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Drug addiction can be tragic, and can take a personal toll on addicts and their families. And when the addiction spills over into the criminal realm, it can impact their communities as well. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost a quarter of prisoners incarcerated on property and drug crimes say they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs.
Here are some of the most common crimes drug addicts commit, aside from the general, addiction-funding property crimes:
Someone addicted to prescription medication may need more doses, and therefore more prescriptions than the average user, which could translate into going from doctor to doctor, looking for anyone to prescribe the desired narcotic. And misleading one doctor as to what other doctors have -- or have not -- prescribed can be a crime.
2. Drug Abuse
While most drug crime laws center around manufacture and sale, possession of prescription drugs can be illegal, especially if you don't have a valid prescription. And the penalties for illegal prescription drug possession can be the same for those of the possession of controlled substances like marijuana or cocaine.
Even if you're trying to help a fellow addict and giving away drugs for free, that can constitute illegal drug distribution. And just like consumers need a prescription in order to obtain certain drugs, doctors can only dispense those drugs via a prescription. So even if you have a valid prescription for a legal drug, handing them out to others can land you in jail.
4. Drug Assault
Some jurisdictions have passed statutes that allow the prosecution of pregnant drug users under state assault laws if the child is born addicted, harmed, or dies as a result of a mother's drug use. But women may be able to avoid conviction if they demonstrate that they sought addiction treatment before the child's birth, even if a program was completed after the birth.
5. Child Abuse
When it comes to children already born, drug addicts don't always make the best parents. There is seemingly no end to tragic tales of drug-addled parents abusing or neglecting their children, many of them involving the use of methamphetamine.
Drug addiction is a serious matter, and if you or someone you know needs help with drug addiction or abuse, seek professional treatment. If you've been charged with a drug-related crime, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.