Prescription medications are also known as controlled substances, a name which means that the government regulates their production, storage, dispensation and use. There are multiple reasons that the government has an active role in policing the use of certain medications.
The first and most obvious is in the interest of public health and the importance of standards in medicine. As regulated, controlled substances, prescription drugs are subject to intense scrutiny and oversight for purity, standardization of dose and other important factors. This means that the public knows what they get when they purchase a prescription drug, which makes it easier for physicians to safely administer the drugs and the public to take medications without unnecessary risks.
Another reason that the government monitors and controls the use of certain drugs is to reduce the negative public health consequences of addiction or unbridled access to potentially addictive or dangerous substances. People who don’t understand the way that prescription drug laws work can make mistakes that leave them in danger of facing criminal charges in the future.
Giving or selling your medication to someone else
Whether the prescription compound in question is an anti-anxiety drug, a medication intended to help you focus or painkillers, if you have more pills than you need, you might feel tempted to share them with your loved ones or sell them to people you know who use them. If you get caught in the act of making a sale or if the other person breaks the law while under the influence of the medication you provided, you could find yourself facing criminal charges as a result.
Using or storing someone else’s medication is risky
When a physician gives you a prescription, they legally authorized you, as the prescription holder, to possess and consume the medication listed. If law enforcement officers find you in possession of someone else’s prescription, even if you have a previous or ongoing prescription for the same medication or a really good reason for possessing their medication, such as providing oversight to help them avoid abusing it, you could find yourself facing possession charges.
Using a medication in a questionable manner can also be grounds for charges
Part of the way that prescription drug laws work is by empowering physicians to have control over how and why patients use certain medications. Your physician will give you instructions regarding the dose, the way to consume the medication, the frequency with which you should take it and any counter-indications for continued use.
If law enforcement officers discover that you intentionally violated the terms set by your prescribing physician, whether you consume the medication in a different manner, such as by powdering and inhaling it instead of swallowing it, they could use that as evidence of intentional abuse and violation of the physician’s recommendation.