In the US, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a classification system for all types of drugs. Each category includes a “schedule” ranking for each class of substances. Schedule 5 drugs are the least harmful, but they still have addictive potential.

What Makes a Drug a Schedule 5 Drug?

A combination of pills, vials, and syringes depicting schedule 5 drugsMany people mistakenly believe the DEA’s schedule system indicates the most dangerous drugs. Instead, it’s more of an identification system for drugs with higher abuse potential. If a drug has no medical purpose and many people abuse it, the DEA identifies it as a Schedule 1 drug.

Drugs with legitimate medical benefits often rank lower in the scheduling system. At the bottom of this ranking are schedule 5 drugs. These are potentially harmful substances with small amounts of addictive ingredients. However, abuse of a schedule 5 drug can still lead to addiction. Although, when comparing addictive potential to schedule 1 drug abuse, schedule 5 drugs are less likely to lead to drug use.

Most Common Types of Schedule 5 Substances

Most schedule 5 substances are prescription medications. Often, they contain small amounts of narcotics, like codeine. Many of these substances treat conditions like diarrhea, pain, or coughing.

Above all, schedule 5 substances have abuse potential. However, abuse is less common. This may simply be because it takes more time to abuse these drugs than other substances containing more potent ingredients.

A few examples of schedule 5 substances include:

  • Robitussin AC (cough medicine)
  • Lomotil (anti-diarrheal medication)
  • Lyrica (nerve pain medication)

What Drug Schedules Don’t Accurately Convey

While the abuse of schedule 5 drugs is less likely, this is often problematic. Keep in mind, addiction to these substances is harder to identify, and abuse might not appear on common drug tests

For example, some cough syrups are schedule 5. This means you can readily purchase them from any pharmacy or grocery store. When excessively taken, for example when mixing with soda to create purple drank, schedule 5 substances lead to harmful side effects, addiction, and disorientation.

Overcoming an Addiction to Schedule 5 Drugs

Schedule 5 drug addiction substances still require professional treatment and support. Fortunately, detox may be less challenging than schedule 1 drug withdrawal symptoms. However, to permanently end substance abuse, rehab is necessary. Achieving recovery is possible with therapeutic methods including:

If you or a loved one struggles with schedule 5 drug addiction, 1st Step Behavioral Health can help. Rehab in Pompano Beach, Florida, may be your route to total recovery. You deserve better. Begin your personal recovery journey today by calling (855) 425-4846.

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