Learn about the 5 drug schedules and how they affect you

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Drug Charges

Substances can have various uses and effects. To regulate the use, distribution and manufacture of drugs, the Control Substances Act (CSA) was established. The CSA establishes how drugs are categorized. The classification of drugs are known as schedules. The schedule of a drug can have a large influence on the outcome of a drug possession case.

When someone is in possession of an illegal substance that has a high schedule classification, then they could face harsher penalties than if they had a low scheduled drug. There are five schedules altogether. Here is how they work: 

Schedule V

Often considered the least addictive and easily obtained over-the-counter, Schedule V drugs can include cough suppressants and medicines with low amounts of narcotics. 

Schedule IV

Valium, Ativan and Xanax are a few drugs classified as Schedule IV substances. These drugs are often obtained with the use of prescriptions. Some can be bought in stores.

Schedule III

As drugs become more addictive, they are given higher schedules, such as Schedule III substances. Schedule III drugs include steroids and testosterone, which are frequently used in hospitals. However, other Schedule III drugs can include ketamine. 

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs include cocaine, PCP and morphine. These drugs often have limited uses in hospitals because of the high potential for substance abuse and dependence. 

Schedule I

The highest kind of drug categorization is Schedule I. Schedule I drugs, such as LSD and heroin, are the most dangerous and can lead to the harshest criminal penalties.

Drug possession in Indiana can lead to incarceration, fines, criminal record, child custody issues and a loss of voting rights. A strong criminal defense can help mitigate charges and sentences.