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Article Summary

What Is A Schedule 1 Substance?

The Food and Drug Administration (commonly abbreviated as the FDA) has been testing and overseeing a variety of substances - particularly those that come with mind-altering and intoxicating effects - in the United States since before the 20th century.

Under the CSA (or the Controlled Substances Act), the administration released different classifications for drugs. Today, these classifications are known as drug schedules.

They are designed to organized substances into a variety of groups. These schedules are based on the risk of harm or abuse that these drugs come with. In particular, the most harmful and risky drugs are classified as Schedule I drugs. These substances also tend to have no counterbalancing benefits. As such, they are banned from being used for medical purposes.

Understanding Controlled Substances And Drug Schedules

The FDA classifies drugs and any other substance that is considered a controlled drug under the CSA. It also divides these drugs into 5 schedules. The administration also publishes the more recent list of its schedules of drugs under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (or the CFR).

The drugs are placed in specific schedules that are based on the ability of these drugs to be used for medical purposes and in treatments across the United States. These schedules also depend on the likelihood of these drugs to lead to addiction when overused, abused, or misused, as well as their relative potential for abuse. Each schedule contains a variety of drugs.

Schedule I Controlled Drugs

According to the FDA, drugs that are considered Schedule 1 substances do not have any medical use that is currently accepted in the United States. As such, they are not considered safe for use - even under medical supervision. Additionally, they come with a relatively high potential for misuse, overuse, and abuse.

Some of the drugs that are substance 1 substances include:

  • Bath Salts (MDPV or 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone)
  • GHB (or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), except the formulations of this chemical that are produced in FDA-approved drugs and the sodium oxybate (or Xyrem) product that is a Schedule III substance
  • Heroin (or diacetylmorphine)
  • Khat (or Cathinone)
  • LSD (or Lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (or LSD)
  • Marijuana (also known as cannabis)
  • Marijuana (THC or cannabis)
  • MDMA (ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
  • Mescaline (or Peyote)
  • Methaqualone (or Quaalude)
  • Peyote
  • Psilocybin
  • Synthetic marijuana and its analogs (K2 or Spice)

Under the CSA, drugs and any other substance that is considered to be a controlled drug are divided up into 5 schedules. These drugs are placed in different schedules based on their accepted medical uses, their potential for abuse, as well as their likelihood to cause addiction and dependence in people who misuse them.

But what is a schedule 1 substance? Essentially, drugs under this schedule are those that come with some characteristics as defined by the DEA (abbreviation for the Drug Enforcement Agency):

  • It is unsafe for use even under medical monitoring and supervision
  • The substance comes with a high potential for misuse, abuse, or overuse
  • The substance does not have any currently accepted use in medical treatment within the United States

According to US federal law, therefore, doctors are not allowed to write prescriptions for Schedule 1 drugs. As such, these substances are not available for any medical or clinical use.

Even so, a substance doesn't need to be classified as a controlled drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration or as a schedule 1 substance for you to be criminally prosecuted by a court of law.

To this end, even controlled substance analogues like designer drugs can get you jail time and other punitive measures if you are apprehended using, distributing, or in possession of it.

In particular, designer drugs include substances that are pharmacologically or structurally similar to Schedule I substances. These drugs also include those that are similar to Schedule II substances. They are popularly consumed by drug users even though they have no approved medical applications in the United States.

Additionally, the DEA has classified the THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana as a schedule 1 substance. This is even though some states have legalized its use for medical, recreational, and personal reasons.

Common Schedule 1 Substances

To better understand the answer to the "what is a schedule 1 substance?" question, you might want to learn a little about the different types of drugs that are classified under this schedule of substances. Read on to find out more:

1. Heroin

Also known as diacetylmorphine, heroin is typically derived from a morphine alkaloid that is found in opium. This drug, however, is roughly 2 to 3 times as potent as regular opium/morphine.

Heroin is also highly addictive and it exhibits rush (euphoric), analgesic, and anxiolytic properties on the CNS (or the central nervous system). Today, it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the controlled substances act passed by the federal government in 1970. Due to this classification, heroin does not have any acceptable medical purpose in the United States.

