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Can I share a prescription with a loved one?

No one wants someone they love to suffer, especially when you think you can help. You may have access to medications through your own prescription, and if you think they can ease your loved one’s pain, you may want to give them a few doses – especially if they don’t have access to the healthcare necessary to get the drugs themselves.

This is a noble desire, but prescription holders should be careful with their medications. While your intentions may be pure, your actions may be illegal.

Possession and distribution

Wisconsin law prohibits anyone from possessing or attempting to possess a controlled substance unless it is obtained directly from a valid prescription or from a practitioner who is treating them. If your friend possesses your prescription, it could lead to a felony charge.

Additionally, if someone is found to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, that is also considered a felony. If it is discovered that you have been distributing prescription drugs to someone else, even if your reasons were for that person’s benefit rather than harm, you could still be charged with a felony.

The illegal acquisition of a prescription drug for personal use or profit is also called “prescription fraud.”

Coming down hard on controlled substances

Wisconsin is taking harsh action against these crimes due to the impact that the opioid epidemic has had across the country. The rate of unintended drug overdose deaths rose by more than three times from 2001 to 2011.

If you have spare medications that you need to dispose of, bring them to a safe drug take-back location, of which there are several throughout Wisconsin. If you cannot find a location near you, you can always bring them to a local police department.

While your medication may seem like it could help someone else, the potential consequences of a felony charge and the risk of an accidental overdose are too great. There are other ways to support a loved one in pain that don’t put either of you at risk.

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