Public awareness campaigns mean that almost everyone is fully aware of the criminal prosecution possible if they possess or consume prohibited drugs. Methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, MDMA and heroin are among the substances that tend to lead to the immediate prosecution of anyone discovered in their possession.
On the other hand, people tend to take for granted that prescription drugs are legal to use however they wish. The law has rendered prescribed medications controlled substances, which means that doctors have to recommend a prescribed medication and that patients have to use the drugs in accordance with a doctor’s instructions for the possession and consumption of the medication to be legal. They can also only legally obtain the medication from a licensed professional, such as a pharmacist.
Although people may assume that any activity involving prescribed drugs is legal, the law actually establishes many actions people cannot lawfully perform with controlled substances. As a result, there are multiple ways that someone could end up arrested and potentially prosecuted due to matters involving prescription medication.
Possessing a drug without a prescription
Some people feel dependent on medication, like stimulants and pain relievers, but their doctors eventually end their prescriptions. These individuals may then try to access the same medication on the unregulated market by buying other people’s unwanted excess pills. Anyone caught possessing a medication without a valid prescription could end up arrested. That rule even applies to those transporting open prescription files for friends, family members or coworkers.
Driving after taking certain drugs
Many medications affect someone’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, which means that taking them before driving can lead to arrest. Unlike alcohol, there isn’t a specific limit for the levels of prescription drugs in someone’s bloodstream. Having any amount of a narcotic pain reliever or muscle relaxant may be enough to cause impaired driving charges even if a motorist asserts that they have a tolerance for the medication and it does not affect their ability to drive.
As a final note, giving away or transferring medication to others can also very easily lead to drug possession/trafficking charges against someone who gives someone else their leftover medication. Recognizing that prescription drugs can easily lead to criminal charges may help people make smarter decisions or respond more effectively to a recent arrest.