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What are drug schedules?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Drug Charges

Have you ever heard of a drug being scheduled? A drug schedule doesn’t mean the days and times someone is supposed to take their medicine. A drug schedule is a category that determines its potential for abuse, legal status and medical uses.

A drug schedule can also determine the outcome of a legal case. How does a drug schedule affect a legal case? The higher the rank of a drug schedule, the more serious a punishment someone might incur. 

5 kinds of scheduled drugs

There are five kinds of drug schedule categories. The higher the number then the lower the drug’s potential for abuse and addiction. Here are the different kinds of drug schedules: 

  • Schedule V: substances with the lowest abuse and dependence statistics, often found over the counter 
  • Schedule IV: drugs with low abuse and dependency and may be found over the counter or obtained by prescription
  • Schedule III: moderate to low drug abuse potential with some physical and psychological dependence, typically, doctor prescribed
  • Schedule II: drugs with high abuse and severe dependence, rarely doctor prescribed 
  • Schedule I: the highest degree of drug abuse and dependence potential and may be only obtained through illicit means 

Possession of certain drugs can lead to criminal charges. As stated above, being caught with a highly addictive schedule drug could lead to serious punishment. Some high-schedule drugs may only be obtained through illegal manufacture and distribution.

Someone caught with drugs may not be immediately charged with drug possession. Another kind of drug charge is constructive possession. Constructive possession happens when someone is in possession of drugs that are someone else’s. 

That being said, it may help to reach out for a legal defense when combatting a drug possession charge