Senior Citizen Drug Dealers
I was recently captivated by a news report that shed light on a surprising issue: elderly individuals involved in drug-related activities and facing prosecution as drug dealers. It took me by surprise, not because of their involvement, but rather because they were being prosecuted. Seriously? Grandma charged with selling her prescribed medication?
In our society, it is no secret that seniors, often living on fixed incomes, must be resourceful to make ends meet. Some may try to find additional employment, like greeting customers at Walmart or selling movie tickets, while many others endure daily pain from conditions like arthritis. And now, they have stumbled upon a new way to generate much-needed income.
According to AARP, drug dealers frequently target senior citizens, luring them into the trade through coercion or enticing financial compensation. Once involved, escaping the grasp of this illicit enterprise becomes incredibly challenging for elderly individuals. The allure of the money offered, combined with the very real fear of retribution from the drug dealer, creates a potent trap.
So, what drugs are they dealing? Primarily oxycodone and other painkillers, along with antibiotics and medications prescribed for daily use. Shockingly, reports suggest that elderly individuals in the United States account for a staggering 40% of painkiller consumption. Just picture it; these pills often fetch as much as $50 each – a tempting proposition for anyone, let alone an older person just trying to make ends meet.
Unfortunately, the consequences of this trade extend far beyond financial gain. These very drugs fuel overdose deaths and play a significant role in the ongoing opioid epidemic gripping Western Pennsylvania.
Let’s delve deeper into this issue and find ways to address the challenges that our elderly population faces in their quest for financial stability.
At the age of 91, some individuals are capitalizing on their monthly medication supplies, often opting for the more affordable 90-day quantities encouraged by insurance providers. However, this choice can lead to a surplus of pills within that three-month timeframe, creating an opportunity for significant profits.
It is important to note that many elderly individuals may not fully comprehend the severity of selling their prescriptions or the risks associated with these drugs. In their minds, they may believe they are simply providing assistance to those in need or finding creative ways to cover essential expenses. Sadly, the potential dangers of these drugs remain largely unknown to them.
While the practice of senior citizens selling prescription drugs is frowned upon by law enforcement agencies, it continues despite judges granting lighter sentences to elderly defendants and juries expressing surprise at their age. These individuals often find themselves involved with the law for the first time.
To address this issue, some states, including Pennsylvania, have implemented regulations on prescription medications. In November 2016, the legislature passed a law limiting the prescription amount from urgent care or emergency room doctors to a maximum of seven days. These doctors are also prohibited from writing prescriptions for drug refills without referring patients suspected of substance abuse for treatment. Additionally, they are required to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to ensure the patient has not received opioids from another provider. This law came into effect on January 1, 2017.
While this new law is expected to reduce the problem, complete eradication is unlikely. The allure of selling drugs for elderly individuals often outweighs the potential consequences, making it an enticing prospect.
Washington Criminal Lawyers at Logue Law Group
If you or a family member is facing arrest for selling prescription drugs, seek the assistance of the expert and experienced Washington PA criminal lawyers at Logue Law Group. Our team can help in reducing or dismissing your charges. Don’t wait, contact us today at 844.PITT.DUI or visit our website for more information.
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