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Types of Drugs and Their Legality: Your Guide

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Drug use is a phenomenon that is common across the United States. Data shows that almost 12% of persons admit to using a drug in the past month. This number is quite shocking.

Despite all the messages warning people about the consequences of drug use, drug use is going up. There is even an opioid epidemic in this country. In 2019, almost 50,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose.

If you decide to use a drug, you must be ready for the legal consequences. In this guide, you will read about the different types of drugs and their legal status.

The History of Drug Use

It’s important to go over the history of drug use. This will help you gain a better understanding of how drug use has become a major problem in today’s society.

Drugs have been a part of every culture’s history. People use drugs for different purposes. From medical to religious purposes – there is always a reason.

Drug abuse has always been around. This started to become a bigger problem as people learned how to make drugs themselves. More access to drugs helped to increase drug use.

In the last century, advances in the sciences have made it easier for people to create new drugs. The new drugs are more potent. People can make the drugs from ingredients that aren’t hard to get.

The new drugs include morphine and heroin, which come from opium. Cocaine and its cheaper alternative, crack, come from coca leaves.

People even found ways to create drugs in labs. Amphetamines are drugs with origins that go back to the laboratories.

It’s the same deal for new hallucinogenic drugs. Ecstasy and MDA are examples of these new drugs. All these new drugs are more addictive. Their high potency has contributed to the increase in recreational drug use.

Controlled Substances Act

In 1971, President Nixon signed into law the Controlled Substances Act. This law placed substances in different categories or schedules. The goal of this law was to control their use.

The DEA handles the initiation of the process of adding, deleting, or changing the schedule of a drug. This agency will assess all drugs, whether it’s a street drug or a drug that’s meant to be used for medical purposes.

Drug classification is based on several factors. Once there is a determination, the drug will be placed into one of five schedules. For the most part, the drug’s potential for abuse plays a big role in determining which schedule it will go into.

Schedule I Drugs

The drugs that part of Schedule I are viewed as the most dangerous. The DEA deems Schedule I drugs as the ones that have the most potential for causing harm.

The drugs that fall under this schedule don’t have any current medical use. Because they have no medical use, they carry a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana are some of the drugs that are part of this schedule. LSD and bath salts also fall under this schedule.

These are drugs that you may have heard in the news. This is because they are among the drugs that are most abused. The penalty for using a Schedule I drug varies as their use is illegal.

A person can go to prison for years. The person can also receive a fine.

Schedule II Drugs

The drugs that are part of this schedule have a high potential for abuse. They are considered dangerous because they can lead to dependence.

Examples of Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methadone, and fentanyl. Also found in this schedule are Adderall and Ritalin. These are drugs that doctors prescribe to people with ADHD.

The penalties of being caught with a Schedule II drug are similar to the penalties of Schedule I drugs. The penalties are based on the quantity of drugs a person has.

Schedule III Drugs

Schedule III drugs have a moderate to low potential for abuse. They also have less potential for physical and psychological dependence.

These are some of the reasons why these drugs aren’t part of the two previous schedules. The drugs that are part of this schedule include ketamine and anabolic steroids.

For possession of these drugs, a person can face up to one year in jail. The person can also receive a fine of up to $5,000.

Schedule IV Drugs

The drugs in this schedule have a low potential for abuse. They are still dangerous, but not as dangerous as the Schedule III drugs.

In this schedule, you can find the drugs such as Xanax, Ativan, and Ambien. See something in common? These are all prescription drugs. If you have one of these drugs on you and you don’t have a prescription, you can land in deep trouble.

Schedule V Drugs

These drugs have the lowest potential for abuse. Under this schedule, you’ll find drugs like Lomotil and Lyrica.

For a first offense, you can expect no more than one year in prison. You can also expect a hefty fine.

If you have been arrested for a drug case, you’ll need to find yourself a lawyer. Hire a drug possession lawyer to take on your case.

The penalties for drug cases are serious. You’ll want to have a drug possession lawyer on your side who will go to court and fight on your behalf.

Types of Drugs and Their Legality

There are negative consequences that can come with drug use. If you make a mistake, be ready for the penalties that will come your way if you get arrested. Make sure to hire the best drug possession lawyer.

If you want to get more information about drug possession lawyers in your area, visit our contact us page.

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