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2 reasons prescriptions drugs get people into legal trouble

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense

A significant number of the criminal charges related to drugs filed every year in Tennessee occur not because of prohibited substance abuse but rather because of matters concerning controlled substances, like prescription medications. In recent years, narcotic painkillers, like fentanyl, have dominated the unregulated drug markets. One of the many reasons that the abuse of such medications has become so widespread is that people are often under the misconception that prescription medications are legal no matter what.

People often take for granted that they can do whatever they want once a pharmacist hands them (or someone else) a prescription medication, and they may not realize until it is too late that the state can still prosecute them if they make one of the two mistakes below.

Driving while on medication

Quite a few different kinds of prescriptions may affect someone’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Typically, such drugs will have warning labels advising people not to drive or operate heavy machinery after taking the medication. People need to be very cautious about driving after consuming certain medications and also aware of restrictions on alcohol consumption associated with others. Those caught driving with prescription medication in their bloodstream, even if they have a valid prescription, could potentially end up arrested.

Sharing medication with others

Some people get arrested because they tried to purchase a controlled substance from a coworker or an acquaintance. Other people get into trouble because they gift or sell their leftover medication to someone they know. Only a person with a valid and current prescription can lawfully possess a medication, and anyone possessing a medication illegally or transferring their medication to others could end up arrested for engaging in such activities.

Learning more about the reasonable limits imposed on the use and possession of prescription medications can help people avoid or better respond to Tennessee drug charges. Seeking legal guidance for personalized feedback can be helpful in either event.