Controlled substances are typically ranked by their likelihood to be abused and their potential medical use. This scheduling system is used to inform both the public and law enforcement of the considered danger of use of a drug or substance. This schedule has five distinct steps in most states that distinguish between levels of abusive nature and known medical use. This five point schedule is helpful in determining the seriousness of an offense involving drugs and the societal danger a drug may present.
The top level of this schedule system, Schedule I, includes controlled substances that are deemed to be most likely to be abused and have no regulated or recognized medical use. This level of the schedule is representative of substances that may have a highly negative effect on the culture or society in an area where these drugs are present. Schedule I substances include drugs like LSD and peyote. Though the medical use of these substances may be argued by some, they are not recognized as proper treatment for any disease.
Schedule II substance are also considered highly likely to be abused if not proper administrated. The difference between Schedule I and Schedule II is that the second level includes substances that may have medical use. Substances in this schedule include drugs like raw opium and codeine.
Schedule III, IV, V each represent a relative decrease in the likelihood that a substance is addictive or likely to be abused. Also, these levels of the schedule are also more likely to include substances that are regularly used in medical settings.
Substances include in this schedule are regulated for public protection from the potentially addictive and abusive nature of these products. Each state has unique ramifications for violating regulations regarding controlled substances.