The 7 Drug Categories

Physicians have long recognized that different types of drugs affect people differently. Nonetheless, drugs may be categorized or classified according to certain shared symptomatologies or effects. The DRE categorization process is premised on these long-standing, medically accepted facts. DREs classify drugs in one of seven categories: Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants, CNS Stimulants, Hallucinogens, Phencyclidine (PCP) and its analogs, Narcotic Analgesics, Inhalants, and Cannabis. Drugs from each of these categories can affect a person's central nervous system an impair a person's normal faculties, including a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

(1) Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

CNS Depressants slow down the operations of the brain and the body. Examples of CNS Depressants include alcohol, barbiturates, anti-anxiety tranquilizers (e.g., Valium, Librium, Xanax, Prozac, and Thorazine), GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate), Rohypnol and many other anti-depressants (e.g., as Zoloft, Paxil).

(2) CNS Stimulants

CNS Stimulants accelerate the heart rate and elevate the blood pressure and "speed-up" or over-stimulate the body. Examples of CNS Stimulants include Cocaine, "Crack", Amphetamines and Methamphetamine ("Crank").

(3) Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens cause the user to perceive things differently than they actually are. Examples include LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin and MDMA (Ecstasy).

(4) Dissociative Anesthetics

One of the seven drug categories. It includes drugs that inhibit pain by cutting off or dissociating the brain's perception of the pain. PCP and it's analogs are examples of Dissociative Anesthetics.

(5) Narcotic Analgesics

A narcotic analgesic relieves pain, induces euphoria and creates mood changes in the user. Examples of narcotic analgesics include Opium, Codeine, Heroin, Demerol, Darvon, Morphine, Methadone, Vicodin and OxyContin.

(6) Inhalants

Inhalants include a wide variety of breathable substances that produce mind-altering results and effects. Examples of inhalants include Toluene, plastic cement, paint, gasoline, paint thinners, hair sprays and various anesthetic gases.

(7) Cannabis

Cannabis is the scientific name for marijuana. The active ingredient in cannabis is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This category includes cannabinoids and synthetics like Dronabinol.