There are two distinct kinds of drugs regulated in New York law. There are banned or prohibited substances that pose great social risk and have no medical benefits. These drugs include LSD and methamphetamine. Then there are controlled substances, like prescription medications.
Narcotic pain relievers serve a clear medical purpose, but they can also lead to addiction and are among the most commonly-abused medications. Some people think that if they abuse prescription medication instead of banned substances, they will have less risk of criminal charges.
However, people can and do get arrested for drug offenses because of prescription medication in New York all the time. How do people break the law with prescription substances?
They drive after taking them
One of the easiest ways to end up charged with a crime because of prescription medication is to drive after taking the medicine. Even if you know that you have no difficulty driving and experience no cognitive consequences from these medications, police officers will not know that. They will judge someone based on their driving performance and also on what medications they claim to have taken.
They transfer the medication to someone else
When you purchase a prescription, you may spend hundreds of dollars to pick up your pills at the pharmacy. If you don’t use all of the medication, you might want to recoup your investment by reselling them to a neighbor or family member.
Unfortunately, if you get caught transferring your medication or if the other person gets hurt or commits a crime while under the influence of or in possession of your medication, New York might charge you with a criminal offense.
When you flagrantly abuse prescription medication
Some people will mix and match their prescription medication, trying to achieve a specific sort of chemical impairment. Others might combine their medication with alcohol to produce a synergistic effect that increases the impact of each substance. Whether you take four times the dose your doctor prescribed or you treat your medication like a party drug, you could end up charged with a criminal offense when you have a valid prescription but misuse the medication.
You could also face charges if you seek a source of medication on the unregulated market despite having a prescription from your physician for a set number of pills. Learning about how prescription medication can lead to New York drug charges can help you prevent a mistake that has lasting consequences on your future.