Unlike most opioid derivatives, oxpheneridine is not specifically listed as an illegal drug. In the UNODC narcotics report of 1958, they state that it was not possible to administer oxpheneridine in high doses as it is poorly soluble and highly irritating, and at the low doses administered it did not produce addiction in animals. This appears to be the only time oxpheneridine has been investigated, and so its pharmacological properties have not been well established.
In Canada, Oxpheneridine is specifically excluded from the illegal drugs list on the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act schedules, presumably on the basis of the lack of addictive potential found by the UNODC. Canada also lists "Carbamethidine" as another excluded drug on its schedule, but this appears to be a double entry as the chemical name listed for carbamethidine is actually the chemical name of oxpheneridine, and the chemical name given for oxpheneridine on the Canadian drug schedules is chemically incorrect and does not correspond to a compound that could exist.