Criminology and Drug Abuse

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From the book ‘Criminology today: An integrative introduction’ by Frank Schmalleger, published in 2011, National Institute on Drug Abuse defined drug dependancy as a relapsing brain disease that is associated with a substance use disease that urges one to continue taking the drug despite its harmful effects. NIDA mentioned that the complexity of drug addiction leads to modification of structures of imperative organs and changes brain functionality. The 5 schedules or classes of controlled substances are proven in Table 13-1.
The placement of the drugs in their respective classes depends on numerous factors. The considered factors include the relative conceivable abuse of the drugs and the current acceptance of the substances for clinical treatment in the United States. For instance, in Schedule I Controlled Substances, Drugs such as marijuana, peyote, and heroin has a high potential for abuse because they have no popular acceptance for medical use in the United States. Opium, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and methadone are Substances in Schedule II Controlled Substances (Schmalleger, 2011). The drugs in Schedule II can lead to severe psychological dependence because they have a high risk of abuse.

Substances in Schedule III have less risk of abuse than the substances that are in schedule II or I. Abuse of Schedule III drugs like ketamine, and anabolic steroids can lead to either low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule IV substances are alprazolam, clonazepam, carisoprodol, and clorazepate. The substances grouped in this class have a low potential for abuse. The substances in Schedule V may lead to limited psychological dependence and are accepted for medical use in the United States. The substances in schedule V have a lower risk of abuse than the ones in schedule IV. The substances in this schedule include cough suppressants and ezogabine.

In conclusion, the drug classification schedules formed under the Controlled Substance Act in the United States organize drugs into groups depending on their risk of harm or abuse. All drugs with high risk are in schedule I because they are banned from medical use in the United States.


Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminology today: An integrative introduction. Prentice Hall.

July 24, 2021

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