According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the prescription drug abusers in Ohio and throughout the U.S. are obtaining the substances through friends or family, as opposed to a dealer. Recent research determined that only 15 percent of the painkiller abusers interviewed actually received their drug from a stranger or dealer, rather than someone they already had an established relationship with. Users described as being at high-risk for suffering an overdose were less likely to receive their supply from a dealer.

However, the most habitual users typically depend on doctor-shopping in order to maintain an adequate supply. Approximately 25 percent of the respondents admitting to using painkillers on a daily basis said they had received prescriptions from at least one physician. Researchers claim that the serious users cannot rely on occasionally receiving prescriptions through friends or family. More than 65 percent of those abusing painkillers claimed their use was infrequent.

More than 50 percent of the respondents admitting to infrequent use indicated that they were able to obtain prescriptions from friends or family, free-of-charge. The study involved reviewing four years of data concerning the non-medical use of hydrocodone and oxycodone. Deaths from overdose exceeded 16,000 by 2010, more than triple the total recorded in 1999, while the number of overdose deaths for cocaine and heroin actually totaled less than 8,000. Anyone with a valid prescription is advised to not share excess medication with other people.

People who have been accused of prescription drug trafficking may benefit from confiding in a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel might be able to review the allegations and develop a strategy for challenging the prosecution’s case. This may be accomplished by gathering contradictory evidence or by exposing police misconduct during the investigation and arrest.