controlled substance | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Law

A controlled substance is a drug or chemical that is regulated by law because it has the potential for abuse or other negative consequences.

Controlled substances are divided into different categories or schedules based on their potential for abuse, their accepted medical use, and their potential for dependence.

In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federal law that regulates the manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of controlled substances. The CSA divides controlled substances into five schedules, with Schedule I substances being those with the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, and Schedule V substances being those with the lowest potential for abuse and widely accepted medical use.

Examples of controlled substances include drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription medications like oxycodone and Xanax. The possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances is generally illegal, although some states have laws that allow for the medical use of marijuana.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2023


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