Can you share medicine with a family member?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Criminal Defense

You would do anything for your family. You care about them and you just want them to be happy and healthy.

That’s why, when a family member comes to you and says that they would like to try out your medication, you’re tempted to give them some. You know how much it has helped you with the disorder or ailments that you have. If they’re dealing with similar symptoms, you would love to see it help them, as well.

Many people would do this in a heartbeat, simply assuming that it’s fine to share things within a singular family unit. But could you be breaking the law?

All sharing of prescription medications is illegal

The truth is that prescription medications are never allowed to be shared, even when it’s with family members or friends that you know very well. This is still the distribution of a controlled substance. You certainly don’t think of yourself as someone who is going around giving illegal drugs to people that you care about, but that is technically what you are doing. You could face legal charges if you’re caught sharing medications with someone else.

The laws are written this way for a few reasons. For one thing, these substances are still controlled, but the prescription just defines specific use cases. So it is illegal for someone to get a medication, even if they technically do need that medication, if they haven’t been given a prescription for it. They need to go through the proper channels to get a prescription from a doctor first.

The second part of the issue is that a lot of medications are used recreationally. Opioids are perhaps the most common example, and they result in a lot of overdose deaths every year. In an effort to combat this, the government simply banned sharing prescription medications at all. This certainly doesn’t stop everyone from doing it, and you are not personally in a situation where you’re sharing medication for illegal recreational use, but this practice factors into the way that the law was written.

What legal defense options do you have?

You certainly don’t want to let one well-intentioned mistake define the rest of your life. If you are facing serious drug charges, make sure you know what defense options you have.

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