Can I get into trouble sharing my prescription drugs?

Some conditions or disorders run in families, and genetic components of your ailments could produce the same or similar symptoms in your family members.

If that’s the case, it’s likely that your doctors prescribe identical medications to you and those siblings, parents or other close relatives. If one of you runs a day or two short of one of your medicine doses, is it really a big deal if you share your medication until theirs gets refilled?

You can get arrested for sharing prescription medication

You view it as helping your dad extend his pain meds a day or so longer or temporarily using your grandmother’s insulin if your own supply runs out. Under the law, however, prescription medications can only be used by the person whose name is on the label.

You can expect more scrutiny if you swap Schedule drugs like Adderall or any opioids. But technically, the law means you cannot share your antibiotics or any other drug prescribed to you by a doctor.

How problems can arise

You could have legitimately obtained your medication from your pharmacist and/or doctor. But maybe you didn’t finish taking the whole bottle because you felt better. Your relative noticed the remaining pills and urged you to let them have your supply until their own refill came due. You saw no harm since the prescription was identical.

You could face felony charges

Realistically, traded antibiotics are less likely to raise the suspicion of law enforcement than your relative swapping narcotics with you. You might never know that your drugs were taken from you. But depending upon the fate of the end-user, e.g., an overdosed minor, you could wind up in significant legal trouble.  

Avoid potential drug charges

Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This day is dedicated to educating the public on the abuse potential of prescription medications. There are secure drop-boxes where people can dispose of any prescription medications that they or their family members no longer need.

Not having unneeded prescription drugs in the home reduces the likelihood of ever facing drug charges.

Attorney Brad Hawley

Attorney Brad HawleyAttorney Brad Hawley possesses years of practical experience focused on bankruptcy, civil and criminal defense. He has prosecuted and defended clients in state court, and is a former enlisted member of the United States Army. Brad is driven by his desire to help people that have been hurt by the legal system, and is dedicated to fixing injustices he sees around him. [ Attorney Bio ]

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