Utah Law Prohibits Moving Controlled Prescriptions to Different Container

Utah law has strict rules in place regarding controlled prescriptions, even prohibiting the type of container it is kept in.

Skip the weekly organizer

Photo by: trOtt3r

Depending on how many different prescriptions an individual might be taking, it may be easier to condense medications to a pill organizer or a shared container, especially when traveling. Regrettably however, this may be against the law depending on what type of prescriptions are being dealt with.

Proper labeling and packaging

Utah law specifies what is expected in regards to proper labeling and packaging of prescribed controlled substances. Utah Code 58-37-7 ensures all controlled prescriptions are handled legally in a pharmacy with the required information on the outside of the bottle. Unknown by many Utah residents however, this section also defines rules on the handling of the controlled medication once it has left the pharmacy.

Original and undamaged pill bottle

Photo by: Charles Williams

According to subsection (5) of Utah Code 58-37-7, “An individual to whom or for whose use any controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed by a practitioner . . . may lawfully possess it only in the container in which it was delivered to him by the person selling or dispensing it.” Subsection (4) also warns that “a person may not alter the face or remove any label so long as any of the original contents remain.” This pertains only to controlled prescriptions including opiate based pain relief medications, stimulants such as diet pills and ADHD drugs, along with others according to the Utah Controlled Substances Act.

Keep your receipt or original container

If someone is caught with controlled pills and they are in a container other that the one it came in or if the label has been removed, that person may end up being charged unless they can show the judge proof that the prescription they had on them was legitimately prescribed to them by a doctor. For those that don’t want to risk the hassle of having to appear in court, it is best to keep controlled prescriptions in their own bottles at all times.

Police Suspect BYU Student of Manufacturing Drugs

BYU Student Manufacturing Drugs

Photo: Leyo/Wikimedia Commons

A small apartment fire near BYU led two roommates to contact the police after what they found in their other roommate’s room. The roommate had apparently been manufacturing drugs, specifically methamphetamine, in his room. The roommate is still being sought for questioning.

Breaking Bad at Brigham Young

According to a report from KSL News, the catalyst to the discovery that the roommate was manufacturing drugs was a fire in the suspect’s room on Thursday, Nov. 6. Two of the roommates helped the suspect, a student of Brigham Young University, put out the fire, one he claimed was started by accidentally spilling some rubbing alcohol. The suspect left later that night, stating he was going to visit a friend in the hospital.

One of the roommates who helped the suspect put out the fire, Nicholas Zarate, told police he was curious about the extent of the damage caused by the fire and picked the lock on the door. According to Provo Police Lt. Brandon Post, “At that point they saw suspicious glassware and chemicals and they contacted Riviera [Apartments] management.” Post called it a “fully operational” meth lab.

The Drug Enforcement Administration cleaned up the lab, and because the suspect had been manufacturing drugs, the Utah Department of Health quarantined the apartment. Post said the apartment would require an “extensive cleaning process” before it would be suitable for occupancy again.

The suspect never returned to the apartment. Police are treating him as a person of interest but as of Saturday had not issued a warrant for manufacturing drugs.

Manufacturing Drugs Punishment

According to the Utah Controlled Substances Act, Utah Code 58-37-8 “Prohibited Acts-Penalties,” manufacturing drugs in unlawful as “knowingly and intentionally; produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance.”

The Act continues to list the penalties for manufacturing drugs, ranging from a class A misdemeanor to a first degree felony depending on the Schedule classification of the drug and whether it is a repeat offense. There are five Schedule classifications, with Schedule I being considered the most dangerous and addictive. Methamphetamines fall into Schedule II classification, which would result in a second degree felony, punishable by one to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (first degree felony if a repeat offense).