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Schedules of controlled substances

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2019 | Blog, Drug Charges |

In Pennsylvania and around the country, controlled drugs are substances that are regulated because they have the potential for abuse and addiction. While some controlled drugs are illegal, others are legally prescribed medications that have legitimate medical benefits. if you are caught with controlled drugs that have not been prescribed to you, you can be charged with drug crimes.

Scheduled drugs

Controlled drugs are classified under five schedules, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. Drugs that are included in Schedule I have the highest potential for addiction and no accepted medical benefits. Some examples of drugs in this category include heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for addiction but have limited medical benefits. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, amphetamine, and opium.

Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for physical addiction but carry a potential for psychological dependence along with recognized medical benefits. Some examples of Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, suboxone, and ketamine. Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for addiction than Schedule III drugs and include such substances as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin. Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for addiction out of all of the scheduled drugs. An example of a Schedule V drug is cough syrup with codeine.


It is illegal for people to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Some of the scheduled drugs cannot be prescribed for any reason, meaning that it is always illegal to possess them. People who are charged with possessing controlled substances may face a range of penalties, depending on the particular drug that was possessed and its quantity. The penalties may be much more severe when people are caught with a sufficient quantity to support a charge of possession with intent to sell or distribute. If you are charged with drug offenses, you might benefit from retaining an experienced drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Your counsel might review the evidence and identify defenses that could be raised against the allegations.