What Is a Controlled Substance?
Controlled substances are drugs that are subject to strict government control because they may cause addiction or be misused.
The government’s control impacted how these substances are made, used, stored, and transported.
Examples of controlled substances include:
- anabolic steroids
Controlled substances with proven medical uses, like Valium, morphine, and Ritalin, are available to the general public, but only with a prescription from an accredited medical professional.
Other controlled substances like LSD and heroin have no medical applications and are illegal in the United States.
What is the Purpose of the Controlled Substances Act?
The controlled substances act is a legal framework that defines federal drug policy in the United States. It governs the manufacture, importation, possession, and distribution of controlled substances.
The purpose of the controlled substances act is to enhance controlled substance regulation. To this end, distributors, manufacturers, and dispensers of controlled substances must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration, a body responsible for enforcing the Act at the federal level.
This requirement has facilitated the emergence of a closed distribution system. It allows for controlled substances to be monitored from initial manufacture to the point of purchase. Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse. A Listing of drugs and their schedule are located at Controlled Substance Act (CSA) Scheduling or CSA Scheduling by Alphabetical Order. These lists describes the basic or parent chemical and do not necessarily describe the salts, isomers and salts of isomers, esters, ethers and derivatives which may also be classified as controlled substances. These lists are intended as general references and are not comprehensive listings of all controlled substances.
Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. A controlled substance analogue is a substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to or is represented as being similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II substance and is not an approved medication in the United States. (See 21 U.S.C. §802(32)(A) for the definition of a controlled substance analogue and 21 U.S.C. §813 for the schedule.)
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:
Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:
Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:
Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol
Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are:
cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin
List of Controlled Substancec_cs_alpha
It is not legal to buy controlled substance online.
What Drugs Have the Highest Potential for Abuse?
Schedule I and II drugs have the highest potential for abuse. The substances listed under these categories have the greatest potential to cause psychological or physical dependence.
What Drugs Have the Lowest Potential for Abuse?
Schedule 5 drugs have the least potential for abuse. They are also the least regulated of all scheduled substances.
Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
There is no cure for substance use disorder (SUD). However, there are several treatment approaches that can help the affected person overcome it and remain drug-free. The strategy used depends on the drug used and any co-occurring mental health disorders.2
- Chemical dependence treatment
- Behavior therapy
Most Commonly Used Drugs by Teens
What is the Number One Drug Used by Teens?
People might think of illicit drugs such as cocaine or LSD when asked which drugs are most often used by teens.
In reality, many of the most common drugs young people use are perfectly legal. Tobacco and alcohol are common among teens. Also included in the list of often-used drugs by teens are Adderall, Vicodin, and OxyContin, all three of which are legal when used under a doctor’s prescription.
In addition to the substances above, other commonly abused drugs include marijuana, inhalants, and synthetic marijuana. Over-the-counter medications, painkillers, and even household chemicals are also abused by teens.
It’s impossible to know exactly what your teen is doing every minute of their day, nor can you be entirely sure that your child would never try something illegal or dangerous. But there are things parents can do to reduce the risks their teens face when it comes to drugs.
Warning Signs of Teen Alcohol Abuse
There are several physical warning signs that indicate a teen is abusing alcohol, including:
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Persistent cough
- Increased fatigue or problems sleeping
- Unexplained increase or decrease in weight
- Unexplained injuries
- Frequent headaches
- Sensitivity to sound
- Slurred speech and other communication problems
- Lack of concentration
Social and emotional signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Withdrawal from family
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies or activities
- Mood Swings
- Change in friend group
- Problems at school
- Problems with the law
- Breaking curfew
- Secretive behavior
- Running away
How Does Underage Drinking Affect Development?
Excessive drinking at any age is risky. Most health experts agree that a moderate amount of alcohol consumed by adults is safe, but this is not the case for children and teens. Underage drinking is unsafe and affects development.
Several studies have shown that alcohol consumption has a dangerous effect on the developing brains of children, teens, and young adults. Alcohol also negatively impacts learning and memory in teens. Childhood and adolescence are important times in brain development and introducing alcohol into the equation is dangerous.
There is also evidence that the earlier someone starts drinking alcohol, the more likely he or she is to develop a serious problem with substance abuse and addiction later in life.
Misusing alcohol at any age is unhealthy. The well-known dangers of substance use are even riskier when done by a young person. But using alcohol in any way, even in moderation, is risky for children and teens.
Risks & Effects of Underage Drinking
The risks and effects of underage drinking include:
- Poor school performance
- Social problems
- Legal problems
- Hangovers and other physical effects of drinking
- High-risk sexual activity
- Physical and sexual violence, as a victim or perpetrator
- Homicide and/or suicide
- Vehicle and other types of accidents
- Memory problems
- Alcohol poisoning
- Misuse or abuse of or addiction to other substances
- Issues with brain development
Binge drinking, which tends to be more common among teens and young adults, increases many of these risks.
7 Other Common Drugs Used by Teens
Seven other drugs teens commonly abuse include:
Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug. It contains the psychoactive and mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds.
Using marijuana typically results in a relaxed state-of-mind. Depending on the person, the drug can either increase or decrease feelings of anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
Inhalants are solvents or other materials that produce an inhalable vapor.
Most inhalants, including whippits, affect the body’s central nervous system (CNS) and slow down brain activity by cutting off oxygen to the brain. This causes a euphoric effect.
While the exact way that nitrous oxide works is unknown, researchers believe that it hits the body in a few different ways. It depresses all sensations—including pain, hearing, and touch—and prevents the normal functioning of some of the brain’s emotional centers.
Hallucinogens are synthetic and organic drugs that cause hallucinations.
Hallucinogens are either synthetically produced, like LSD, or occur naturally, like shrooms and peyote. They produce visual and auditory hallucinations, feelings of detachment from one’s self and environment, and a distorted perception of time and space.
Stimulant drugs raise physiological activity and stimulate the nervous system.
Stimulants include illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Prolonged use of stimulants can have significant negative effects, including heart damage, memory loss, and psychotic behavior.
5. Prescription Drugs
Prescription medications are legal under doctor’s supervision, but often misused by those without a prescription. Opioids and stimulants (like Adderall) are examples of commonly misused prescription medications.
Opioids (narcotics) are a group of prescription drugs that relieve intense pain. There are three different forms of opioids, including natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic. These drugs are highly addictive and can lead to overdose and death when taken in high doses.
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a group of drugs that produce sedating effects in the body. All benzodiazepines calm brain activity, slow down the central nervous system (CNS), and trigger euphoria.
Benzodiazepine drugs, including valium and xanax, are often prescribed to patients with anxiety.