As an Omaha drug charges lawyer, Daniel Stockmann sees the damage caused by opioids all too often. Nebraska has made many attempts to curb opioid use and the resulting overdose deaths, but most efforts surround punishment, rather than help, for those hooked on them. The latest round of efforts isn’t much different in this respect, but instead of going after the individuals, states are going after companies that legally manufacture opioids.
Production Amounts of Controlled Substances are Regulated by the DEA
Per §1303.11, “The Administrator shall determine the total quantity of each basic class of controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II necessary to be manufactured during the following calendar year to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States, for lawful export requirements, and for the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.”
This duty is carried out by the DEA, or more precisely the DEA’s acting Administrator. As such, Uttam Dhillon made his final quota determinations in August 2018. The recommendations concluded that reducing opioid production by 10% in 2019 is warranted. Common prescriptions, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl have been put on the chopping block, with reductions ranging from 7-15% each.
“This significant drop in prescriptions by doctors and DEA’s production quota adjustment will continue to reduce the amount of drugs available for illicit diversion and abuse while ensuring that patients will continue to have access to proper medicine,” Dhillon said.
Nebraska is Part of an 11-State Coalition Calling for Tighter Controls
Attorney Generals from 11 states including Nebraska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Utah have joined forces and sent a formal request to the DEA. The states argue that the planned reduction is not enough and will still result in “excessive” amounts of opioids available throughout the nation.
“We must do everything we can to end the opioid epidemic that plagues Missouri and the country,” Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said. “Reducing the supply of these deadly and addictive drugs is a commonsense action that can be taken now.” Hawley previously targeted drug manufacturers with a lawsuit, saying that three major companies “fraudulently misrepresented the serious risks posed by the drugs they manufacture and sell,” according to reports.
Hospitals are Already Coping with a Shortage of Medication
One of the leading manufacturers of injectable opioids used in surgery ran into manufacturing issues earlier this year, resulting in a major shortage of medications for hospitals across the nation. Despite the fact that opioid prescriptions have dropped 22% since 2013, the manufacturing issues and limits imposed by the DEA have left medical facilities scrambling to come up with effective ways to manage pain for patients undergoing intensive procedures. It’s unclear how much these new reductions will impact hospitals and those going in for treatment or how much worse it could get if the states get their way and convince the DEA to decrease quotas even further.
Retain an Experienced Omaha Drug Charges Lawyer
The unfortunate truth is that, although the state is doing everything it can to cut back on legal prescription opioids and punishing more for opioid-related crimes, little is being done to help those actively impacted by opioid abuse. In the meantime, those caught in the crosshairs of the latest war on drugs will face harsh penalties if brought up on charges. Omaha drug charges lawyer Daniel Stockmann understands the nuances of the laws and also knows how important it is for those impacted to be given the opportunity to take back their lives. He fights tenaciously for all his clients and has a tremendous track record to prove it. If you or a loved one are battling with a legal issue, Mr. Stockmann can help. Complete the form on this page or call (844) 906-0641 for a free case evaluation.