Prescription Drug Laws In Georgia
Prescription Medication Laws
Every prescription drug is highly regulated. Learn about laws in Georgia that govern acquiring, possessing, and managing controlled substances.
Every prescription drug and controlled substances may be dispensed only by a licensed pharmacist pursuant only to a valid prescription drug order. Prescribed medication is dispensed for a specific person who has acquired the meds via a physician’s orders.
There are several laws in Georgia that can bring criminal charges for improper handling of controlled substances. Some offenses may warrant federal drug charges.
Attempting to or actually obtaining prescription drugs by dishonest, deceptive or any manner of fraudulent means is a crime. This includes forgery or alteration of a physician’s prescription, obtaining a prescription using fake identity or similar means to circumvent laws.
Specifically, per Georgia Code § 16-13-78, “Obtaining or attempting to obtain dangerous drugs by fraud, forgery, or concealment of material fact,” you may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor.
Additionally, per Georgia Code § 16-13-43, “Unauthorized distribution” addresses Schedule I or Schedule II drugs obtained via fraud, deception, or theft. Common forms of this offense are “doctor shopping” and unethical professional conduct. Doctor shopping refers to a person attempts to get multiple prescriptions by visiting multiple physicians. Unethical professional conduct can include physicians and pharmacists who knowingly facilitate illegal provision of controlled substances.
Illegal distribution refers to any act to sell a prescription med or controlled substance. Another illegal act is something as simple as a friend handing you a pill from their personal prescription (i.e., Xanax, Adderol, Oxycontin, etc.).
Not in Original Container
Per O.C.G.A. § 16-13-75, “possession of controlled substances or dangerous drugs by anyone other than the individual is only legal if the drugs are in the original container that was dispensed by the pharmacist.”
Many people facing this charge had no criminal intent. For convenience, some people may carry only one or two pills of their or carry them for a friend or relative. This is a crime.
Regardless of intent, anyone accused will probably spend several thousand dollars with a defense lawyer to have the charges dropped or reduced. In some cases, the prosecutor may not believe that the action was not an accidental matter and will push for drug crime prosecution.
DUI Less Safe
If you’re stopped for an alleged traffic offense you may be asked if you’ve been drinking, smoked marijuana, or taken any drugs. If you admit to taking a controlled substance, even if you have a prescription for it, you could be arrested for DUI Less Safe. This charge effectively means you are not believed to have intentionally been impaired, but nonetheless are an impaired driver. Again, at that point you will need to hire a lawyer to fight for the charges to be dropped, dismissed, reduced, or negotiate a plea.