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Sharing prescriptions can lead to felony charges

| Nov 24, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

If you have a prescription medication, possessing that drug and using it is fully legal for you. Other things may be illegal, such as taking the medication and then driving a car, but you’re not breaking the law simply by having the controlled substance.

This can sometimes lead to the mindset that sharing these medications is also legal. They’re yours, after all, so can’t you do what you want with them? This practice can actually lead to felony charges for all involved.

Common prescription drugs

Opioids are one of the most commonly abused medications in the United States. When used properly, they are high-level painkillers. They’re often prescribed after serious injuries or surgeries. But the widespread use has also led to abuse, even by those with prescriptions, and illegal use by others.

Say you were given opioids following a routine surgery. You recovered well and you’ve always had a high pain tolerance, so you did not use the full amount. You left them in your cabinet and forgot about them.

Then one of your college friends told you that they were having some back pain and they were having trouble sleeping. You remembered the opioids. You offered some to your friend so that they could sleep well before an exam.

This whole story paints what feels like an innocent picture: You’re just trying to help someone that you care about with a medication that you bought legally. You can see how easy it is to assume that this is all within the bounds of the law.

The truth, though, is that this is illegal on both ends. Your friend cannot use the medication because the prescription was written out for you, and only the person who is named can use the drugs. On your end, you have basically engaged in illegal drug distribution without meaning to do so.

Your options

Innocent mistake or not, you could be facing real legal charges. Be sure you are well aware of the options you have.

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