Laws on Prescription Drug Bottles

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Failure to transport prescription drugs in their pharmacy-issued bottles could constitute a crime in many states.
Failure to transport prescription drugs in their pharmacy-issued bottles could constitute a crime in many states. (Image: prescription medicine image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Many states have specific prescription drug bottle laws, especially when it comes to transporting medications outside of a citizen’s residence. Awareness of relevant laws is a key toward preventing a possible criminal charge, especially when it comes to carrying controlled substance prescriptions such as hydrocodone or amphetamine.

Basic Laws

Many states, including Georgia, require those prescribed any medications to carry them only in the original prescription bottles, according to “The Times-Georgian” newspaper.

Possible Consequences

Failure to carry any prescribed medication in its original pharmacy-issued bottle is usually a misdemeanor offense, according to “The Times-Georgian” newspaper. Misdemeanors can be punishable by jail time in any state.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen should be carried only in their original container for safety reasons. However, “The Times-Georgian” newspaper notes it is not normally considered a crime to carry non-prescription drugs in other containers.

Labels on Bottles

The information labels on prescription drug bottles, such as “take with water” or “avoid alcohol while on this medication,” are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), depending on the drug.

Photo Identification and Other Monitoring

Most states require those picking up prescription bottles with controlled substance drugs to present photo identification. Many states also use electronic prescription monitoring databases; these systems track what kind of prescription drug bottles individuals pick up in an effort to curb abuse or illegal prescription drug sales.

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