Caught with a drug you don’t have a prescription for? If so, you could face charges. When you’re caught using or distributing drugs that you don’t have a prescription for (or a license to distribute), you can be charged with the possession, sale or trafficking of that drug.

Even if you have a prescription for the same medication, buying more from another person or using their dosage is against the law. You are only able to get the specific dosage and quantity that your doctor and pharmacist have provided to you.

If prescription medications are safe, why are they illegal?

Having a prescription medication in your possession that is not yours is against the law if you intend to use it, sell it or deliver it to someone that does not have a prescription. Why? Taking a medication that was not prescribed to you can be dangerous. You could be allergic, or you could overdose if the dose is too high.

I want to pick up a prescription for a friend. Is that legal?

In most cases, pharmacies will allow you to pick up a prescription for another person as long as you have their name and date of birth. There are some instances where you won’t be able to, such as when it’s a controlled substance requiring an ID.

If you do pick up a prescription for a friend, don’t take it out of the sealed prescription bag or bottle. Take it directly to them, and make sure you keep the receipt. That way, if you’re stopped and questioned, you can show that you’re simply delivering the item to someone else. They can also support you by making a statement if necessary.

If you’re accused of a prescription drug crime, don’t wait to develop a defense. Your freedoms could be at risk.