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Giving away leftover prescription pills can lead to drug charges

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | Drug Crimes

Doctors have to estimate how much medication to give someone. With the exception of certain drugs that require a specific dose for a set amount of time, like antibiotics, the need for medication often depends on someone’s physical response to treatment and the condition that necessitated the medication.

In some cases, people begin to recover quickly when they start receiving medical care and no longer need the medication after a few days. They may have numerous leftover pills that cost them money. Picking up a prescribed drug from the pharmacy often means paying quite a bit in copay or coinsurance or paying for the medication entirely because someone is not yet met their deductible.

Therefore, many people would like to recoup some of that financial investment if possible. However, transferring a prescription medication to someone else might lead to someone’s arrest and major drug charges.

People don’t have the right to dispense medication to others

Although technically someone owns a prescription medication once they pick it up from the pharmacy, they are not in a position to legally share that medication with anyone else. Attempting to transfer a drug to another person could lead to an arrest in multiple circumstances.

If someone gets caught in the act, both the person giving the medication to someone else and the person receiving it could end up arrested and charged with a crime. If the person receiving the medication gets arrested later, they might disclose the source of the medication, putting the person who provided it at risk. There could also be criminal charges brought against someone who gives their medication to others if the recipient ends up causing a car crash, committing a crime or overdosing.

Even a transfer without profit can lead to charges

One of the biggest misconceptions about controlled substances law is the idea that it is only criminal to transfer the rest of someone’s opioid pain reliever or muscle relaxant to another person if there is financial compensation. It is not the payment for the drugs that makes the transfer illegal but rather the act of dispensing or transferring the medication without a medical license. Someone can face charges even if they donated their medication to their neighbor with good intentions.

Understanding that seemingly kind and reasonable actions could lead to criminal charges can help people avoid mistakes that could alter the course of their lives.