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Article Summary

What Is A Schedule 2 Substance?

The federal government classifies and categorizes controlled substances and drugs using a variety of criteria. In so doing, it uses different factors, including:

  • Their potential for creating tolerance and dependence on users
  • Their medical uses and potential clinical benefits
  • The potential of these substances to be abused
  • The impact of these substances on users

These substances are classified on different scales that are designated with the numbers 1 through to 5. According to this classification, schedule 1 substances are considered to be the most dangerous for human consumption while schedule 5 drugs have the least potential for danger.

Understanding Controlled Substances

As we mentioned earlier, the federal government - through different bodies and authorities - regulates the manufacture, production, creation, distribution, use, and possession of certain intoxicating and mind-altering substances. As such, it classifies these drugs as illicit or legal.

These substances are referred to as controlled drugs. They range in effect from prescription medications that you have to obtain through your doctor or pharmacist to hard street drugs like cocaine and heroin.

However, all these controlled substances have one main thing in common - they are all dangerous because of their potential for abuse. They are also habit-forming, especially if you abuse, misuse, or overuse them.

The US Congress passed the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) in 1970. According to this Act, it created a list of substances that would later be considered as controlled drugs.

This legislation effectively outlined different levels of danger for every substance. It also grouped these drugs into 5 distinctive schedules with unique characteristics and potential for abuse and addiction.

Additionally, the statute effectively established the legal consequences that would arise if anyone was apprehended producing, manufacturing, using, diverting, distributing, and designing any of these controlled drugs over and beyond the established legal structures.

Due to this classification, some controlled drugs are outrightly considered to be illegal. Others are legal but should only be used by people who have a legitimate prescription from a medical doctor licensed to practice in the United States. A general rule of thumb is that it is illegal to possess any of these controlled substances unless you have a valid prescription.

The government also scales the penalties for distributing and possessing these controlled substances in severity based on the schedule of the drug and the amounts that you are apprehended with.

In many cases, charges for possession will typically be dealt with on the state level. Distribution, however, is handled in federal courts of law. That said, the consequences for possessing these drugs tend to vary from one state to the next.

Schedule 2 Drugs

But what is a schedule 2 substance? Essentially, schedule 2 or schedule II drugs are those that come with some known medicinal purposes and clinical benefits. Even so, these drugs tend to have a relatively high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Although most of these drugs are now available on the black market, over the internet (Dark Web) and on the street, some of them are legally prescribed by physicians for patients who are in dire need of their medical benefits.

For instance, some intense painkillers are fairly addictive. As such, they should only be used under the express instructions and supervision of a licensed medical doctor. These drugs come with medical uses for patients who are undergoing palliative care as well as those who are in severe pain.

As we mentioned earlier, the charges for possessing schedule 2 substances vary widely from one state to another. In many cases, first-time offenders who are caught selling these drugs may face up to 20 years of jail time and/or fines of up a million dollars. The penalties will vary widely based on the substance and how much of it was found in your possession.

That said, some of the most commonly abused schedule 2 substances in the United States today include:

  • Adderall
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opium
  • Oxycodone
  • Ritalin
  • Vicodin

Access To Controlled Substances

Most people obtain schedule I substances through illegal means - such as buying them over the internet or on the street. However, there are exceptions like marijuana. Since this drug is legal in some states, residents can acquire it without breaking their individual state laws.

Drugs in schedules II through to V, however, have some medical benefits and uses. As such, man people are able to legally obtain them through their doctors in the form of valid prescriptions. In recent years, the DEA (or the Drug Enforcement Administration) has also allowed some doctors to prescribe some of these controlled substances over the internet. This is commonly known as e-prescription.

In spite of the best efforts by the government to block the illegal procurement of these controlled substances, however, people are still able to get their hands on them. In many cases, they do this from drug dealers and from their friends and peers.

For instance, schedule 2 substances like Adderall and Ritalin - which are commonly known as study drugs - are now rampant in college and high school campuses all over the country. These drugs come in the form of pills that students sell individually when they get a prescription for them.

U.S. Controlled Substance Laws

Even so, these intoxicating and mind-altering substances have not always carried the same legal weight that they carry today. In fact, the United States only started classifying and regulating drugs in the past few years.

