For the most part, you cannot be arrested for possessing opioids that have been prescribed to you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be arrested, though.
There are times when being in possession of opioids, even when legal, can still work against you. Here are two times when you could face an arrest despite having a prescription.
- You were driving while impaired
To start with, if you drive while you’re impaired, you can be stopped and arrested as long as the police have enough proof and believe you’re driving dangerously. If the officer realizes that you are not intoxicated on alcohol but does believe that you’ve abused opioids or are driving dangerously because of side effects, you can still be arrested.
If your opioid medications are not in their original prescription bottle, you may also be accused of having them illegally until you can prove that you have a prescription for the medications in your possession. This is why most pharmacies and doctors suggest keeping your medications in the correct containers at all times.
- You were doctor shopping
Another reason that you may be stopped and arrested is if the police believe that you were doctor shopping and filling multiple prescriptions for opioid medications.
Today, many medical providers are reluctant to prescribe opioids. To get a larger quantity, some people will “doctor shop,” which is where they go to multiple doctors to get the same medications. They may also go to different pharmacies in the hope of not getting caught.
If you are found with multiple prescriptions written out to you from different doctors or filled in different pharmacies, then you could be accused of doctor shopping and could be charged. This is why it’s a good idea to stick with one or two pharmacies (especially of the same type) and to refill your medications with the approval of only one medical provider when possible.
These are two times when you may legally be in possession of opioids but could still face charges or trouble with the law. It’s important to protect and defend yourself if you’re stopped and arrested despite having a prescription.