As with many states, illegal drugs are wreaking havoc on families and society in Louisiana. But, what happens when the drugs are legal prescriptions that get into the wrong hands?
Commonly abused prescription drugs
Few people set out to develop a substance use disorder. However, many an addiction began when an individual became dependent on their own prescription medications.
Sometimes, someone dependent on their medication will turn to illegal means to feed their addiction. This could range from buying illicit and possibly more dangerous street drugs to taking someone else’s medication.
The most commonly misused prescription drugs include:
- Stimulants like Adderall ad Ritalin
- Central nervous system depressants (CNS). These include medications like Xanax and Valium.
- Opioids and other narcotic-based painkillers
What happens if someone gets caught?
Getting caught with someone else’s prescription can lead to life-changing consequences. There will be legal problems that range from fines to incarceration. Loss of reputation and even employment could further exacerbate the situation and make getting back on the right path that much more difficult.
But, an arrest doesn’t have to mean total devastation. It could be just the wake-up all someone needs to start recovery.
Legal consequences can also vary by the situation. A person would be in more trouble with the law for possessing a prescription medication and intending to sell it than if the drug was for personal use.
Several things must be proved for drug charges to stick. First of all, intent plays a role. Someone inadvertently possessing drugs without their knowledge or consent may be able to craft a viable defense.
If a substance use disorder is at the root of illegal prescription possession, many courts will consider that and include a treatment plan as part of the sentencing or probation guidelines. That possibility depends on the circumstances of the arrest, such as whether it was a first offense, the type of prescription, and the amount.