In terms of appearance, pure heroin comes in the form of a white powder that has a bitter taste. However, most of the illegal forms of this drug are sold in the form of a brownish or white powder. The drug is also cut using other substances and drugs, including quinine, powdered milk, starch, and sugar. Some heroin producers also cut heroin with poisonous substances like strychnine.

Most of the people who abuse heroin are not aware of the actual potency (or strength) of the substance or what it contains. As such, they are at high risk of suffering an overdose or sudden death.

There is also another form of this drug known as black tar heroin. It comes in the form of a sticky substance that is similar to roofing tar. However, it is also sold as a hard substance that is similar in appearance to coal. The color of black tar heroin varies from black to dark brown.

Mode of Heroin Use

Most people who abuse heroin tend to inject the drug. However, others might vaporize this schedule 1 substance for smoking. It can also be snorted, ingested orally, or used in the form of a suppository.

Sniffing or smoking heroin will not produce its rush or pleasurable effects as intensely or as quickly as taking the drug intravenous (by injection). Similarly, consuming the drug orally might not create a rush. However, if you use it in suppository form, it may create intensely euphoric and mind-altering effects. Either way, you can be sure that heroin is highly addictive irrespective of the mode of administration.

2. LSD

Another schedule 1 substance, LSD is also known as by its generic name, Lysergic acid diethylamide. It also comes with more than 80 different street names, including but not limited to trips, dots, doses, cid, blotter, or acid. In some instances, people refer to it by names designed to reflect the design of the blotter paper sheets that contain this drug, including purple dragon.

LSD was first synthesized in a laboratory in 1938. Today, it is classified as an extremely potent and dangerous hallucinogenic drug. Made from lysergic acid - a common ingredient in ergot (a fungus that grows naturally on grains like rye), the drug is now a schedule 1 substance.

In many cases, LSD is manufactured in its crystalline form before being mixed with other excipients. However, it can also be diluted into its liquid form so that the manufacturer can create ingestible products from it.

That said, this drug is often colorless and odorless but with a relatively bitter taste. It is also sold in the form of:

  • As blotter paper (or sheets of highly absorbent paper that are impregnated with or soaked in LSD); these papers are covered with colorful artwork and designs and may be perforated into ? inches squares with individual dosage units
  • In thin gelatin squares (known as Window Panes)
  • On sugar cubes
  • Tablets (typically as small pills known as microdots)

Effects of LSD Abuse

But what happens when you use or abuse LSD? Essentially, the effects of abusing this drug are currently unpredictable. In many cases, however, you are likely to experience the first pleasurable effects of using LSD anywhere between half a hour and 90 minutes after you take it. During this period, you may experience:

  • Different emotions at the same time
  • Emotional swings
  • Extreme changes in mood

On the other hand, if you take it in large enough doses, LSD may produce visual hallucinations and delusions. Apart from these effects, this schedule 1 substance is also linked to physical effects like:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Higher body temperature
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Additionally, using LSD may cause you to suffer impaired time perception and depth. The drug also leads to distorted perceptions of the shape and size of objects, touch, sound, color, movements, and body image.

These sensations - as well as others - might seem to cross over. This means that you may get the feeling of seeing sounds and hearing colors. As you can well expect, all of these changes tend to be quite frightening to most people, and they may cause you to panic - especially if you are not used to them. Other users might also experience a fear of losing control, going insane, and dying, as well as other terrifying severe feelings and thoughts.

Irrespective of the effects of LSD use, the experience is often known as a trip. If the reactions are adverse and acute, the condition is referred to as a bad trip. In many cases, these experiences tend to be long-lasting - and may continue for up to 10 or 12 hours.

