There's a popular misconception that those who have prescriptions for controlled substances have the right to do what they want with those medications. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Controlled substances are carefully regulated by both the state of Texas and the federal government to protect the public. Those who receive a prescription for a controlled substance may only possess and use those medications in accordance with the directions of the prescribing physician.
Taking your sleep medication, pain pills or psychiatric medicine in an improper way to induce recreational results is against the law. It is also highly illegal to give away medications you do not need or to sell them to anyone else. Simply giving a single pill to a loved one to help with a migraine could result in serious criminal charges, especially if that person causes a car accident or commits a crime while under the influence of the medication.
There is a thriving secondary market for prescribed drugs
The current opioid, opiate and heroin addiction, and mortality epidemic across the country has highlighted the risk associated with the abuse of narcotic painkillers. Drugs ranging from OxyContin to Fentanyl (even in transdermal patch form) are often stolen, sold on the unregulated market and abused by those with addiction issues. Sadly, far more drugs than just painkillers get abused in Texas every day.
Some of the other popular drugs that have major demand for illegal use and sales include stimulants used to treat ADD and ADHD, such as Ritalin and Adderall. These drugs help people focus and work, making them popular among professionals, as well as among college students who need to cram for an exam.
Viagra and similar sexual dysfunction drugs also have a thriving illegal secondary market. There are also those who abuse sleep medications and drugs often prescribed to those with anxiety conditions, such as Valium and Xanax.
Handing over your medication could land you in jail
Texas breaks takes the selling of controlled substances quite seriously. For those accused of selling or distributing controlled substances, the penalty will vary depending on the nature of medication and the amount of the prescription drug involved. In general, narcotic painkillers carry the highest penalties of up to 99 years in jail and fines of as much as $250,000.
Even if you gave the pills to someone else without any financial compensation, you could still face years in prison and incredibly steep fines. It is important to treat controlled substances with respect and to dispose of them properly when you no longer have a need for them. Failing to do so could have profound consequences for your future.