What You Should Know About Drug Schedules

A drug conviction can have a major impact on your life for years to come. Depending on the substance in question, you may be faced with serious jail time, stiff fines, and other life-altering penalties.

According to the Controlled Substances Act, drugs and controlled substances that are governed by federal law fall into one of five schedules. This guide explains the differences between them, as well as the reasoning behind drug scheduling.

The Basis for Drug Scheduling

Two factors are used when determining which drugs are included in what schedules. First, the drug’s acceptable medical use, or lack thereof, will be considered. The drug’s potential for abuse or dependency is another essential factor. Some drugs are considered more hazardous to the general public, so criminal wrongdoing involving these substances often has the steepest penalties.

A Guide to Drug Schedules

Each schedule includes a wide range of substances, which vary in terms of risk and usage:

  • Schedule I – These substances have no accepted medical use and entail the highest risk of abuse or dependency. Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, mescaline, MDMA, and psilocybin mushrooms.
  • Schedule II – While schedule II substances also have a high abuse potential, they have accepted medical applications, albeit with many restrictions. These drugs include Adderall, cocaine, fentanyl, methadone, methamphetamine, and Vicodin.
  • Schedule III – When it comes to abuse and dependency potential, schedule III drugs are considered moderate to low risk. Ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, and testosterone fall into this category.
  • Schedule IV – These drugs have a low abuse risk. They include Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Tramadol, and Ambien, many of which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.
  • Schedule V – This classification has the lowest abuse and dependency risk of all the drug schedules. It includes certain types of cough syrup, anti-diarrheal medications, and drugs that treat nerve pain.

No matter the substance involved, being charged with possessing or selling drugs can have major consequences. Here at Angela Arellanes Law, I use my substantial legal experience to defend clients against drug charges. With a solid criminal defense, you can strive towards the best possible outcome for your case. Schedule a consultation to discuss the charges against you by calling (505) 247-2417. You can also contact me for more information.

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