How do the police define a drug?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2023 | Drug Charges |

When people talk about drug crimes, they understand that they have violated the law in some way, but there can sometimes be confusion over exactly what constitutes an illegal drug. After all, almost anything that impacts your mental or physical state, other than food, can count as a drug. For example, caffeine is a drug, which people consume constantly in their cups of coffee.

When the authorities talk about drug crimes, however, they are referring to controlled substances. Some drugs are controlled and others are not, and it’s only those that are controlled substances that can get you into legal trouble.

Illegal drugs

Many controlled substances are illegal in all circumstances. These include things like LSD and heroin. There are no approved medical uses, so any possession or use at all is illegal. Marijuana also falls into this category in Tennessee, although it does not in many other states, where it is at least used medically.

Legal drugs

There are other drugs that are legal, but only with a prescription. Examples of these include things like Xanax, Valium, morphine and other types of opioids. If you get these with a prescription from a medical professional, and you use them as directed, you’re not breaking the law. But if you use them recreationally or use them for any reason without the proper prescription, then you have violated the restrictions on controlled substances.

What options do you have?

Simply taking something that you believe can help your physical or mental health could lead to serious drug charges. Those who find themselves in this position need to know about all of the defense options they have.


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