Tempting as it is, taking a couple of pills from a friend’s prescription is not a good idea. In Virginia, it is illegal to share prescription medication, especially when it falls into a particular classification.

Virginia statutes dictate the way prescription medication gets handled, including labeling requirements. If law enforcement discovers you have a vial of pills prescribed to someone else, you could face harsh legal consequences.

Virginia’s classification system

Virginia has five categories or schedules for drugs which each carry certain legal consequences. Schedules one, two and three contain those drugs which people most often abuse, including those with acceptable medical uses and high dependency rates. Popularly abused prescription drugs such as Xanax, Hydrocodone and Valium fall into these schedules.

Drug offenses in Virginia

Virginia has laws that address three types of drug offenses:

  • Having drugs either not legal or not prescribed to you
  • Selling or trading drugs to others or having a large number of drugs such that your intention to sell them exists
  • Making or growing illegal drugs, or possessing the chemicals and other elements required to make the drugs

The penalty for any drug conviction depends mostly on your prior record and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. If law enforcement arrests you because you are in possession of heavy hitting drugs such as opioids or meth, the penalties may wind up hitting you harder. With the growing opioid epidemic nationwide, police and courts tend to crack down on offenders possessing these types of substances.

If you receive a prescription for medication, your best course of action is to keep the pills to yourself. If you do not have a reason to take any more, take them to a drug disposal facility to get rid of them. Other people may want to talk you into allowing them to purchase or take the drugs off your hands, but an arrest carries significant penalties.