Schedule V controlled substances are the last considered in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act. Generally speaking, they pose less of a threat when compared to all the other drugs and controlled substances. However, they should not be considered as safer in terms of abuse or recreational use. In other words, possession of a controlled substance on Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act should not be underestimated.
A Schedule V controlled substance must meet the following guidelines:
The drug or substance has a lower potential for abuse and/or addiction than those in Schedule IV;
The drug or substance has a current and accepted medical use or treatment in the United States;
Abuse of the drug or substance may lead to physical or psychological dependence, but has a lower potential than those in Schedule IV.
Though a prescription may not be necessary for a controlled substance in Schedule V, they are restricted to only being distributed or dispensed for their intended medical purpose, and therefore, possession of a controlled substance on Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act is not an openly available and free right. Because a Schedule V controlled substance is readily available with less restrictions or regulations enforced, they have proven to be a of concern to the DEA.
Drugs in Schedule V include:
Cough suppressants with codeine, such as promethazine and codeine
Antidiarrheals containing small amounts of opium or diphenoxylate
Lyrica or Pregabalin
Antidiarrheals containing Lomotil
A controlled substance of this nature is readily available and easily acquired over the counter at any pharmacy or drugstore. In recent times, cough suppressants have proven to be used for recreational purposes and abused in order to get "high."
Many young children would acquire cough suppressants without any real complications at local pharmacies or drugstores for the purpose of abusing and using the controlled substance for recreational purposes. Because it was becoming such a concern, many pharmacies began to implement policies that restricted the selling and purchasing of certain cough suppressants.
Target and Wal-mart are two store chains that enacted a policy of placing these types of cough suppressants behind the counter, so as not to make so easily available. Some goes as far as placing age restrictions and require a photo ID and signatures to purchase a controlled substance cough suppressant. Many states have gone as far implementing restrictions into law and legislation to further prevent the abuse of cough suppressants for recreational use.
The Controlled Substances Act has implemented certain penalties for the illegal possession of a controlled substance in Schedule V. The illegal possession of a controlled substance found in Schedule V can lead to up to a year imprisonment sentence and/or a $100,000 fine for an individual or $250,000 if more than one individual is involved.
A second offense may lead to up to two years imprisonment and/or up to a $200,000 fine for an individual or $500,000 if more than one individual is involved.
The possession of a controlled substance in Schedule V for illegal means or recreational use is not subject to a particular amount. The restrictions enacted by the Controlled Substances Act as well as those implemented by the State or company policies have allowed for the reduction of the abuse and misuse of cough suppressants and other Schedule V controlled substances that were being acquired for abuse and recreational purposes.