This last year, thousands of people died of opium overdoses around the country, including across Texas. As a result, both law makers and law enforcement are looking carefully at heroin, opiate and opioid medications in the hope of curbing this public health epidemic. More than ever, those whom some might consider dealers or suppliers, such as people who give away or sell their own prescriptions, could face harsh penalties.
You may think that because you pay for your prescriptions, they are yours to do whatever you want with. In reality, you are only permitted to use them according to the instructions of the prescribing physician. Any off-label use, including giving or selling them to other people, could land you in serious legal trouble. Texas takes the distribution of controlled substances quite seriously.
Pain relievers and certain psych medications are popular drugs of abuse
There is a range of prescribed medications with strong secondary markets. Some of the most commonly abused and diverted prescription drugs include:
There are many more drugs that have effects or side-effects that some find desirable. People can become addicted to certain medications and continue seeking them out after their prescriptions end. This is a common issue with those prescribed opiates or opioids for pain relief. Unable to find legal sources, these people may turn to black market pill sales, theft or even heroin.
Texas has harsh penalties for the person giving or selling these drugs
Even if you give the pills to someone you care for and trust, you could be found guilty of a crime. Chances of getting charged increase if the person taking your medication ends up hurt or hurting someone else. If law enforcement discover you have gifted or sold your medication to someone else, you could be facing charges of delivery of a controlled substance.
Delivery of a controlled substance is a jail felony. That means it carries harsh minimum and frightening maximum penalties. Penalties depend on the weights of the controlled substances.
The minimum sentence for someone who pleads or gets found guilty is at least 180 days, with a fine of up to $10,000. The maximum penalty, for more than 400 grams (just over 14 ounces) is life in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
Regardless of the situation that resulted in your charges, you need to be proactive about criminal charges related to controlled substances in Texas. Failing to do so could cost you thousands of dollars and years of your life. No matter how much someone else wants your leftover prescription medication, it simply isn't worth the risk of criminal charges.