Aggressive Representation

How are controlled substances classified in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

There are numerous laws in Louisiana that concern controlled substances. Many people think immediately of prohibited drugs when discussing controlled substances. Heroin, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are all subject to strict laws in Louisiana. Awareness campaigns mean that most people are aware of the laws controlling prohibited drugs.

However, many of the prescription medications that people take for their health are also likely subject to controlled substances laws. People who don’t know about these laws are likely to violate them. How do controlled substances laws work in Louisiana?

Controlled drugs all belong to certain categories

The controlled substances laws in Louisiana establish five different categories or schedules for those drugs. Lawmakers classify every controlled substance based on how medically useful the drug is likely to be and how much risk of abuse it poses. There are different schedules or categories of controlled substances. The criminal penalties that someone might face over possession, manufacturing or distribution charges depend in no small part on the scheduling or classification of the drug that police find.

What are the different schedules?

There are five schedule classifications for drugs in Louisiana. Schedule I is the most severe classification. Drugs in this category have no acknowledged medical use and pose a substantial risk of abuse. Many of the traditional drugs that people think of as prohibited substances fall into this schedule classification. Heroin is a Schedule I substance.

Schedule II drugs are substances that could be very dangerous but are sometimes medically necessary. Fentanyl and phencyclidine (PCP) are both Schedule II drugs. Schedule III drugs pose a risk of abuse but are less likely to cause substance abuse disorders than Schedule I or II substances. Ketamine and steroids fall into Schedule III.

Schedule IV drugs include many common prescription medications with low risk of abuse and dependence. Drugs ranging from Xanax to Ambien are in Schedule IV. Finally, Schedule V drugs are prescriptions that may control a relatively low dose of potentially dangerous drugs, such as prescription pain relievers with a small amount of codeine included.

Learning about the schedule classification of a substance is often the first step for anyone accused of a Louisiana drug offense. Those who comprehend state drug laws are in a better position to begin preparing a criminal defense strategy in the wake of being accused of breaking the law.