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DEA Drug Schedules

The DEA classification system is a matter of legal restriction that does not align very well with actual addiction risk. LSD is Schedule I (illegal) but is essentially non-addictive and appears to be effective for PTSD and depression. Long-acting formulations of Schedule II stimulants (Vyvanse, Concerta) have relative low abuse potential. The benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax) is highly addictive but is only a Schedule IV.


Schedule I - High potential for abuse, no accepted medical use (illegal)

Schedule II - High potential for abuse, with accepted medical use; refills not allowed

Schedule III - Potential for severe mental addiction or moderate physical addiction

Schedule IV - Abusing the drug may lead to mild addiction

Schedule V - Abusing the drug may lead to mild addiction, but lowest potential for abuse

Non-scheduled - Some of the examples shown may have abuse potential, but are not restricted by DEA

DEA schedules - controlled substances ta
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