Sharing Prescription Drugs

Sharing prescription drugs with friends and family members is dangerous and against the law. Before handing out single pills or an entire bottle, study the health and criminal repercussions associated with sharing prescription drugs.

Health consequences

Photo by: Dawn McIlvain Stahl

Photo by: Dawn McIlvain Stahl

When a prescription is written out for a patient, the doctor has the patient’s vitals as well as their medical records to be certain that the prescription is safe for them to consume. When a prescription is shared, there is no way for the patient or the person with whom they are sharing prescription drugs with to ensure no unforeseen reactions of complications. Even without abuse amounts, sharing prescription drugs with a family member or a friend could unknowingly end their life.

Enabling an addiction

US code 21-829 states “It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute a controlled substance in schedule I or II to another except in pursuance of a written order of the person to whom such substance is distributed […]” Sharing prescription drugs can bring criminal penalties, especially if they are considered highly addictive. The reason for this is their higher potential to cause dependency problems and the fact that they are very often abused. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse kills about 20,000 people every year. This number is roughly the same amount that is killed from illegal drugs such as meth and heroin.

Charges for sharing prescription drugs

Many prescriptions are considered controlled substances because of how addictive they are. When sharing prescription drugs, the generous friend can face charges for distribution while the needy friend may be looking at possession charges for having a prescription not in their name. For help with current charges stemming from sharing prescription drugs, call a criminal defense attorney.