Controlled substances are usually highly regulated due to their potential for abuse and dependence. Created by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug schedules categorize different controlled substances according to the risk they pose to the public.
Drug scheduling can also have an impact on the severity of the legal penalties a person receives since punishments associated with higher-risk drugs are typically more severe. This guide explains different drug categorizations and what they entail.
These substances have a very high potential for abuse and dependence. They also lack any legitimate medical usage due to concerns about their safety. The schedule I category includes lots of substances, such as marijuana, LSD, heroin, and crack cocaine. Punishments for using, selling, or trafficking these substances are often the most serious.
Drugs within the schedule II category also have a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially when taken over a long period of time. The difference between schedules I and II is that schedule II substances do have safe, accepted use within the field of medicine. However, they also carry a significant risk of physical and mental dependence. Schedule II drugs include narcotic medications, stimulants, and depressants, which have a sedating effect.
Schedule III through V
Schedule III, IV, and V have accepted medical uses and a lower potential for abuse when compared to substances within schedules I and II. They include certain sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants, and non-narcotic medications. These substances usually contain much lower doses of drugs, which reduces their risk when it comes to concerns about addiction.
Drug charges can have serious consequences, but those facing a conviction still have rights. By understanding drug schedules, you will have a better perspective of what you are up against.