2 Your Health Investigation Policing your pills - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

2 Your Health Investigation Policing your pills

2 Your Health Investigation Policing your pills

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CHARLESTON, SC -

if you've ever removed prescription medication tablets from the original container and placed the pills in a plastic sandwich bag, a purse or in a container along with other medications, you were breaking the law. it's a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 6 months in jail first offense.

a wrong container violation seems like an easy mistake to make. however as you will see in this 2 your health investigation the law was created to punish those criminals who may be keeping prescription medications in the wrong containers for less-than-innocent reasons.

"I take medicine in the morning and at night"

But Frank Jenkins admits that life's extra aches and pains sometimes pushes him to pop an extra pill whether he is on the run.

"The only medicine i might take with me is a pain pill," Frank said

"I might take one pill with me during the run around if i am not going right back home."

"So do you keep that pill in your pocket or something?"

"No it is in a bottle."

"Does it have your name on it?"

noooooooooooooooooo" 

With frank's permission we looked at prescription

"This does have your name on it."

Frank did have his pill in a prescription bottle labled with his name but if he didn't he could be arrested.

It is against the law for people to transport and store medications controlled medications without being in the proper containers.  Lieutenant Patrick Morris of the Charleston County Sheriffs Office says the long arm of the law is not trying to handcuff granny.

"I think the worst case scenario would be someone's elderly grandparent being stopped and having prescription medications on them"

"Most law enforcement try to go the extra mile and determine who owns the medication especially for elderly folks however it is against the law for people to transport and store medication especially controlled medication without being in proper containers," Lieutenant Morris said.

We discovered that South Carolina law does not target medicines you buy over-the-counter, so keeping a bag of ibuprofen tablets in a desk drawer or throwing a few antacid tablets into a bottle of aspirin is not a crime.

A pharmacist at the Medical University of South Carolina told me why controlled substances in the wrong hands.

"They have a higher abuse potential and they have a lot of restrictions of them as to how who can be prescribed them and who can prescribed them and how soon we can refill your medication," Dr Brittain.

The punishment for the misdemeanor first offense is 6 months in jail -- but if you mix your meds

"If something does happen to you the people who are trying to treat you medical providers will know which medications you are on especially if you are traveling."

and there is another possible fallout to mixing pills...your life.

05:44:28

"If you are sick or tired you may not realize you are taking the wrong medication until it is too late"

Last week south Carolina lieutenant governor Glenn McConnell announced a crackdown on people who people who eyed the elderly for their pills.

"The demand for these prescription drugs continues to rise as an increasing number of elderly individuals medicine cabinets in private homes and licensed residential care facilities in South Carolina."

Frank admitted that he sometimes used a different container to carry his pills

Every now and then i might put it in i mostly carry this and if i don't feel like going to the car i put in one of those little strip box you take"

But now he knows that's against the law, taking the pill might help his heart, but it could land him in jail, in South Carolina your name on your medications, is the law.

I t is against the law to give someone medication that is not prescribed to them. if you have extra antibiotics or pain medications and someone is sick with a similar ailment -- by law -- you can not give your medication to them.  Experts warn there is a risk of causing that person further harm.

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