What are Controlled Substances in Arkansas?
Controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are those drugs, chemicals and medications that are regulated depending on their potential for abuse, the likelihood to form an addiction, accepted medical use and perceived risk to public health.
Whether and where a drug finds itself on the list of controlled substances in Arkansas is determined by the Arkansas State Board of Health. Before adding, removing or changing the designation of a substance on the list, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) consider federal laws, current scientific evidence, historical patterns of abuse, risks to public health and the potential for individuals to become physically or psychologically dependent.
In addition to illicit drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin, controlled substances can include prescription medications and chemicals that are used in the manufacture of other drugs. For example, oxycodone may be prescribed to provide pain relief, but it is classified as a Schedule II substance because of its high likelihood of abuse. And, while Sudafed is a cold and allergy medication that can be purchased over-the-counter in Arkansas, pseudoephedrine can also be used to manufacture methamphetamines. As a result, it is designated a Schedule V controlled substance, limiting the amount you can purchase and possess at a given time.
So, how can you know what substances you are legally allowed to possess in Arkansas? And, how serious are the penalties if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance?
Arkansas Controlled Substance List
For a complete list of controlled substance in Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
Schedule I substances are considered to have the highest likelihood of abuse and include opiates and hallucinogens, as well as certain depressants and stimulants.
Schedule II substances, such as cocaine, amphetamines and raw opium, have an accepted medical use but a high likelihood of abuse and severe psychological or physical dependence if abused.
Possession of cocaine, methamphetamines or another Schedule I or II substance is a felony and, depending on the amount and whether you have any prior drug crimes or violent offenses, you could face up to 20 years of incarceration.
Schedule III substances have an accepted medical use, lower likelihood of abuse and less severe physical dependence, though psychological dependence can still be high. Pentobarbital and anabolic steroids are examples of Schedule III substances.
Schedule IV substances, including diazepam and tramadol, have an accepted medical use, are less likely to be abused and cause a less severe physical and psychological dependence if they are abused.
Schedule V substances, like pseudoephedrine, are the least dangerous controlled substances. They have an accepted medical use, a lower risk of abuse and only limited dependence if they are abused.
Schedule VI substances, like marijuana, are those that don’t fit the other schedules. According to their classification, there is no accepted medical use and they are considered unsafe even under direct medical supervision. Additionally, Schedule VI substances carry a high likelihood of physical or psychological dependence.
Possession of marijuana, anabolic steroids or another Schedule III-VI substance may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount in your possession and whether you have any prior drug crimes or violent offenses.
You may also face increased penalties if you were found in possession of a CDS in a detention center or within 1,000 feet of a park, school, day care or certain other facilities.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, or if you believe you may soon face drug charges, you may wish to speak with an experienced criminal defense and drug arrest trial attorney.