In the pantheon of drug-related offenses, sharing your prescription medication with someone probably seems like an innocent thing to do. Whether it's sharing your prescription-strength antihistamine with a visiting friend who's allergic to your cats, giving a migraine pill to a co-worker to help her make it through the rest of the day or giving your half-empty bottle of leftover oxycodone to a friend who just twisted his ankle, many people do this all the time.
Prescription drugs are legal -- but only when they're prescribed by someone with the training and authority to do so and only when they're taken by the person who has been prescribed them. Outside of that system, there can be criminal penalties for giving them to someone or for possessing or consuming them.
The potential legal penalties depend on a number of factors. For example, if the medication in question is a controlled substance, a person could potentially face decades in prison for providing it to someone without a prescription under federal law. If someone forges a prescription or conspires with others to sell prescription drugs, they could also face serious criminal penalties.
Chances are, the police aren't going to show up at your door because you gave a friend one of your Xanax to help her get through a difficult event if nothing went wrong. However, when you give people prescription drugs, you have no idea how they might interact with other medications they might be taking, how many of the drugs they may have taken elsewhere or what type of allergies or sensitivities they might have.
That's why doctors are supposed to get a full medical history on patients, including information about what medications they're already taking, before they prescribe a drug. A seemingly harmless pill could cause serious and potentially fatal harm.
If you're facing criminal charges related to prescription drugs, it's essential to seek experienced legal guidance from a Maryland criminal defense attorney. You should never take any drug-related charges lightly.