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It's easy to believe that anyone can use prescription drugs; however, nothing could be further from the truth.

In short, only the person who was prescribed the medication is allowed to use the drug. In other words, you can find yourself in trouble with the law if you abuse, distribute or use a prescription drug in an unauthorized manner.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you will be charged with a crime if a family member allows you to take one of his or her prescription drugs for a cold or flu.

Conversely, there are times when prescription drug abuse can lead to a criminal charge. An example of this would be the sale and distribution of prescription drugs. For example, you receive the drug, either legally or illegally, and then sell it to others.

In some cases, simple possession of prescription pills is enough to land you in hot water with authorities. This all depends on whether you have a valid prescription and your intentions for how the drug will be used.

It's hard to believe that prescription drug crimes can be every bit as serious as those associated with illegal narcotics, such as heroin and cocaine. However, this definitely holds true, especially with authorities cracking down on this type of crime.

If you're charged with a prescription drug crime, it's imperative to learn more about your situation. Why were you charged? Did you really commit a crime? What is the potential punishment? From there, you can implement a defense strategy to help you avoid the most serious consequences, which could include jail time.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Prescription Drug Crimes," accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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