Prescription drugs are subject to many restrictions to help protect the public. Medications can interact with other substances, cause addiction or have negative health effects when used improperly. Proper administration of medications is crucial to public health and safety.
Georgia and the federal government both have laws regarding controlled substances. Medications ranging from painkillers to sleep aids are only legal to possess with the prescription from a physician. Only medical professionals and those with a valid prescription can possess controlled substances.
However, a prescription alone isn’t enough to protect you in every situation. When could the police arrest you for possessing a prescribed medication?
If you have taken the drug before driving
During a traffic stop, a police officer will ask you many questions about your behavior based on their reason for pulling you over. If there were issues with your driving and the officer discovers that you used prescription drugs before driving or finds them in your possession, they might arrest you for drugged driving even though you can use the medication legally.
If you have medication not in the packaging provided by the pharmacist
When you transfer a drug out of the packaging provided by the pharmacy and carry it on your person or in your vehicle, an officer who encounters you may not believe that you have a prescription, especially if it a commonly abused medication. They could potentially arrest you unless you can prove you have a right to possess and use the medication.
The same is true for scenarios in which an officer spots someone attempting to distribute their prescription medication to someone else or when someone has clearly used a medication in a manner contrary to the instructions of the prescribing physician.
Simply having a prescription does not give an individual the right to do anything they want with the medication. Small mistakes or even inaccurate assumptions by police could lead to serious prescription drug charges.