Just because prescription drugs can be bought over the counter doesn’t mean it is legal for everyone to use them. Prescription drugs are only authorized for people to whom they are prescribed, and the amount should only be within what is allowed by the prescription. That just means anyone who abuses, distributes, and uses drugs without a proper prescription can be arrested, pay fines, and be convicted for crimes. Most of these crimes will get you straight to prison.
Although not every state has a different law to address prescription drug use in the context of criminal aspect, they punish offenders who illegally use prescription drugs, as well as drug distribution, and illegal possession. If you are thinking that there is no harm in taking a pill from someone else’s pill bottle, think again because it might just get you in deep trouble.
Pain Med Mania
There was a time when prescription drug abuse wasn’t taken seriously and was seen as less criminal by the law. It was seen as something more innocent compared to buying of a controlled substance such as cocaine on the street. However, the mania for pain medications in some states grew quickly and spread until it can no longer be controlled. People started to use prescription drugs for recreational drugs.
A new kind of business bud because of the appetite for pain medications. Pain clinics began to prescribe medicines to patients even if they are not in pain. This business was dubbed as “pill mills.” People started to get arrested and convicted of felony drug trafficking and prescription drug overdose.
Possession, Distribution, and Use Crimes
Prescription drugs can get you in a lot of trouble if you don’t use it for the right purpose. There are many ways you can be convicted of a crime with the use and abuse of prescription meds. Regardless of your status, whether you are a dealer, a doctor, or an average person looking for pills that weren’t legally prescribed to you, you can be charged and convicted for the crime of possession, use of medications without a proper prescription, and illegal distribution of prescribed drugs. It is no secret to prosecutors that prescription drug abuse and use are rampant; that is why you cannot easily trick them by saying that medication is legal for someone because it was legitimately manufactured.
Different charges from illegal possession of prescription meds can arise in a wide range of context. It is like a search of your car at night which led the police to a bag of illegal marijuana which caused you imprisonment. A pill bottle can have the same effect if police find it in your possession. Don’t think they are unaware of what you could be doing with the pills. It may be a different drug, but the same system applies, so you can still get in trouble.
The first thing you should do if you or someone you know has been accused of a crime related to prescription drugs is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer; and if arrested, solicit the services of a bail agent. There are a lot of lawyers who offer a free or minimal fee for consultation, and they will be willing to help you in your case.