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Painkiller addiction can lead to jail time in Georgia

Scientists have found ways to make incredibly potent and pure painkillers available to individuals suffering from extreme medical conditions. These medicines, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, offer pain relief to people in dire need.

Unfortunately, many people who receive prescriptions for these medications may become addicted to them and dependent long after the doctor no longer wants to prescribe them. It is also possible for people to purchase a few pills from a friend and wind up with a bad habit as a way of self-medicating for emotional issues or physical pain.

While research indicates that addiction has roots both in psychological trauma and genetics, our society continues to treat addiction like a crime. Those struggling with painkiller addiction in Georgia can find themselves under arrest and facing serious criminal consequences for the possession of narcotic opioid medication.

Georgia treats the illegal possession of narcotics as a serious offense

Given the overdose epidemic, Georgia state law enforcement officers and courts are paying close attention to opioid possession cases, especially if they suspect any distribution. Still, you don't have to sell medication to face jail time in Georgia.

Controlled substances all fall into a schedule category based on the risk they pose and their medical use. Schedule I substances are the most dangerous drugs that have no medical use and pose a major risk of harm or addiction. Most narcotic painkillers are Schedule II substances, which means they pose a risk of addiction but have known and accepted medical purposes.

Generally speaking, those who violate drug laws in Georgia will face penalties based on the schedule position of the drugs they possessed. However, narcotic painkillers receive the same treatment as Schedule I drugs even though they are Schedule II drugs. A simple possession offense will result in felony charges that can carry anywhere from two to 15 years in prison. Second possession offenses can mean between five and 30 years of incarceration.

Explore all of your options if you face charges for painkiller possession

Given the harsh potential penalties associated with the possession of narcotic painkillers, you undoubtedly want to reduce the risk of facing the maximum penalties. There may be many different options available depending on the circumstances of your arrest. A careful review of the charges against you can help establish the best options for you going forward.

Sometimes, a plea bargain to a lesser offense is the best option. For those with addiction issues, however, it may also be possible to seek a hearing in the Georgia drug courts, where instead of jail time, defendants receive treatment for the addiction that led to their criminal charges.

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