Say that you have some sort of ailment or sickness, and you go to the doctor and get a prescription. Perhaps it’s for high strength painkillers that are a bit more than anything you can buy over the counter. You take a few of them, they help, and you recover from your condition. You don’t think anything of the fact that you still have a few pills left, but you simply put them in your medicine cabinet with everything else that you own – supplements, vitamins, etc.
But what if someone else in your family – or a friend or roommate – asks you if they can have the pills? Maybe they’re dealing with the same condition. Maybe they have a different condition but they think those pills would be beneficial. You would certainly share Tylenol or aspirin with them, so is it safe to also give them these prescription painkillers?
Sharing prescriptions is illegal
All of this sounds logical and you’re clearly not trying to make money by illegally selling these drugs. That’s why people will often assume that they can give them away for free. But this actually isn’t true, and sharing prescriptions is illegal. You could face criminal charges if you’re found giving them to someone else, and the other person could be arrested if they are caught with the medication but without a prescription.
You may be surprised by this because you know you are just trying to help. You feel like you’re doing the right thing. You may also assume that you own those pills, so you can do anything that you want with them. But prescription medications are controlled substances under U.S. law, which means that they cannot change hands – even for free – without being a violation of that law.
If this leads to a scenario where you are facing very serious drug charges over what you feel was an innocent mistake, take the time to look into all of your legal options.