Definition - What does Schedule II mean?
Schedule II is a classification of the Federal regulatory status of a class of medications and other drugs. It is a subclass of substances that have some medicinal value in treating certain conditions, but also carry a high potential for dependence and addiction. Schedule II drugs include Adderall, cocaine, methamphetamine, Opium, Oxycodone, Ritalin, and Vicodin. Penalties for possession of schedule II drugs is contingent on the amount and type of drug found on an individual. First-time offenders can face incarceration with a jail sentence ranging from one up to twenty years combined with a substantial fine.
WorkplaceTesting explains Schedule II
Many schedule II substances are prescribed by physicians, such as opioids and synthetic marijuana variations, to alleviate chronic pain and/or treat epilepsy. However, schedule II classification places restrictive limits on studying the health effects of new drugs introduced in the market. There are conflicting views over proper designation and accessibility of schedule II substances, in particular, the rapid growth of legalized marijuana and prevalent opioid abuse.
For instance, Syndros is a marijuana derivative, chemically engineered to replicate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient of the cannabis plant. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified Syndros as a schedule II substance while a different marijuana extract called cannabidiol (CBD) is exempt from medical testing restrictions. The disparity raises questions over DEA regulatory action of equally important marijuana extracts in terms of determining medical value with available testing.
In addition, opioids are prescribed to help pain management, but the abuse of painkillers continues to rise. The designation of opioids as a schedule II substance means tighter control over the opioid epidemic. Individuals opposed to schedule II classification believe it is a financial and physical imposition to patients. In turn, opiate manufacturers would also experience an economic downshift in sales production because of lower legal demand.