Drug Classifications: Legal Classes of Drugs and Their Addictive Potential | Need Help? Call 24/7 for a Free Assessment

If you have anything from a headache to heart disease, there is probably a drug that you can take to help, but that doesn’t mean that all drugs are good or that all drugs are being used correctly. A large number of illegal drugs are out there, and there are many ways to use prescription medications outside of a physician’s recommendations. One of the best ways to not only control but also combat the drug epidemic is to clearly define which substances are problematic and which have real value to the patient.

Drug Classifications List Under the Controlled Substance Act

Created in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act groups substances together based on their potential for abuse and their necessity for the health of patients. Today, there are five different classes of drugs, also referred to as schedules.

  • Schedule I: No medical value and large opportunity for abuse; includes heroin and MDMA
  • Schedule II: High potential for abuse as well as dependence; includes morphine and cocaine
  • Schedule III: Moderate to low abuse potential and lower chance of dependence when compared to schedules I and II, include codeine and diazepam
  • Schedule IV: Lower abuse and dependence risks when compared to the other schedules; includes phenobarbital and lorazepam
  • Schedule V: Less of a chance of abuse and dependence, potentially contains smaller quantities of certain narcotics; includes pregabalin and pyrovalerone

In order to offer more clarification, the classification of drugs can also be broken down into five groups based on their effects on the body:

  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Narcotic
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Hallucinogenic

Why Are Drug Classifications Important?

These classification systems are useful because medical professionals need to know the real potential for problems that the medications they prescribe can cause. At the same time, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) uses this information to hold individuals accountable when they are found to be in possession of these drugs. Having clear guidelines for what a drug does and how it can be abused helps keep everyone on the same page.

Classes of Illegal Drugs and Addiction Treatment

At the same time, drug classifications can be used to help providers determine the necessary options for rehabilitation. The type of drug, effects that it causes, and its potential for abuse are all taken into consideration when creating a customized treatment plan at an accredited facility. Information about the substance, including its classification, can help addiction professionals to create a clear plan to help deal with the addiction as well as other side effects the drug may bring.

If you need help with substance abuse or addiction, WhiteSands Treatment Center is here to assist you. Whether you have been part of an intervention or you are realizing on your own that your problem is serious, our resources are available to you. We use the classification of drugs as a starting point to create the ideal program for your recovery, giving you the opportunity to start over. Call today to speak with an addiction specialist and get help right away. We can provide a free clinical assessment to help you take the first step toward getting clean and sober.