Some people think nothing of sharing prescription drugs, especially youth. However, federal law makes sharing prescription drugs in Minnesota and throughout the country illegal. Since each prescription is for a specific dose and condition, it could cause harm from potential side-effects.
Reasons youth try prescription medicine
Statistics show that youth between ages of 18 and 25 abuse share prescription drugs the most. They commonly abuse prescriptions, thinking that drugs from the family medicine cabinet are less harmful than street drugs. Due to the increase in opioid use, parents should be aware of this and strictly control legal substances.
Commonly abused drugs and risks
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes drug abuse as taking medicine in a way not prescribed, taking prescriptions belonging to another person regardless of reason and taking a substance to get a euphoric feeling. Commonly abused drugs include stimulants, opioids and depressants.
Stimulants include medicines that treat ADHD, and morphine and codeine classify as opioids. Medicines that treat sleep disorders and anxiety commonly fall under central nervous system depressants.
Taking prescriptions meant for someone else could cause allergic reactions and negatively react to certain health conditions or other prescriptions that the person takes. It can even be lethal in some cases.
Controlled substance abuse laws
Many controlled substances involve prescription drugs. The Title 21 Controlled Substance Act makes a prescription from a medical doctor the only way to legally take these substances. Sometimes, a doctor may violate the law when they know that the person misuses the drugs or may resell them.
Several states have enacted laws that prohibit a person from carrying their own legal prescription drugs if they are not labeled. Loose medication often comes with the presumption that the drugs are for the purpose of reselling, known as possession with the intent to distribute.
Getting caught misusing drugs, whether legal or not, can have legal consequences. If a person is facing drug charges, a lawyer may work to help them protect their rights.