Examples of Controlled Substances and Their Scheduling

Examples of Controlled Substances and Their Scheduling

There are many different types of drugs abused or misused today that affect the lives of adolescents, teens, young adults, and older adults throughout the U.S. Substance abuse takes place is all age groups and economic backgrounds and destroys health, families, and causes our health care to sky rocket.

It's sad because substance abuse and addiction takes a toll on everyone and in one way or another affects the whole country. Illegal street drugs, abused legal prescription drugs, misused over the counter medications, and alcohol continue to cause problems in every state with certain substances being more prominent than others depending on the state.

Alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and over the counter medications are becoming more common drugs of abuse throughout the United States even though street drugs are still high in demand, illegally trafficked and distributed throughout the U.S.

Many of the drugs that are abused, trafficked and distributed are controlled substances and are categorized under specific schedules through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Controlled substances are placed in one of five specific schedule categories depending on whether they're presently accepted for medical use in the United States, their abuse potential, and dependence (addiction) likelihood.

Schedule I

Substances cannot be prescribed or administered for medical use in the United States at this time. Substances in this category are not safe to use and their abuse potential is high. Examples of schedule 1 controlled substances include heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, PCP, GHB, methaqualone, crack cocaine, and ecstasy.

Methaqualone (Quaalude) was introduced in 1965 as a safe barbiturate substitute. Combining methaqualone with wine (luding out) by 1972 was becoming popular among college students and when excessively used led to tolerance, addiction and barbiturate like withdrawal symptoms. The U.S. stopped marketing methaqualone pharmaceutical products in 1984 and the drug became a Schedule 1 classified substance.

Ecstasy (3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a man-made psychoactive drug that affects a person's mental state and behaviors. Many young people commonly use ecstasy today and for some people can be addictive. Ecstasy is also referred to as MDMA and can produce depression, confusion, insomnia, drug cravings and severe anxiety in individuals that abuse this drug.

Schedule II

Substances have a high potential for being abused and can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include morphine, opium, hydromorphone, methadone, meperidine, oxycodone, fentanyl, amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate, and cocaine.

Dilaudid is the trade name for hydromorphone and is a schedule II opioid analgesic drug that's used to relieve pain and is abused throughout the United States. When a person abuses Dilaudid or hydromorphone medications they become tolerant then dependence sets in. Dangerous enough on its own when abused, many people combine alcohol or other substances with painkillers like Dilaudid and risk serious health consequences or death.

OxyContin is the trade name for oxycodone which is a narcotic painkiller and is abused throughout the United States. People in all age groups abuse Oxycontin and risk tolerance, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, respiratory depression and death.

Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is the brand name for an amphetamine formulation that has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Young people and college students commonly abuse Adderall and many times combine the drug with alcohol and other substances.

Schedule III

Substances have a lower potential for abuse than schedule I and II substances but can lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples include buprenorphine products, ketamine, zolazepam, tiletamine, and anabolic steroids.

Suboxone is the brand name for a buprenorphine product which contains buprenorphine and naloxone for the treatment of opioid addiction. Suboxone helps people stop using substances like heroin and pain pills like Vicodin, OxyContin and other opioid drugs. Many people are dependent on painkillers and heroin today and Suboxone helps manage cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms so the individual can focus on their recovery. Unfortunately some people do abuse Suboxone and in high doses can become tolerant.

Ketamine is actually an anesthetic that some people abuse because of the hallucinogenic effects the drug produces. Ketamine is a drug that is used in veterinary practices as an anesthetic but is abused by some people because the effects they experience are similar to PCP. Unfortunately some people have also used ketamine to incapacitate people they intend to sexually assault. When Ketamine is used the individual feels disconnected from their body and somewhat out of control because it impairs their judgment, senses and coordination for around 24 hours but the hallucinogenic affects the individual experiences last for around 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

Schedule IV

Substances have a low potential for abuse compared to schedule III substances and include propoxyphene, alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam and triazolam. Schedule IV drugs even though have a low abuse potential still can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Darvon is the trade name for propoxyphene and is used to treat mild to moderate pain and also sometimes prescribed for other uses. Darvon was withdrawn from the United States market in November of 2010 and is extremely dangerous if you have a history of suicidal tendencies, never be mixed with alcohol or combined with valium or Xanax.

Xanax is the trade name for alprazolam and are in the benzodiazepine family of depressants that are used therapeutically and Xanax is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety disorders. Unfortunately Xanax is a common central nervous system depressant that's commonly abused today and sometimes combined with other drugs or alcohol. People get Xanax from doctors, friends and over the internet illegally from illicit online pharmacies which is not only illegal but dangerous.

Valium is the trade name for diazepam which is prescribed to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and is also used to control agitation experienced by alcohol withdrawal. Valium is in the benzodiazepine family of depressants and is also abused by many people today.

Schedule V

Substances have a low potential of abuse compared to schedule IV substances and examples include antitussive, antidiarrheal, and analgesic medications. Robitussin AC and Phenergan with Codeine are also schedule V substances. Antitussives are drugs that suppress coughs but are abused in large doses.

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Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    Great listing...studying for LCDC, and this should be a great help. Thanks

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