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What Are the 6 Classification of Drugs?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

It is essential to understand the different types of drugs and the effects they can have on individuals. There are six main categories of drugs, each with its own characteristics and potential risks. In this article, we will take a closer look at the six classification of drugs, so you can be better informed of their various properties and effects.

What Are Analgesic Drugs?

What are the Different Classifications of Drugs?

Drugs are substances used to treat illness and medical conditions. Drugs are classified according to their intended use, chemical structure, effects, and other characteristics. This article will discuss the six main classifications of drugs, their intended uses, and common examples.

The six main classes of drugs are: prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, street drugs, herbal drugs, recreational drugs, and synthetic drugs. Each of these classes has its own distinct characteristics, intended uses, and risks.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are medications that require a prescription from a healthcare provider in order to be legally obtained. They are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are only available through pharmacies and other authorized vendors. Prescription drugs are intended to treat a wide range of medical conditions, from allergies to cancer. Common examples of prescription drugs include antibiotics, painkillers, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Over-the-counter drugs are medications that do not require a prescription from a healthcare provider. These drugs are available for purchase without a prescription and are regulated by the FDA. Over-the-counter drugs are intended to treat common ailments such as headaches, colds, and allergies. Common examples of over-the-counter drugs include pain relievers, cough syrups, and antihistamines.

Street Drugs

Street drugs are drugs that are illegally produced and sold on the street. These drugs are typically unregulated and can be highly dangerous. Street drugs are intended to produce a feeling of euphoria or a “high”, and can lead to physical and psychological addiction. Common street drugs include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.

Herbal Drugs

Herbal drugs are substances derived from plants, and are usually sold in the form of pills, powders, or extracts. These drugs are not regulated by the FDA and their safety and effectiveness is uncertain. Herbal drugs are intended to treat a variety of ailments from headaches to depression. Common examples of herbal drugs include garlic, ginseng, and St. John’s wort.

Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs are drugs that are used for recreational purposes, such as to enhance the experience of social activities or to produce a feeling of euphoria or “high”. These drugs are often illegally produced and are highly addictive. Common recreational drugs include ecstasy, LSD, and GHB.

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are chemicals that are created in a laboratory and are intended to produce the same effects as natural drugs. These drugs are highly dangerous and often unpredictable. Synthetic drugs are often sold as “designer drugs”, and can be highly addictive. Common synthetic drugs include MDMA, ketamine, and fentanyl.

Related Faq

What Are the 6 Classification of Drugs?

Answer: The 6 main classifications of drugs are narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and cannabis.

What are Narcotics?

Answer: Narcotics are a type of drug that is used to relieve pain by creating a feeling of euphoria. They are usually derived from the opium poppy plant and are highly addictive. Examples of narcotics include heroin, morphine, and codeine. Narcotics can cause serious physical and mental health issues such as drowsiness, confusion, and breathing problems.

What are Depressants?

Answer: Depressants are a type of drug that slows down the activities of the central nervous system and causes a calming effect. Depressants can be divided into two categories: benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Examples of depressants include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. Depressants can cause drowsiness, confusion, and impaired judgment and can be habit-forming if abused.

What are Stimulants?

Answer: Stimulants are a type of drug that increases alertness and energy, while at the same time decreasing appetite. Stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine are often abused and can cause serious physical and mental health issues such as anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia.

What are Hallucinogens?

Answer: Hallucinogens are a type of drug that alters a person’s perception of reality. Examples of hallucinogens include LSD, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms. Hallucinogens can cause visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as feelings of euphoria and increased heart rate. They can also cause long-term psychological issues such as psychosis and flashbacks.

What are Anabolic Steroids?

Answer: Anabolic steroids are a type of drug that is used to increase muscle mass and improve physical performance. They are usually taken in pill form or injected. Anabolic steroids can cause serious physical and mental health issues such as liver damage, sterility, and aggression.

What is Cannabis?

Answer: Cannabis is a type of drug that comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and is often referred to as marijuana. Cannabis is usually smoked, but can also be ingested in food or drink. Cannabis can cause feelings of relaxation and euphoria, as well as heightened senses and altered perception of time. It can also cause physical and mental health issues such as anxiety, paranoia, and impaired memory and coordination.

Analgesics pharmacology

Drugs can be classified in a variety of ways, but the most common categorization system is based on the drug’s effects on the body. The six classifications of drugs are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, narcotics, anabolic steroids, and over-the-counter medications. Each of these drug classes has its own unique set of symptoms and potential side effects, making it important to understand the potential risks and benefits of each drug. With that knowledge, individuals can make informed decisions about their drug use, helping to promote a healthier and safer lifestyle.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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