Controlled substances laws are confusing for most people, especially because they’re different in different states. However, most states’ controlled substances laws closely align with federal statutes. That includes the state of Texas.
Different drugs receive a schedule placement based on medical knowledge about the effects of that active ingredient. Substances that receive the Schedule 1 classification, for example, have no acknowledged medical benefits or pose incredibly high risk of abuse or addiction. Schedule 2 substances, which include some prescription medications, have medical applications but still pose a risk of abuse or addiction.
Many popular prescription medications, including psychiatric drugs and narcotic painkillers, hold positions on the state’s schedule of controlled substances. Without a prescription, it is a drug crime to possess or use those medications. However, you can wind up facing charges even if you have a prescription from your doctor.
Using the medication improperly could result in criminal consequences
When your doctor wrote the prescription, they likely included guidelines regarding how often you should take the medication. They may have also placed other limits on your activities, such as instructing you to not drive after taking the drugs or to not mix it with certain substances.
Unfortunately, particularly in the case of drugs that can prove addictive, like painkillers, people may start to take them in a manner that does not align with the instructions from the physician that prescribed a medication.
Whether you take medication too often, mix it with other substances or perform actions like driving that you should not, you could wind up charged with a criminal offense if you violate the instructions of your doctor when dispensing the drug.
Just because it is yours doesn’t mean that you can share it
Perhaps your doctor prescribed more pills than you needed in your recovery. However, you or your insurance company paid for the full prescription. You may know someone who has a need for your extra medication, which could motivate you to consider giving or selling your prescription to someone else.
Doing so is a violation of controlled substances laws that could result in your facing criminal charges, such as trafficking or distributing controlled substances. The potential penalties involved are quite steep, depending on the schedule of the substance and the total weight of the medication that you share.
It is better to dispose of unused medication through safe disposal programs in your local community. Many medical offices and even police departments will take back your unused medication for safe disposal.
Whether you find yourself facing allegations of distributing controlled substances or driving under the influence because of a prescription, you have the right to defend yourself against any criminal charges you face in the state of Texas. Talking with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you figure out what strategies might help in your situation.