Classification of Drugs

Many different types of substances exist within our society. Some of these have various purposes within the medical realm, whereas others are completely illegal and have no medicinal value. The numerous substances that are used these days are broken down into a few different categories, a classification of drugs. The types of drugs and their classifications depend upon the effects that they have on an individual’s physical and mental state.

Various Classification of Drugs


One large classification of drugs that includes many well-known substances is depressants. These substances reduce the level of neurotransmission within the brain, which inhibits things like arousal, pain, and stimulation. This classification includes substances like opiates, benzodiazepines, and even alcohol. Depressant medications are prescribed for handling conditions like pain, anxiety, and panic attacks. Virtually every depressant can be highly addictive, which is why many of them are often only prescribed for short term use. In fact, opiates are one of the largest addiction problems currently within the country.


Stimulants are essentially the direct opposite of depressants. These substances bring about increased activity, sped up mental and physical processes, and feelings of well-being and euphoria. One of the most prominent examples of a stimulant is the illicit substance Cocaine, although others include methamphetamine, ecstasy, and amphetamine medications like Adderall. Some may think that sped up physical/mental processes and increased activity may sound like a good thing, but realistically, these substances cause the system to work harder, which can lead to various complications. Stimulant medications are prescribed for conditions like ADHD, asthma, and mood disorders.


These types of substances are likely used less than many other types, but there are still those that abuse them. Inhalants is an umbrella term for a number of substances that are inhaled to achieve effects like dizziness, effects akin to that of alcohol intoxication, and distortion of perception. These effects are the result of the inhalants reducing oxygen supply to the brain. One commonly used inhalant is computer cleaner, also referred to as “duster.” This category can also include aerosols, solvents, and gases like nitrous oxide.


These kinds of drugs are quite prevalent in the party and club scene. They have effects like altered perception, decreased coordination, and auditory and visual hallucinations. This class can have quite a severe impact on the brain. Common substances in this category include magic mushrooms, PCP, and LSD. They can potentially be addictive, but a large amount of their danger lies in injuries sustained while under the influence.


Marijuana is commonly placed under the classification of a depressant, but we have placed it here separately is that it is the most commonly used illicit substance. In comparison, it also tends to be less severe than the other types of depressants. Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant, and its active ingredient is THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). It can be used in a few different ways, with two common methods being smoking or ingestion. It produces effects like increased appetite, euphoria, bloodshot eyes, and increased heart rate. Some also may feel anxious or paranoid while under the influence of marijuana.

Are Your or a Loved One Seeking Help with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

It is valuable to understand drugs and the different classification of drugs, as you can be aware of the risks and effects associated with them. In addition, it can help you to recognize addiction in those close to you. With the wide range of substances available, more people continue to fall into addiction every day. Fortunately, while addiction can be difficult to struggle with, it is not impossible to break free of it. There are many different types of treatment and facilities that can help people to overcome this hellacious condition. The large amount of options can sometimes make it tough to know what would be the best choice for you or your loved one, but that is where New Beginnings can help. We are knowledgeable in the various centers around the country, as well as their offerings, and can find the perfect fit for whoever may be struggling. Call us today for more information.

Don’t delay another second
when help is so close.

Call 877-704-7285 Now!