Drug Classifications

There are thousands of different drugs, both legal and illegal. Because of this variety, it is often necessary to classify drugs into several types for legal, medical, and treatment purposes. There are several ways to classify drugs, including by chemical similarities, effects on the mind and body, and legal definitions.

The classification of drugs is a subject that generates substantial disagreement, even among specialists. Consequently, two schemes may assign distinct classifications to the same substance or use categories bearing the same name. It is impossible to establish a “definitive” set of drug classifications due to these disagreements.

Chemical Similarity Classification

Drug classification based on chemical similarities is relevant because medications with comparable chemical properties frequently have similar effects and hazards. A person who is addicted to one drug is more prone to abuse another with a similar chemical makeup. Furthermore, chemically related medications frequently respond to the same treatment. Despite these generalisations, chemically equivalent medications can have vastly different legal and medical consequences.

Effect Classification

An extensive classification of substances is based on their effects on the mind and body. Certain substances tend to induce feelings of activity and vigour in their users, whereas others induce feelings of relaxation and tranquilly. These particular categories of substances could be categorised as “uppers” and “downers,” correspondingly.

Legal Definitions and Classification

For illicit drugs, many countries have a legal classification system. These systems ascertain the conditions, if any, that render a particular substance lawful, as well as the obligations and legal repercussions that may be incurred in relation to its production, distribution, or ownership. In general, legal classifications of drugs are determined by their perceived risk and peril in addition to their perceived medical value.