There are more limitations and rules that apply to prescription medication than many people realize. It is not legal for someone to possess or take a prescription drug any way they choose.
Florida law also refers to prescription medications as controlled substances because of the many rules regarding the use of these medicines. There are federal and state statutes that regulate the distribution and use of prescription medications.
Any of the three behaviors below could easily lead to significant criminal charges under Florida law even if the medication in question is legal with a valid prescription.
Driving after ingesting certain medications
Any prescription medications affect your cognition or thought patterns. Medications might make you sleepy and can even affect your ability to focus and make rational decisions.
If you notice that a medication makes you feel lightheaded or if the prescription paperwork includes recommendations that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery while using the drug, you should not get behind the wheel. Even if it is perfectly legal for you to possess and use a prescription, police officers can still arrest you for impaired driving caused by drugs.
Possessing medication that does not belong to you
Maybe your insurance doesn’t cover your prescription, so you can’t afford to buy it at the pharmacy. Perhaps your doctor has stopped providing you with refills. In either case, you might try to purchase medication on the unregulated market.
Anyone caught in possession of medication for which they do not have a valid prescription could easily get arrested and charged with a crime even if they have had a prescription for that medication in the past.
Transferring or giving your medication to others
There are programs that help people safely dispose of unused medications, but many people hold onto leftover prescription pills when they no longer need their medication.
They could then use that medication to help a family member, friend or even the coworker with the same diagnosis or a similar prescription. If the police arrest someone in possession of your medication, you could face charges for transferring it to them.
Understanding what you can and cannot do with prescription medications can limit your risk of facing serious prescription drug charges under Florida controlled substances laws.