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The simple prescription drug mistake that puts people in jail

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Drug charges

Unlike prohibited substances, controlled prescription medications are legal for someone to possess and use under certain circumstances. After a doctor diagnoses someone with a specific condition and recommends certain medications for their treatment, an individual can lawfully possess medications that would otherwise trigger arrest and prosecution.

Patients with a valid prescription and who obtain their medication from a licensed pharmacy can legally use prescribed drugs in accordance with a doctor’s recommendations. Yet, some people wrongfully assume that they can do just about anything with a drug once a doctor recommends it to them.

Every year, many people learn the hard way that the law still largely limits what someone can do with a prescription drug. One mistake, in particular, often leads to people’s arrest and prosecution for treating their medication in ways that they thought were totally legal.

People cannot share or resell medication

It may be legal to have a narcotic pain reliever or muscle relaxant on hand because a doctor prescribed it. However, once someone’s condition improves, they may not need all of the pills the doctor prescribed and the pharmacist provided.

People often find themselves with a bit of leftover medication when their conditions improve. Instead of making use of drop-off systems intended to keep those medications off of the unregulated market, people may hold on to their leftover medication. Frequently, they will make the mistake of assuming that they can do whatever they want with that medication.

People may offer to give it to a spouse or a child when they get hurt or to a neighbor or a co-worker who needs medication but doesn’t have insurance. Transferring the medication to someone else, even without financial compensation, could lead to someone’s prosecution. Additionally, if the person who received that medication overdoses, commits a crime or causes a car crash after consuming it, there could be additional consequences for the person who provided the prescription medication to them.

Raising questions can help someone avoid conviction

Is there a possibility that someone took the medication without permission or that they simply used an empty pill container to store drugs that they secured on the unregulated market? There are numerous potential explanations for what may seem like a criminal incident to police officers at the time of someone’s arrest.

Those who understand how the law restricts their actions related to certain prescribed medications could help someone accused of violating the law prove that they did not commit offenses of which they’ve been charged. Raising reasonable questions about whether someone actually broke the law or intended to do so can be a viable defense strategy for someone accused of violating controlled substance laws under a variety of circumstances.