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Possible consequences of drug use for teens

Texas teenagers who use drugs with friends may face severe consequences. Legally, they could be charged as a drug dealer for sharing them or with homicide if a friend overdoses as a result.

According to CNN, nearly a quarter of high school teenagers said they had used marijuana within the past year. However, prescription drugs are becoming more popular, and The Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports that for the vast majority of prescription drug addicts, the addiction begins in the teen years. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one-quarter of abusers of prescription drugs began taking them before the age of 13.

Teenagers get access to drugs in several different ways. They might get prescription drugs from their parents or grandparents. They may sell or share these or other drugs they have access to, or in some cases, they and their friends may pool their money to buy drugs. Examples of young people who have faced serious charges in drug cases include three teens who were charged with murder after a friend overdosed on LSD they provided. In a case in Minnesota, a 21-year-old shared a drug with a friend at a party who then died of an overdose. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Drug charges can have serious consequences for people at any age. Even a misdemeanor can result in jail time and fines, and a person could also be limited in what kind of financial aid for school or housing is available. A drug-related conviction can affect a person's career. An attorney may be able to help the person get a plea deal that leads to reduced charges. If the person's rights were violated, some evidence or even the case could be dismissed. An attorney may also be able to help craft a defense if the case goes to trial.

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