Can you share pain medications with your kids?

You’re on prescription pain medication, and you’re always very careful to use it legally, just as directed. It helps you manage your pain levels as your body heals, and you’re not addicted to it or abusing it. Then, when one of your children starts having significant pain — suffering from migraines, for example — you realize that it may work as well for your child as it does for you. Can you share it with your kids?

This is technically illegal. As a parent, you may think you’re just helping your child and using one of the tools you have at your disposal — the same way you’d share cough medicine or allergy medicine. For prescription drugs, though, it’s very important to note that sharing with anyone else, even friends and family members, is strictly illegal.

Illegal or not, this is a mistake people make quite frequently. When people who had used pain killers were asked, it was found that 55 percent of them got the medication from a family member or a friend, without paying a cent.

However, experts do warn that the authorities may consider pill sharing to essentially be the same as dealing drugs. It’s possible to get hefty fines and even years behind bars if you’re caught and convicted.

Mistakes do happen. People who are just trying to be helpful — to be good parents — do make errors without even realizing it. If you’ve accidentally broken the law in Florida and you’re facing charges because of it, you must know what the potential ramifications are and what legal defense options you have.

Source: Addiction, "Before You Share That Pain Medication…," Mary Jane Horton, accessed June 28, 2016

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