In Texas and across the United States, about 5.1% of people over the age of 12 report that they have used a prescription psychotherapeutic drug that was not prescribed for them in the last month, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, while another 3.1% report misusing prescription pain killers. Furthermore, 1.3% report misusing a prescription stimulant and 1.7% say they have misused a prescription tranquilizer or sedative in the last year.
Penalties for illegal possession of prescription drugs
In Texas, judges can give out seven types of sentences, ranging from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-class felony. While your mind may instantly go to street drugs, it is against the law to possess prescription drugs if they have not been prescribed to you.
What is unauthorized possession of prescribed drugs?
Unauthorized drugs are any non-prescribed drug that can alter the mood, perception, behavior or judgment of the person taking it. Furthermore, it can include using drugs you have a prescription for in a manner or amount not prescribed by a medical provider.
Texas’ four drug groups
The penalty for unauthorized possession of prescribed drugs in Texas varies by the type of drug. Texas law divides prescription drugs into four categories. Group 1 and 2 includes opiates and painkillers, including codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, and penalties start at 180 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. Group 3 contains stimulant drugs and depressants, such as Valium. The penalty for processing these drugs is the same as processing Group 1 or 2 drugs. Group 4 includes opioids and opiates not part of Group 1, and judges often give probation for these drugs. In all cases, the amount and number of times you have been arrested on drug charges can have a significant impact because it is possible to get life in prison for processing any of them, or the judge can order you to pay a $50,000 fine per drug violation.
The penalties for unauthorized possession of prescribed drugs in Texas vary by the type of drug.