The DEA issued a change in the amount of opiates found in pain medication. It is a step in combating the rising addiction to prescription pill addiction. So far there are currently 250 controlled substances in Schedule I and Schedule II opiate medication we use to combat our pain.

What is a Schedule I and Schedule II substance and how can it affect me? A Schedule II substance is something like Dilaudid, Methodone, Demerol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Fentanyl. These are drugs that can be prescribed for chronic pain. These types of chemicals can become highly addictive to those who take it to control their pain or manage chronic flare ups.

Schedule I opiates are those that don’t require a prescription to take or are not required for medical use. These are considered the illegal substances that include date rape drugs, LSD, and heroin. Marijuana is on the list of Schedule I substances that have been changed for medical use like those found in states that have legalized medical marijuana. This type of marijuana has no THC in which its illegal counterpart contains.

Schedule II substances are going to be affected more by the change in the amount of the drug added to a prescription than those in the Schedule I category. Hydrocodone, which is one the Schedule II substances has been reduced by 66%, to eliminate or curb the addiction level. All other substances in the Schedule II category will be reduced by 25%. The current drugs on the market do not have this reduction because the reduction is scheduled to take place for the 2017 batch of prescription pills. Some of the other pills affected by the 25% reduction include morphine, opium, and codeine.

Why are they reducing the amount of what is inside the pill? Regarding the 2015 statistic on those using pain pills or prescription drugs, the survey shows that nearly 6.5 million Americans over the age of 12 used controlled prescription medicines non-medically during the past month. The DEA has worked with the Aggregate Production Quota (APQ) to guard against any shortages of the 2017 batches of these drugs, but also to revise the amount of drugs needed inside each pill and how much a person should take. The APQ and the DEA have also worked on the appropriate reduction amount for 2017’s pain pills, but also made sure the amount reduced was still able to meet criteria for medical, scientific, research, industrial, and exporting needs to avoid shortages and reserve stocks that could be affected after 2017 by the new regulations.

If you are looking for more information regarding the changes to drug regulation, you can check the DEA’s website or you can ask your local pain management physician to provide you with a better explanation to the regulations and modified changes to your prescription drug dosage. If you wish to find alternatives to chronic pain or to avoid taking prescription medications like the ones mentioned in this article, contact one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, and Brandon for alternative options.

For more information on the DEA guidelines, click the following link: DEA Drug Inspection File