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The Controlled Substances Act
Established under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, the Controlled Substances Act sets the guidelines for determining the legal medical uses for different classes of drugs. From these guidelines came five distinct drug classifications or schedules that make up the narcotics lists –
Schedule 1 – narcotic drugs with no known acceptable medical use that carry a high abuse potential
Schedule 2 – narcotic drugs that have medical uses but carry a high abuse potential
Schedule 3 – narcotic and non-narcotic drug combinations, such as codeine and aspirin which have a moderate abuse potential
Schedule 4 – narcotic and non-narcotic drug combinations, which have a low abuse potential
Schedule 5 – narcotic and non-narcotic drug combinations, which have a limited abuse potential
Of all the five classifications, the Schedule 1 narcotics list carries the highest risk for physical and psychological dependence as well as addiction.