There are six basic classes of drugs based solely on their chemical makeup: alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, barbiturates, and hallucinogens. These categories represent the most common types of medications used to treat pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, nausea/vomiting, and seizures.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include morphine, heroin, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and fentanyl (Suboxone). They work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which affects your perception of pain as well as emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. Opioids can be administered via oral, transdermal (skin patch), intranasal (nose spray), or intravenous (IV) routes.
Alcohol is the main active ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter medications for pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, cancer prevention, and heart disease treatment. These medications include: acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and carbenoxolone (Milara).
There are seven basic sorts of drugs, each with its own set of qualities, effects, and hazards. Stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, dissociatives, opioids, inhalants, and cannabis are examples of these groups. Drugs can also be toxic; some are poisonous while others are therapeutic.
Stimulants increase the activity of the brain and the body. They include amphetamines (such as Adderall), cocaine, crystal meth, MDMA (ecstasy), methylphenidate (Ritalin), pemoline (Cylert), and pyrovalerone (Valium). Stimulant drugs can improve focus, concentration, mood, energy, and sleep patterns. However, overuse of these drugs can lead to anxiety, paranoia, aggression, addiction, tachycardia, heart failure, and sudden death. Their effect is also dependent on how they are used - misuse of stimulants can be very dangerous.
Depressants work by reducing the activity in the brain and the body. They include alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, heroin, and phencyclidine (PCP). Depressants can have a calming effect, which makes them useful for treating anxiety disorders and insomnia. But too much of it can cause memory loss, paralysis, blindness, depression, suicide thoughts, and heart failure.
Alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, methaqualone, and opioids are the most commonly linked drugs with this name. Drugs can be classified according to their effect on the body, such as sedatives, hypnotics, euphoriants, and hallucinogens.
Abused drugs can be further divided into three main groups: depressants, stimulants, and dissociatives.
Depressants include alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, and various other substances that reduce mental alertness and activity. Alcohol is a depressant used by many people to relieve stress and anxiety. It can also be used as a sleeping aid at high doses. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia but can be addictive if used long-term. Opioids are painkillers derived from opium or heroin. They are highly addictive and can be fatal if used incorrectly or in excess. Dissociatives include ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP). These drugs cause feelings of confusion and depression while stilling the mind and body. Ketamine is used as an anaesthetic during surgery and PCP is used by some musicians to enhance their performance.
Stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, ecstasy, and hashish.
Drugs can be categorised in a variety of ways. They can be categorised, for example, based on their impact on the body (with a focus on the central nervous system) or by what they do when they reach the brain (i.e., their mechanism of action). Other classifications include by what part of a plant they are derived (e.g., alkaloids, glycosides, etc.) and by what organism they are derived (e.g., humans, plants). Finally, drugs can be grouped by what problem they attempt to solve (e.g., pain relief, energy production).
All drugs have an effect on one or more of the following bodies systems: nervous, immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive, hormonal.
The main classes of drug include analgesics, anesthetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, neuroleptics, and hormone therapies.
Analgesics relieve pain. They can be divided into two groups: non-opioids and opioids. Non-opioids include acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).