Schedule I is the most restrictive category of drugs determined by the Drug Enforcement Administration, ranked the highest in abuse potential and addictive quality.
A highly addictive opioid, heroin originated in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico and Colombia. The drug is made by extracting juice from a poppy flower and transforming the juice into an opium and morphine state, and finally a heroin form. Heroin is usually sold as white or brownish powder, in varying degrees of potency, and is ingested by injecting or snorting. Users may experience an intense high followed by sudden fatigue and confusion.
LSD is a potent hallucinogen made from lysergic acid, a chemical found in ergot fungi. Odorless, colorless and bitter in taste, LSD is usually consumed as a drug-laced blotter paper placed under the tongue. The effects of LSD vary: Dilated pupils, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and feelings of extreme euphoria, fear or depression are common. A user's judgment is distorted when on an LSD "trip," potentially putting them in dangerous situations.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that acts on the cannabinoid receptors in our brains, evoking a euphoric high. The drug is sold as green or brown dried leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa and is typically rolled into a cigarette or inhaled from a bong. In recent years, certain cities and states have approved marijuana for recreational or medical use, but the DEA hasn't recognized the drug as having a function in medicine.
MDMA, or Ecstasy, is a synthetic psychoactive drug with a similar chemical structure as methamphetamine, a stimulant, and mescaline, a hallucinogen. The drug, sold as a tablet, acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic, often elevating users' experiences to intensely happy states. In large doses, Ecstasy can interfere with the body's metabolism and its ability to regulate temperature, potentially leading to a sharp increase in temperature (hyperthermia) that could be fatal.
Peyote, or mescaline, is a psychedelic drug derived from a cactus that grows in desert areas of Texas and Mexico. Peyote cacti are circular and spineless and come in multiple colors, and they grow disc-shaped flowers. The "buttons" are harvested, dried and chewed or brewed in tea. Peyote users can experience hallucinations, intense anxiety, and poor eating and sleeping.
The main psychoactive component in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acts as a cannabinoid chemical in our brains, activating the body's pleasure, movement and concentration functions. THC triggers the release of dopamine, the chemical in our brains that signals a reward, which evokes euphoria and a trance-like state. The effects of THC include impaired motor skills, as well as potential long-term health risks such as memory decline and schizophrenia.
Fentanyl itself is a Schedule II drug, typically used as part of anesthesia treatment in medical settings. But when the opioid is dangerously combined with various chemical compounds, such as 3-methylfentanyl, it is classified as a Schedule I drug. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine; ingesting a tiny amount can be instantly fatal. The drug can be made more cheaply than heroin, which makes it even more accessible to poor communities. Fentanyl is sometimes mistaken for less-potent heroin, leading to increased risk of overdose.