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Codeine can lead to possession charges but can cold medicine?

It is well-known that certain illicit substances have the potential to cause substantial harm, and thus possession of these substances is illegal. Some of these dangerous substances include heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. However, sometimes even the possession of prescription or over-the-counter drugs can be illegal in Virginia under federal law.

To possess prescription drugs, a person must have a valid prescription for the medication from a physician. For example, codeine is prescribed to treat pain. However, it is classified under federal law as a Schedule III substance, and if people possess it without a prescription they could face prescription drug charges. The same can be said for other prescription drugs. For example, Valium and Xanax are used to treat anxiety, but they are also Schedule IV substances. This means if people possess them without a valid prescription, they can be charged with a drug offense.

However, even the possession of over-the-counter drugs can sometimes lead to drug charges. For example, if there is evidence that a person intends to abuse or has abused cough medicine with codeine, these substances are considered Schedule V or Schedule VI substances, depending on the medicine at issue, and a person could be charged with a misdemeanor offense.

So, people need to be careful when it comes to the use of prescription drugs or even over-the-counter drugs. If you don’t have a valid prescription for a drug, and are in possession of the drug, this could constitute a drug offense. Even certain over-the-counter medications can be illicit substances, depending on how they are being used.

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