There are many different types of drugs Philadelphia residents could encounter or require for various needs and ailments. Some of the drugs are used to treat various medical issues or to control pain levels. Generally, a doctor prescribes these. However, there are many drugs that have no medical purposes and are simply used for their side effects or to get high. Also, some of the drugs that are prescribed by doctors are taken by people who do not have prescriptions for that drug.
Due to these facts, many of these drugs are labeled as controlled substances and are illegal to use or possess without a valid prescription. These drugs are classified into five schedules, which are based on how dangerous they are to the people that use them. The schedules have a large number of drugs on them, but new drugs are created for various uses. Therefore, the government can amend the schedules from time to time to keep up with the new drugs entering the market.
However, in order to accomplish this, they must analyze certain criteria, which includes factors such as the drug's potential for abuse, the effects of the drug, the scientific research into the drug, the past and current pattern of the abuse of the drug, the risk to the public, the dependence people have on the drug, whether it is currently on the Federal list and other similar factors. After analyzing these factors, if the findings show that there is a potential for abuse, the drug shall be added to the appropriate schedule of controlled substances.
There are many people in Philadelphia who are dependent on drugs and others who possess drugs with the intent to distribute them. Also, new drugs continue to be created or different uses are found for current drugs. Therefore, the government can add drugs to the current list of illegal drugs. Getting caught with a drug currently on the list or one that is added later can result in serious consequences if charged and convicted. However, there are ways to avoid these harsh penalties. Experienced attorneys understand the laws surrounding drug charges and may be able to protect one's rights.
Source: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, "The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act" accessed on May 10, 2016