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What is drug scheduling?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | blog, Drug Crimes |

Drug crimes are taken seriously in Pennsylvania. It’s important to understand the concept of drug scheduling and what it means.

What is drug scheduling?

Different types of drugs are categorized into schedules per the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA is responsible for determining the schedules for all types of drugs based on certain criteria. This includes whether the drug is illicit or legally prescribed, its level of addictiveness and how likely it is to be abused. The higher the schedule, the less serious the drug. For example, drugs that fall under the category Schedule I are those that are the most highly addictive and that carry a greater risk of being abused. Meanwhile, Schedule V includes drugs that are widely used by prescription or over the counter that are not likely to be abused or addictive.

What are the schedules of drugs?

Schedule I drugs include illicit substances such as heroin, ecstasy, LSD and marijuana. These drugs are often abused and can be highly addictive.

Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and Adderall. Although the latter is legally prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, the drug is included in this schedule due to the prevalence of misuse. Schedule II drugs can often be psychologically addictive.

Schedule III drugs are those that carry a lower risk of addiction but a medium risk of psychological dependence. Examples of these substances include anabolic steroids and ketamine.

Schedule IV drugs are those legally prescribed for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression or for issues like sleep disorders. They include drugs like Ativan, Ambien, Xanax and Valium, which carry a low risk of abuse and dependence.

Schedule V drugs include cough medications, which carry a very low risk of abuse or dependence.

If you’re facing drug charges, you need to take them seriously. Your freedom might depend on it.