How does having a prescribed drug become a criminal offense?

| Apr 13, 2021 | Drug Charges

Federal and state controlled substance laws only allow certain people to legally possess prescription drugs. Generally, only pharmacists and physicians can possess such drugs unless a patient has a valid prescription for the medication. 

An individual with no medical licensing generally may only possess a controlled substance when a doctor prescribes it. However, having a prescription and filling it doesn’t allow you to do whatever you want with that medication. There are still multiple ways that you could potentially break the law.

Taking the pill in a manner outside of the intended use

Whether you crush and inhale a drug to speed up its effect on your body or you consume large doses recreationally, either one of these uses may fall outside of the established uses recommended by your physician. Any intentional misuse of a prescription could put you at risk for arrest if you get caught.

Putting the pill in another container, especially outside of your home

Your prescription medication vial is technically the only thing that lets a police officer know the medication is a valid, prescribed drug and not something purchased on the black market. If you go walking around with pills in your pocket or other containers, then officers may assume that you bought them illegally or that you intend to sell them.

Transfer the medication to someone else

You have no legal authority to distribute your prescription medication to anyone else, no matter if you charge $5 per pill or give it away for free to someone who needs it. Doing so could lead to serious criminal charges. 

It’s also worth noting that driving while under the influence of prescription drugs could lead to impaired driving offenses. 

Anyone accused of a drug crime related to a prescription medication could face serious consequences, especially given how there has been increased focus on prescription drug law enforcement stemming from the opioid epidemic in recent years.