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Selling or giving away prescribed medication is a crime

Maybe you were in a car accident, or maybe you had to have your wisdom teeth removed. Your doctor prescribed you pain medication, which you didn't finish. Now, your friend is offering you $20 per pill for your unused medication. It may sound like an easy way to make money and help someone out. In reality, you're breaking the law and could face criminal charges as a result.

Similarly, if you take other medications, from Viagra to ADHD medication, there is a secondary market for your prescription pills. That market, however, is an illegal black market, and you could end up paying a price for your choice.

Diversion of prescription medication is a serious issue in the United States. In 2016, for the first time ever, the number of opioid, opiate and heroin overdose deaths surpassed guns deaths. Although the addiction epidemic is finally forcing public officials to act, possessing these drugs without a prescription or selling them to someone else is still a crime. In fact, courts and law enforcement in some areas hope to push back against addiction by prosecuting those who sell their pills to other people as harshly as possible. You may have had good intentions, but the courts likely won't care about that.

Only medical doctors and pharmacists can legally dispense drugs

Controlled substances are highly regulated in the modern medical and pharmaceutical fields. Doctors get monitored to see how many prescriptions they are writing. Pharmacists and their assistants or technicians must account for every single pill that enters their facility. These professionals work to help provide those with medical needs legal access to medications that could be abused, like opioids and opiates. Once the drugs are in the hands of a patient, however, it becomes very difficult to track how pills get used. In some cases, excess pills or pills obtained by lying are then sold illegally.

Whether the person you give or sell your pills to has a medical need for them, you violate the law every time you gift or sell prescribed medication to someone else. In Georgia, attempts to curb the heroin, opioid and opiate addiction crisis have included making a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose available to anyone, not just first responders. There have also been laws passed intended to increase regulations on addiction treatment facilities, as well as laws requiring that physicians do more research before prescribing potentially addictive medication.

While medical prescriptions are yours, you should only use them for your own needs, and not for others who may want them. Giving or selling medications, from opiates to anxiety drugs, could end up in serious criminal charges.

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