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13 Classifications of Drugs

What Are Drug Classifications?

Drug classifications are used to organize types of drugs by specific characteristics and categories in a class of drugs. Drugs are often categorized in groups with other substances with similar chemical makeup, which often share identical health effects and negative impacts on a person’s interactions and day-to-day lifestyles. A person who abuses a certain kind of addictive drug will often engage in similar addictive substances with the same chemical makeup. 

Different addictive substances will classify drugs by the impacts and risk of addiction that they carry. Some drugs are characterized by uppers or downers, depending on the effect on your central nervous system. 

There are methods to classify drugs regarding legal classification; Certain addictive substances will be classified by whether a substance is legal or illegal to engage in substance abuse. These classifications are often based on substances that are accepted medical drugs that serve the purpose of supporting an individual who is experiencing medical concerns by reducing symptoms. 

To discover the benefits of addiction treatment at Novo Detox and start the admission process, click here to call (844) 834-1777 today.

13 Drug Classifications You Should Know

Drugs that are classified by chemical makeup include:


This addictive substance impacts the body’s central nervous system and acts as a central nervous system depressant. This class of drugs creates a feeling of euphoria while also influencing a person’s judgment and reaction time. 


These addictive drugs are derived from the opium plant and act as powerful painkillers. Opioid addiction is one of the most serious substance use disorders impacting the lives of Americans. 


A class of drugs that impact the GABA-A neurotransmitter. They are prescribed to treat mental health disorders and behavioral health concerns. 


This class of drugs impacts the central nervous system by slowing down the typical functioning. These addictive drugs are commonly abused after being prescribed to treat sleep disorders. 

Drugs can also be classified by their effects, such as: 


These addictive drugs will slow the functioning of your central nervous system and create a feeling of euphoria. 


This classification of drugs is known to increase energy, concentration, and productivity while producing high levels of pleasure. 


These drug classifications are known to alter a person’s perception and reality. 


These addictive drugs are classified by chemicals ingested by breathing in or “huffing.” 

Drugs can be classified by legal definitions, including: 

Schedule V

These substances have a medical purpose and are considered low risk. 

Schedule IV

These drug classifications have legitimate medical purposes, are low risk for abuse, and have minimal risk of addiction. These drugs have regulations and penalties for distribution and use. 

Schedule III

These drugs have legitimate medical purposes and moderate to low potential or risk of addiction. 

Schedule II 

Having accepted medical intentions, however, carry a risk of addiction and substance abuse. 

Schedule I

These addictive drugs have no medical purpose and are at high risk for substance abuse and addiction. 

Learn more about the drug that caused Michael Jackson’s death here:

How Did Michael Jackson Die?

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Common signs and indicators of drug addiction include:

  • Developing a tolerance to drugs and alcohol 
  • Lying or hiding your substance abuse from your others 
  • Having to use more drugs and alcohol to reach the same desired effect 
  • Experiencing a decline in performance in work or school 
  • Having conflicts with loved ones due to your drug addiction 
  • Engaging in high-risk behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Experiencing negative consequences in your day-to-day life due to your drug or alcohol addiction. 
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms when you stop your use of drugs and alcohol. 

Why Choose Novo Detox for Drug Addiction Treatment?

Novo Detox’s addiction treatment and rehab center is the leading choice for drug addiction treatment for the continuum of care provided to all patients. Regardless of where you are at within your drug or alcohol addiction and recovery journey, our compassionate team will provide you with the levels of care you need to overcome your substance use disorder safely. 

You will gain perspective on the underlying causes of your substance abuse through evidence-based therapy methods while developing the tools and skills for living in addiction recovery. Contact Novo Detox at (844) 834-1777 today to hear more about the individualized treatment programs provided to patients and get on your road to recovery today.