Drug Schedules

The Controlled Substances Act regulates the availability of drugs in the United States, whether they can be prescribed, and to what extent they can be prescribed. Drugs are classified into one of five schedules. Drugs in the Schedule I category are most restrictive and the least restrictive drugs are in Schedule V.

Schedule I drugs:

  • Have high potential for abuse;
  • Have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States;
  • Have a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.

Schedule II drugs:

  • Have high potential for abuse;
  • Have currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States;
  • May lead to severe psychological or physical dependence when abused.

Schedule III drugs:

  • Have potential for abuse less than that of Schedule I and II drugs;
  • Have currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States;
  • May lead to moderate or low psychological or physical dependence when abused.

Schedule IV drugs:

  • Have low potential for abuse;
  • Have currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States;
  • May lead to limited psychological or physical dependence when abused.

Schedule V drugs:

  • Have low potential for abuse relative to Schedule IV drugs;
  • Have currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States;
  • May lead to limited psychological or physical dependence when abused relative to Schedule IV drugs.

More Information

Click here for more information about drug scheduling.