Do You Understand How a Drug Schedule Works?

When you face drug charges, you may hear law enforcement officials talking about a drug schedule. This schedule can affect your charges, so it is important to understand what it is.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a drug schedule categorizes different substances. The grouping considers how likely it is that someone might abuse a substance or become dependent on it. Officials also evaluate whether a substance has valid medical purposes.

Low-risk substances

There are five categories of drugs. These are also known as schedules. Schedule IV and V substances present the lowest risk to people. These categories include cough medications and anti-anxiety medicines. You usually need a prescription to access some of these substances. However, doctors consider it to be improbable that you might become dependent on them.

Schedule III substances include medications with low doses of codeine. Certain types of steroids also fall into this category. Medical professionals put these drugs into a higher schedule because there is a moderate chance for substance abuse.

High-risk substances

It is very likely that someone could develop an addiction to a Schedule II substance. This category includes the following drugs:

  • Oxycodone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall

When people use these drugs for too long, they can easily abuse them. However, these substances can sometimes serve a medical purpose.

Schedule I drugs, conversely, have no accepted medical purpose. These are usually controlled substances, like heroin and ecstasy. Additionally, there is a high probability that people will develop an addiction after using these drugs.

Drug charges could include several different substances. Offenses involving substances in a lower schedule could result in less severe charges. However, you could face more serious consequences if your offense involves a Schedule I or II substance.