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 III drugs and substances.
Schedule III Substances
The Controlled Substances Act is a law that was enacted in 1970 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 III substances are those with the following characteristics according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA):
- Moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.
- Less drug abuse potential than Schedule I or II drugs but more than Schedule IV and V
Schedule III Drug Examples
- Any products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit, like Tylenol with codeine
- Anabolic Steroids
Schedule III Substance Misuse
Ketamine is used medicinally for its pain relief and anesthetic qualities. In 2019, it was introduced as an anti-depressant. It is generally abused in social situations and is combined with other drugs.
Codeine products are used in prescription pain medications to treat mild to moderate pain. Codeine is considered a gateway drug to other, more potent opiates. Many users can develop a tolerance for it, resulting in them taking larger, more dangerous doses or mixing them with other drugs.
Testosterone and Anabolic Steroids
Testosterone and anabolic steroids aren’t like the pain relievers found in Schedule III because they usually don’t result in a high. However, their abuse comes from performance enhancement in athletes and bodybuilders, and their effects can be detrimental to the body and mind.
Courts and law enforcement agencies use these schedules to understand the potential risk of a drug better. 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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