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2 common mistakes that may lead to prescription drug charges

Prescription medication can help people control their blood sugar or heart pressure. They can facilitate weight loss and the management of depression. They are also a leading cause of arrest and prosecution, as people may do things that they should not with prescription medications.

Seemingly minor mistakes made by those in possession of prescription medications might result in criminal prosecution. These are two of the most common mistakes that lead to prescription drug charges.

Assuming enforcement efforts are rare

Perhaps the biggest mistake that people make related to controlled substances is to assume that law enforcement entities don’t pay much attention to prescription medication as opposed to prohibited drugs like heroin or methamphetamine. The abuse of prescribed medications has become a major public safety and health concern in recent years. Obviously, narcotic pain relievers are a major source of concern, but they are far from the only prescribed substances that people abuse. Any attempt to transfer medications to others or improperly transport them could lead to prosecution. Police will arrest people for everything from erectile dysfunction medication to stimulants used for young adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Believing that driving is safe after taking medication

Quite a few people arrested for prescription drug offenses won’t have purchased the medication illegally or tried to transfer it to others. They may have been very careful to follow their doctor’s exact recommendations for the use of the medication. However, they may also choose to drive after taking their medication, which could lead to impaired driving charges. While an individual may feel strongly that they have developed a tolerance for certain medication or that it does not impact their cognition or driving ability, the state may not agree with their perspective on the situation.

Quite a few controlled substances can affect driving ability, and so the state will operate under the assumption that anyone with those drugs in their bloodstream is under the influence and incapable of driving safely. There are no per se limits for narcotic pain relievers or anti-seizure medication. Simply admitting to taking the medication before driving or having it show up in a toxicology report after an arrest could be sufficient grounds for someone’s prosecution.

Learning about and avoiding the two mistakes commonly associated with criminal charges related to prescribed medication may help those who hold valid prescriptions for drugs associated with abuse, addiction or diminished driving ability to better safeguard their legal interests.