Last week we posted a blog about Sheriffs of the state asking for open access to patient’s prescription drug information. Now the state’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Roy Cooper, is supporting this same level of invasive access. The ACLU has spoken out against such a possibility, though it’s currently unclear where the debate will lead.
According to the Charlotte Observer the ACLU spoke out in opposition of a bill that would’ve opened patient prescription records to cops back in 2007. They will likely do the same if another piece of legislation is drafted now.
It’s a privacy issue. Your medical health and need for prescription drugs shouldn’t be open for police to casually read through, suggesting perhaps you have a drug problem. Though prescription drugs abuse is on the rise, that doesn’t give them the right to view all of those with prescriptions as people with a potential problem.
In North Carolina, prescription drug abuse deaths rose from 798 to 826 from 2008 to 2009. While this isn’t a dramatic leap, it is growth, and a number that has steadily been climbing throughout the past several years.
North Carolina isn’t alone in this struggle, however, as A.G. Cooper’s statements were made in Charlotte at a conference involving officials from 25 states. Prescription drug abuse is something affecting people across the country. Does that give the government the right to infringe on what would otherwise be considered medical privilege—I think not.
Just how can officials combat the rising abuse of prescription drugs and prevent future growth in the related deaths—perhaps by working with doctors to prevent addicts’ access to the drugs or to prevent what’s called doctor-shopping. Infringing on the rights of many to catch a few, however, simply doesn’t seem fair.
The bottom line is, however, if you are caught in possession of prescription drugs that aren’t yours or driving under the influence of prescription drugs that are, you can face criminal charges.
Drug charges are nothing to take lightly. Because officials in the state see the rising numbers of prescription related deaths, you can bet your case will be taken very seriously in the criminal courts. Contact our attorneys today to discuss your case and what can be done to protect yourself in court.