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Can you get arrested even if you have a valid prescription?

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  • Can you get arrested even if you have a valid prescription?

    Hi,

    For a while now I have been diagnosed with panic disorder so my doc prescribed alprazolam to take as needed. I don't know much about drugs, so I recently found that this is a generic for Xanax, which is a controlled substance. I think these are illegal?

    So anyway, I carry a few of these tablets with me in a small case, because the container with my prescription label is too big (I get like a 100+ supply) to carry and I worry I will lose the entire supply.

    Recently a friend made a big deal that I can get arrested for possession, etc. etc.

    So what I did was cut the prescription card from the booklet my pharmacy gives me, and just put that in my wallet. It contains the same info as the label on the container.

    I am assuming I can simply present that from my wallet to an officer as proof?

    I am asking around, some people are telling me I am fine I don't even need that in my wallet, and some people are telling me that it MUST be the same container. Ironically, this isn't helping my condition.

    I am confused, so I found this forum to ask actual officers.

    If it matters, I reside in California.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Keep them in your prescription bootle. It looks better in the Police Officer's eye. Plus, even though they are legal you can still be arrested for Driving Under the Influence you take them and drive.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by R0WADDS View Post
      Keep them in your prescription bootle. It looks better in the Police Officer's eye. Plus, even though they are legal you can still be arrested for Driving Under the Influence you take them and drive.
      Sort of...After 30-60 days his body will adjust back to normal as long as he takes no more than the prescribed daily dosage.

      If you do not have the pills in the container which they were issued to you, you can be arrested, but, it would probably be dropped after they discovered the valid 'script.
      A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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      • #4
        in FL, you can be arrested for not having them in the container. i won't arrest if i know the person has a valid script, though. i don't feel that's what the law was intended for.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by R0WADDS View Post
          Keep them in your prescription bootle. It looks better in the Police Officer's eye. Plus, even though they are legal you can still be arrested for Driving Under the Influence you take them and drive.
          I just arrested someone about a month ago for DUI for taking Xanax. However, he was abusing the prescription. Don't abuse them; take only what is prescibed. 1 pill twice a day, or whatever it is. This guy filled his presciption about 2 hours prior to me stopping him. His level of impairment was astronomical. Filled for 90 pills, two hours later, only 56 left.

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          • #6
            This is very interesting. Thanks for the replies.

            I don't abuse them, I'm a normal clean guy just with a medical problem right now... my mind thinks that I'm having a heart attack, that's when I use as needed. Fortunately, I'm starting to get better and hopefully won't need them anymore in the near future.

            I am going to try to arrange to get a smaller supply so I don't have to carry over a hundred pills, but in the meantime, would a police officer ALLOW a person to show proof from his wallet, or would it be an 'instant arrest' no questions, period.

            I've never been arrested (or got in trouble with the law) so I'm clueless.

            I wish there was an alternative med!

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            • #7
              I think if you had proof you'd be ok.....can't speak for everyone but I wouldn't arrest you if you had it.....also try talking to the pharmacy where you got the pills, explain your problem of the bottle being too big to carry around and ask them if they could give you a smaller bottle to carry the few pills you need throughout the day....don't know if they can do that but it won't hurt to ask.

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              • #8
                Technically, it is a misdemeanor in CA to carry prescription drugs in ANYTHING besides the container provided by the pharmacy.

                That being said, it would take a real tool to arrest you for what you are describing....
                The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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                • #9
                  Thanks LA Dep......

                  I'd at least detain you and get your information and recover the pills if you didn't have the bottle w/ script on it. Maybe even arrest and booking, depending on what the drug det. wants. If you never came into the station with a Dr.s script or bottle to prove you were on em, a warrant could be issued after the lab report returns. People selling Xanex is a VERY common thing nowdays and I find random pills on people all the time. It just takes one random pill w/ out a bottle to be in possession of a narcotic. It's a felony in MO btw.

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                  • #10
                    You can be arrested for having them in anything other than the original bottle. Take the prescription, wrap it around the container with the pills in it with a rubber band, and you'll be fine.

                    And even for a first time user you won't have a problem with driving with them as long as you take the correct dose. Just don't take them more than prescribed just because it doesn't feel like it's working.

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                    • #11
                      Injun made a good point. To carry prescription/controlled meds in anything aside from the prescribed bottle is illegal in my state as well (TN). However, if you have proof they are prescribed to you, then I do not pursue legal action. These laws regarding the actual container are focused towards those that possess them illegally, who will normally have them in anything but a legal prescription bottle. I see many older folks who seem to have a tackle box of meds with each day of the week and obviously they are not street dealers. Sometimes I wonder about MD's who prescribe that many pills!
                      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mike_p View Post
                        I don't abuse them, I'm a normal clean guy just with a medical problem right now... my mind thinks that I'm having a heart attack, that's when I use as needed. Fortunately, I'm starting to get better and hopefully won't need them anymore in the near future.
                        Better living through Chemistry honey. If you need them, take them. Keep 'em in the Rx bottle.
                        sigpic

                        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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