Drug addiction on the old wooden background.

The Heroin & Opioid Epidemic 

Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III Sept. 9, 2022

The heroin and opioid epidemic is real. Anyone who takes opioids – legally or illegally – is at risk of developing an addiction. Heroin and opioids are also associated with severe legal implications, as people who use these drugs may face criminal charges.   

If you or someone you care about has been charged with possession, distribution, or manufacture of heroin or opioids, it is crucial to speak with an attorney. A criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III provides comprehensive and loyal representation to clients facing charges in Dallas, Texas, and throughout Dallas County. Attorney Tom Cox has the resources necessary to assist you and can attempt to build a strong defense for your best interest. He also represents clients in other parts of the state, including Mesquite, Irving, University Park, Highland Park, and Grand Prairie.   

What Are Opioids?  

The term “opioids” is used to describe a class of drugs that include both prescription medications and illegal drug heroin. Examples of prescription medicines among opioids are morphine, oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone.  

Opioids are commonly prescribed by doctors throughout the United States to relieve pain. Studies show that long-term use of opioids carries the risk of addiction.  

Texas’ Heroin and Opioid Epidemic  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids account for over 70% of all drug overdose deaths across the United States. Texas Health Data shows that Dallas County had the second-highest (after Harris County) number of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019.  

Unfortunately, the misuse of prescription opioids can increase the risk of heroin use due to the similarity in the psychological impacts and chemical properties of the substances, not to mention that heroin may be cheaper and more accessible than its prescription counterparts.  

The Risks of Heroin and Opioid Epidemic 

Some people are more prone to developing an addiction when using opioids. Risk factors include younger age, personal or family history of substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and others. The use of prescription drugs has several side effects, including: 

  1. Increased tolerance (the patient needs to use more opioids to achieve the same effect) 

  1. Physical dependence (the patient may experience symptoms of withdrawal when not using opioids) 

  1. Increased sensitivity to pain 

  1. Depression 

Some of the first symptoms of opioid abuse to watch out for include:  

  • The inability to control the use of opioids 

  • Changes in behavior or sleep habits 

  • Uncontrollable cravings 

  • Confusion 

  • Dizziness 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Drowsiness 

  • Isolation from family, friends, and society 

  • Stealing money from family or strangers 

  • Lack of good decision-making 

Even those who use prescription opioids may abuse, misuse, or overuse the drug and develop an addiction. The use of heroin and opioids can also significantly increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths.  

Legal Implications  

On top of the risks associated with heroin and opioid misuse, there are also legal implications to be considered: 

  • Drug charges. First and foremost, possession, distribution, or manufacture of any illegal substance, including opioids and heroin, are serious criminal offenses in Texas. If you are convicted of drug-related charges, you could face prison time and hefty fines.  

  • Other crimes. The use of opioids or heroin can lead to changes in the brain and behavior. As a result, a person impaired by opioids or heroin may be more inclined to commit criminal offenses such as assault, battery, theft, robbery, and drugged driving, among others.  

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges due to drug use, you must seek legal counsel. A criminal defense attorney will defend you against the charges and help you navigate the complicated and intimidating criminal justice system.   

Skilled & Compassionate Legal Advocacy  

The consequences associated with the use of heroin and opioids can be severe. If you or your loved one has been charged with a crime for possessing or using opioids/heroin, contact a strategic criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III. Attorney Tom Cox assists clients with all types of criminal cases in Dallas, Texas, and throughout the state, including Mesquite, Irving, University Park, Highland Park, and Grand Prairie. Schedule a consultation with Attorney Cox today to discuss your specific case.