The Dope Series: Classification

Disclaimer. Be aware that the information provided in The Dope Series has been collected from Criminalistics An Introduction to Forensic Science writer by Richard Saferstein. The information provided is subject to change as new evidence and research is collected.

Welcome to another chapter here at The Dope Series. As mentioned in Chapter 2, this chapter will consist of classifying the many kinds of drugs that are out there in the world. Although subsequent chapters will discuss each category in greater detail, and the drugs that they house, this chapter is simply an overview of each drug family. Let’s begin with Narcotics.


When people hear the word narcotics, more often than not, any drug except for narcotics will usually come to mind (now that’s funny). If you’re a Netflix junkie like I am, than one drug you will associate with being classified as a narcotic is Cocaine, no thanks to the show Narcos. But in actuality, “narcotic” does not refer to just any mind altering drug. The term narcotics is derived from the Greek word narkotikos which implies a state of lethargy. Ask any pharmacist and their definition of narcotics is any substance that provides pain relief and produces sleep. By this definition alone we can already rule out cocaine since that is quite literally the opposite of what cocaine does. Narcotics are quite similar to depressants (which we will discuss later) in that they depress (slow down) vital body functions. Types of narcotics include both natural and synthetic opiates.


This is the cool kids club. This is wizardry of the muggle world. This is where the magic happens. Sort of. Hallucinogens are the drugs that literally distort reality. Now, where did I put that meme…


Alright already, the actual defintion of a hallucinogen is a substance that induces change in mood, attitude, thought processes, but most importantly, perceptions. These are the drugs where you see things that are not there. Or perhaps, you see something quite differently than what it actually looks like. That all depends on the kind of hallucinogen you’re taking (not that I condone taking drugs, but y’know, better safe than sorry). These distinctions make all the differences since one kind of hallucinogen can induce you to see things, while another may induce you to see things differently. No matter, hallucinogens usually consist of your well known drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, but marijuana also falls under this category.


As I mentioned above, some drugs that are often classified in association with depressants are opiates (narcotics), although they do not technically fall under this category. Many depressants do however perform many of the same functions as narcotics. Depressants are drugs that slow down the central nervous system. Typically great if you’re highly irritable or prone to anxiety-type episodes but many depressants are used for the same purpose of any other drug. Their effect. These depressants, or “downers,” relax the body and mind, creating a sort of tranquility. The most commonly used depressant, which also happens to be legal if you’re over the age of 19 (I’m Canadian eh), is alcohol. Other depressants include barbiturates, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics. You can also get depressant effects by “huffing” substances like glue or gasoline.


The opposite of downers. I guess we can call them uppers? Don’t quote me on that. If depressants depress the central nervous system, you can bet that stimulants stimulate the central nervous system. If you did make that bet, congratulations, you won. Yes indeed, stimulants substances that are taken to increase alertness, activity, energy, make you feel invincible, you name it. These are the performance enhancers. Stimulants include the infamous cocaine (and it’s crack counterpart) and amphetamines.

Club Drugs

When I think about a club, I think about too many people under one roof, listening to music that doesn’t even sound good because its incredibly loud volume is causing major distortions in the speakers, and I’m thinking about a whole lot of drunk people. Or high people. mostly both. Because clubs are the perfect opportunity for taking club drugs. Now these are not any special kind of drug. It could literally be cocaine that you take in the bathroom of a vegas nightclub. However, some drugs are more associated with the clubbing scene than others. Club drugs are synthetic drugs that are used at night clubs. These usually include stimulants. Just like some depressants are classified as narcotics, some stimulants are classified as club drugs. This would include MDMA, “roofies,” methamphetamines, and of course many more. These particular drugs are popular because they stimulate the body in a “rave” setting.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are more drugs that we can discuss that you’ve probably heard of. However, they mostly fall into these 5 categories. In the next chapters, I will be discussing in great detail each category. This means you’ll get to know exactly what each drug does and which category it falls under.

Stay tuned.

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