Consider the following timeline pertaining to drug laws in the country:

  • Late 1800s: As a result of rampant opiate abuse around the country, local governments started outlawing opium
  • 1906: The government passes the Pure Food and Drug Act that effectively required doctors and physicians to label every medication they prescribed accurately
  • 1914: The federal government passes its first drug policy in the form of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act; this Act effectively taxed and limited the manufacture and distribution of morphine, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin
  • 1922: The Narcotic Drug Import and Export Act effectively bans Americans from importing cocaine
  • 1924: The government effectively outlaws the production and manufacture of heroin through the Heroin Act
  • 1937: The federal government passes the Marihuana Tax Act to try and curtail the marijuana market; this Act effectively imposes significant taxes upon any American who wishes to produce or distribute marijuana; as a direct result, Americans start creating and purchasing it in secret to avoid these extra costs
  • 1951: The Boggs Act establishes stringent penalties on any American who is apprehended either selling or using drugs; this act establishes new laws that dictate the mandatory minimum sentences for such offenses, including specific incarceration periods for people caught with certain drugs
  • 1956: The government adopts the Narcotics Control Act that slaps strict consequences on those who distribute and use narcotics; the act increases minimum prison sentences and allows the death penalty for criminal apprehended selling heroin to minors
  • 1966: The hippie counterculture leads to the widespread abuse of marijuana; similarly, Vietnam veterans return to the US with opiate habits and addictions; all these factors addle American society with substance abuse; the government passes the Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act that effectively identifies addiction as a psychological disorder rather than a moral deficit or a personal choice
  • 1970: The federal government, through Congress, passes the Controlled Substances Act; this act creates a full list of controlled substances; additionally, it dictates the various penalties that are to be issued for the use, distribution, possession, and manufacture of these controlled substances

More On Schedule II Drugs

But what is a schedule 2 substance? According to federal law in the United States, these characteristics of these drugs as well as their schedule are explained in various ways. Consider the following:

a) Schedule II

Federal law states that schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act consists of drugs and substances by whatever usual, common, street, brand, or official name. These substances include those that are listed under this Schedule.

b) Substances

The drugs that are classified as schedule 2 drugs are produced naturally (of vegetable origin) or synthesized chemically. Unless the government lists them in another schedule, they include those that are extracted from substances with a natural or vegetable origin, those that are created independently through chemical synthesis, as well as those that are produced by a combination of chemical synthesis and extraction.

Examples Of Schedule 2 Substances

The government classifies the following drugs as schedule 2 substances:

1. Opium

This includes Opium, opiates, and salt compounds, derivatives, and preparations of opiate and opium; however, these drugs exclude naltrexone, naloxone, naloxegol, nalmefene, naldemedine, nalbuphine, dextrophan, thebaine-derived butorphanol, apomorphine, and their respective salts. The following drugs fall into this category of schedule 2 substances:

  • Tincture of opium 9630
  • Thebaine 9333
  • Raw opium 9600
  • Powdered opium 9639
  • Oxymorphone 9652
  • Oxycodone 9143
  • Oripavine 9330
  • Opium fluid 9620
  • Opium extracts 9610
  • Morphine 9300
  • Metopon 9260
  • Hydromorphone 9150
  • Hydrocodone 9193
  • Granulated opium 9640
  • Etorphine hydrochloride 9059
  • Ethylmorphine 9190
  • Dihydroetorphine 9334
  • Codeine 9050

2. Salts

This category includes any salt, derivative, preparation, or compound that is chemically identical or equivalent to any of the substances listed above. The only exception to this rule includes the isoquinoline alkaloids of opium.

3. Opium poppy

This also covers poppy straw.

4. Coca leaves

In this group of schedule 2 substances are coca leaves and all preparations, derivatives, compounds, and salts of coca leaves. As such, it includes cocaine and ecgonine as well as their derivatives, isomers, salts, and salts of their isomers (and derivatives) and any other drug that is chemically identical or equivalent to these substances.

