Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in America. The number of those who misuse and overdose on opioids is staggering. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016 had the most overdose deaths in recorded history: 42,000.

The severity of the issue means high consequences for those involved in the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Some of these people are in the medical industry, such as providers and pharmacists. If you find yourself facing such charges, you are at risk of both legal and professional penalties. One of the following defenses may help your case.

Errors in prescribing

Despite extensive education and experience, medical professionals are not infallible. You may make honest mistakes when prescribing controlled substances to patients. For example, patients may not give you complete or honest information about their conditions.

The opioid epidemic also makes it challenging to determine when to give opioids and how much to prevent addiction and/or overdose. It is a complex area with a high risk of error. New York has laws and databases to help.

Victim of theft

Some addicts will do anything to obtain their drugs, including steal medication from a pharmacy or prescription pads from a doctor’s office. You may not even have realized it happened and were thus unable to report it. It is important to take inventory frequently to catch missing items as quickly as possible.

Guilty staff

Perhaps you have a staff member (or more) behind the illegal distribution. Criminal activity can happen right behind your back. There may still be penalties for you, however, depending on the circumstances.

When there is incriminating evidence

What if none of the above applies to you, or there is lots of evidence against you? This is where a strong legal defense is necessary to ensure fair proceedings, protection of rights and help with professional discipline and license retention.