The 6 chemical classifications of illegal drugs

Everyone is familiar with the different schedules of drugs that categorize illegal substances according to their increasing severity of punishments under the law. However, there's another way to classify drugs chemically, based on the effects they have on the human body.

What follows is a brief review of the six classifications of illegal drugs based on their chemical properties and how they affect the people who use them. If you're currently suffering from a problem, you may want to understand these different classifications, as such an understanding could help you eventually kick the habit:

1. Cannabis

Cannabis is a mildly psychedelic drug derived from the marijuana plant, including hash oil, charas, ganja, bhang and other marijuana-derived substances.

2. Opioids

Opioids are derived from the opium plant or they are synthetic versions of the chemicals found in opioid plants -- or a mix thereof. These drugs may be used to treat cough and pain and they're highly addictive and can be deadly when abused. Opioid drugs include morphine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, heroin, codeine, oxycodone, buprenorphine and methadone.

3. Stimulants

Stimulants increase activity in the central nervous systems. Stimulants have the effect of making users feel more alert, focused and energetic. They can also cause feelings of paranoia, anger and edginess. Such drugs include crack cocaine, cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine. These drugs are some of the most frequently abused.

4. Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens include various classifications of psychedelics that alter perception of space, time and reality -- causing users to imagine, hear or see things that other people don't notice. These drugs include psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), magic mushrooms, peyote and dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

5. Depressants

Depressantss have the opposite effect of stimulants on the body. They slow down the nervous system and result in a sedative or calming effect. Depressants include alcohol, GHB, thiopental, butalbital, lorazepam, midazolam, phenobarbital, alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam and other drugs. They can relieve anxiety, manage seizures and promote sleep.

6. Inhalants

Inhalants are breathed into the body. They are often simple household items like glue, paint thinner, pen ink, gasoline and paint. Vapors from these substances go through the lungs and enter the bloodstream causing dangerous, but intoxicating results.

7. New psychoactive substances

New psychoactive substances may fall outside of current drug laws and individuals might take them because they have not yet been banned. However, the government is often adding these new psychoactive substances to its list of illicit drugs. Such legal and/or illegal items may include synthetic cannabinoids, ketamine, synthetic cathinones, khatand kratom and piperazines.

Were you accused of a drug crime?

Being accused of a drug crime doesn't mean the allegations will result in a conviction. In fact, every criminal defendant in Georgia will remain innocent in the eyes of the court until -- and only if -- the prosecution proves him or her to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Until that moment occurs, you will have every opportunity to defend yourself against your charges.Also, if a conviction does occur and it involves a nonviolent drug crime resulting from an addiction or substance abuse issue, you might be able to seek help through the Georgia court system to receive recovery treatment to help you overcome your substance abuse challenges.

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