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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Why is dihydrocodeine listed in schedule 2 of the misuse of

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Why is dihydrocodeine listed in schedule 2 of the misuse of drugs regulations but but dihydrocodeine tartrate (salt) is classed as schedule 5

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

The reason for legislation is beyond comprehension really. Ultimately a lawyer can only tell you the state of the law not the reasons for it. The only way you can ascertain that is to check copies of Hansard for the parliamentary debates on the point and even that doesn't really tell you much most of the time as this may have been included on schedule 5 by accident.

That said, I'm not sure you mean schedule 5? That just covers transitional periods. Schedule 2 covers controlled drugs. Indeed, this drug is listed as a class a drug in schedule 2.

I'm sorry if this is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes dihydrocodeine is a class b drug under the misuse of drugs act 1971 but in the misuse of drugs regulations 2001 it is listed in schedule 2. because I'm a detention officer with the police we cannot give schedule to drugs to prisoners. so i refused to do this. my mp wrote to the home office and they tell me its a schedule 5 under the misuse of drugs regulations and there fore i can give it. what i don't understand is if it is listed as a class b in mda and a schedule 2 mdr how can it then but schedule 5 mdr which refers to over the counter meds

Well, thats not really a legal question. Its more of a policy question. Lots of law is a nonsense and the Misuse of Drugs Act isnt' the best example.

However, they would appear to be correct. In S7 here

its clear that any person can administer anything subject to Schedule 5 here

which does name this drug at s1[2]

I suspect probably the difference is that that the Misuse of Drugs Act prohibits possession but the Regulations cover administering although it would appear to be a difference without merit.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

still can't get my head round it here is a an extact from a government policy from the mar

Schedule 5 covers weaker preparations of Schedule 2 drugs that present little risk of misuse and can be sold over the counter as a pharmacy medicine (without prescription). Examples include codeine, medicinal opium or morphine (in less than 0.2% concentration).
i walk into a chemist and ask for dihydrocodeine and they won't sell me it cos they say its prescription only.
so this guidance is for chemists making up meds for individuals. this extract is taken from the governments policy of reducing drugs misuse and dependence. my problem is i cannot see how its a class b drug a schedule 2 drug and also a schedule 5 drug which says i can buy over the counter but can't!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

sorry to give you a hard time

No, its interesting researching actually.

Isn't the difference here though that the conduct being considered was whether or not you could adminster this drug rather than whether or not you could supply or possess it?

I suppose you could argue that the act of administering it amounts to supply.

I cannot see anything in either act that suggests that this is a weaker preparation. Thats not what the 2001 regulations say.
Except, I suppose, you could that S1 demands that it be a weaker preparation

1. (1) Any preparation of one or more of the substances to which this paragraph applies, not being a preparation designed for administration by injection, when compounded with one or more other active or inert ingredients and containing a total of not more than 100 milligrams of the substance or substances (calculated as base) per dosage unit or with a total concentration of not more than 2.5% (calculated as base) in undivided preparations.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

what is says in pace codes of practice c 9.10 that we can supervise the self administration of schedules 4 & 5 but not 2 & 3. my argument with the force is dihydrocodeine is listed in the mda as a class b with can be 5yrs in prison for supply. it is also listed in schedule 2 and also makes reference to the salts of any of the substances. i had my mp take this to the home secretary and her legal advice was dihydrocodeine tartrate it is a schedule 5. the dictionary describes tartrate as salt of a substance !. in my mind schedule 5 refers to weaker preparations containing dhc, one such substance is parasol. i also know to be sold over the counter the content of dhc has to be no more than 7.6mgs.

i have also researched 30mg dihydrocodeine and i have found that 30mg tablets are pure dihydrocodeine. so as you can see every thing i read and research gets contradicted by the powers that be. so i don't know where i am breaking the law or not!

Sometimes officialdom is wrong. They have had lots of policies that have been held to be unlawful.

I think though that PACE codes of practice clearly allows you to supervise anything subject to schedule 5 and this drug is unless you can show that it offends against S1[1] above.