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Commonly Abused Drugs and the Controlled Substance Act of 1970

The United States of America has put stringent policies and framework to fight against the war on drugs. Through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) US recognizes the potential dangers drug has to the health and social wellness of the general public. The CSA is part of a Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act made in 1970. There have been several amendments done to the act over the years, such as mentioned below:

  • The Federal Analog Act.
  • The Domestic Chemical Diversion and Control Act of 1993.
  • The Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act of 1988.
  • The Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act.
  • The Psychotropic Substances Act of 1978.
  • The Controlled Substances Penalties Amendments Act of 1984.

The CSA regulates how manufacturers, pharmacies, distributors and healthcare providers carefully manage how they meet the set safety standards and ensure the set control mechanisms of how the end consumer obtains the drugs is adhered to. This lead to the CSA classifying the drugs under fives schedules: schedule I, II, III, IV and V. Drugs classified under schedule I are those with high likelihood for abuse, have no approved medical benefits and there are no set safety standard on their intake. While drugs classified under schedule II to V are drugs which have a decreasing level of potency.

  • Schedule I: This group of drugs bears the heaviest legal punishment in illegal production, distribution, sale and consumption. They include drugs like marijuana, heroin, PCP, LSD and crack cocaine.
  • Schedule II: This group of drugs has a high likelihood of abuse. They have been accepted for medical use and are used in quite severe cases. When they are abused, the user could be severely compromised psychologically and become physically dependent. Examples of such drugs include:
    • Morphine
    • Dextroamphetamine
    • Methylphenidate
    • Oxycodone
    • Schedule III: Less likely to be abused than those in the above two schedule categories. They are currently used for various medical treatments and should the user abuse the drug, it may lead to them being physically dependent on them on a mild to moderate level. Examples of drugs under this category include:
      • Vicodin
      • Anabolic steroids
      • Schedule IV: Drugs in this category have a lower potential for abuse as compared to the above category, they are currently used for medical treatments and their physical of psychological dependency is lower than those in the above category. Examples of such drugs include:
        • Benzodiazepines
        • Diazepam
        • Clonazepam
        • Lorazepam
        • Alprazolom
        • Schedule V: This category comprises of drugs with the least likelihood of being abused, they are used for various medical treatments and their abuse leads to very limited psychological or physical dependence. Example of drugs in this category include:
          • Cough medications having codeine like Schedule V drugs.