Controlled Substances Information
Controlled substances are drugs or other substances that are strictly regulated to reduce the risk of abuse and illegal distribution. Most controlled substances are psychoactive chemicals and drugs (they affect the brain). Not all prescription medications are controlled substances. For example, birth control pills, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics are not controlled.
Each controlled substance is classified as a Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V medication. The particular Schedule a drug belongs to will let you know things such as how many refills are allowed and how likely the substance is to be abused. The strongest restrictions are for reserved for Schedule I drugs. Examples of specific drugs found within each Schedule include:
- Schedule I: Heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana
- Schedule II: Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall®), cocaine, codeine
- Schedule III: Acetaminophen with codeine, anabolic steroids (Androderm®, Testim®), buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone®)
- Schedule IV: Alprazolam (Xanax®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), diazepam (Valium®)
- Schedule V: Acetaminophen with codeine, Phenergan® with codeine, Robitussin® AC with codeine.
(For more information on how the drugs are classified, as well as what the Controlled Substances Act is, click Controlled Substance.)