You go to the doctor after surgery because you’re having back pain, and they give you a prescription for some painkillers. The prescription only lasts for a week and the doctor cautions you that these are very addictive, so you shouldn’t take more than you need. When the prescription ends, you cannot get a refill automatically. 

You go home and take them for three days, and then you feel better. Heeding the doctor’s warning, you set the bottle of pills aside and decide not to take any more.

However, a family member knows that you were doing this and asks if they can have the remaining pills. They say they’ve also been dealing with some back pain, but they just don’t have the money to go to the doctor right now, so they are wondering if they can have yours. You just want to help, so you give them the pills.

Why is this a problem?

The problem here is that sharing prescriptions is illegal. This is especially an issue with addictive substances like painkillers, which have led to an opioid epidemic in the United States. As such, you cannot legally give medications to anyone who does not have the prescription for those medications.

Now, you never set out to become a drug dealer or to violate the law. You just wanted to help someone that was close to you. Your intent here is fine, but the execution is not, and you could find yourself facing legal charges. These are very serious, and it’s important that you understand all the defense options you have if this happens to you.