Controlled Substance Definition
A controlled substance is a drug or chemical that is regulated by the government and classified into one of five schedules under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The five classifications or schedules are based on the drug’s medical usefulness and potential for drug abuse. Government agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and various police and law enforcement agencies govern the production, ownership, and use of controlled substances.
Substances listed in Schedule I, for instance, have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. In contrast, substances listed in schedule V have a lower potential for abuse and a recognized medical use. Except when they are obtained with a prescription from a qualified healthcare provider or through another legal process, the possession, sale, and distribution of controlled substances are typically prohibited.
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