Sharing Meds is Riskier Than it Seems
Have you or your buddies ever taken prescription drugs that weren’t prescribed to you? Maybe you thought it was harmless – just sharing medications to help a friend out with alertness or trouble sleeping?
Sharing prescription drugs is illegal for everyone including Service members, civilians and dependents. You should not take a prescription drug unless it is prescribed to you (with your name on the label) by a health care provider.
What does it mean to share medications?
Sharing medications means accepting prescription drugs from others or giving your own prescription drugs to someone else. People may take medications that aren’t prescribed to them for the perceived physical or psychological benefit (like to reduce pain or help focus).
Regardless of the reason, it is illegal to share or get medications from peers, friends or family members or to steal them from individuals who have their own legal prescriptions.
Risks of sharing meds
Sharing medications means you are misusing them. This could put your career, health and life in danger:
- Your career. Taking someone else’s medication is never okay and could disqualify you for duty if you do certain jobs in the military. Also, if you get selected for a random drug test and pop positive for a medication for which you do not have a valid prescription, your career could be on the line.
- Your health. If you take a drug that is not prescribed to you, there is no way to know what the correct dosage is and how it will affect you. Also, if you are already taking a medication (that is prescribed to you) or something over-the-counter, the two could mix together in unknown and harmful ways.
- Your life. Bottom line: sharing medication is illegal whether the person is giving or receiving the prescription drugs. Meaning, you can get in legal trouble for giving your meds away too.
Protect yourself, avoid sharing meds
It’s not worth the risk of losing the ability to do your job, negatively impacting your health or popping positive for a medication not prescribed to you. Instead of sharing meds, talk to your health care provider so that you can feel better the right way.