14 Aug Is modafinil a controlled substance?
Let’s understand what a controlled substance is-
Controlled drugs and substances are drugs whose manufacturing and possession is restricted by the government because it might be abused or it may lead to addiction. Controlled substances include stimulants, depressants, opioids, anabolic steroids and hallucinogens. Hence some controlled substances are available only on prescription while some controlled substances are completely illegal in a country.
Drugs and other substances are categorized into five different schedules according to the Controlled Substances Act. The categories according to the updated DEA( Drug Enforcement Administration) list are-
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule V drugs, chemicals, or substances are drugs with a high potential for abuse, with prolonged use it can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are considered dangerous. Some examples are:
cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
Schedule V drugs, chemicals, or substances are drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Drug abuse potential is more than Schedule IV. Some examples are:
ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone
Schedule IV drugs and substances are drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples are:
Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol, Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet
Schedule V drugs, chemicals, or substances are drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and their contents contain narcotics in very limited quantities. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antitussive, antidiarrheal and analgesic purposes. (15)
Now, the categorization of modafinil varies from country to country.
The DEA categorizes modafinil as a schedule IV substance. It was announced as a controlled substance in 1999.Schedule IV drugs are controlled and are not available over the counter without a prescription but have a very low potential for abuse and dependence.
Hence, Modafinil is a low-grade controlled drug whose use and possession are not illegal in the USA. It can be easily purchased with a prescription. While in some countries like India, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and many more South American and Asian countries modafinil is not a controlled substance and easily available over the counter.