Up-Scheduling of all Hydrocodone Products

Marc McCulloch

“Up-scheduling” of all hydrocodone containing products: On August 22, 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (the DEA) published its final rule that places all hydrocodone containing products under schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. The new “up-scheduling” of hydrocodone as a Class II controlled substance shall take effect on October 6, 2014.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, every controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules. Hydrocodone containing products will remain as a Class III controlled substance until the “up-scheduling” takes effect.

The decision to reschedule hydrocodone was based on its potential for abuse and out of concern for public health. Recent studies have confirmed that there is physiological and physical dependence associated with hydrocodone containing products. There also has been a significant increase in deaths within the last few years associated with the use of opioids and hydrocodone containing products. Tragically, a very large number of young youths have died as a result of overdosing on opioids including hydrocodone containing products.


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