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Opioids in Wisconsin: Statistics and Statutes

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Milwaukee drug crimes attorneys, opioid statisticsAcross the country, staggering numbers of people are becoming addicted to opioids and are dying from drug overdose. Like the rest of the country, Wisconsin residents are facing the opioid epidemic as well.

The increase in opioid use has resulted in an increase in the number of people charged with drug crimes. If you are charged with drug possession, it is important that you contact a lawyer who can review your case and advise you of your legal options.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include morphine, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone. While certain opioids are illegal drugs, others can be prescribed for pain relief.

Opioids are highly addictive; therefore, patients who are prescribed opioids for pain relief may struggle with the inability to stop taking the medication once their medical conditions are resolved.

Moreover, those who suffer from drug addiction may begin taking opioids because they are readily available. Yet when taken in high doses or in combination with other drugs, opioids can be fatal.

Opioid Use in Wisconsin

Throughout the last decade, opioid death rates have nearly doubled. In 2006, there were 5.9 opioid-related deaths for every 100,000 residents. In 2015, that number increased to 10.7 deaths for every 100,000 residents. Experts state that prescription opioids are the root of the increase in overdoses. In 2015, 63 percent of opioid-related deaths involved prescription drugs.

In addition to fatalities, opioids cause a substantial number of non-fatal overdoses. In 2014, there were 622 opioid-caused deaths and nearly 3,000 hospital visits due to overdose.

Wisconsin’s Opioid Laws

Opioids are illegal to possess unless you have a prescription. Because the term opioids includes prescription pills as well as substances like heroin, possible punishments vary.

Typically, opioid possession is considered a felony and carries a maximum punishment of 3.5 years of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.

Speak with a Milwaukee, WI, Drug Charges Lawyer Today

Drug charges often result in a plea, which might include probation or referral to drug court. Therefore, it is essential that you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney who will advocate on your behalf and advise you on the most effective defense strategies for your specific case.

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP qualified Milwaukee drug crimes attorneys can give your case the thorough and individualized attention it requires. Call 414-271-1440 to reach one of our criminal defense attorneys today.





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