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3 methods of prescription drug diversion

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | Criminal Law

Some medications can be dangerous if used incorrectly. For this reason, the law requires a prescription from a doctor to obtain a certain medication. If you possess a prescription drug without being an authorized user, you could face criminal charges.

Prescription drug diversion occurs when medications end up in the hands of someone who does not need them for medical treatment. Some of the activities involved in diversion may not seem like a big deal to you at the time but can result in serious criminal charges.

1. Taking someone else’s medication

You should never take medication prescribed for someone else. This is true regardless of whether the other person gave you the medication or you took it without the other person’s knowledge or consent. Not only is this illegal but, according to Nemours Children’s Health, you could overdose on the medication or suffer other adverse effects.

2. Sharing medication with others

As a child, you may have learned to share with others, but this does not extend to your prescription medication. Giving or selling your prescription drugs to other people could result in drug charges for distribution, even if it happens on a small scale.

3. Retaining medication after you no longer need it

It is illegal to retain an unused portion of a controlled substance after your prescription expires. According to the Food and Drug Administration, you should dispose of the unused portion according to instructions provided by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you could face possession charges even if you were an authorized user in the past.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency to allow you to dispose of outdated prescription drugs safely. Local law enforcement may sponsor similar community-wide events.