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Drug Crimes

The Opioid Crisis in Harris County and Texas

Mark Thiessen
The Opioid Crisis in Harris County and Texas

Did you know that we’re fighting an opioid crisis in Texas? It’s nearly a silent threat with opioid abuse and overdose creeping into Harris County. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a report indicating opioid overdoses leaped almost 28% in 2016.

We all need to fight the opioid crisis in Texas, it can affect anyone and everyone. However, it’s equally important we fight it together—the right way. It’s important to understand how opioids can affect individuals, others and how it intersects with Texas law today. We hope you’ll join us in the fight against the growing opioid crisis in Houston, Texas.

How the Opioid Crisis in Texas Affects Individuals

The opioid crisis in Texas truly begins with public health policy. However, the most evident part of this struggle affects you, the individual. Dealing with chronic pain can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Only those who have fought it truly understand. Those who suffer often try a number of remedies and treatments to avoid using prescription-strength painkillers, but for some, nothing else works.

This crisis makes more minor injuries, such as a broken arm, tricky to deal with. Those of us who have dealt with these types of injuries know just how painful they can be. Taking opioids is sometimes necessary to get through the pain.

Some of the most common types of prescription-strength painkillers are opioids—medicines that rely on an opium-like compound that binds to one or more of the three opioid receptors of the body to alleviate the feeling of pain, increasing the feeling of pleasure.

This increased feeling of pleasure is where we can run into trouble though, as this is exactly what makes these drugs so addictive and dangerous. Some say they are equally as addictive as they are effective in reducing or eliminating pain. Thus, the opioid crisis has sprouted legs.

But when is it the right time to stop taking the pain medication? At what point does the situation turn into substance abuse? It’s easier than you think to fall into addiction, and it can happen to anyone. So, it’s important to be cautious while taking any type of opioid or pain medication. What’s more, dealing with opioids can affect others in your life as well.

How the Opioid Crisis in Texas Affects Others

The opioid crisis in Texas takes a steep toll on both those fighting addiction and those around them. When someone struggles with painkillers and opioids, friends, family, and coworkers are all pulled into the fight.

Due to a lack of public education and awareness, citizens dealing with opioid abuse may be fighting alone and unintentionally producing strain on those around them. Family members may take on increased responsibilities and care at home.

Friends can try to help with lifestyle changes arising from injuries or accidents. Coworkers may have to pick up more slack as the one fighting addiction and pain tries to manage their injuries or conditions. But it doesn’t stop there. Sadly, the opioid crisis in Texas is also in the crosshairs of the government and its laws.

How Texas Law Isn’t Helping The Opioid Crisis

As with many public issues, the law lags behind the opioid crisis in Texas. Legislators are struggling with public policy. Meanwhile, many local governments (including Harris County) are following the law the only way they know how: by imposing the steep drug penalties in Texas on everyone.

Possession of dangerous drugs can be a dangerous charge in the state of Texas. The drug classification system does a good job at explaining the different types of charges and offenses. But when it’s the doctor who prescribed you the pharmaceutical company’s drugs in the first place, is it really your fault when you become addicted? We don’t think so.

We call on the drug companies, government, healthcare practitioners and law enforcement to push back against the opioid crisis in Texas. We should be fighting the crisis by advocating for and protecting the people we serve by promoting awareness and help—not prosecution.

How to Watch for the Opioid Crisis

Doctors continue to prescribe opioid pain relievers because technically speaking these painkillers are safe to use when taken for a brief time in the prescribed dosages. That said, the euphoric side effects of opioids can lead to misuse when an individual happens to take more than the quantity prescribed or mix with other drugs and alcohol. Misuse of opioids leads to dependence, addiction and overdose incidents.

Here are some of most commonly prescribed opioid drugs among many others:

  • Abstral
  • Actiq
  • Codeine
  • Dilaudid
  • Duragesic
  • Exalgo
  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • Morphine
  • Norco
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Roxicet
  • Roxicodone
  • Vicodin
  • Zohydro ER

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has advised that patients can ensure their personal safety by following the physician’s instructions or pharmacist’s labeling, being aware that mixing painkillers with other drugs and/or alcohol is dangerous, stopping dosage when noticing abnormal side effects and storing prescription opioids safely.

Are You Facing an Opioid Crisis of Your Own?

As a leading Houston drug crime attorney, Thiessen Law Firm understands the patient’s perspective when suffering from opioid abuse. We understand that any minor injury can be a slippery slope and can easily—and accidentally—turn into an addiction situation.

While state officials and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) have begun writing new legislature to help prevent opioids from further spreading into neighborhoods, the fact remains that opioid abuse and opioid overdoses continue to be a major problem for Texas and the rest of the country.

Please contact us for a free consultation if you find yourself in legal trouble with opioids or other painkillers and need legal advice. Thiessen Law Firm is uniquely experienced at defending client’s rights from opioid cases to possession of Xanax in Texas and everything in between. We’ll listen to you. We’ll get you through these difficult times.

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