People use illegal drugs for a variety of reasons. No matter what the reason for using controlled substances in Philadelphia, however, drug possession is illegal. The penalties can be severe no matter what kind of drug is possessed, but there are different penalties for different types of drugs. Drugs are divided into five different groups called Schedules. The penalty generally depends on which schedule the drug is in.
Schedule I contains drugs that have a high potential for abuse. Currently, there is no known medical use for the drug and the drug cannot be safely administered even under medical supervision. This Schedule mainly contains opiates and its derivatives and hallucinogenic substances.
Schedule II contains drugs with a high potential for abuse that may lead to mental or physical dependence, but there is currently medically accepted use for the drug under supervision. Drugs in this schedule include, opium, cocaine, methadone, amphetamines and others.
Schedule III contains drugs that have a potential for abuse, but lower than the potential for those in I and II. The drugs also have medical uses, but may only lead to moderate or low dependence. Drugs in this schedule include small amounts of codeine or morphine, anabolic steroids and others.
Schedule IV contains drugs with lower potential for abuse and dependence compared to Schedule III and have medical uses. Schedule V contains drugs that have a lower potential for abuse and dependence than Schedule IV and have medical uses. Schedule V contains mainly very low amounts of codeine, morphine and opium.
Many people in Philadelphia use drugs. The types and amounts of the drugs vary greatly, but possessing any of them can lead to severe consequences. However, there may be defenses available to those charged and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Experienced attorneys may be able to protect one's rights.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health, "The controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act" accessed on November 30, 2015