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Attorney Katherine A. Gonos
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What is a controlled substance?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Drug Charges |

Drugs fall into categories by use and chemical components. Some medicines may become dangerous in certain quantities or mixed with other factors and fall into a controlled substance classification.

What is a controlled substance, and what happens if accused of possessing it? Learn more about what it all means under the law.

What makes a drug a controlled substance?

The Drug Enforcement Agency has compiled a list of chemical components and drugs it deems controlled substances. Within this list, the DEA breaks drugs and chemicals into five classifications ranging from those with the highest rate of addiction and abuse to those with medicinal value and some use in illegal drugs.

Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous, and possession may land a person in jail. Frequent drugs in this category include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy

Are all controlled substances illegal?

Except for Schedule I chemicals, many of the drugs in the classification are legal if a user can produce a prescription from a doctor. Schedule IV drugs, for instance, include Vicodin and Adderall, two commonly prescribed drugs. However, if a person caught with either of these does not have a prescription, the police may consider the use illegal and arrest the carrier.

The amount of drugs in a person’s possession also determines how the police proceed with charges. Larger quantities may point to possible drug manufacturing or trafficking. When facing these charges, a legal professional may help mount a defense and receive a more favorable outcome in court than going it alone.