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Abused Drug Categories

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

Drugs and medications of abuse can be grouped together into categories based on similarities between how they work and what effects they will produce in the human body and brain. A useful categorization scheme follows. We'll consider each class of drugs in turn, but if you want to, you can skip ahead to read about the particular drug class that interests you most.

  • Central Nervous System Depressants
    • Alcohol
    • Barbiturates ['ludes, sleepers, downers, tranquilizers]
    • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, Librium, Xanax) [sleepers, downers, tranquilizers]
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
    • Cocaine (Crack, Blow, Nose, Snow, Toot, White, Rock, Flake)
    • Amphetamine & Methamphetamine (Ritalin, Meth, Uppers, Bennies, Crank, Crystal)
    • Caffeine (Coffee)
    • Nicotine (Cigarettes, Chew)
  • Opiates
    • Heroin (Horse, Junk, Smack, Snow, "H", Brown, Black)
    • Morphine
    • Codeine (OxyContin, Tylenol with Codeine)
    • Methadone, LAAM

  • Cannabinols
    • Marijuana (Marinol, Pot, Grass, Weed, Brick, Joint, Thai Stick, Mary Jane)
    • Hashish (Hash, Ganja, Rope)

  • Hallucinogens
    • LSD (Acid)
    • Mescaline (Cactus)
    • Psilocybin, ('Shrooms, Mushrooms)
    • MDMA (Love Drug, "X", Esctacy)

  • Solvents
    • Aerosol sprays
    • Glues
    • Paint Thinner
    • Gasoline

  • Other Drugs of Abuse
    • PCP (Angel Dust)