Commonly Used Drugs Charts National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

Many times, addicts will abuse drugs for years on end and feel as if it has little or no effect on them. Unfortunately, the irreversible psychological, emotional, and physical effects will eventually become apparent. These four categories of drug addiction symptoms are described below. An early example of what today would be labelled a ‘designer drug’ was LSD, which was synthesised from ergot.

Types of drug abuse that are considered inhalants include the abuse of spray paint, butane, and nitrous oxide. Many people use marijuana for the first time when they are hanging out with their friends in social settings. Although many people view marijuana as not being addictive, when continually abused, it can be. Marijuana use can also affect your physical coordination, memory, and mental functions over time. Types of drug abuse that are often the most common, are the ones that are the most accessible.

HallucinogensDrugs that cause profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality, such as ketamine, LSD, mescaline , PCP, psilocybin, salvia, and ayahuasca.

While taking the proper dosage of a medication that your doctor prescribes to you should not cause you to develop an addiction, this is not always the case. In fact, many people develop addictions to prescription medications because they simply took their medications for too long a period of time. There are numerous governmental offices in many countries that deal with the control and oversee of drug manufacture and use, and the implementation of various drug laws. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is an international treaty brought about in 1961 to prohibit the use of narcotics save for those used in medical research and treatment.

The distinctions, however, are useful particularly for physicians and researchers. Likewise, knowledge of a drug’s chemical structure facilitates the search for new and potentially more effective and safer medicines. Opioids also provide a sense of euphoria in users along with heavy sedation. The effects diminish over time, requiring more opioids to achieve the same effect which can cause alethal overdose.


Nicotine is sometimes extracted from the plant and is used in vaping devices. For more information, see the Tobacco, Nicotine and E-Cigarettes Research Report. Steroids Man-made substances used to treat conditions caused by low levels of steroid hormones in the body and misused to enhance athletic and sexual performance and physical appearance. For more information, see the Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs Research Report. Prescription Opioids (Oxy/Percs)Pain relievers with an origin similar to that of heroin. Opioids can cause euphoria and are often used nonmedically, leading to overdose deaths.

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  • Beans. Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein.
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Drug abuse and misuse can cause numerous health problems, and in serious cases death can occur. While these four types of drugs are unique in the way they interact with our body , they do share a common feature. All of these drugs are potentially addicting and even deadly if misused.

Substance Abuse Disorders and Signs A Loved One Is Using

Methylxanthines are a class of stimulant drug types that have reduced activity and effects compared to amphetamines. Another major difference between them is that they occur naturally in plants, unlike amphetamines which are more or less synthetically manufactured. Examples of methylxanthines include theophylline, theobromine, and the very excessive alcohol consumption can affect bone health commonly used caffeine. Of the three, caffeine is the most abused thanks to its presence as a component in many beverages and some other food materials. These substances produce euphoria and a sense of well being – in effect, blocking out pain and problems. The user may experience drowsiness, lack of attention, and loss of appetite.

As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse. A Listing of drugs and their schedule are located at Controlled Substance Act Scheduling or CSA Scheduling by Alphabetical Order. These lists describes the basic or parent chemical and do not necessarily describe the salts, isomers and salts of isomers, esters, ethers and derivatives which may also be classified as controlled substances. These lists are intended as general references and are not comprehensive listings of all controlled substances.

types of drugs

Abusing alcohol can cause psychological, physical, and social problems. It can also lead to the destruction of relationships, friendships, and marriages. The reason why heroin causes such serious health issues when abused is that it interferes with the brain’s receptors. Therefore, its users become physically dependent on the relationship of anger with alcohol use treatment outcome substance very quickly. There may be an age restriction on the consumption and purchase of legal recreational drugs. Some recreational drugs that are legal and accepted in many places include alcohol, tobacco, betel nut, and caffeine products, and in some areas of the world the legal use of drugs such as khat is common.


Uncoated aspirin tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount of inert fillers and binders. Aspirin is a pharmaceutical drug often used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. Casa Palmera gave me a second chance at “Living the Life” I’ve always wanted. Balance, sobriety, health and a mindful approach for a lasting recovery.

  • Drugs from these categories can impair a person’s central nervous system and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • It means you can’t stop using even when your condition causes you harm.
  • Illicit drug use comes with possession of illegal drugs, leading to criminal charges in most states.
  • Opioids block pain by sealing off the receptors that trigger the sensation.
  • This is because the withdrawal symptoms of heroin are extremely intense and life-threatening, and thus, cannot be managed on your own.

