controlled drugsPsychoactive and or potentially addictive agents that are governed by the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Safe Custody Regulations 1973, amended 2007 (MDR), the current iteration of which divides the agents into five schedules:
Schedule 1 Controlled drugs
No recognised medicinal value; use requires controlled drugs licence for use, usually in research settings.
Cannibis sativa extract, mescaline, lysergide.
Schedule 2 Controlled drugs
Subject to safe custody requirements of MDR. They must be stored in a locked receptacle, and can only be opened by the person in lawful possession of the controlled drug (CD) or his/her agent. Supply restricted to licensed wholesalers, practitioners, hospitals and registered pharmacies. Wholesalers can only supply a person authorised to possess these drugs. Practitioners can only supply their patients. Hospitals may supply patients, wards and practitioners. Pharmacies may supply on receipt of a valid prescription or signed order.
100 agents are Schedule 2 drugs, including opiates, major stimulants, secobarbital and amphetamine.
Schedule 3 Controlled drugs
Subject to safe custody requirements, as above.
Substances perceived as being open to abuse, but less so than Schedule 2 controlled drugs. Schedule 3 contains synthetic opioids and other substances including temazepam.
Schedule 4 Controlled drugs
Part 1 Benzodiazepines
Contains most of the benzodiazepines, except flunitrazepam, midazolam and temazepam (Schedule 3), plus zolpidem, fencamfamin, mesocarb and others.
Part 2 Anabolic steroids and androgenic steroids
Testosterone, clenbuterol (adrenoreceptor stimulant) and growth hormones (5 polypeptide hormones).
There are no statutory requirements to record Schedule 4 controlled drugs, and their possession is not an offence if the holder has a valid prescription.
Schedule 5 Controlled drugs
Contains preparations of certain controlled drugs—e.g., codeine, pholcodine, morphine—which are exempt from full control when in medicinal products of low strengths.