What Is a Legend Drug in Indiana? 

Narcotics and other addictive drugs are a complicated legal matter, with a number of factors going into their status. Sometimes, the divide between what is legal and what is not is thinner than you may think. Just because you can buy something from a pharmacy does not mean they are entirely safe or legal.

Residents of Indiana should understand these factors, particularly those with health issues. Indiana criminal law covers something called a “legend drug,” which sits on particularly confusing ground.

What Are Legend Drugs?

As more people become concerned with or affected by the opioid crisis, concerns about addiction and substance abuse cause more of a stir. In Indiana, in fact, misuse of opioids is still rising, which has gained the attention of lawmakers and law enforcement. That means the penalties for abusing legend drugs may be more severe.

A legend drug, put simply, is a drug that is illegal if not prescribed. There are quite a few substances that fall under this category for a multitude of uses and purposes. They are heavily regulated but can lawfully be acquired at a doctor’s discretion.

Legend drugs are categorized and carefully scheduled based on each substance’s likelihood of causing addiction in the user. Xanax, Augmentin, and Viagra are some common examples of these drugs. Even with a prescription, these can be hazardous, and it is essential to follow the directions given, to the letter.

Why Are Legend Drugs So Heavily Restricted?

Legend drugs are heavily restricted because they are still hazardous controlled substances. There is a big difference between a seemingly harmless over-the-counter painkiller for a headache and the sort they give you for chronic illness. Legend drugs carry an “Rx only” marker to designate them as drugs that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Often, prescription painkillers fall under this umbrella, though not all painkillers are labeled as such. The FDA determines whether these drugs should be restricted based on the danger ascribed to those drugs, so be sure that you have a prescription if you have any concerns about using these drugs.

Keep in mind that not all legend drugs are narcotics. For example, while opioids and morphine, among other numbing drugs, make up much of the conversation, non-narcotics like Adderall are also considered legend drugs. Make sure you understand exactly what the prescriptions or other drugs you may come into contact with may be listed for your own safety and legal status.

Legend vs. Non-Legend Drugs

Often, legend drugs have far more severe effects than non-legend drugs, often over-the-counter drugs. For example, while Ibuprofen and morphine may both be used for the purpose of reducing pain, morphine has a much more potent effect and has a much higher likelihood of abuse or addiction.

Note that Schedule I drugs are considered non-legend drugs. This is because drugs in this category are not considered drugs with medicinal use. Without these prescribed uses for medical treatment, they cannot be prescribed and, therefore, cannot be included in this category.

Laws Impacting Legend Drug Cases

In a state that has lost tens of thousands of lives to overdose, legal statutes surrounding legend drugs are strict. Because of this, Indiana has specific laws stating that it is illegal to sell these drugs without a valid prescription. It is also illegal to forge prescriptions.

Under state law, penalties for legend drug crime charges can be harsh. You may face months or years in prison, plus fines. That includes a criminal record that will follow you. While many people are considering a more rehabilitative approach to the opioid crisis, those impacted by these situations may still struggle to deal with the legal implications of legend drugs.