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Government Drug Schedule – What is it?

May 19th, 2007 · No Comments

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places all substances which were in some manner regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules. This placement is based upon the substance’s medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability.

Drug Placement Factors

In determining into which schedule a drug or other substance should be placed, or whether a substance should be decontrolled or rescheduled, certain factors are required to be considered. Specific findings are not required for each factor. These factors are listed in Section 201 (c), [21 U.S.C. 811 (c)] of the CSA as follows:

1- The drug’s actual or relative potential for abuse.

2- Scientific evidence of the drug’s pharmacological effects. The state of knowledge with respect to the effects of a specific drug is, of course, a major consideration. For example, it is vital to know whether or not a drug has a hallucinogenic effect if it is to be controlled due to that effect. The best available knowledge of the pharmacological properties of a drug should be considered.

 

3- The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the substance. Criteria (2) and (3) are closely related. However, (2) is primarily concerned with pharmacological effects and (3) deals with all scientific knowledge with respect to the substance.

4- Its history and current pattern of abuse. To determine whether or not a drug should be controlled, it is important to know the pattern of abuse of that substance, including the socio-economic characteristics of the segments of the population involved in such abuse.

5- The scope, duration, and significance of abuse. In evaluating existing abuse, the DEA Administrator must know not only the pattern of abuse, but whether the abuse is widespread. In reaching a decision, the Administrator should consider the economics of regulation and enforcement attendant to such a decision. In addition, the Administrator should be aware of the social significance and impact of such a decision upon those people, especially the young, that would be affected by it.

6- What, if any, risk there is to the public health. If a drug creates dangers to the public health, in addition to or because of its abuse potential, then these dangers must also be considered by the Administrator.

7- The drug’s psychic or physiological dependence liability. There must be an assessment of the extent to which a drug is physically addictive or psychologically habit forming, if such information is known.

8- Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled. The CSA allows inclusion of immediate precursors on this basis alone into the appropriate schedule and thus safeguards against possibilities of clandestine manufacture.
After considering the above listed factors, the Administrator must make specific findings concerning the drug or other substance. This will determine into which schedule the drug or other substance will be placed.

Schedules

Schedule I

-The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

-The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

-There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Examples of Schedule I substances include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana, and methaqualone.

Schedule II

-The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

-The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.

-Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Examples of Schedule II substances include morphine, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine.
 

Schedule III

-The drug or other substance has less potential for abuse than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.

-The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

-Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Anabolic steroids, codeine and hydrocodone with aspirin or Tylenol®, and some barbiturates are examples of Schedule III substances.

Schedule IV

-The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III.

-The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

-Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III.

Examples of drugs included in schedule IV are Darvon®, Talwin®, Equanil®, Valium®, and Xanax®.
 

Schedule V

-The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV.

-The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

-Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV.

Cough medicines with codeine are examples of Schedule V drugs.

Penalties

The CSA provides penalties for unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances. The penalties are basically determined by the schedule of the drug or other substance, and sometimes are specified by drug name, as in the case of marijuana.

Federal Trafficking Penalty examples:

* For heroin (Schedule I):

For 100-999 grams mixture:
First offense, not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life. Fine of not more than $2 million if an individual, $5 million if other than an individual.
Second offense, not less than 10 years and not more than life. If death or serious injury, not less than life. Fine of not more than $4 million if an individual, $10 million if other than an individual.

* For Marijuana (Schedule I)

For less than 50 kilograms mixture or 1 to 49 plants:
First offense, not more than 5 years. Fine not more than $250,000 individual, $1 million other than individual.
Second offense, not more than 10 years. Fine $500,000 individual, $2 million other than individual.

The penalty goes up the more you have.

 

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Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction · Street Drugs

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