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How Are Drugs Categorized?

How Are Drugs Categorized?

There are many different drugs that exist in the world, some more deadly than others, How are drugs categorized and why are they?

Different types of drugs produce dramatically different effects. Some drugs make you alert and hyperactive, others make you drowsy and sluggish. The effect that a drug has on a person also depends heavily on the person. For example, some people who drink alcohol are labeled “angry drunks.” 

As soon as they have a couple of alcoholic beverages in their system, they begin picking fights, calling names, and breaking glasses. Other people who drink alcohol might be labeled “the life of the party.” They are fun to be around; they crack jokes, make other people laugh, and always have a fun idea on hand.

Seven Predominant Categories of Drugs

Drugs are categorized by the way they affect people or by their symptomatic effects. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, drugs are categorized into seven predominant categories. These categories include: 

  • Central nervous system depressants 
  • Central nervous system stimulants
  • Hallucinogens 
  • Dissociative anesthetics
  • Narcotic analgesics
  • Inhalants 
  • Cannabis/marijuana 

Each one of these chemical substances has the potential to severely impair cognitive functioning and lead to a host of additional issues, including the development of physical and psychological dependence. If you have been misusing any one of these chemical substances (or several in combination), there is a good chance that professional intervention has become necessary. 

At Evoke Waltham, we specialize in treating drug addiction whenever you need it, either in-person, over the phone, or virtually. Contact us today to learn more about our unique and flexible recovery program. 

How Are Drugs Categorized?

More About Specific Drug Categories

Let’s break down each of the categories a little more in depth. Remember, we are available around the clock to answer any additional questions you might have. 

  • CNS depressants. This drug includes anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium, alcohol, and antidepressant drugs like Zoloft. CNS depressants work by calming the central nervous system and reducing feelings of stress. Unfortunately, alcohol, although legal, is one of the most addictive and detrimental CNS depressants available.
  • CNS stimulants. Examples of CNS stimulant drugs include illegal drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine and amphetamines, which can be prescribed in ADHD medication or medication for narcolepsy. 
  • Hallucinogenic drugs, also known as psychedelics, are often illegal and used recreationally. The most commonly abused hallucinogens include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and peyote.
  • Dissociative anesthetics interfere with perception, leading to “out of body” experiences. The most commonly abused dissociative anesthetics are PCP and dextromethorphan.
  • Narcotic analgesics are also known as painkillers and include medications like codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. 
  • Inhalants are commonly abused and legal — most can be purchased at stores and include hair spray, paint, gasoline, plastic cement, and other products. 
  • Cannabis, or marijuana, is categorized on its own because it is dissimilar from any other chemical substance. This category also includes synthetic cannabinoids. 

Start Drug Recovery Program at Evoke Waltham

Committing to a long-term drug recovery program is no small feat, especially when you have no idea what to expect. If you have never previously attempted to get sober, you might be wondering what recovery will look like. Will it be boring? What will you do for fun? Are you going to have to commit to sobriety for the remainder of your life? 

At Evoke Waltham, we are available to answer all of these questions and any additional questions you might have. Simply contact us over the phone or directly through the chat portion of our website, and we’ll help you get started. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you or your loved one overcome addiction and go on to lead a drug-free, fulfilling life.