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What to know about drug schedules

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Drug Charges

Drug possession charges happen when someone is caught holding, using, making or selling illicit drugs. The charges someone may face if they are caught in possession of illicit drugs may include imprisonment and fines. These charges can increase depending on the severity of the drug.

A drug’s severity is decided by the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). The CSA categorizes the intensity of drugs depending on their medical use and safety. If a drug has a high potential for addiction, abuse and dependence, then it may be categorized more harshly than other drugs. 

There are five kinds of drug categorizations called schedules. Here’s what you should know about each schedule: 

Schedule V

Most drugs found in stores are considered Schedule V – the lowest category. People who use these drugs typically don’t develop addictions. They can often be carried by anyone of legal age without consequence. Some Schedule V drugs include acne drugs and cold and sinus medicine. 

Schedule IV

When people are prescribed drugs by doctors, these drugs are often categorized as Schedule IV. Some Schedule IV can be found over the counter. These drugs may include Valium, Xanax and Ambien. These drugs typically don’t cause issues of dependency but may lead to more issues than Schedule V drugs.

Schedule III

Many drugs that are used for medical purposes by doctors and nurses are considered Schedule III. These drugs can include steroids and testosterone. People who possess these drugs legally often have prescriptions provided by medical professionals. These drugs can lead to abuse and addiction if used incorrectly, but they are not the most severe. 

Schedule II

Drugs like PCP and cocaine don’t have many medical uses and are considered Schedule II drugs because they tend to cause addiction and abuse. A Schedule II drug such as morphine can have medical uses but is often only administered with medical supervision. 

Schedule I

The most intense kind of drug is Schedule I. Schedule I drugs, such as LSD and heroin have the highest risk of addiction and not considered to have legitimate medical uses.

A drug possession charge can greatly change a person’s life. It can help people to reach out for legal help when discussing their defense options.