However, this classification does not include:

  • Ioflupane
  • Extractions of coca leaves that do not contain ecgonine or cocaine
  • Decocainized coca leaves that do not contain ecgonine or cocaine

5. Poppy Straw Concentrate

This include concentrates of poppy straw. This is the crude extract of the poppy straw in its powder, liquid, or solid form. All these variations contain the basic phenanthrene alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant.

6. Opiates

Opiates include ethers, esters, salts, salts of isomers, and isomers of opium, such as:

  • Thiafentanil
  • Tapentadol
  • Sufentanil
  • Remifentanil
  • Racemorphan
  • Racemethorphan
  • Piminodine
  • Phenazocine
  • Pethidine-Intermediate-C, 1-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine-4-carboxylic acid
  • Pethidine-Intermediate-B, ethyl-4-phenylpiperidine-4-carboxylate
  • Pethidine-Intermediate-A, 4-cyano-1-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine
  • Pethidine (meperidine)
  • Moramide-Intermediate, 2-methyl-3-morpholino-1, 1-diphenylpropane-carboxylic acid
  • Methadone-Intermediate, 4-cyano-2-dimethylamino-4,4-diphenyl butane
  • Methadone
  • Metazocine
  • Levorphanol
  • Levomethorphan
  • Levo-alphacetylmethadol
  • Isomethadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Carfentanil
  • Bulk dextropropoxyphene (in its non-dosage forms)
  • Bezitramide
  • Anileridine
  • Alphaprodine
  • Alfentanil

7. Stimulants

Stimulants that are classified as schedule 2 substances include:

  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Phenmetrazine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Lisdexamfetamine

8. Depressants

Some depressant drugs are also considered to be schedule II substances. They include:

  • Secobarbital
  • Phencyclidine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Glutethimide
  • Amobarbital

9. Hallucinogenic Drugs

The hallucinogens that fall under the schedule II of the controlled substances act include:

  • Nabilone
  • Dronabinol

Characteristics Of Schedule II Substances

To better understand the answer to the "what is a schedule 2 substance?" question, you need to have a clearer picture of the common characteristics of these drugs. In effect, these drugs tend to:

  • Can be used medically but with severe restrictions
  • Cause severe physical or psychological dependence among those who abuse these substances
  • Have a relatively high potential for misuse, overuse, and abuse
  • Have medical uses that are currently accepted in the United States for the treatment of certain ailments

Due to these characteristics, none of the drugs that fall under Schedule II of the controlled substances act should be dispensed or issued to anyone unless they have a valid, written, and legitimate prescription from a licensed medical practitioner in the United States. The only exception to this rule is in the instance of a medical emergency.

That said, even the drugs that are classified as schedule 2 substances tend to vary from one to the other in terms of their potency or strength. Fentanyl, for instance, is 80 times as powerful as morphine - while heroin is just about 2 times as morphine.

Additionally, these drugs vary widely in their nature and action. As such, you can rest assured that CSA scheduling and pharmacology are only loosely linked. This means that the risk of using some of these substances is quite high - and they may even lead to sudden death.

Commonly Abused Schedule 2 Substances

As with any other schedule, there are some drugs that fall into Schedule II that are more commonly abused than others. Consider the following examples:

a) Amphetamine Drugs

Amphetamines include Vyvanse (or Lisdexamfetamine), Dexedrine (or Dextroamphetamine), and Adderall. These drugs are commonly used in the treatment of binge eating disorder (only lisdexamfetamine), severe obesity (only dextroamphetamine and for limited use), narcolepsy, and ADHD.

Amphetamines were originally classified as Schedule III drugs. However, they were moved to the second schedule in 1971.

b) Short Acting Barbiturates

Examples of short-acting barbiturates include pentobarbital.

c) Cocaine

In some instances, cocaine is used to stop epistaxis (when it is severe) and in the form of a topical anesthetic

d) Pure Codeine

This also includes all drugs designed for non-parenteral administration and which contain over 90mg of codeine in a single dosage unit

e) Pure Diphenoxylate

f) Fentanyl

g) Pure opioid agonists like levorphanol

h) Hydrocodone

This includes Norco, Vicodin, and Tussionex, as well as other formulations that contain hydrocodone and OTC (over the counter) analgesics like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

i) Hydromorphone

This is a semi-synthetic opioid and it is the active ingredient found in Palladone and Dilaudid.

