In My View: Sharing medicines is risky — and a crime
NEWS of an emerging epidemic of people medication sharing — where they lend or give their own prescribed medication to another — is deeply worrying.
This trend is prevalent among those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who have been prescribed methylphenidate (brand names, Ritalin and Concerta), a stimulant not dissimilar to amphetamine (speed).
It’s not just ADHD medicines: I hear of people sharing all sorts, including antibiotics.
What most people do not realise is that it is illegal to give a prescribed drug to someone for whom it is not intended. In the case of methylphenidate — a controlled drug — handing it to another is a criminal offence.
The same legislation applies to passing on other types of medications, such as sleeping tablets (e.g. zolpidem or zimovane), or tranquillisers (e.g. diazepam).
The purpose of legal controls is safety, as unexpected and potential lethal side-effects can occur with these types of drugs as dramatically as a single peanut can affect someone with a serious nut allergy.
Every time a drug is given to a person for whom it has not been carefully and deliberately prescribed by a doctor, it is nothing more than an experiment — and involves risk.
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