Just because property is in your possession does that mean that you can do whatever you want with it. Certain property is still subject to restrictions under the law. In the legal code, the government refers to prescription medications as controlled substances, which is an apt phrase to use.
The government imposes strict controls on the production, administration and even storage of these controlled substances. The lower the scheduled number of the substance, the more restrictions likely apply, with Schedule I substances having no approved medical use.
Your doctor will typically provide you with verbal and written instructions when they prescribe you a medication. Acting in a manner contrary to those instructions, especially one of the three behaviors below, could potentially lead to drug charges.
Giving them to someone else
While you may have paid the insurance co-payments to purchase the drug, you don’t have the right to do whatever you want with it after picking it up from the pharmacy. It is only lawful for you to use and possess that medication as recommended by your doctor.
If you transfer it to someone else, you put both of you at risk of criminal charges. Even if you don’t receive any money in exchange for the medication, the act of giving them to another person who intends to use it rather than to destroy it is illegal.
Driving after taking it
There are numerous medications, ranging from psychiatric medication to seizure medicine, that can adversely affect someone’s ability to drive.
Even if you believe that the medication no longer affects your driving skills because you have taken it for so long, police officers could arrest you for drugged driving based on the fact that you took a controlled substance and then got behind the wheel. Especially if there is a warning on the prescription vial, driving after taking a medication could lead to criminal penalties if you get caught.
Openly abusing the medication
Some people will take prescribed stimulants and consume them by inhaling them much like people do with cocaine. They might do this to help themselves study or to re-energize at a big social event. Other people might mix substances with alcohol for a dangerous effect or consume multiple times the amount of the prescription that their doctor recommended. If you admit to do these things or get caught in the act, the misuse of the controlled substance could lead to criminal penalties.
Understanding the limitations on what you can legally do with a prescription medication can help you avoid drug charges.