Focus on opiate addiction means those who sell pills have a lot to risk

For many years, the thriving secondary market for prescription pills across the country was an open secret. Many people knew or understood that some prescription medication ended up sold and used in illegal manners, but few people concerned themselves with this issue. In the last few years, however, a steep increase in the number of reported deaths related to opioid, opiate, and heroin abuse and overdoses has skyrocketed.

This has led to broader cultural awareness of the risk involved with prescription drug diversion. It has also prompted law enforcement to crack down more frequently on those suspected of selling or even giving away prescription medication to others. Understanding the law in Wisconsin is critical to legally protecting yourself, especially if you have a prescription for narcotic painkillers or other commonly abused drugs.

Just because you own it doesn't mean you can do what you want with it

When it comes to prescribed medication, there are very strict rules in place. Many of the commonly abused prescription drugs are on the controlled substances schedule for the state and the federal government. From a practical viewpoint, you can only legally possess these drugs with a prescription by a doctor and can only legally use them exactly as ordered.

Taking the medication for fun, intentionally misusing the pills, or selling or giving your medication to someone else is a crime. If you get caught, you could face serious felony charges. If medication you provided played a part in a serious car crash or an overdose, there could be even more consequences.

Different medications carry risk of abuse

There are many kinds of medications that people may abuse for various purposes. Psychiatric medication, ADHD prescriptions and even erectile dysfunction drugs have a thriving unregulated market, due to popular demand for these pills. However, diverted pain pills remain a serious source of public health concern. They also carry the most serious penalties.

Those accused of distribution or delivery of a Schedule II prescription drug, such as opioid painkillers like fentanyl, face a Class E felony. Those charges could result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of as much as $50,000. Those selling or delivering non-narcotic controlled substances could end up convicted of a Class H felony which carries up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Clearly, charges related to the resale or gifting of prescribed medication can prove devastating for those facing the courts. For many, those consequences won't end with the termination of their incarceration. Felony drug offenses on your criminal record can leave you in a position where it's hard to find a job, go back to college or even secure rental housing.

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