Prescription medications are also known as controlled substances. Many prescribed drugs are controlled substances because the medications themselves may pose some risk if taken improperly, could cause chemical dependence or addiction, or have a high likelihood of abuse, meaning that people take it for inappropriate purposes.
In order to prevent public health issues related to the abuse or misuse of prescription drugs, such medications are typically only available with a prescription and when used according to the recommendations of the prescribing physician. Doctors will recommend timing for dosages, the amount a person should take at one time and possibly limit what a person should do while under the influence of the medication.
Some people think that because they pay for their insurance or cover the co-pay involved with receiving a prescription that their ownership gives them the right to do what they want with medication. However, there are many things people can do with prescription medication that could potentially lead to criminal charges.
Misusing a medication in a way clearly contrary to its intended purpose
There are many different prescription medications that people abuse, and some of these drugs can produce unusual effects if used inappropriately. Pain medications are far from the only prescription drug that people intentionally misuse or purchase on an illegal secondary market.
For example, some people will take Ambien, a sleeping medication, and then attempt to stay awake because of the unusual effects of the medication. Others might grind up and inhale medications to produce a stronger and more rapid release of a drug intended for delayed or extended release into the body. People who get caught in the act of intentionally misusing a medication could wind up charged as a result.
You don’t have the rights to give your medication away or sell it to someone
When you fill a prescription for a controlled substance, you should take the entire prescription unless you find that you no longer need the drugs. Some people recover from an injury faster than expected and may not need all of the pain reliever prescribed by their physician.
These individuals do not have the right to transfer their medication to others, whether there is an exchange of money involved or not. Prescribed medication should remain with the individual holding the prescription. There are safe disposal options for unused medications if you find you have remainders after completing treatment.
Those charged with criminal offenses related to prescribed medication may have several options available for defending themselves. Exploring those options early on can improve their chances of a positive outcome in court.