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Selling your prescription medication can lead to jail time

When you receive a prescription from your doctor, many times, you need to take every pill for the treatment to be effective. This rule is particularly true with antibiotics. Other drugs only need to be taken as needed, such as prescription painkillers or medication intended to counteract particular symptoms of a diagnosed condition.

If you find that you have more pills that you need, you might feel tempted to try selling them to people you know who would have a use for them. After all, they're your pills, right? You either paid for them at the pharmacy, or you paid for the insurance that covered their cost. While you may be the owner of the medications prescribed by your doctor, that does not give you the right to sell or give those medications to other people. Doing so could result in serious criminal charges and financial liability if that person injures someone else while under the influence of the drug you provided.

Tennessee carefully regulates who handles controlled substances

There are many medications included in the schedule of controlled substances. Schedule I is the most restricted level. Any drug on Schedule I has no accepted medical use and poses a serious risk of abuse and addiction. This level includes heroin and some opiates. Schedule II drugs include many popular painkillers. These drugs have medical uses, but also carry a substantial risk for addiction or abuse.

Morphine, hydromorphone, barbiturates, codeine and similar painkillers, as well as methadone and Ritalin, are Schedule II drugs. Other drugs on Schedule II and III may have some demand for resale on the unregulated market, but there is serious risk involved with any transfer that does not comply with state laws. Popularly abused prescribed drugs include Xanax and other psychiatric medications, Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications and Ritalin and similar ADD/ADHD medications.

The potential penalties for selling your pills could be very steep

If you end up accused of distributing or possessing Schedule I or Schedule II drugs with the intent to distribute, you could face a Class B felony that carries between eight and 12 years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $200,000. The weight of the pills involved will determine the exact charges and sentence. Larger amounts could result in a Class A felony, which carries between 15 and 25 years in prison and a fine of as much as $500,000.

In addition to those criminal penalties, you will have a felony drug charge that will haunt you for life. It will prevent you from receiving federal student aid and may also keep you from securing a good job in the future. Those facing charges related to selling their prescribed medications should take those charges seriously because state prosecutors will.

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