According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Conference of State Legislatures, drug overdose rates have continued to rise in most states, with more than 52,000 Americans overdosing in 2015 alone, mostly due to opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Sadly, Texas is also significantly affected, with thousands of people overdosing every year.

One of the best ways to help people suffering from an overdose is to encourage overdose witnesses to seek medical help ASAP, and make certain products such as Naloxone—a medication that blocks the effects of opioids—more widely available. Yet, one of the most common reasons that people do not seek help is fear of police and prosecution.

Texas Lacks a “Good Samaritan” Law

In an effort to encourage people to seek out medical assistance after an overdose, many states have enacted what’s known as “Good Samaritan” or “911 dug immunity” laws, which provide immunity from arrest, being charged, or prosecuted for possession and related offenses when someone calls 911 for assistance due to an overdose.

Unfortunately, Texas is not one of those states: In Texas you can be arrested for overdosing on drugs. In fact, according to arrest data, the arrest rate for both men and women under the age of 18 for drug possession is on the rise. According to these statistics, youth and adult males are most frequently arrested for possession of marijuana, followed by opium, cocaine, and their derivatives, while most female adults are arrested for possession of opium, cocaine, and their derivatives.

The Law in Texas

In Texas, the law simply dictates that individuals found in possession of controlled substances can be charged unless they have a valid prescription for the substance itself and the amount in possession. The penalties for drug crimes depend upon the substance and amount possessed.

Law enforcement will also frequently use these restrictive laws in an effort to locate other individuals associated with the source. If you allegedly distribute drugs and this leads to death, you can be arrested and jailed on possession of drug charges, with a significant bond around $150,000. This also applies to physicians, who, depending upon the circumstances, can be arrested on charges related to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, and/or healthcare fraud.

A Drug Crimes Attorney Can Help You

If you have been accused of a drug crime, you need to work with someone who fights for the clients against the state and federal charges filed against them, and one who has extensive experience doing so.

At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we fight for our Texas clients in ensuring that they receive justice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find out how we can help.