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4 ways prescription drugs can lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Drug Crimes

In the sunny state of California, there is a growing concern that involves prescription drugs and the potential for criminal charges.

While these medications help alleviate health issues, they can inadvertently lead individuals down a path toward legal trouble.

1. Unlawful possession

First and foremost, it is important to understand that possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription is against the law. Whether it is painkillers, anti-anxiety medications or other prescription drugs, having them without the proper documentation can result in criminal charges. Law enforcement takes a stern stance on unauthorized possession, viewing it as a violation of the law.

2. Illegal distribution

Another perilous path associated with prescription drugs involves their illegal distribution. When individuals share or sell their prescribed medications to others, they may find themselves facing serious criminal charges. The intent to distribute prescription drugs without the proper authorization is a crime, as it poses risks to public health and safety.

3. Doctor shopping

Some individuals, seeking more prescription drugs than medically necessary, engage in a practice known as doctor shopping. This involves visiting multiple healthcare providers to obtain additional prescriptions. Unfortunately, this behavior is not only medically risky but also legally perilous. In California, doctor shopping can lead to criminal charges, as it is an attempt to manipulate the healthcare system.

4. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs

Driving under the influence does not only pertain to alcohol. Consuming prescription drugs that impair one’s ability to drive safely can also result in criminal charges. Individuals need to be aware of the potential side effects of their medications and exercise caution when operating a vehicle.

The misuse of prescription drugs can lead to serious consequences. In 2022, California law enforcement made 20,574 felony drug arrests and 130,105 misdemeanor arrests, many of which involved prescription drugs.