Any prescription medication could be dangerous if used improperly, which is why people need medical oversight to access certain drugs. The possibility of dangerous interactions with other substances, risky side effects or even chemical dependence necessitates having a medical professional monitor someone when they use prescription medication.
Some people mistakenly assume that they can’t get into legal trouble with prescription medication and may seek out branded pills instead of street drugs. However, there are two very common reasons that prescription drugs may lead to criminal charges.
You don’t have a current prescription
It isn’t legal to possess a medication just because your doctor can prescribe it. Even if your doctor previously recommended a specific drug to you, it is only legal for you to use that medication in accordance with their recommendations.
If the doctor treating you ends your prescription, it is not legal for you to buy the same medication on the unregulated market. If you get caught in possession of a medication without a valid prescription, even if you had a prescription before, you may end up facing drug charges.
You drive after taking the medication
Chemical impairment at the wheel is illegal even if the substance affecting you is legal. Prescription drugs ranging from sleep aids and pain relievers to psychiatric drugs and anti-seizure medication can affect your driving abilities. Any controlled substance that affects your driving skill could lead to impaired driving charges, even if you have a valid prescription for the medication.
Understanding the limitations on prescription drug use can help you avoid or better respond to prescription drug charges.