Most adults are acutely aware of the fact that possession and use of prohibited substances can lead to criminal charges. However, not as many adults in Tennessee understand controlled substances, like prescription medication.
There are numerous useful drugs, ranging from narcotic pain relievers to psychiatric medication, which are only available when prescribed by a licensed medical professional. There are many adults in Tennessee who wrongly assume that they won’t get into criminal trouble if they use a legal prescription medication instead of a banned drug like methamphetamine or heroin.
Although people can and do legally utilize prescription medication for appropriate medical purposes, people can also abuse prescribed drugs, which has led to the criminalization of their use in certain ways. There are two common circumstances that can lead to criminal charges over prescription drugs.
Someone gives medication to others or buys medication
It is only legal to possess prescription medications recommended to you by your physician and provided to you by a licensed pharmacist. Even if you have a prescription for a certain medication, it is not legal to buy that medication from an unregulated supplier.
It is equally illegal for you to give away, trade or sell prescription medication that you obtained from a pharmacy. While you may no longer need that medication, you cannot legally give it to others. Even a transfer that does not result in gain can still lead to accusations of drug trafficking. Especially if the medication in question is one with commonly associated with drug abuse, you could end up prosecuted for buying, selling for giving away the medication.
Driving after taking a prescription
It is illegal for you to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any substance that will impair your ability. A prescription medication can easily affect how well you drive, just like alcohol or illegal drugs might.
If a police officer believes that you are under the influence and unsafe to drive, they may pull you over and then arrest you for drugged driving. The legality of the medication does not necessarily make it legal to drive after consuming it.
Recognizing the limits on what you can do with prescription medication could potentially help you avoid Tennessee drug charges.