The rise in opioid abuse in Mississippi has prompted a crackdown by law enforcement on the state and federal levels.
In fact, local, state and federal officials recently announced the arrests of individuals from multiple counties in an ongoing investigation into opioid trafficking in Mississippi. A range of charges have been brought, including trafficking of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Authorities are particularly concerned about "bad doctors" and other medical professionals who illegally prescribe and distribute opioids.
According to the director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, "There were enough opioids prescribed last year that every living, breathing person in the state could have possessed 70 dosage units each."
The director also pointed out that opioids are the leading cause of death nationwide among people who are under the age of 50.
Police say they plan to take a three-prong approach -- awareness, education and enforcement.
Even if awareness and education are part of the crackdown on opioid abuse, anyone accused of an opioid or prescription crime will need a strong criminal defense to minimize the negative consequences. Opioid-related charges are very serious, especially when the allegations involve the sale or trafficking of controlled substances.
When law enforcement announces a zealous approach to drug crime prosecutions, anyone accused of a drug offense needs to know the importance of an equally zealous defense strategy.
For more on these matters, please see our criminal law overview.