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Can I get in trouble for sharing prescription drugs?

Imagine your friend and you take the same prescription drugs. However, your friend ran out of pills. To prevent her from suffering, you share your own prescription medication with her. Can you get in trouble for that?

You certainly can get in trouble for sharing any kind of prescription medication with another person. The only one legally permitted to give out prescription medication is a doctor.

A prescription drug is not like an illicit drug -- such as cocaine or marijuana -- because certain individuals may take and possess prescription drugs. These individuals, however, must have a prescription from their doctor. That prescription only permits the person whose name is listed on the pill bottle to use and possess the medication. Lacking such a prescription could result in the possessor getting in trouble with the law.

Only doctors, or qualified medical personnel, can prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. And, only prescribed patients can possess them. Anyone else who distributes pharmaceutical drugs -- even if he or she doesn't accept money for them -- could find him or herself in serious trouble with the law.

That said, allegations of giving your friend an antihistamine so she can alleviate her stuffy nose at the office are far less serious than allegations of giving your friend Oxycontin so she can get high at a party. The court will see the difference between these situations; however, both are illegal and both could potentially get you in trouble with the law.

Do you need to defend yourself against prescription drug distribution charges? A criminal defense lawyer can help you make your case in court to try to reduce the chances and/or severity of criminal punishments relating to your charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Is It Illegal to Share or Give Away Prescription Drugs?," Christopher Coble, accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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