Law Office of Bryan E. Cameron

Prescription restriction: Why you shouldn't give away medications

Prescription pills come in many forms, from those for pain to those to calm the nerves. Prescription pills are restricted, and individuals may not obtain them without the permission of a medical provider.

With any prescription, you need to understand that the medication is for you and you alone. There are many reasons why you shouldn't share medications, even if someone else uses one that is the same or similar to what you have.

Why shouldn't you share medications?

Besides the fact that it is a crime to do so, it could result in problems for the person who takes it. Medical providers choose medications based on conditions and verify that the patient won't be allergic or have a reaction. For instance, antibiotics can cause some people to suffer from Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is when the skin and mucous membranes blister, burn and shed. It's extremely painful and just one of several reasons not to share antibiotics.

Another reason not to share medications is that there is a high risk of negative drug interactions. Your doctor will inform you about what medications you can or can't take with any new prescription. If you give away your medication, someone may not think about the potential for interactions, leading to a potentially fatal interaction occurring. Even mixing drugs and certain foods could go wrong, so it's important not to share drugs even if you think you've explained all the possible interactions.

You also need to understand that some medications are addictive. Using them for a short time may result in no negative side effects, but long-term use could result in addiction and substance abuse struggles.

Finally, it's a crime. Sharing prescription medications of any kind with others could get you into deep trouble with the law. If you share drugs and the person ends up getting sick or dying, you could be held responsible for that. Then, on top of drug charges, you could face other charges for involuntary manslaughter or additional crimes.

It's never a wise decision to share medications, whether they're antibiotics, opiates or other drugs. Keep them to yourself, because you're the one they're intended for.

If you do decide to share, you could be putting another person's life in danger or be putting yourself at risk of facing a charge. Don't go to prison or get fines over selling or giving away prescriptions. If you have extras, return them to a pharmacy or doctor's office.

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