The way law enforcement views drugs and harmful addictive substances is a little different than how we may view addiction. Drugs and other controlled substances, as considered by under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), are divided into five schedules and are regulated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals are evaluated and are classified into 5 distinct categories, or schedules, based on the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependence potential.
What Are the Schedules of Drugs?
Drug scheduling is used to place drugs into different categories. There are various usage purposes of drugs, and there are varying levels of addictivity for each drug. Some drugs have a distinct and essential medical purpose, and other drugs are simply used recreationally and illegally.
Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse and leads to the most severe psychological and/or physical dependence, and schedule V drugs represent the least potential for abuse and dependence.
The different schedules are as follows:
Schedule I: Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are substances that are not currently accepted for any medical use, and these substances post the highest risk for abuse. Some examples of schedule I drugs include heroin, marijuana, methaqualone, peyote, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and ecstasy.
Schedule II: Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs that present a high potential for abuse with use potentially causing severe psychological or physical dependence. As with schedule I drugs, schedule II substances are considered harmful and dangerous. Some examples of schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), vicodin, meperidine (Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), fentanyl, adderall, ritalin, and dexedrine.
Schedule III: Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with a moderate to low potential for psychological or physical dependence. Schedule IIIi substances also have less potential for abuse, but abuse can happen. Some examples of schedule III drugs include products that contain less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol), ketamine, testosterone, and anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with a low potential for abuse as well as a low dependency risk; however, these drugs can still be abused. Some examples of schedule IV drugs include xanax, valium, ambien, soma, darvon, darvocet, ativan, talwin, and tramadol.
Schedule V: Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with lower abuse potential than schedule IV and are prepared using limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs’ typical use purpose is for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of schedule v drugs include lomotil, motofen, lyrica, parepectolin, and cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or 100 millimeters such as robitussin ac.
Schedule VI: Schedule VI drugs are drugs that have the least physical or psychological effect on the user. Since they are at the bottom of the list of highly addictive drugs, they do not typically include prescriptions or medication. Marijuana has, in recent years, been declared a schedule VI drug by many states.
What To Do if You or a Loved One Is Struggling With Addiction
Addiction is a common disorder that affects millions of Americans each year. Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be extremely difficult in an abundance of ways. You may think you know how to help, but when it comes down to it, drugs alter the composition of the human brain, and the way you once were able to help this person may not help them while they’re in a compromising frame of mind.
If you see that your loved one is struggling from an addiction to a drug, substance, or chemical cited in the drug schedules above, the best thing to do is to let them know that you are there for them, you have their best interest in mind, and then seek professional help. Help is out there, and recovery is possible. Contact us today at Safe Harbor for more information about addiction treatment and how we can help you or your loved one.