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Colorado trial attorneys

Drug overdoses and drug charges

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP November 14, 2017

Colorado has seen changes to its drug laws in recent years, perhaps most notably in the area of recreational use of marijuana. Other recent changes have made the opportunity to seal convictions for drug-related offenses available to a wider range of people. Many courts and prosecutor’s offices throughout the state have developed more sophisticated and effective ways to address drug-related charges. Still, Colorado’s laws continue to impose serious consequences for drug possession and distribution. This evolving area of law reflects the criminal justice system’s response to issues related to controlled substances in Colorado’s communities.

An upsetting and unfortunate number of people pass away due to drug overdoses in the state of Colorado each year. According to the Colorado Health Department, preliminary data points to an increase in heroin and cocaine overdoses. Some say this increase is due to the crackdown on prescription painkillers, leading many users of hydrocodone and oxycodone to turn to other drugs.

Crackdown on prescriptions

In 2013, Colorado lawmakers noted that the number of people dying from opioid overdoses was approaching the same number of people who died in car accidents. In order to address this issue, changes were made to Colorado’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in order to make it harder for people to get multiple prescriptions from multiple providers.

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program does not address the underlying issue of drug use or addiction; ultimately, some prescription drug users turned to illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Protecting your future

There are many different paths that can lead to being charged with a drug-related offense. People who struggle with addiction can face charges for possession of controlled substances; a stop for a traffic offense can lead to similar charges. Charges for drug-related offenses can result from habitual or frequent drug use, or from a one-time use or possession of drugs.

A drug arrest and subsequent charge is a stressful experience for anybody. It can be an opportunity to reflect upon lifestyle and choices, but it is also important to protect yourself from the potential legal consequences. A conviction for a drug-related offense now has the potential to make life significantly harder in the future. For a person working to put their life back together, or for a young person with their whole life ahead of them, a charge related to controlled substances can be a turning point. It is important to seek experienced legal representation in order to ensure that the impact of any charge of this type can be minimized.