3. Marijuana

The botanical name for marijuana is Cannabis sativa. However, the drug is also known by more than 200 other names, including:

  • 420
  • Boom
  • Bud
  • Chronic
  • Dope
  • Gangster
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Herb
  • Mary Jane
  • Pot
  • Reefer
  • Skunk
  • Spliff
  • Weed

It comes in the form of a gray, brown, or green mixture of dried and shredded flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves of Cannabis sativa - a hemp plant. The drug is commonly used as a mind-altering or psychoactive recreational substances. However, it might also have applications in the treatment of certain medical ailments as well as for spiritual and religious purposes.

Stronger forms of Cannabis sativa include hash oil (a sticky black liquid), hashish or hash (the resinous form of the drug), and Sinsemilla.

NIDA (or the National Institute on Drug Abuse) reports that marijuana is among the most commonly abused of all drugs - its classification as a schedule 1 substance notwithstanding - in the United States.

Today, many states have legalized this drug for recreational and medical use. However, federal law still considers the use and possession of the substance as illegal - especially in the setting of approved research facilities and applications.

4. Mescaline

A hallucinogenic drug, mescaline is derived from the small and spineless Peyote (or Lophophora williamsi) cactus plant. It is also produced from certain members of the bean family (Fabaceae). This drug was used by the natives of Southwestern US and Northern Mexico from the earliest periods for religious rites and ceremonies.

To create the drug, the top of the plant that appears above ground (also known as the crown) is cut up from the roots before being dried. The crown often consists of buttons that are disc-shaped. After that, the buttons are either soaked in water (to produce a highly intoxicating and mind-altering liquid) or chewed in their natural form.

The typical hallucinogenic dose for this drug is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams (which is equal to about 5 grams of the dried peyote plant). If you take this amount, it will create hallucinogenic effects that can last for up to 12 hours.

Although mescaline produces richly visual hallucinations that were important for the native peyote cults that relied on these effects, the drug can also produce a full spectrum of other effects that could chemically induce mental illness.

Today, the drug is primarily used for recreational purposes as well as for psychedelic therapy and as a supplement for various types of medications. In the United States, however, it is classified as a schedule 1 substance - meaning that it is highly addictive and potent, and it does not come with any approved medical uses.

Mescaline Effects

Those who abuse mescaline often do so to experience the visual hallucinations it causes. However, the drug also creates radically altered states of full consciousness - which some people think are illuminating and pleasurable. However, using this schedule 1 substance can also create other effects, including:

  • A dream-like state
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Laughter
  • Psychedelic experiences
  • Revulsion
  • Visualization with both closed and open eyes

5. Ecstasy

Ecstasy is known by a variety of street names, including but not limited to:

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Essence
  • Hug Drug
  • Love Drug
  • MDMA
  • XTC

But what is ecstasy and why is it classified as a schedule 1 substance? Also known as MDMA or 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy is a synthetic psychoactive substance. In terms of its chemical structure, it is similar to mescaline (a hallucinogen) and methamphetamine (a stimulant drug).

Due to its schedule 1 classification, ecstasy is an illicit drug. It also acts as both a psychedelic and a stimulant. In the process, it produces energizing effects, as well as distorted perceptions of time. Additionally, the drug can enhance the enjoyment that you may derive from tactile experiences.

Ecstasy usually exerts its effects on the neurons of the brain that use serotonin in communicating with other neurons. This serotonin system is useful in regulating sensitivity to pain, sleep, sexual activity, aggression, and mood.

According to research in animal, ecstasy is also highly neurotoxic. Whether the same is true or untrue for human beings is currently under intense investigation. However, researchers now know that the drug is a health hazard and can sometimes prove lethal - albeit on rare occasions.

Dangers of Ecstasy Use

In many cases, ecstasy is a highly addictive drug. According to a recent survey involving adolescents and young adults who use the drug, it was discovered that 43% of these people met the diagnostic criteria used to measure drug dependence. This came in the form of continued use of the substance in spite of the fact that most of these people knew that such use caused tolerance, psychological and physical harm, and withdrawal effects.

