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Beat Addiction Without Medication

Is Giving Someone Painkillers Illegal, If I Don’t Sell Them?

Drug authorities have been cracking down on people selling painkillers, but is it still illegal if you give them away? The short answer is yes. Giving someone painkillers which have been prescribed for you is extremely dangerous, as well as illegal. Read on to find out more.

Why is Giving Someone Painkillers Illegal?

When you acquire painkillers legally, your doctor grants you this access based on a particular medical condition that you have. Your doctor determines what dosage you need and gives you instructions for how and when to use the painkillers. The safety call is for your physician to make sure that you are using painkillers for an appropriate need. Giving someone painkillers is violating this contract; your actions could potentially be fatal for a person, and you would be the responsible party.

Why is Giving Someone Painkillers Dangerous?

When you give painkillers away, you are allowing someone who may not need the painkillers to use them. Even for someone who is not addicted to painkillers, this can be dangerous. Repeated use of painkillers can lead to addiction and other health problems. If the person is not able to get a prescription for painkillers on their own, there is probably a good reason. A doctor with extensive medical training has determined that it is not safe for this person to use painkillers for their condition.

The dose that you were prescribed was intended for your body and your particular condition; if you blindly give someone your painkillers, you may be giving them the wrong type of medicine for their condition, or a medication that will interact badly with their body, or the wrong dose for their body.

If you are giving this person painkillers, they may also be getting them from someone else. They may not follow the dosage recommendations, and they may accidentally overdose and cause themselves a lot of problems. Painkillers should only be used under the supervision of a doctor. If something goes wrong, this person may be embarrassed to admit that they have overdosed on painkillers and they may not seek the medical help they need.

What To Do Instead

You have a friend who is asking you for painkillers. How can you help them without giving them a potentially dangerous drug? For one, you can seek over-the-counter pain medication for them while directing them to a doctor.

It can also be tempting to give your child painkillers when nothing else you’re doing is helping to ease their pain. But this can be extremely dangerous; you don’t know what kind of dose they can handle or if this drug is suited for use by children. While you’re waiting for your doctor’s appointment to come up, try applying heat or cold to the painful area, or using other home remedies to ease the pain. If necessary, visit the emergency room rather than giving your child spare painkillers.

If you have old painkillers that you aren’t planning to use, throw them out rather than giving them to a friend. It may seem like a waste of money, but you could also be saving a life.


  • Gina M

    Useful information (I had no idea) but I would like to add that throwing them out or flushing them is not necessary the safest solution. A list of “safe to flush” medication is available online, and other than that it is dangerous to flush them as they go into our water source. A list of locations where they can be returned is available as well if you google them. It may be the sheriff’s office, a hospital or a pharmacy.

  • april

    I like how the different options regarding what to do instead of giving prescriptions to somebody who doesn’t have a prescription.

  • Katherine Kondrotas

    This is very true! Painkillers are very dangerous and if they are abused, it can lead to a lot of harm and horrible addiction for those taking them. I have seen this first hand and these people can have a very hard time getting off of them, but BDR has had great success.

  • Walter

    This is a good and useful article. Giving away painkillers is never a good idea. They are actually very dangerous drugs that are given out a lot. If you do have someone that you know that has extra painkillers then i would recommend getting them the help that they need in order to not be addicted. Also, i think it should be mentioned that another thing that happens is when people don’t use all of theirs and save them for later, but this is not a good thing because most of these types of drugs have an expiration date and that could lead to variable consequences if they are not properly disposed of.

  • Amanda

    I was not aware that this a problem. I would not have even thought about it, but after reading this article I see what a problem that it would be if you gave your prescription away to a family member or friend. I did not know that the doctor was under contract, but I never liked to share a prescription. But I see how not knowing really what the person needs or what they can handle it can be a huge problem someone who took it. Then you the doctor and the person taking the drugs would be in trouble. Plus you could be helping someone with a dependency that you do not know about. I know a person that had become very addicted to pain killers that were prescribed to him and luckily he was able to over come, but for the people that need the help should check out Best Drug Rehabilitation center for help.

  • Diane C

    I have seen this happen so many times in my life. When I was younger we used to trade drugs back and forth and never thought about it being harmful or potentially harmful. I can see how this could really become a tragic event. You really never know how someone will react to a certain drug or what effect that drug can have on the individual and you wouldn’t want to have to be the one responsible for someone getting hurt by something that you gave them. As they say, get them to a doctor to get the correct medication they need for whatever problem they are trying to resolve.

  • Jonathan

    This is good clarification for a lot of people as their are a lot of instances in life where the loophole is legal but rather unethical. This puts it into perspective that the loophole isn’t legal when others thought it may have been.

    I like also how this article broadens your point of view when you are thinking you are helping someone out by giving them drugs, even if you think that it is for their own good it can have many side effects and drawbacks as the article states. This article heightens awareness.

    I love how at the end the article gives you a solution. It doesn’t leave you with the problem of taking away your solution of trying to be a good friend or parent by giving a person painkillers who may need them without giving you a solution. If you are a true friend or parent to that person, it is best to do it the proper way of acquiring the drugs, that way if an adverse effect does happen while the person is under the painkillers, the doctor will know exactly how to handle it as they will have been monitoring what they were giving them and under what dosages.

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