Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance? Skyward Treatment Center in Houston, Texas.

Alcohol, a commonly used and socially acceptable substance, is often seen as harmless or less harmful than other drugs. However, alcohol is a psychotropic substance with a high potential for misuse and addiction. Now, a question arises ‘Is alcohol a controlled substance?’ The simple answer is no. However, there’s more to this. Let’s read through and get to understand.

Skyward Treatment Center, a prominent treatment clinic in Houston, Texas, recognizes the necessity of tackling alcohol addiction and its repercussions. In this blog article, we will look at whether or not alcohol is considered a controlled substance by looking into the DEA classification of controlled substances.

Is Alcohol A Form of Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is described as the dangerous or detrimental use of psychoactive substances such as illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs. Hence, alcohol is a form of substance abuse. Although alcohol is legal and readily accessible, excessive drinking can have serious physical, psychological, and social repercussions. Alcohol abuse can lead to a variety of health difficulties, including cardiovascular problems, liver disease, cognitive impairment, and an increased risk of some forms of cancer. Furthermore, alcohol addiction, often known as alcoholism, can have serious consequences for a person’s personal and professional life, relationships, and general well-being.

What is AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder)?

AUD (alcohol use disorder) can be described in simple terms as a chronic relapsing brain disease that involves compulsive alcohol use, loss of ability to regulate alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not consuming. In other words, persons with AUD have a strong desire to drink while knowing it is harmful to their health. They can’t regulate their alcohol intake and have unpleasant feelings when they don’t drink. AUD is a big issue in the United States. According to the NSDUH, it claimed almost 100,000 lives in 2020.

That is why seeking alcohol addiction treatment is quite important despite it not being a controlled substance

Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance?

As aforementioned, alcohol is not a controlled drug; instead, it is regulated. As a result, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) scheduling methodology excludes it. The word “controlled substance” refers to drugs or substances that are controlled by the law owing to their abuse potential and addiction risk. In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is in charge of categorizing controlled drugs based on their potential for misuse, acknowledged medicinal usage, and physical and psychological dependency. However, alcohol is not considered a controlled drug under federal law. This difference is based on the historical and cultural acceptability of alcohol drinking. While alcohol is regulated and subject to a variety of laws and requirements, such as minimum age requirements and laws against driving under the influence, it is not classified as a controlled substance in the same way that illegal drugs or some prescription prescriptions are.

However, it is critical to understand that the effects of alcohol addiction won’t spare you just because it is not a controlled substance.

DEA’s Scheduling of Controlled Substances

The DEA divides controlled substances into five categories, with Schedule I the most restrictive and Schedule V the least restrictive. This categorization method is based on the drug’s abuse potential, approved medicinal usage, and the possibility of physical or psychological dependency.

  1. Schedule I Drugs. A class of drugs that have been proven to have a very high misuse/abuse potential, have no medicinal use, and would be very unsafe even when used under medical supervision. Examples include LSD, heroin, marijuana (at the federal level), peyote, methaqualone, ecstasy, etc.
  2. Schedule II Drugs. A class of drugs that have been proven to have a very high potential for misuse but have been allowed for medicinal purposes with severe restrictions. They include meth and cocaine, prescription opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone, etc.
  3. Schedule III Drugs. A class of drugs with moderate to low psychological and physical dependence. They have also been allowed for medicinal purposes. Examples include ketamine, Anabolic steroids, codeine-containing prescription drugs, etc.
  4. Schedule IV Drugs. These have a low risk of abuse, addiction, and dependence. They have also been approved for medicinal applications. Examples include benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium, as well as several prescription sleep medications.
  5. Schedule V Drugs. These drugs have a minimal risk of being abused and are currently authorized for therapeutic use. Abuse may lead to a limited physical or psychological dependence. Some examples of drugs are cough suppressants which include codeine and antidiarrheal medications.

Ready To Take The First Steps Towards Alcohol Addiction Recovery? Contact Skyward Treatment Center in Houston, TX, Today!

Although alcohol is not classified as a controlled substance, it is important to recognize that the potential for alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse is one of the highest. Skyward Treatment Center acknowledges the intricacy of alcohol addiction and offers all-encompassing treatment programs tailored to the specific needs of each client. We will help you get back on track!