34% of those who participated in the study also experienced intense withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug - or the dose they took was significantly less than their bodies had become accustomed to. These withdrawal symptoms included:

  • Depressed feelings
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble concentrating

6. GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate)

Another schedule 1 substance, Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate or GHB is known by a variety of street names, including but not limited to:

  • Fantasy
  • G
  • Gamma-oh
  • Georgia home boy
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • Liquid ecstasy
  • Liquid G
  • Liquid X
  • Mils
  • Oop

Its chemical formula is C4H8O3, and the drug is classified as a CNS (or central nervous system) depressant. It is commonly known as a date rape or club drug. In particular, young adults and teens use it at raves (or dance parties that run all night), clubs, parties, and bars for its effects. At times, it is also placed inside alcoholic beverages.

Some of the reported positive side effects of abusing this drug include tranquility, increased sex drive, and euphoria. However, the substance also causes a variety of other negative effects, including but not limited to:

  • Amnesia
  • Coma
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

The FDA approved sodium oxybate (or Xyrem) in 2002 for use in the treatment of a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy. This condition causes recurring sleep attacks and excessive sleepiness during the daytime in sufferers. The drug, on the other hand, is a sodium salt of GHB. As such, this medication is highly regulated in the United States and it is classified as a Schedule III substance. To take it, the patient has to enroll in a restricted drug access program.

Even so GHB also occurs in the form of a natural metabolite in the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the human brain. However, this metabolite is present in relatively low concentrations than those found in the schedule 1 equivalent.

Natural GHB can also be found in some wines and beers but in relatively small and insignificant quantities. This is due to the fermentation process used to produce these alcoholic beverages.

Modes of Administration

But how do people abuse GHB? Today, this drug is available in the form of an odorless and colorless substance that some people combine with alcohol before giving it to their unsuspecting victims before sexually assaulting them. In many cases, the drug has a salty and soapy taste.

Due to this mode of use, the drug is now known as a date rape substance. When you take it, you may become incapacitated because GHB causes sedative effects. As a direct result, it might make it easier for you to be unable to resist any form of assault.

The drug also induces amnesia in some people. Its additional intoxicating effects have made it particularly popular at rave parties among college and high school students.

In the same way, GHB is thought to come with anabolic effects as a result of protein synthesis. As a direct result, some bodybuilders use it to reduce body fat and build muscle.

Users often buy this drug over the internet or on the street. It appears in the form of a white powder or a liquid. Most people take it orally or combine it with alcohol for illegal reasons, such as before rape.

Most of this schedule 1 substance is manufactured in illegal drugs. As such, it might be adulterated with dangerous contaminants that may make it even more toxic than it already is.

In particular, some manufacturers often use drain cleaner and lye combined with GBL - a substance that is chemically similar to GHB. GBL is an industrial solvent that is commonly used for stripping floors.

The FDA first issued an advisory in 1990 to declare GHB illegal and unsafe except under physician-supervised and FDA-approved protocols. In 2000, it was classified as a schedule 1 substance under the CSA.

7. Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin)

Some of the common street names for psilocybin include:

  • Little Smoke
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Mushrooms
  • Purple Passion
  • Sacred Mushroom
  • Shrooms

Also known by its chemical formula (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) Psilocybin is similar to psilocin in the same that both of them contain chemical compounds that are found in different types of fresh and dried hallucinogenic mushrooms that grow naturally in the United States, Central America, and Mexico.

All of these compounds are similar in chemical structure to LSD (or lysergic acid diethylamide). As a direct result, they are abused because of their euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. The hallucinogenic effects, in particular, might be due to how the drug affects the serotonin (or 5-HT) receptors of the central nervous system.

Currently, there are more than 180 known mushroom species that contain psilocin and psilocybin. These hallucinogenic mushrooms are the same as peyote in the sense that there have been used for centuries in native sacred and religious ceremonies and rites.

Both psilocin and psilocybin are also produced synthetically. Due to this fact, there have been many reports that the psilocybin that is sold on the street might be another mushroom species that has been laced with LSD.

Modes of Administrations

Those who abuse Psilocybin often ingest it orally. However, they can also brew it into a tea for drinking or mix it with other foods. Either way, these mushrooms may be taken in their dry or fresh forms - both of which come with a bitter and unpalatable taste.

