Although most people know that there are various illicit substances that are abused throughout the world very few are aware that these drugs fall in different categories. Some of these drugs have a combination of characteristics that cut across the three categories. It is important for every person to be aware of these illicit drugs in order to lower the risk of substance abuse. Additionally awareness about these drugs may also help to identify and help individuals who are addicted to these substances. The following are various types of illegal drugs:


These drugs elevate mood; heighten alertness, increase energy and feelings of well being. The drugs give the user a rush of adrenalin which is closely followed by a crash. When used for an extended period of time they cause irritability, paranoia, apathy, restlessness depression and fidgeting which is characterized by constant body movement. Coffee and caffeine are some of the most widely used stimulants.

  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine (Also called “Crystal Meth” or just “Meth)
  • Amphetamines
  • Methylphenidate


These form a major group among the various types of illegal drugs. Depressants simply depress the nervous system. They reduce pain, anxiety, stress and fear which puts the person at ease. The downside of these drugs is that they are highly addictive and often result in reduced ability to fear, anxiety or stress. Alcohol is the most popularly known and abused depressant. Although it can cause symptoms that are similar to hallucinogens and stimulants but it is still considered as a depressant.

  • Marijuana
  • Barbiturates
  • Tranquilizers (For example: Ketamine a.k.a. “Special K”)
  • Heroin
  • Morphine and codeine are commonly used by physicians to alleviate acute condition, however they still cause addiction and are often abused illegally.


Inhalants are commonly found most in workplaces or homes. Although most people do not think of them as drugs these substances have mild-altering properties when inhaled. They aren’t illegal, though it is important to have them on this list because they are frequently abused in the same way that illegal drugs are.

  • Markers
  • Glues
  • Hair sprays
  • Cleaning fluids
  • Paint thinner
  • Whippets (N2O cartridges)


These are chemical compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors in the human body. They include endocannabinoids that are naturally produced by animals and human beings. Cannabinoids include:

  • Phytocannabinoids which occur in the cannabis plant
  • Endogenous cannabinoids produced by human and animal bodies
  • Synthetic cannabinoids produced in laboratories


Opiods work by binding to opiod receptors; these are found in the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Receptors in these organs mediate the negative and beneficial effects of the opioids. Opioids include:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Kratom
  • Tramadol
  • Desomorphine a.k.a. Krokodil


Hallucinogens cause alternations in thought, mood or perception. Hallucinogens have a very rich history and have been used by various cultures around the world to induce mystical or religious experiences.

Users of these types of illegal drugs experience misperceptions, out of body experiences, complete fantasy and distortion of reality as well as a cocktail of emotions that change rapidly. People who are addicted to the drugs may experience a good or bad trip. A bad trip is simply an anxiety or panic attack which can result in violent behavior or mental breakdown. Hallucinogens include:

  • LSD
  • Ketamine
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Madrake
  • Diphenhydramine
  • PCP
  • Angel’s trumpet
  • Jimson weed
  • Salvia Divinorum – Legal in most places, but is undergoing scrutiny and has been outlawed in some states in the U.S.

Ecstasy and marijuana have characteristics that are associated with the above category. These two drugs are part of the illicit substances that cut across several categories. While marijuana does not cause severe hallucination or the adrenalin rush associated with stimulants it also doesn’t induce complete relaxation that is characterized by depressants.

Types of Antidepressants

Management of depression requires administration of the right antidepressant drugs. They are several types of antidepressants that the clinician can opt for to manage his or her patient based on the client’s condition. Categories of Antidepressants Basically antidepressants are classified into the following categories: Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) These types of antidepressants mode of action are inhibition of reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin by the brain. The following drugs falls under this category: Clomipramine – The common brands in the markets are Placil and Anafranil Trimipramine – One of the brands available is Surmonil Doxepin – Sinequin is a brand of [...]

Types of Depressants

Depressants are drugs that affect the performance of the central nervous system. They can be described as psychoactive drugs which temporarily weaken the normal brain performance and central nervous system. Because of their impacts these drugs are also referred to as downers. Depressant are normally prescribed to cure anxiety or insomnia symptoms but can be very harmful as well. Initial side effects comprise slurred speech, dizziness and loss of coordination. Depressant overdose can be lethal Legal Depressants Alcohol - Alcohol is the most general legal depressant. There are different types of alcohol such as beer, wine and liquor. Alcohol acts a [...]

Types of Stimulants

Drug stimulants act on a person’s central nervous system to enhance the brain activity. They boost the heart rate and blood pressure. The stimulants also increase the breathing rate, constrict the blood vessels, but they raise the blood sugar level. People who use stimulants achieve a higher level of alertness. They become energetic too, and even euphoric. Stimulant drugs have various types, and they are addictive. There is a tendency for most people to abuse drugs. so knowledge and discipline must work together. Legal Stimulants Amphetamines - Drugs such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate are also popular as Dexedrine. They are legal [...]