Drug Enforcement Administration

The Drug Enforcement Administration administers the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The objective of the CSA is to regulate the distribution of substances with a potential for addiction, including many with legitimate medical purposes recognized by the FDA. The federal law cannot regulate which drugs may be prescribed, the quantity prescribed, or the frequency of prescriptions. Nonetheless, the DEA's War on Drugs does sometimes inhibit medically necessary use of controlled substances, in particular control of severe chronic pain. A physician who treats many patients with narcotic analgesics in high doses and the pharmacist who fills those prescriptions may attract the attention of the DEA and may need to defend against criminal or professional charges.

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