Even as medical science becomes more and more advanced than ever, the classification of drugs becomes very necessary. Especially as drug abuse deaths and cases are on the rise, it is very much needed to track the effect of drugs or the chemical similarity in them. When it comes to commoners like us, we should remember that prevention is better than cure. And that is only possible when we understand and know the dynamics of the drugs we take. It provides excellent transparency and eliminates any confusion when we take prescription or off-the-counter drugs. Ultimately, we can only combat something when we know about it well.
When it comes to drugs, there are many systems of classification. Any two drugs which fall under one group according to a classification system might collapse in a different category based on another classification system. There is no one way of classifying drugs as they have complex structures and behave differently in every situation. While every nation classifies these substances based on the risk factor and its significance in the treatment of a disease, they are also grouped as per the effect they leave on your health. In the usual line of treatment, doctors start with a lower risk drug-like over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and then move on to higher-risk ones.
Mostly all these categories overlap with each other and may confuse. However, up till now, there hasn’t been one concrete system for the categorization as experts in this field have a different set of opinions on how a drug should be categorized and based on what parameters. Also, categorization makes it easier to stop drug abuse legally. In different countries, certain level drugs are prohibited from being manufactured or distributed. If found in possession of those drugs, you could be charged a heavy penalty or even given severe punishment. Due to a higher risk of death or complications, if taken in an inappropriate quantity, this stratification becomes all the more important.
To know how a particular thing will react, it is better to understand the origin of the constituents it is comprised of. For, eg. Coffee is a stimulant only because of its chemical structure. Similarly, these drugs are grouped based on its chemical formula or its origin:
This class of drugs is made from opium or substances related to it. It’s not without a reason that opioid addiction is a significant problem facing mankind right now. These undoubtedly can numb the pain and thus are used for chronic pain treatment by doctors. However, if not given in an appropriate amount, these can have fatal consequences like an addiction.
As the name says, these classes of drugs can induce hallucinations and seriously impair the mind. While it may not be as risky as opioids, it is still detrimental to your mental well-being.
Even though alcohol is legal worldwide, you might become an alcoholic if you aren’t careful. Also, alcohol addiction can wreck your health and damage your liver.
These drugs are also known as Benzos, function in combination with the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A). Each drug under this category reacts differently. If these drugs are used more than needed or prescribed, they can result in addiction and psychiatric issues.
This class of drugs is one of the main constituents in marijuana, which causes an imbalance in physical and mental conditioning. Despite the risk that these drugs pose, they are gaining acceptance in legal circles.
These drugs affect the central nervous system and originate from the barbituric chemical acid. Health conditions such as epilepsy, headaches can be controlled with these drugs.
While this system is based on its chemical constituents, this class of drugs below is based on the effect it has on a person’s behavior.
This category can increase your concentration, make you lively and more energetic than before. You feel a certain sense of thrill down to your bones, thereby improving performance as well.
These types of drugs are not made for consumption, although they are inhaled or puffed in to get high. The strong smell of paint thinners, nail polish remover, or gasoline, though not as much addictive, can be seriously fatal for health.
These are only two common systems among many others in place for identification. Now that you know about the classification of these drugs, it would be easier to spot any discrepancies if you happen to come in contact with any of these categories.