SCHEDULES OR CLASSES OF DRUGS
SCHEDULES (OR CLASSES) OF DRUGS – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLASS I AND A CLASS THREE MEDICATION? WHY IS IT HARDER TO GET SOME MEDICATIONS THAN OTHERS?
IN HIS BOOK, “ABC’S OF PAIN RELIEF AND TREATMENT”, DOCTOR TIM SAMS EXPLAINS THIS VERY WELL.
"PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE CATEGORIZED IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT INTO FIVE SCHEDULES, OR CLASSES, BASED UPON THE GOVERNMENTS PERSPECTIVE OF THEIR POTENTIAL ABUSE."
SCHEDULE 1 (CLASS I) DRUGS are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin, LSD, and cocaine. Marijuana is also included as a Class 1 drug despite it being legal in some states and it being used as a medicinal drug in some states.
SCHEDULE 2 DRUGS (CLASS 2) DRUGS have a high potential for abuse and dependence, an accepted medical use, and the potential for severe addiction. These drugs include opiods based on high dose codeine, Fentanyl, and Oxycodone as well as Methamphetamine and the Barbiturates; also included are such drugs as opium, morphine. Adderall is even included in this category under "mixed amphetamine salts".
The main difference between a Schedule, or Class, 1 and 2 is whether or not the drug is deemed to have a valid medical application.
SCHEDULE 3 (CLASS 3) DRUGS have a lower potential for abuse than drugs in the first two categories, accepted medical use, and mild to moderate possible addiction. These drugs include steroids, Low-dose Codeine, and Hydrocodone-based opiods.
SCHEDULE 4 (CLASS 4) DRUGS have an even lower abuse potential than Schedule 3 Drugs, accepted medical use, and limited addiction potential. These include most of the anti-anxiety medications like the numerous Benzodiazepines, Sedatives, sleeping agents, and the mildest of the opiod type medications like Darvon and Talwin.
SCHEDULE 5 (CLASS 5) DRUGS have a low abuse potential, accepted medical use, and a very limited addiction potential. These consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of narcotics or stimulant drugs for cough, diarrhea, or pain.