Understanding prescription drug laws

Although the nation has seen a great deal of change in its drug laws in recent years, the regulations surrounding most substances remain strict. Some changes involve the legalization of marijuana, while others have tightened the grip on laws involving more serious substances. As for prescription drugs in West Virginia, just one offense could result in severe consequences.  

In many ways, West Virginia has yet to see the shifts in drug laws that other states have experienced; however, when it comes to prescription drugs, there are few exceptions. The West Virginia Code outlines state laws regarding prohibited acts on its website, stating that it is illegal for a person to possess, manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. The strict regulations hardly come as a surprise for a state in the grips of the opioid epidemic, but the penalties that come with these offenses can be a burden on their own. The possession of a Schedule II substance specifically results in a felony in West Virginia -- a penalty that could come with imprisonment and steep fines. 

Those concerned about a potential charge for possession of prescription drugs can turn to federal laws for clarity. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration lists the five categories involved in drug scheduling, stressing the hazards of Schedule II drugs. Substances that the DEA considers highly dangerous to the public include, but are not limited to:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl   

Other prescription drugs, such as Xanax, fall into more serious categories. Regardless of the substance, it is important to understand the details of the nation's laws surrounding drug offenses as a whole. While each situation varies, and navigating the process can prove stressful, knowing the specifics of controlled substances can bring peace of mind during worrisome times.   

  

  

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