Magic mushrooms have long and slender stems that appear grey or white in color. They are also topped with caps that have dark gills (on the underside). Dried versions of this drug often have a reddish rush brown color and separate off-white parts.

8. Synthetic Marijuana (K2 or Spice)

Synthetic marijuana is also known as Black Mamba, Zohai, Moon Rocks, Skunk, Genie, Yucatan Fire, Fake Weed, Incense, Spice, and K2 on the street. A designer drug, synthetic marijuana is produced when leafy materials, herbs, and incense are sprayed with liquid chemicals. These chemicals are synthesized in a lab to mimic some of the effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) - the main psychoactive ingredient found in the natural cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant.

Spice first became widely available in the United States in 2008. At the time, it was typically marketed in the form of an incense in brightly colored 3-ounce pouches that were labelled as being unsafe for human consumption.

Over time, the drugs gained popularity among young adults and high school teens. This is because users could legally obtain it from the internet as well as in smoke shops and convenience stores. However, a national ban was passed in July 2012 to stop the sale of this synthetic cannabinoid in the country.

Even so, some people still commonly believe that synthetic marijuana is a safe and non-toxic version of regular marijuana that elicits similar mind-altering or psychoactive effects.

However, surveys and case reports have identified some serious toxicities that might occur when you use synthetic marijuana. This is clearly evidenced by the rising number of visits to emergency rooms all across the country.

Additionally, the chemicals that are synthesized to produce synthetic marijuana tend to be more potent than the THC component that occurs naturally in marijuana. Most of these chemicals also come with adverse side effects that cannot be compared to naturally occurring THC.

However, researchers are yet to uncover the true pharmacological profile of all the chemicals used to manufacture synthetic marijuana or their resultant by-products. As such, there is no telling what might happen when you use or abuse this schedule 1 substance.

9. Quaaludes

The most commonly known brand name for Quaaludes is Sopor. However, it is known by other formal names, such as:

  • Tuazole
  • Triador
  • Toquilone Compositum
  • Somnafac
  • Renoval
  • Parest
  • Optimil
  • Mozambin
  • Methaqualone
  • Methadorm
  • Mequin
  • Mequelone
  • Melsedin
  • Melsed
  • Isonox
  • Hyminal
  • Dormutil
  • Cateudil

On the street, this schedule 1 substance is also known as:

  • Wagon Wheels
  • Vitamin Q
  • Sporos
  • Sopes
  • Soaper
  • Randy Mandies
  • Quad
  • Quack
  • Quaaludes
  • Qua
  • Mandies
  • Ludes
  • Lovers
  • Lennons
  • Lemons
  • Lemmon 714
  • Genuines
  • Flowers
  • Flamingos
  • Ewings
  • Disco Biscuits
  • Blou Bulle
  • Beiruts
  • Bandits
  • 714

But what are Quaaludes and why are they classified as schedule 1 substances? Essentially, this drug is a synthetic CNS depressant that is similar to barbiturates. It is also a sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic substance.

Methaqualone was first introduced into the market as a safe substitute for barbiturates. However, years of research showed that the drug caused withdrawal symptoms and addiction in much the same way as barbiturates.

Uses of Quaaludes

If you take Quaaludes in the prescribed dose, it can promote sleepiness, relaxation, and a feeling of euphoria. It also reduces blood pressure and can slow down your pulse rate. It is due to these properties that the drug was first thought to be useful as an anxiolytic and sedative.

Concluding Thoughts

Apart from the drugs listed above, there are others that fall within the same classification. These include Khat and Bath Salts (or PABS), among many other substances.

In conclusion, therefore, understanding the answers to the "what is a schedule 1 substance?" can help you have a better idea behind the thinking of the Drug and Food Administration when it classified these drugs under this schedule. This understanding might also be useful in getting you to seek help from an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center if you have been abusing any schedule 1 substance before you suffer any adverse effects.

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