Benzodiazepine: Legal consequences

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 7:24 am

Legal consequences of Benzodiazepine

Medical prescriptions are the primary source of benzodiazepines for those who abuse these drugs, although prescriptions can be rerouted illegally. Some people addicted to benzodiazepines also use a practice known as “doctor shopping,” where the patients obtain several prescriptions by continuously switching doctors. In this way, they can get enough of their drug, via a doctor, to keep up with their addiction. The doctors used by the patient are usually unaware that the patient has already been prescribed the same drug by another doctor.

Writing fraudulent prescriptions on stolen prescription pads is a common practice used to obtain prescription drugs. Another means of getting prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines is by buying the drug from a patient who was legitimately prescribed the medication. These “legitimate” patients can be friends, parents, relatives, or even people on the street offering their prescriptions in exchange for money.

The Legal consequences for the possession of a controlled substance such as a benzodiazepine without a prescription can be a felony conviction at the state or federal level.

Laws vary by state, but many have specific laws against the trafficking, possession, and use of drugs that are controlled substances, such as benzodiazepines. In addition, many other states have recently included laws against “doctor shopping” in attempts to stop prescription drug fraud.

Physicians who write prescriptions fraudulently are also subject to various Legal consequences including felony convictions and the revocation of their license to practice medicine. However, the Legal consequences tend to be less serious for the physicians involved as compared with lay persons. Many states now require the automatic suspension of medical, dental, and pharmacy licenses when these health-care professionals are convicted. However, many medical professionals convicted of prescription drug crimes have been able to keep their licenses. Unfortunately, the way current laws are written, most physicians avoid facing serious drug-trafficking charges after writing a prescription, even if it is fraudulent.

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