Oxycontin is the pharmaceutical name for Oxycodone, which is a poppy based drug used for pain management. It is a more updated form of morphine and codeine and can be legally prescribed by a doctor. It is mostly used for chronic pain conditions, but in recent years has also been approved as an alternative to morphine as a form of palliative care for terminal cancer patients. This is because of its timed release nature, which may cause less side effects.
In patients who have legally been prescribed Oxycontin, there are withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use quickly. A person has to be eased off this medication in gradual steps. Additionally, if it is being used illegally, the withdrawal symptoms can be more heightened, as the person would not be under a doctor’s care. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, muscle weakness and flu symptoms. It should be noted that newborn babies can experience withdrawal symptoms if their mothers used this drug during pregnancy, which places the newborns at a high risk for drug addiction and death.
Illegal Use of Oxycontin in NJ
In the drug culture, Oxycontin is most commonly known as oxyCotton or Hillbilly Heroin. It can be taken in pill form, which is time released. In some cases, illegal users inject liquid forms into their systems. It is most frequently illegally obtained through theft of legal prescription vials, theft of prescription pads, forgery and at times, doctor shopping, which is finding several doctors, who unbeknownst to each other, write a patient a legal prescription for the drug, resulting in a person obtaining several vials of it at once.
It is illegal in New Jersey to have more than one legal prescription for Oxycontin. You cannot visit a doctor in Toms River and then Asbury Park and then Long Branch with chronic pain complaints and obtain three legal prescriptions for this drug. This is considered doctor shopping and is a form of fraud.
It is illegal to stockpile or otherwise store prescription Oxycontin that is being used as a form of palliative care for a terminal cancer patient. This is considered theft and is a criminal offense under New Jersey law.
NJ Oxycontin Laws (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5)
Possession and possession with intent to distribute prescription drugs is a crime in NJ. If you possess four pills or less with the intent to distribute them, you can be charged with a crime of the fourth degree. The same with five to ninety-nine tablets is classified as a third degree offense, and 100 or more tablets is a second degree offense, in which a fine of up to $300,000 may be imposed in addition to other penalties. If you obtain a prescription drug through forgery or deception, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5(d). This could include forging a prescription for Oxycontin using a doctor’s prescription pad or obtaining the drug through doctor shopping.
Oxycontin Penalties in New Jersey
A charge in the second degree can subject you to a fine of up to $300,000 and ten years in prison. A third degree charge carries up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $200,000. A fourth degree charge is punishable by eighteen months in prison. Additionally, each charge may carry with it mandated drug counseling or treatment programs if the judge determines there is a need.
Contact Villani & DeLuca’s Criminal Defense Lawyers
Have you or a loved one been charged with possession or distribution of Oxycontin? Contact Villani & DeLuca today to speak with an experienced drug offense lawyer about the charges and consequences involved. Do not attempt to navigate a drug charge alone. We are here to assist you through this time.