j) Methadone

Methadone is used to treat extreme chronic pain and heroin addiction.

k) Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is used (albeit rarely) in the treatment of ADHD as well as for severe obesity (where it has some limited use)

l) Methylphenidate

This include Concerta and Ritalin, as well as Dexmethylphenidate (or Focalin). It is used in the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD.

m) Morphine

n) Nabilone (Cesamet)

Cesamet is a synthetic cannabinoid; it is an analogue to Merinol (dronabinol), a schedule 3 substance

o) Nembutal (Pentobarbital)

This barbiturate medication was originally developed for the treatment of narcolepsy. Today, it is primarily used for physician-assisted suicide as well as for the euthanasia of animals.

p) Opium tincture (or Laudanum)

This is a potent antidiarrheal.

q) Oxycodone

A semi-synthetic opioid, oxycodone is the active ingredient in drugs like Percodan, Percocet, and OxyContin.

r) Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone is another semi-synthetic opioid. It is the main active ingredient found in Opana.

s) Pethidine

Comes in the form of Demerol, USAN, and Meperidine.

t) Phencyclidine (or PCP)

u) Secobarbital (or Seconal)

v) Tapentadol (Nucynta)

This drug comes with mixed norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and opioid agonist activity.

Scheduling Of Prescription Drugs And Narcotics

Most discussions of controlled substances - including prescription drugs and narcotics - are typically accompanied with the word "schedule". But what are these schedules and how are they used to classify different drugs.

If you are not familiar with these controlled drugs and substances, you might pass over a conversation surrounding drug schedules without thinking too much about it. However, if you are familiar with the drug industry, you may have a deeper understanding of the different types of substances and schedules.

In effect, these terms refer to the classifications of drugs. According to the DEA, law enforcement officials and medical professionals should use these classifications to properly delineate the legality of a particular substance or drug. They often have to do this based on the acceptable medical uses and potential for dependence and drug abuse of these substances.

To this end, classifications are useful in categorizing both developing and current drugs. As such, they help medical experts, law enforcement officials, and lawmakers understand the best way to handle these substances. By scheduling prescription medications, narcotics, and other addictive, intoxicating, and mind-altering substances, the industry becomes safer for every American.

But how does drug scheduling work? And how does the FDA and the DEA know which substances are safe and those that are not? Well, various research and scientific studies on the risks and effectiveness of drugs have to be performed and reviewed before these substances are put into different schedules.

Therefore, all new drugs that enter the US market need to be analyzed. This includes new street drugs that are increasingly becoming popular as well as new pharmaceuticals designed for medical use.

In the first stage, the DEA will determine the abuse potential of the drug. In case this body finds that the drug can be abused, it is moved forward within the mainstream scheduling system.

After that, classification becomes somewhat murky. In particular, although all drugs scheduled according to the CSA comes with a potential for abuse, this classification vaguely defines its probability for addiction.

Therefore, the schedule under which a drug falls will largely depend on the scientific evidence that research into the drug has yielded. As such, most substances require extensive and largescale trials before their medical uses can be discovered. In case the evidence is strong, the DEA designates the substance under a lower schedule - meaning that it is more acceptable for human use and consumption.

Recovery For Schedule 2 Substance Abuse

Every year, Americans continue dealing with the drug abuse crisis - particularly due to the wide availability of schedule 2 substances. Most of the people tend to struggle with their substance abuse alone. As a direct result, few of them seek the professional help that they require.

However, if you choose to get help from professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers, your life is highly likely to start afresh in a variety of ways. Even so, the process of recovering from a period of schedule 2 substance abuse tends to be difficult, challenging, and long. Still, it is more rewarding than continuing to misuse these drugs.

In comparison to ongoing substance abuse, therefore, recovery can provide you with more potential to lead a successful, productive, and fulfilling lifestyle. It is for this reason that you need to seriously consider checking into a drug abuse and addiction treatment center.

In general, most people view substance abuse - even when such abuse involves legally prescribed drugs that fall into Schedule 2 of the Controlled Substances Act - as a flaw in the user's character and morals, as well as weaknesses in their mental and physical health.

