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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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What is a controlled substance?

Controlled substances are types of drugs monitored and restricted due to their potential for negative effects on the human body. While most controlled substances are illegal drugs, not all have to be to fall into this category.

Anyone who possesses a controlled substance without a prescription or while it's listed as illegal can face serious penalties. You could, for example, go to prison or face local, state or federal charges.

Not all controlled substances are necessarily illegal in all situations. Take for example marijuana. In some states, it's illegal to possess it in any way, shape or form. In others, it's legal both recreationally and for medical purposes. It's important to know what is and is not legal, so you don't make the mistake of possessing something that you should not by law.

There are several schedules of drugs to understand. Schedule I drugs are the most restricted class. These are all illicit drugs including heroin and LSD. There is no medical use for the drugs in this category.

Schedule II drugs, in comparison, may have some medical uses but still have a high potential for abuse. They may result in severe psychological or physical dependencies, making them dangerous when used without supervision.

There are three other schedules for drugs, all of which become less severe. It's also important to note that some of these drugs may be legally possessed even if they're normally illegal. For instance, a medical provider testing heroin in a laboratory may have a right to possess it, just like a person with a legal prescription for an opioid can get it filled at a pharmacy.

If you're accused of having a prescription medication without the appropriate documentation, remember that you should get a chance to defend yourself. You can take steps to make sure there isn't a bias against you and get the documentation you need to show that you weren't in the wrong.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is a Controlled Substance?," accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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