Many individuals assume that doctor-prescribed drugs are legal drugs. However, many prescription medications have a high risk for mental and/or physical dependency and misuse, including narcotics like opioids and stimulants like amphetamines.
In Georgia, opioids and amphetamines are Schedule II controlled substances. Possessing these drugs without a valid prescription may lead to a misdemeanor or felony conviction, including steep fines, several years’ imprisonment and a permanent criminal record.
1. Can you travel with controlled prescription drugs?
It may be illegal to carry certain prescription drugs unless stored in the original container with the label intact. In addition to the name and address of the person prescribed the medication, the container must include the name and contact information for the prescribing practitioner and the date of issue.
2. Can you share prescriptions with another individual?
Even if another individual has a prescription for the same drug, it is against the law to share any quantity of a personal prescription with someone else. Individuals may face illegal possession or trafficking charges if they distribute controlled medications to others.
3. What are the penalties for controlled drug possession?
Possessing a controlled substance without a current, lawful prescription may result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the type and amount of the drug. Unlawful possession of a schedule III, IV or V substance may be punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment, while possession of a schedule II narcotic may lead to a sentence of five to 30 years, with stiffer penalties for repeat offenders.
In addition to heavy fines and potential jail time, receiving a drug conviction for prescription medications can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life. Those facing charges should know that challenging allegations may help to minimize the damage to employment, education and housing opportunities.