Vicodin, which is the most common name for the drug hydrocodone, is a synthetically manufactured drug which can be legally prescribed by a doctor. It is most commonly prescribed as a painkiller but can also be used at times as a cough medicine. It is never given in its pure form as a prescription drug. Vicodin, combined with an aspirin or ibuprofen base can be given for relief from pain after surgery or from an accident. Vicodin, when used by a doctor, has effects similar to the prescription drug codeine, but is six to eight times stronger.
Vicodin Addiction and Fraud
Most often, people who become addicted to Vicodin start their habit by having a legal prescription given by a doctor. However, in almost all instances, Vicodin is not a prescription that doctors will continually refill for patients, since it is used to treat pain for short term periods of time. However, once the patient gets used to having Vicodin in his system, he wants to have those effects all the time. This leads to a Vicodin addiction and in turn can lead to the obtaining of illegal Vicodin through fraud.
This addiction is a very common problem for residents of the United States, because Vicodin is used very often as a prescription painkiller. However, because the drug is highly habit forming, treatment at rehab centers for Vicodin addiction is common. Once a person becomes addicted to Vicodin, if treatment in a rehab center is not given, there is a good chance the addition will lead to Vicodin abuse. This occurs when people crush the pills and then ingest them by snorting them through the nasal cavity. This allows the dose to be released into the body faster.
Obtaining Illegal Vicodin is Against the Law
Attempting to obtain a prescription for Vicodin by illegal or fraudulent means is against the law in NJ. You are violating N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13, which is the prescription fraud law in New Jersey. This law states that if anyone obtains Vicodin or any other CDS by means of deception, then he or she will be charged with a crime. It has to be proved that you illegally obtain the Vicodin and that you misrepresented yourself to obtain the Vicodin. It is against the law to obtain the Vicodin by using a fake or forged prescription, or by taking another person’s prescription and ingesting it yourself. If these things can be proved, you are charged with a third degree crime. You can face up to five years in jail, lose your driver’s license for six months and be required to pay fines over $1,000.
Possession of and Distribution of Vicodin
In addition to the prescription fraud charges, in the state of NJ, illegal possession of Vicodin is against the law. The penalties reflected below are based on the amount of Vicodin you are found with.
- If you have five or less pills, you are charged with a crime of the fourth degree. You can face up to 18 months in jail and lose your driver’s license. You will also be required to pay a fine.
- If you have more than five pills, you are charged with a third degree crime. You can face up to five years in prison as well as a fine.
- If you are caught selling or otherwise distributing Vicodin regardless of the amount, you are charged with a crime of the second degree and face up to five to ten years in prison. If the amount you are selling is extremely high, you can be charged with a first degree crime and face ten to twenty years in prison.
Call Today for Help With Your Vicodin Charge
Serving the Ocean County and Monmouth County area, Villani & DeLuca is a law firm of experience located in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. We are here to help you navigate any Vicodin charges that you or a loved one may be facing. Call us today for your free initial consultation about your case!