Because of how addictive alcohol is, the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol are just as severe. In fact, due to it causing delirium tremens,alcohol withdrawalcan be fatal. This is because alcohol withdrawal delirium tremens can trigger heart failure or stroke in a person’s body. Some alcohol addiction & abuse people have even lost their relationships, homes, and jobs due to their marijuana addiction. While it’s easy to start abusing marijuana, it’s not that easy to stop. Therefore, those that want to remain abstinent from marijuana should receive professional addiction treatment.

Lists of drugs

For practical purposes, dissociative drugs fall under the category of hallucinogens, but do have properties and effects that set them apart from say, LSD or mushrooms. They can be quite dangerous and lead people into hazardous situations. Depressants are particularly dangerous when combined with other drugs, including other CNS depressants, stimulants, and opioids. The opposite of stimulants, depressants actually inhibit the central nervous system’s ability to process information. The firing of neurons is slowed to reduce intrusive thoughts, providing a sense of relaxation. Ideal for those with chronic anxiety or trouble sleeping, depressants are heavily abused by those looking to self-medicate without a valid prescription.

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The opioid drug class constitutes some of the most abused substances globally. They are a group of naturally occurring chemicals from the opium poppy plant that interact with the brain to cause various effects, including pain alleviation. This pain alleviation effect is the primary medical basis for having opioid prescription pain relievers. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.

types of drugs

They are also called “uppers” because of their ability to make you feel very awake. When the effects of a stimulant wear off, the user is typically left with feelings of sickness and a loss of energy. Constant use of such drugs, when not used as prescribed, can have very negative effects on the user.

There is a common misconception that these drugs that have opposite effects have the ability to cancel each other out. The body may become overwhelmed, the heart may beat abnormally, and tragic side effects may ensue. Drugs from these categories can impair a person’s central nervous system and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Medium to high doses of the list of drugs above has been noted to cause users to have dissociative, « out of body » experiences. SalviaA dissociative drug that is an herb in the mint family native to southern Mexico.

It’s then created in labs and formed into a white powder that can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Often people who abuse cocaine experience a euphoric high that lasts around 20 minutes before wearing off. As a result, users often take several doses in a short period to maintain that high. Unfortunately, like other examples of substance abuse, cocaine use can lead to problems like addiction, cardiovascular disease, and overdose, to name a few. Because cocaine use is extreme and repetitive, cocaine addiction treatment is usually necessary for a full recovery.

Risks of Opioid Abuse

People from African and Arabian regions have used khat for centuries as part of cultural tradition and for its stimulant-like effects. The use of marijuana causes many of the same symptoms as hallucinogens but to a lesser degree. Opiate abuse is rare among foster children, however the use of Darvon and similar prescription opiodes is common. Mixing depressants with barbiturates and/or tranquilizers is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Some noticeable signs of the use of depressants include lethargy, lack of concentration, and excessive sleeping.

types of drugs

All drugs, can be administered via a number of routes, and many can be administered by more than one. The entheogenic use of cannabis has also been widely practised for centuries. Rastafari use marijuana as a sacrament in their religious ceremonies. Silene undulata is regarded by the Xhosa people as a sacred plant and used as an entheogen. In English, the noun « drug » is thought to originate from Old French « drogue », possibly deriving from « droge  » from Middle Dutch meaning « dry « , referring to medicinal plants preserved as dry matter in barrels.

As with cocaine, meth or methamphetamine may be a stimulant, but it also produces physical problems unique to its users. Meth is an extremely addictive and physically harmful stimulant with a pseudoephedrine base, its main stimulating ingredient. Meth is also molecularly similar to amphetamine and the neurotransmitter dopamine.

What are legal drugs?

Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Marijuana

Cigarettes and alcohol are two other kinds of legal drugs. In the United States, adults 21 and older can buy cigarettes and alcohol. But smoking and excessive drinking are not healthy for adults, and they're off limits for kids.

Therefore, when alcoholabuseis at its worse, it can even cause incidents that lead to severe injury, or death. A lot of alcohol abusers drink so much that their bodies are unable to handle it. As a result, some alcohol abusers must get sent to the hospital to receive treatment for alcohol poisoning.