YOU can help prevent accidental teen drug overdose

Beware! Prescription drugs are a leading cause of accidental drug overdose!

A visit from family isn’t supposed to be your worst nightmare come true!  But what if they arrive with “extra baggage”, a.k.a, prescription medications?

Years ago, my husband’s elderly grandmother came for a lengthy visit. We felt the visit went well after we safely delivered her to her home.

Then we discovered our preschool- aged daughter in our guest room with a pill in her hand.  Our hearts nearly stopped when we realized she could have swallowed that pill — prescription heart meds.  One pill accidentally dropped on the floor could have ended in tragedy! After a total cleaning and vacuuming of the room, our hands stopped shaking.

Today she’s sporting a new set of braces and wincing in pain.  Yes, she needs pain meds, though not the prescription type.

She’s almost a teen. Still, we’re not keen on giving her unlimited access to the Tylenol bottle.  Like any responsible parent, we’re painfully aware of the epidemic of drug experimentation and usage among teens.  We dole out her pain meds personally.

Did you know that more deaths each year occur due to accidental drug overdoses  than car accidents? 

The Centers for Disease Control states that 91 Americans die every day from drug overdoses.  https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

It’s a problem that’s not going away. In fact, the CDC says that drug overdose deaths have quadrupled in the past fifteen years. That’s astounding!

Sometimes accidental overdose happens with the chronically ill or the elderly who mix up the times, amounts, or combinations of prescription meds.

However, for the young and restless, accidental drug overdose is more often a case of foolish experimentation or pressure from friends.

According to a 2013 survey reported on WebMD,  more than 5 million teens admitted to abusing prescription drugs. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20130423/prescription-drug-abuse-up-among-us-teens-survey#1

What’s a parent to do?

  • Keep a close eye on and find a safe place for prescription pain meds in the house. A locked cupboard is a great idea!  As cancer and other chronic illnesses are on the rise,  pain meds are necessary and more accessible.  Even common injuries can spawn leftover pain meds.  It may be time to double check and empty out your stash.  Many police departments have a “no questions asked” drop off box for extra prescription meds.
  • Talk to your teen. (Use bribery like pizza and ice cream, but just do it!) Let them know that pain meds and alchohol don’t mix — it’s enough to slow or even stop your body from breathing.  Talk about toxic drug mixes.  Talk about drinking, drugs, and driving. Ignorance is not bliss!  If you have grave concerns, find an EMT or police officer who sees the havoc and heartbreak of drug overdoses on a first- hand basis. Ask if they will deliver straight talk to your teen.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends. This takes time and careful planning. We’re not just talking cyber-spying. (All’s fair in love and war, though).  Be fun and friendly!
  • Set the example.  Treat prescription drugs like a loaded gun, not a party favor.  Only use as necessary.
  • Tell your teen about Missouri’s  new “Good Samaritan Law” which passed in May of 2017. If you or someone you love calls 911 to report a drug overdose, they will not be charged with drug possession! This is a potential life-saver!

No one wants their child to be the next drug overdose statistic!

What if you or someone you love has already “blown it”? Facing drug charges in Missouri? You need the help of an experienced, local criminal defense attorney. http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

 You wlil find Attorney Steimel has extensive legal knowledge and will aggressively fight for your rights in court.

Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC today for a free initial consultation.  (636)244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

Drive to survive — avoid a “drugged driving” penalty!

Whenever you get in the car and drive anywhere these days, you’re likely to be sharing the road with a number of “drugged drivers.”

Just a little bit of research tells us why.

According to the National institues of Health (see  cancer.gov), 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. That’s nearly 6 out of 10 people. If you’re dealing with cancer, pain is often part of that nasty ordeal.

Then you add those with chronic, daily pain to the mix.

The numbers of those who suffer with autoimmune diseases, work-related, or accident-related injuries keeps growing.

There are  a staggering number of folks who need pain meds on a daily basis just to function.  Add driving to that mix, and the combination can be deadly.

Gen X, Z, and Millenials are not the only culprits when it comes to drugged driving or driving under the influence of drugs  — DUID!

According to drugabuse.gov,  those 50 or older were responsible for more than  25% of deadly drugged driving car crashes in 2010!

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving

It reminds me of the days when we were faithfully checking on an older, fiercely-independent relative. Unfortunately she was on so many pills, she would forget and take pills at the wrong time or in the wrong combinations. Then she would get behind the wheel to run “just a little errand.”

We were worried out of our ever-loving minds! Especially since we lived over an hour away,  our options were limited.

She needed a safe strategy for opiods and driving! Does that sound like you?

Prescription pain medications are  a hotly-debated topic across all income levels and walks of life.

