What Are Schedule II Drugs?

What Are Schedule II Drugs?The DEA classifies restricted drugs in five categories or schedules; Schedule I drugs are those with the highest potential for abuse and no current accepted medical usage, while in comparison, Schedule V drugs have low potential for abuse and mainly consist of prescription medications that contain relatively small doses of narcotics.  

Schedule II is somewhere in between; drugs in this schedule have a high potential for abuse that can easily lead to physical or psychological dependence, however, many or all of them do have accepted medical uses.

Schedule II drugs include:


How Common is the Abuse of Schedule II Drugs?

According to U.S. government studies, 54 million Americans have abused prescription drugs in their lifetime. That’s around one sixth of the U.S. population and around 20% of all Americans age 12 and older. Each year, 2.1 million Americans abuse prescription drugs for the first time– which equals around 6,000 new users per day.  

While it’s true that not all commonly abused prescription drugs are Schedule II, many of them are (especially the most addictive ones), so these figures likely give us the closest estimate of how many Americans are abusing them.


The Importance of Drug Addiction Treatment

The most commonly abused prescription drugs can be divided between three categories:

  • Opiate painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Dilaudid
  • Stimulants like Cocaine, and types of amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin
  • Sedatives, mostly including benzos like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan

While most of the stronger prescription opiates are Schedule II, most sedatives are not. In fact, the benzos mentioned above, while potentially extremely addictive, are actually Schedule IV drugs. Additionally, many of the opiates in Schedules III, IV, and V are also very addictive– drugs which including Tylenol with Codeine and Tramadol.

While Schedule II drugs are, on average, more addictive than those at higher schedules, it’s important to remember that nearly every restricted prescription drug has some potential for abuse.


Find a Certified Drug Rehab Center

A prescription drug addiction can begin to control your life faster than you could ever imagine. All it takes is a single prescription for anxiety, pain, or concentration problems to develop a habit which can quickly spiral out of control. Despite the good intentions of most doctors, many fail to understand the ease with which patients can become addicted to their medication, and often don’t think twice before prescribing drugs with a serious potential for addiction.

At Get Treatment, we understand how difficult and overwhelming it can be to seek help for prescription drug addiction. For this reason, we are dedicated to helping you find a certified drug rehab program with caring and compassionate staff members who can guide you through each step of the recovery process. Let us help you get the chance to regain control over your life, your health, and your relationships.

Don’t let prescription drugs take over your life.Find help today and learn about how our drug rehab centers can give you the strength and hope you need to get clean. We provide medical detox services, inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, and aftercare services. We are here for you at every stage of the addiction recovery process.


Call 855-638-9268 to learn more about your treatment options and to speak to a dedicated admissions professional.



Erica Loret de Mola


Erica Loret de Mola is a communications major who has been writing about addiction treatment for approximately three years. As content manager and editor in chief of Get Treatment, she strives to provide the most accurate and current information available to our clients.


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