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The potential illegality of prescription drugs

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2024 | Criminal Law

There are many drugs that inspire criminal penalties, related to possession, sale, distribution, etc. Alabama has numerous drugs that are openly prohibited. Anyone caught in possession of those substances or even under the influence of those drugs could potentially face criminal charges. The general belief about such drugs is typically that they pose a serious risk of addiction or abuse and offer few, if any, medical benefits for patients.

Prescription medications are different. When used properly, they are safe and effective for those with certain medical challenges. People sometimes believe that possessing and using prescription drugs is a safer choice than using prohibited drugs. However, Alabama prosecutes thousands of people every year for prescription drug offenses.

Prescribed drugs are controlled substances

Contrary to how people may view prescription drugs, they do still pose some degree of risk to the public. In some cases, the main concern might be that they have interactions with other drugs. There are also plenty of medications that offer real medical benefits while simultaneously posing a risk of addiction.

Opioid pain relievers and prescription steroids can cause chemical dependence and withdrawal symptoms if people stop taking the medication. Therefore, prescribed medications are still subject to controlled substances laws in Alabama.

People can only use and possess a prescription medication after a doctor recommends it. They also typically need to source their medication from a licensed professional. Anyone accused of possessing a drug without a prescription or using it in a way that contradicts medical instructions could be at risk of criminal prosecution.

The state also takes legal action against those who distribute medication to others. Financial gain is not necessary for prosecution to occur. Someone who gives their roommate their leftover muscle relaxants could end up arrested and facing charges.

Drug charges require a careful response

Someone accused of violating prescription drug statutes may face a variety of penalties. The schedule of the drug, their criminal record and other details can influence the charges and penalties possible.

Discussing the situation that led to someone’s arrest with a skilled legal team can help someone determine the best potential response to pending Alabama drug charges. Those who realize that they can break the law with prescription drugs could reduce their risk of arrest or – if they’ve already been arrested – unfavorable consequences as their legal situation evolves.