However, when it comes to the law, the only debate is how stiff your penalty will be if you are caught and charged with a DUID.

“It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance. “ (dui.drivinglaws.org)

In other words, your doctor’s prescription will not get you off the hook! That’s what made us shake in our boots when our loved one was behind the wheel loaded with meds.

We didn’t want to see her spend the last of her days surrounded by orange jumpsuits and prison walls! She had lived and loved too well to deserve that!

In Missouri, driving while using a controlled substance is a CRIME.

There are no simple answers to this problem — no one-size-fits-all drug test. Everyone reacts differently to meds.

If you are battling cancer or chronic pain, you don’t need to face criminal charges on top of that pile of stress!  Even a good criminal defense lawyer is going to have his work cut out for him to get your sentence reduced.

Here are a few strategy tips to avoid a drugged driving charge:

Plan to drive drug-free and avoid traffic violations!

Time your pain meds so that you can run errands or make doctors’ visits without a recent pill.   Squelch your inner speed demon, too!  Our loved one had a lead foot.  No wonder we did some nail-biting!

Right now you don’t normally risk having to be tested for drugs from the day prior if you were to be stopped for a traffic violation.

Like seat-belt laws, that may change.  Unfortunately some pain meds show up in your system for days after taking them.

Network with friends and family for a ride when you can’t live without pain relief long enough to drive.

Pick up the phone and call.  That’s a tough position to be in — no doubt about it!  Your loved ones would much rather you reach out than to hear that you are facing drug charges.

Short on local friends and family? Reach out to a community organization or church for help.

If you or a loved one are facing DUID charges/ drugged driving charges in the state of Missouri, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC is well-versed in local and state law for Missouri drug charges.  Experience matters in getting a reduction of sentence for you!   Call 636-244-3737 for a free consultation  today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

How to protect yourself when you need prescription pain meds at work

Maybe you’re an employee that operates heavy equipment. You’ve also been diagnosed with a long-term auto-immune disease that causes chronic pain.

Chronic pain from your disease keeps you awake at night, sometimes all night. You can’t run the risk of being sleepy on your job. One misstep with the heavy equipment you drive, and someone else’s life is on the line. Most certainly your job is on the line!

Thankfully, your doctor realizes managing your disease requires sending you to a pain management doctor, too.

Together you discuss the options ahead of you. You discuss your job with the pain management doctor, and he still prescribes an opiod pain medicine in addition to other meds needed to fight inflammation in your body. It’s long-lasting pain relief, but you only take it before bedtime.

Your pain management doctor goes the extra mile and writes a note of explanation for your boss.

Yes, you are on opioids. But, yes, your dose is also carefully managed to allow you to safely do your job without creating the risk of a work-related accident. Both you and your doctor are trying to be responsible!

You breathe a sigh of relief because getting a good night’s sleep is a MUST.  You just want to function like a normal human being, right? But, you don’t want to lose your job!

Now for a conversation with your department manager or boss. What DO you say? Should you say anything?

You know random drug testing is always lurking!

You know you will fail the drug test at work even though your pain managment doctor has carefully prescribed what you need to function safely on the job.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road.  Prescription pain medicines are a hotly-debated topic, especially in the workplace. In fact, many companies are struggling to come up with a fair and safe workplace drug policy.  Some simply opt for a “drug-free workplace” which leaves no room for those who struggle with chronic illness and pain!

http://www.safetynewsalert.com/prescribed-drugs-what-can-companies-do-about-this-safety-hazard/

Interestingly enough, the state of Missouri does not legislate workplace drug testing for private employers.

This actually means that your workplace in Missouri is not prevented from running random drug tests. However, they cannot violate the Americans with Disabilites Act.

If you are able to legitimately claim a disability,  testing  positive for certain prescription drugs, even opioids, cannot be held against you.  ( Please note: in Missouri, this would not include medical marijuana.)

This is good news for the disabled who truly need their medicines to function!

What if you haven’t yet qualified for disability?

Many of those who suffer from extreme chronic pain still fall into this category.  And yet, you also need those pain meds to function!

In this case, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure. The best place to start would be a discussion with an experienced Missouri criminal defense  and workers’ compensation lawyer.

Since testing positive for opioids in  “drug-free workplace” can require entering a drug-rehab program,  a reduction in workers’ compensation benefits, or even the loss of your job you need sound legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer. You don’t want to be charged with a crime you never intended to commit!

Missouri’s drug-testing laws in the workplace can be confusing! If you deal with chronic pain and prescription meds, you need to know your legal rights and put a plan in place to protect your job.

You will find the Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, to be both compassionate and aggressive defenders of the everyday employee.   Call for a free initial consultation today at 636-244-3737. Get your questions answered!

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.