The legality of prescription medication confuses people. They know they have to see a doctor to get a prescription, but they may think they can do whatever they want with a medication once they possess it, which isn’t true.
The drugs people abuse and how they misuse them may reflect inaccurate beliefs about someone’s rights when taking a controlled substance. Some people assume that they won’t face criminal charges if the drug that they misused is a legal prescription medication. Others make the mistake of assuming that the police don’t care about prescription drug crimes unless the substance involved is a narcotic pain reliever.
While it certainly is true that law enforcement agencies and medical professionals target prescription pain relievers with their anti-abuse policies and enforcement efforts, many prescriptions beyond pain relievers can lead to criminal charges against those misusing the substance in question.
People can abuse or become addicted to many drugs
There is an undeniable correlation between the rise in opioid prescriptions and addiction rates in the United States. Some people who start on prescription pain medication given by their doctor will eventually wind up abusing heroin. Police officers will arrest people they find possessing opioids without a valid prescription or transferring their medication to others.
Those misusing or sharing other sorts of medication can also face charges. Technically, only doctors and pharmacists can recommend and dispense any controlled substances. Sharing, selling or possessing any prescription without a doctor’s recommendation is a crime. However, there are certain kinds of prescribed medication that people are more likely to misuse, steal or resell.
- sleep medications
- muscle relaxants
- erectile dysfunction medications
All of these medications are available on the unregulated market by people reselling their own prescriptions or stolen medication.
Driving on prescriptions can also lead to charges
Despite the perceived legality of prescription drugs, it is still not safe or legal to drive after taking many kinds of prescription medication. Anyone who gets pulled over after taking a medication that affects their cognition or mortar function might find themselves charged with impaired driving.
Recognizing the high-risk behaviors that might lead to drug charges can help you better comply with the law or respond to recent criminal accusations.