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The Controlled Substances Act

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In 1970, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (CSA) replaced the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act of 1932. In 1990, congress returned to the CSA due to major changes in the federal law and a new found concern with the influence of narcotics in American life. As seen in the CSA of 1970, the new act includes five legal drug classifications. The drugs are ranked based on their usefulness in medical treatment, and their potential for abuse. Schedule one drugs have a high potential of abuse and no known medical benefit. Schedule five drugs have a low potential for abuse, and are accepted for medical treatment in the United States.

Schedule I

High Abuse, No recognized Medical use, Lack of Safety

Controlled Substances:

  • Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
  • 12-Methoxyibogamine (Ibogaine)
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Pholcodine
  • MDMA
  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Mescaline
  • Methaqualone
  • AMT
  • Bufotenin
  • DXO
  • Benzylpiperazine

Sentences, for non-violent, first time offenders convicted of trafficking Schedule I drugs, can be turned into life sentences when multiple sales are prosecuted in one hearing.

Schedule II

High Abuse, Medical Utility, High Dependency Risk

Controlled Substances:

  • Methylphenidate
  • Cocaine
  • Opium
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Mixed Amphetamine Salts (Adderall)
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Secobarbital
  • Pethidine
  • Nabilone
  • Tapentadol

Substance II drugs may not be dispensed without written prescription from a doctor. Prescriptions of substance II drugs are in a “closed system”. This means, the prescription may not be refilled, unless medically required.

Schedule III

Lower Abuse, Medical Utility, Moderate Dependency Risk

Controlled Substances:

  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Buprenorphine
  • Amphetamine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Ketamine
  • Xyrem
  • Hydrocodone/Codeine
  • Marinol
  • Lysergic Acid Amide (LSA)
  • Paregoric
  • Barbiturates (Short acting)

Schedule III drugs may not be used without prescription from a doctor. Prescriptions may not be refilled after six months of the date they were issued for use.

Schedule IV

Low Potential for Abuse, High Medical Utility, Limited Dependency Risk

Controlled Substances:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Temazepam
  • Barbiturates (Long acting)
  • Provigil
  • Difenoxin
  • Dextropropoxyphene

Prescriptions for Schedule IV drugs may be refilled up to five times within six months.

Schedule V

Low Abuse, High Medical Utility, Little Dependency Risk

Controlled Substances:

  • Cough syrups containing small amounts of codeine
  • Preparations containing small amounts of opium
  • Pyrovalerone

No drug found in schedule V may be dispensed or distributed for anything other than medicinal use.

Production of Controlled Substances

Production of controlled substances can mean illegal manufacturing. Production may be considered a serious trafficking offense. Without prescription from a doctor, using and maintaining controlled substances is illegal. Distributors, or manufacturers can be prosecuted and serve numerous years in jail.

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