It is common to have prescription medication. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of the United States population takes prescription or therapeutic drugs.
However, the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs are also on the rise. In turn, law enforcement is cracking down on crimes involving prescription drugs. So, if you have or take prescription drugs, is there a risk police may suspect you?
Is it a valid prescription?
If you have a valid prescription, you do not have much to worry about. It is highly unlikely that you will face any risk of criminal charges if a North Carolina doctor or pharmacy prescribed you medication and:
- You use it according to the instructions
- You keep it in its labeled container
- The prescription is valid, and not expired
Even so, you should take care.
There are still other risks
With the crackdown on prescription drug crimes, there have been cases of people facing possession charges if they:
- Carry expired medications
- Have expired prescriptions
- Store medications in an unlabeled container
It is also worth noting that you should pay attention to the side effects of any prescription drug – or any kind of medication, for that matter. There have also been cases where drivers who took medications got pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Of course, you can defend yourself against any of these criminal charges. However, it is still important to be aware of this kind of risk.
Invalid prescriptions and misuse can lead to trouble
Misusing prescription drugs is against both state and federal laws. For example, it is illegal to:
- Obtain prescriptions by fraud
- Sell or distribute drugs prescribed to you
- Use drugs prescribed to you for something other than their intended use
Law enforcement is especially cracking down on opioid possession and distribution. While you may have a prescription for pain medication after surgery, it is against the law to sell or give that medication to anyone else.
North Carolina’s laws regarding controlled substances are extensive, and the rules are strict. However, you have the power to protect your rights.