However, the truth is that substance abuse is a complex condition that can develop from different factors in your life. As such, NIDA (or the National Institute on Drug Abuse) has defined addicted as a chronic and relapsing psychological condition that is typically characterized by compulsive substance seeking and abuse in spite of the harmful consequences that it causes.

NIDA further explains that while people who struggle with substance abuse may initially make a voluntary choice to start using drugs, they may later discover that they are completely unable to stop using these substances.

When you think that you will be negatively judged and socially isolated for your struggle with drugs, it is less likely that you will seek out the help that you need. This is why it is important to eliminate the stigma that is often tied to substance abuse.

Even as you continue looking for answers to the "what is a schedule 2 substance?" question, therefore, it is imperative that you try and understand how recovery looks like for people who are addicted to these drugs.

Additionally, while completing rehabilitation for substance abuse, you may want to know what you should expect while in recovery and abstinence over the long term. In particular, therefore, you might have to make certain changes in your life for purposes of:

  • Developing and improving your health and wellness
  • Living a lifestyle that is characterized by self-control and independence
  • Reach your full potential in various aspects of your life

Apart from the above, there are some components of successful treatment and recovery after a period of substance abuse. These components include:

a) Community

You need to learn how to create and develop social networks and relationships that can support you in your ongoing struggle with schedule 2 substance abuse.

b) Health

You might also want to make positive and knowledgeable choices in your life - particularly those that can support your emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing.

c) Home

You need a stable and safe place in which to live - one that is free of schedule 2 substances and any other drug that can cause you to relapse back to your old substance abuse ways.

d) Purpose

Last but not least, you will have to start engaging in more meaningful activities on a daily basis. In the process, you may be able to work to acquire better resources, a higher income, and greater independence - which you can later capitalize on to be an active participant in your society.

Even with these aspects of ongoing sobriety after abusing schedule 2 substances, it is important that you remember that a life spent in recovery comes with many difficulties. However, it is comparatively more preferable to one that involves you continuing to abuse addictive, intoxicating, and mind-altering drugs like those in schedule II of the controlled substances act.

Additionally, although the stigma that is commonly attached to ongoing addiction and substance abuse might initially make it somewhat difficult for you to seek out the help you need, the only solution open to you would be to check into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center.

In particular, without ongoing recovery, you might continue missing out on all the benefits of a lifestyle of sobriety. Additionally, you may increasingly put yourself at risk of suffering some of the negative psychological and physical effects of schedule 2 substance abuse.

Today, there are many addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers dedicated to helping people who have developed a dependence to these schedule 2 substance. As such, you might want to research into the various options open to you before making a decision about the one that you should enroll into.

Choosing An Addiction Rehabilitation Center

After deciding that the time has come for you to pursue treatment for your dependence on a schedule 2 substance, it might still be difficult for you to choose the right option for your particular condition.

The first step, therefore, would be to talk to a healthcare professional that you trust - such as your personal doctor or physician. This is particularly important if you think that it might take too long to research the different options available to you.

Alternatively, you could also consult with close friends, family members, and addiction treatment professionals. They might be in a better position to provide you with the support and encouragement that you need to get into the right facility.

Last but not least, you might want to ask different treatment centers the following important questions. After that, choose the right facility according to the answers you receive, and those that you find most satisfactory. These questions include:

  • Do the staff members working at the center have the right licenses and credentials to provide you with the expert care you need?
  • Does the addiction rehabilitation program accept the insurance coverage that you have?
  • Does the facility treat any co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders? Do they provide dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation?
  • Is the addiction treatment facility accredited and licensed?
  • What is the environment at the center like?
  • What will happen once I am free of the condition and ready to check out of the treatment center?
  • Which types of activities and therapies does the program provide to its clients?
  • Will my family and partner be involved as I undergo treatment for my schedule 2 substance abuse?

At the end of the day, you need to remember that different people - even those who have been abusing the same schedule 2 substances - are likely to have different needs, requirements, and preferences. This is why it is important to take your time before you choose a facility. In the long run, your decision will largely determine the efficacy of the treatment and rehabilitation you will receive.

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