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Drugs, Classification of

Although there are different methods that are used to classify drugs, the most common scheme groups drugs by their pharmacological similarity. However, this scheme does not work well for "club drugs," which are discussed as a separate classification. This entry describes, for each drug classification, the common drugs contained in the classification, some common street names, major effects, signs of intoxication, signs of overdose, tolerance, withdrawal, and acute and chronic effects. It should be noted that the term drugs includes both legal and illegal mood-altering substances.

Central Nervous System Depressants

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (also referred to as sedative-hypnotics) depress the overall functioning of the CNS to induce sedation, drowsiness, and coma. The drugs in this classification include the most commonly used and abused psy-choactive ...

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