Item Welcome to the NHS Business Services Authority Knowledge Base, the place to ask us anything you need to know

Document Controlled drug categories and their meanings

Schedule 1

Drugs belonging to this schedule are thought to have no therapeutic value and therefore cannot be due lawfully possessed or prescribed. These include LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and cannabis. Schedule 1 drugs may be used for the purposes of research but a Home Office license is required.

Schedule 2 & 3

The drugs in these schedules can be prescribed and therefore can be legally possessed and supplied by pharmacists and doctors. They can also be possessed lawfully by anyone who has a prescription. It is an offence contrary to the 1971 Act to possess any drug belonging to Schedule 2 & 3 without prescription or lawful authority. Examples of Schedule 2 & 3 are Methadone and Diamorphine (heroin). Schedule 3 drugs include Subutex and most of the barbiturate family.

The difference between Schedule 2 & 3 drugs is limited to the application of the 2001 Regulations concerning record keeping and storage requirements in respect of Schedule 2 drugs.

Schedule 4 (i) & (ii)

Schedule 4 was divided into two parts by the 2001 Regulations (as amended by the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2012).

Schedule 4 (i) controls most of the Benzodiazepines. Schedule 4 (i) drugs can be lawfully possessed under prescription. Otherwise, possession is an offence under the 1971 Act.

Schedule 4 (ii) drugs can be possessed as long as they are clearly for personal use. Drugs in this schedule can also be imported or exported for personal use where a person himself carries out that importation or exportation. The most common example of Schedule 4 (ii) drug is steroids.

Schedule 5

Schedule 5 drugs are sold over the counter and can be legally possessed without a prescription.


Need more help?

If this doesn't answer your question please contact us directly or search again. Search Again

Does this answer your question?