When you think of drug abuse, you probably think of alcohol, cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine. You probably do not assume drug abuse is a serious problem when it comes to prescription medications. But according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, prescription meds are the third most abused type of drug.
Misusing prescription drugs may not only result in serious health consequences but also criminal charges. Here are some of the most common types of prescription drug offenses.
Possessing drugs for which you do not have a prescription may result in drug possession charges. You are especially likely to face criminal punishments if you possess controlled substances, such as:
If you are a medical professional, you may also face possession charges for forging prescriptions, impersonating someone to get access to prescription medications and getting drugs from an unauthorized person.
Some people try to sell prescription drugs to make a significant amount of money. There are individuals who have addictions to certain types of drugs and look for them on the black market. If you unlawfully distribute prescription drugs to other people, you may face more serious penalties.
Driving under the influence
Certain prescription medications cause significant impairments. Sedatives, stimulants and pain relievers may all affect driving abilities. You may face a DUI charge if the police detect a drug in your system. This is one instance in which taking your own prescription drugs may land you in jail. Even if the drug belongs to you, you may not be allowed to drive while taking it. Criminal charges for this are more likely if you cause an accident or injure someone because of your impairment.
If prosecutors are building a case against you for a prescription drug crime, you may be able to defend against the charges by claiming unlawful search and seizure or that the drugs are not yours.