Structural Biochemistry/Controlled Substances Act

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Background[edit]

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) consists of numerous laws regulating how certain substances are manufactured and distributed within the United States. Also known as the Comprehensive Drug Abused Prevention and Control Act of 1970, the CSA is administered under the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which investigates the illegal production of controlled substances on an interstate and international level. [1]

Five Schedules[edit]

Under Section 812 of the CSA, the controlled substances are divided into five schedules. Each controlled substances is placed under Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V based on its potential for abuse, accepted medical treatment and safety within the United States, and its likelihood of causing physical and psychological dependence.

Schedule I:[edit]
  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.[2]

Prescriptions for Schedule I drugs are not accepted anywhere in the United States.

Some examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, cannabis, Ecstasy, and LSD. These drugs contain hallucinogenic substances, opiates such as acetylmethadol, or any opiate derivatives including its isomers, esters, salts, or other chemical combination. [3]

Schedule II:[edit]
  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.[4]

Prescriptions for Schedule II drugs can only be written by hand directly from a licensed practitioner. In California, schedule II prescriptions must be on a new, tamper-resistant prescription form, and are not allowed to have refills on them. Typically these prescriptions are written for a thirty days supply. [5]

Some examples of Schedule II narcotics include oxycodone, amphetamine salts, and methylphenidate. Better known brand name drugs include OxyContin, Percocet, Adderall, and Ritalin. These drugs contain any derivative of opium, opiate, or methamphetamine.

Schedule III:[edit]
  1. The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.[6]

Some examples of Schedule III drugs include Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine, and Suboxone. These drugs contain some compound or mixture of depressents, methylphenidate, or narcotic drug. Although there are some Schedule II drugs mixed into Schedule III narcotics, the DEA allows up to 1.8 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters. Some other regulations include a maximum of 500 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters, and a maximum of 50 milligrams of morphine per 100 milliliters compound.[7]

Schedule IV:[edit]
  1. The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. [8]

Some examples of Schedule IV drugs include alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, and carisoprodol. Better known brand names include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Soma. [9] These drugs contain barital, methohexital, phenobarbital, or meprobamate, which are usually used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Schedule V:[edit]
  1. The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV. [10]

Some examples of Schedule V narcotics include Robitussin and other cough suppressants. Many of these drugs contain some combination of codeine, dihydrocodein, ethylmorphine, diphenoxylate, or opium. However, there is a limited quantity of the active narcotic drug that is allowed within the compound. For example, only 100 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters can a mixture contain.[11]

  1. "Controlled Substance Law." The Controlled Substances Act (CSA). HG.org Global Legal Resources, n.d. Web. <http://www.hg.org/control.html>.
  2. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  3. "Regulatory Information - Controlled Substances Act." US Food and Drug Adminstration. US Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. <http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm>.
  4. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  5. http://www.mbc.ca.gov/licensee/rx_form_requirements.html
  6. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  7. "Regulatory Information - Controlled Substances Act." US Food and Drug Adminstration. US Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. <http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm>.
  8. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  9. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  10. "DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules." DEA Diversion Control - Controlled Substance Schedules. Drug Enforcement Administration, n.d. Web. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html>.
  11. "Regulatory Information - Controlled Substances Act." US Food and Drug Adminstration. US Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. <http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm>.