Prescription medications can offer a host of medical benefits when taken properly. However, many prescribed drugs can be dangerous if taken improperly. In order to reduce the risk that medications pos to the public, many drugs wind up classified as controlled substances.

When a physician recommends a controlled substance to you or to someone you know, there are limitations on the right to possess and use that medication. There are several ways in which individuals could end up charged with drug offenses related to prescription medication.

You can’t own or take prescriptions not written to you

If you know someone who didn’t use all of their medication, they might offer you the remainder as a gift or for sale. If you get caught in possession of medication prescribed to someone other than you, you could wind up facing a controlled substance offense.

Even situations where you offered to hold onto medication for someone else, such as when someone thinks their child might have stolen some of their pills, could leave you vulnerable to criminal charges. Additionally, you can’t legally transfer your prescriptions to anyone else without risking serious charges.

You can’t take the medication in a manner contrary to what the doctor recommended

Your physician will outline the way that they expect you to take the drug. They will also typically restrict certain activities, such as the consumption of alcohol or the driving of motor vehicles if the medication could interact with alcohol or impair your ability to drive. If you ignore those recommendations by your physician and you get caught by law enforcement officers, you could very well face charges for that as well.

Particularly if you get caught driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of medication that could impair you, the potential exists for significant charges. Especially for medications with a high risk of abuse, law enforcement officers may err in favor of strictness if they catch someone misusing medication.

You should never assume that just because of medication is legal that you can do whatever you want with it. Understanding the limitations on your rights when using the controlled substance can help you avoid making mistakes.