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Sharing a prescription drug – is it a crime?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2018 | Firm News |

It could happen more easily than you might think – you want to help someone in need, but you don’t realize that your actions are illegal. This is especially true if you plan to share a prescription medication with someone who wasn’t prescribed the drug. You and other South Carolina residents should understand the potential ramifications of sharing a prescription before you find yourself unwittingly charged with a crime.

According to FindLaw, only the person to whom a prescription medication was prescribed has the legal right to take the drug. Like other people, you might think this law is a bit harsh. How harmful can it be, you wonder, to give your mom a few of your anti-anxiety pills for a flight when she is terrified of planes?

Unintended results

It could be quite harmful, as it turns out. Your medication was prescribed to you based on your diagnosis and other factors, such as your age, weight and body chemistry. At best, the dosage might have little effect on your mother or it could help her feel better. On the other hand, she might suffer unexpected side effects that could make her sick or even be life-threatening.

Serious legal consequences

In the worst-case scenario, you would likely face charges for giving someone a drug without a prescription. Your penalties could include fines and jail time. The law may seem strict, but it is to prevent people from suffering adverse effects or becoming dependent on controlled medication, such as opioid painkillers. It is also meant to prevent others, who don’t have patients’ best interests in mind, from profiting by dealing prescription drugs illegally.

You may think that you are doing someone a harmless favor by giving out your extra prescription pills, but the results may have unintended consequences. It would be wise to seek experienced legal counsel if you are facing charges.