Arizona Drug Treatment Expl 1

Arizona Drug Treatment Explains the Categories of Drugs

Arizona Drug Treatment Explains the Categories of Drugs

Drug use comes in many forms and circumstances. It can be a tricky subject to pin down in terms of cause/effect and addiction/recovery. While the whole experience can be hard to understand, the types of drugs are pretty straightforward. As a leading Arizona drug treatment provider, we will take a look at seven main categories of drugs and the effects of each of these drugs.

Seven Main Types of Drugs:

  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Opioids
  • Inhalants
  • Cannabis
  • Alcohol


Stimulants speed up the body’s systems. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, stimulants include prescription drugs such as amphetamines, like Adderall; methylphenidate such as Ritalin; diet aids and illicitly produced drugs such as meth and cocaine. Stimulants begin from a legitimate channel but get illicitly manufactured to sell recreationally or on “the streets.”


Depressants put you to sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures. Some types of depressants include: 


Barbiturates, like phenobarbital. Barbiturates turn pretty quickly into a dependency. High tolerance to barbiturates means that a person needs more to feel normal and function effectively in everyday life. A high tolerance to a barbiturate increases the chance of an overdose and may lead to a coma or death. 


Benzodiazepines were developed to replace barbiturates. Some examples are Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. Rohypnol, or “roofies” is a benzodiazepine that is not manufactured or marketed legally in the United States. It is used illegally as the “date rape” drug.


Lunesta and Ambien are sedative medications approved to treat insomnia. These sedatives share many of the properties of benzodiazepines.


Hallucinogens are found in plants and fungi. They are synthetically produced and are the oldest known group of drugs. They are used to alter human perception and mood. Peyote and mescaline are two main types of hallucinogens. They originate from a small, spineless cactus found in the form of disc-shaped “buttons.” The most popular type of hallucinogen is LSD. LSD is an exceedingly strong hallucinogen; it is sold on and off the streets.


Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Today, opioid use is at an epidemic level; out of all the other categories of drugs, this is the only one currently at a crisis point in our society. Two main types of illicit opioids include:


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients. It’s applied through a patch that is affixed to the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl has a high risk of abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to make it more potent. Often times, fentanyl users are lead to believe that they are purchasing heroin; this often results in an overdose.


Heroin is a highly addictive opiate. It is processed from morphine and extracted from certain types of poppy plants. Heroin comes in white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as “black tar heroin.” Heroin is often “cut” with other drugs. Cutting makes the user unaware of how much of the drug they’re consuming and increases the chance of an overdose.


Inhalants are invisible, volatile substances. They’re found in common household products, such as felt tip markers, spray paint, butane, or glue. On the shelves and in the stores, there are more than 1,000 products that are harmful if inhaled.


Cannabis is more widely known as Marijuana. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug, produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main ingredient that produces a psychoactive effect. Cannabis is grown in the United States, Canada, Mexico, or South America in either an outdoor or an indoor setting. 


Alcohol is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor. It is the most common recreational substance and it causes intoxication. Alcohol lifts the mood and increases socialization. It impairs cognitive functions, motor functions, and memory.

Getting Help with Arizona Drug Treatment

No matter what type of drug it is, if you or someone you know suffers from an addiction and would like help, reach out. The staff at Desert Cove Recovery will assist anyone who wants to start his or her path onto a cleaner, more sober way of living. Give us a call or send us a message online today to get started.