What is a controlled drug?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Certain drugs have a higher risk of misuse and addiction than others. These drugs also tend to incur harsher punishments due to their harm potential.  

According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the distribution of controlled drugs is tightly managed to prevent misuse. These drugs fall into schedule categories, which range from I through V. Placement within drug schedules is dependent on abuse potential and medical usage, with I being the highest and V being the lowest. 

Schedule I & II

Schedule I substances do not have accepted therapeutic use, and are also associated with an increased risk of misuse, abuse, and dependency. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana, and others.  

Schedule II drugs are still considered risky, but have accepted medical applications. This includes cocaine, morphine, prescription opioids (oxycodone), and stimulants (methylphenidate).  

Schedule III, IV, & V

Schedules III through V typically have a much lower abuse and misuse potential. While still potent and containing narcotic substances, these drug schedules usually contain a lower volume of narcotic, which decreases their risk. Drugs in these groups include alprazolam (commonly known as Xanax), acetaminophen with codeine, and paregoric, diazepam (also known as Valium).  

When it comes to prescription medications with abuse potential, doctors and pharmacists must provide them very carefully to patients. Pharmacies must send copies of prescriptions to the Texas Department of Public Safety as a means of tracking them. In the event there are discrepancies in the prescribing of certain drugs, or a doctor does not follow the law, they can find themselves in legal trouble. 

Very few people intend on becoming addicted to or dependent on controlled substances. By understanding these risks, you are better prepared to prevent issues before they occur.