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Is sharing prescription drugs still illegal?

You're not a drug dealer. You're not trying to make money buying and selling any types of drugs, from the illegal variety to prescription drugs. You've never even seen illegal drugs, much less used them or sold them.

You could still find yourself in trouble if you share prescription drugs. Money isn't all that matters. A sale doesn't have to take place for the transaction to be illegal.

For instance, maybe you had back surgery and you're on prescription painkillers. It's been a month now, though, and you're feeling pretty good. You still carry the drugs and take them as instructed since you were supposed to do so for two months, but you think you could get through a day without them.

At work, a coworker tries to lift something that is simply too heavy, and that coworker hurts his or her back. You both go sit down in the break room, where your coworker complains about the pain.

That's when you decide to just give one of your pills to your coworker. It's not a sale. You didn't plan to do it before you came to work. You just know that the drugs have helped your back, you assume they will help your co-worker, and you want to do everything you can.

Maybe you're just being nice, thoughtful and kind. That does not mean the law isn't being broken. Giving away or selling prescription drugs is illegal, as is taking them without a prescription.

Don't assume that your lack of malicious intent means you're not doing anything wrong. You could still face legal charges and you need to know all of your defense options.

Source: FindLaw, "Is It Illegal to Share or Give Away Prescription Drugs?," Christopher Coble, accessed Dec. 12, 2017

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