called “drug overdose mortality rate.” Although that rate encompasses deaths resulting from overdose from all types of drugs, the majority of fatal outcomes are noted to involve prescription drugs.
That is a real problem in Arkansas, as we have previously noted in select blog posts. A relevant page on our firm’s website points out that “Arkansas led the nation in prescription drug abuse among juveniles in 2007.”
Moreover, and as indicated in an online analysis of drug overdose deaths in Arkansas and nationally, drug-fatalities approximately doubled in Arkansas between 1999 and 2013.
That begs the question: Does the state have a formal program addressing prescription drug abuse?
The answer to that inquiry is that, “yes,” Arkansas does have a prescription drug monitoring initiative.
Additionally, the above-cited analysis, which appears in a report authored by a nonprofit health-focused group, notes that Arkansas can tick off boxes indicating its adoption of several “promising strategies” for combating prescription drug abuse. Centrally, those include the following:
- Process implementation that discourages doctor shopping
- State support for substance abuse treatment in formal programs
- Requirement mandating physical exam of patient seeking prescription
- Requirement that suspected abuser use single prescriber and pharmacy
Prescription drug abuse is a point of strong focus for Arkansas health officials and law enforcement departments. Consequently, individuals are becoming investigatory targets in ever-increasing instances, with probes centering on illegal possession and distribution of prescription medications, prescription forgery and related matters.
The penalties for prescription drug-related crimes can be severe. A proven criminal defense attorney can protect the rights of any person charged with a drug offense and work hard to mitigate any adverse consequences to the fullest extent possible.