Prescription drug use is widespread in the United States. SingleCare estimates that 66 percent of adults take prescribed drugs. Illinois has harsh punishments for the unlawful possession of prescription medications. Illegal possession of an opioid carries the potential for felony charges.

Most people arrested for the unlawful possession of prescription drugs do not have a criminal history. Continue reading to learn more about the different schedules for drug crimes and how they apply to prescription medication.

Schedules IV and III

Schedule IV refers to drugs with some risk of addiction but less potential for abuse. Common drugs under this category include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam).

Schedule III drugs have a higher potential for abuse and typically have a higher risk of physiological or psychological dependence. Drugs that fall under Schedule III include specific codeine prescriptions, ketamine and anabolic steroids.

Punishment for possession of Schedule IV or III drugs is less severe than Schedule II possession but still something you want to avoid. In most cases, a conviction results in a felony and up to three years of jail time.

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs still have a medical purpose, but they have the highest potential for abuse among prescription drugs. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include fentanyl, morphine, methamphetamine and certain forms of codeine. Sometimes the penalty for possession of a Schedule II drug equals the penalty for Schedule I possession. It is the most severe criminal charge for prescription medicine, and a conviction will result in a felony.

Convictions for illegal possession of prescription drugs are life-altering. When faced with a drug charge, it takes an uncompromising and immediate defense to avoid conviction.

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