When people talk about drug accusations, they usually mean illegal drugs. It may be true that most people accused of drug possession deal in illegal substances, but prescription drugs can also get you in trouble. Here are four ways in which this may happen:

Obtaining a Prescription by Fraud

This involves forging a prescription so that you can get the drugs without going through the normal channels. You may pay somebody to do it for you or write your own prescription; it is still fraud. You don't have to come up with a fresh prescription for it to be called forgery; even the alteration of a genuine prescription may land you in trouble. For example, if your doctor has prescribed strong painkillers for a month, it's illegal to alter the date so that you can have them for two more weeks.

Selling Prescription Drugs

It's illegal to sell prescription drugs. It doesn't matter whether you are selling them to somebody who needs them or have the right prescriptions. If you don't have a license to sell prescription drugs, then don't do it. Also, you should know that selling here has a broad meaning; it doesn't necessarily mean exchanging drugs with cash. Even exchanging drugs for favors, donating your prescription drugs freely or even making an offer to sell them is illegal.

Doctor Shopping

Doctor shopping involves moving from doctor to doctor to get multiple prescriptions. This is what you may be tempted to do, for example, if your prescription drugs can take you for a week, but you want a month-long prescription. Maybe you want to sell the extra drugs, want to take them for longer than your doctor prescribed or want to keep others "just in case."

Getting a Prescription for No Reason

This needs the cooperation of both the doctor and the patient. It may happen, for example, with the help of a corrupt person who has the license to prescribe drugs. What happens is that you bribe (and a bribe doesn't have to be money) the person so that he or she prescribes the drugs even though you don't have the medical condition it treats. In this case, both the doctor and the patient may face drug-related charges.

It's clear that drug charges do not always concern illegal drugs. Illegal handling of prescription drugs is just as bad as that of other controlled substances. Always follow your doctor's advice and resist the temptation of doctor shopping. You may get in trouble with the law even if you unwittingly break prescription drug laws. Since ignorance isn't a defense, you should contact a drug offense lawyer like Russ Jones Attorney At Law if you are facing any of these charges.