Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependence potential. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) carefully considers the drugs and substances’ abuse rate before rating the scheduling. Read more below on Schedule II drugs and substances.
Schedule II Substances
The Controlled Substances Act is a law that was enacted in 1970 in order to regulate the production, distribution and use of many types of drugs. It classifies drugs into five different categories, called schedules. As the act explains, each drug is put into a specific schedule based on the following factors:
- Its actual or relative potential for abuse
- Scientific evidence of the substance’s side effects
- Current scientific knowledge of the substance
- The substance history and current pattern of misuse
- The magnitude of the substance’s misuse
- Possible risk to public health
- The substance psychic or physiological dependence
Schedule II substances are those with the following characteristics according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA):
- Drugs, substances or chemicals defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse
- Drugs that potentially lead to severe psychological or physical dependence
Unlike Schedule I substances, most Schedule II controlled substances can be prescribed to patients. They are typically prescribed to treat severe pain, anxiety, insomnia and ADHD. Schedule II drugs have a higher potential for addiction than Schedule III drugs and are prescribed carefully. Refills generally aren’t allowed for these prescriptions, and Schedule II medications have the most stringent regulations compared to other medicines.
Schedule II Drug Examples:
Schedule II Substance Misuse
Schedule II substance misuse can result in many of the same issues as Schedule I drug use. Professional, social and personal problems can occur. Misuse of Schedule II-V prescription substances is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as taking medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed. Misuse is considered an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as drug overdose deaths were four times higher in 2018 than in 1999, with 70% of those deaths involving an opioid.
Courts and law enforcement agencies use these schedules to better understand the potential risk of a drug. They are also used to decide on the consequences of illegally manufacturing, selling and using different drugs. Continue to check our blog for more information regarding the different classification of scheduled substances.
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