Drug Types

Drugs change the way the body and the brain function. Sometimes the results are pleasant as in the case of prescription medications that are used to treat various conditions and diseases. However, sometimes, the results are monstrous and cause great harm to your body and well-being. But one thing remains the same: any addictive substance has the potential of changing your life-for good or for bad.

That's why it's important when looking at the different types of drugs, not to demonize them nor presume they're always safe, but rather to recognize if you are addicted. For the drug addict, serious consequences can result from the use of almost all illicit drugs and prescription medications.

Classifications of Drugs

One thing that's often misunderstood about drug abuse is that it only involves illegal substances, but that's simply not the case. Any drug can be abused, whether it be bought on a street corner or obtained from your doctor.

So really, there's no dividing line between prescription and so-called recreational drugs because they often include the same or similar ingredients just in different dosages. That's why prescription drugs are so often abused-it is merely the intent of use that divides them from illegally obtained substances, and even then, prescriptions can be abused.

Common Drug Types

There are many different types of drugs you should be aware of. Some are prescribed, others are known as club drugs, illicit or illegal substances, and some are called designers drugs. They include:


Antidepressants are a prescription medication used to treat depression and mood disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and other anxiety problems. The problem is that some antidepressant drugs can actually carry serious side effects and when used in combination with alcohol or other depressant drugs, can actually make you more depressed. Likewise, discontinuing use suddenly can cause mild withdrawal symptoms. Learn more...

Check out the antidepressants community to connect with others interested in this subject.


There are many different types of barbiturates out there, many of which are prescription, and work by depressing the central nervous system. This can cause sedation and anesthesia. While used to treat seizure disorders, insomnia and other problems, they can be abused. Users often build up a tolerance to them, requiring larger doses to achieve the same effects. Overdosing occurs often in those abusing "downers." Learn more...

From Ambien to Quaaludes and other tranquilizers, discuss barbiturates in our forum.


Cannabis is also known as marijuana and has psychoactive effects. It is taken into the body in the form of smoke or vapor and can even be consumed and mixed into food or steeped in a tea. While the jury's still out on whether or not marijuana is addictive, it is often believed to act as the "gateway" to other more serious substances. Learn more...

Find discussions started by community members in the Marijuana forum and Cannabis discussion board.


Depressants are a type of drug that works by reducing the function of the central nervous system. Drugs often included in this category are barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Learn more...

Reach out to other members to talk about alcohol, GHB, Valium, Xanax, and other depressants in our forum.


While hallucinogens have been around for years in ceremonies and rituals, they play a role in modern society as well. They work by producing sensory hallucinations in users involving any of the five senses. Common substances that fall within this category include LSD, PCP and Peyote. Learn more...

Our hallucinogens addiction and recovery discussion board has questions and answers from visitors just like you.


As their name would suggest, inhalants refer to a group of drugs that are inhaled in the form of a gas or solvent. Potential inhalants can be found just about anywhere and include common products like nail polish remover, gasoline, glue and aerosol cans. Learn more...

Ask a question about inhalants here.


While the term "narcotics" is often used to refer to any illicit substance, it technically means a substance derived from opium (opiates) or its synthetic replacements. Examples of narcotics include cocaine, morphine and heroin, all of which are highly addictive. Learn more...

Got a question? Head over to the narcotics bulletin board to talk with other members.


Anabolic steroids are not the same as the kind used in medicine for the reduction of inflammation. Rather, these substances are used to build muscle mass and strength. They typically consist of male sex hormones and can be very damaging when used without a prescription.

The steroids forum contains questions and answers about steroid abuse and treatment for addiction.


Stimulants are a class of drugs that boost alertness and increase the activity of the central nervous system. Examples of this type of drug include amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine and nicotine, all of which are highly addictive.

Have a question about using stimulants? Our members discuss stimulant use and abuse daily.


Tobacco is often smoked in the form of cigarettes or cigars or chewed and contains nicotine, which is a stimulant. It's a highly addictive substance and has been known to cause cancer and other diseases.  Learn more about tobacco addiction symptoms to recognize the signs of dependency.

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Talk about cigarettes and smoking with other members who have kicked the habit in our forum.

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