In a recent interview, leading criminal defense attorney Edward R. La Rue, founder of the Law Offices of Edward R. La Rue in Cleveland, OH, revealed the growing specter of drug misuse among college students. —
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When asked to comment, La Rue said, “A recent study on drug use suggests that the prescription drug epidemic has invaded college campuses across the US. This disturbing trend seems to be fed by easy access to both prescription stimulants and pain medicines.”
According to La Rue, the College Prescription Drug Study conducted by Ohio State University on eight college campuses around the US revealed that nearly one-fifth of participants use a stimulant drug for non-medical purposes.
“These college students are taking stimulants such as Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Adderall as so-called ‘smart drugs’. About 85% of students who use stimulant drugs do so as an academic performance enhancer.”
Interestingly nearly 25% of the 3,918 undergraduates who participated in the survey said that they had abused prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at some point in their lives.
Of this, 10.2% of the students surveyed use pain medication, while 8.9% misuse sedatives.
“This trend of drug misuse can have far-reaching effects on a student’s life and future choices,” La Rue said.
“All that needs to happen is for a student to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and their college life could be over and they could be looking at a criminal record that will destroy their future career options,” La Rue warned.
When asked to comment about what a student who has been stopped by the police should do to protect their rights, he said, “It’s imperative that you don’t agree to a search of your person, premises, or car. If you do, you could be considered to have waived your constitutional rights and in doing so, in essence, be committing legal suicide.”
“Instead I strongly recommend that you request to have a lawyer present before any further steps are taken, and refuse to be bullied into anything else,” he advised.
“While a warrant is not required in many circumstances a student may find themselves thinking they are acting guilty if they don't agree to a police search, nevertheless, to consent to a search may make the later defense of that student in a court of law difficult at best, and nearly impossible in some situations. To request to speak to an attorney is certainly the best course of action so as to get an objective legal opinion as to where the student’s rights begin and end.” La Rue counseled.
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