Talk:Drug of abuse

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I have some plans for restructuring based on proper organization of drugs into their proper respective groups and subgroups. There are three main groups of drugs which intersect and overlap -- Stimulants, Depressants and Hallucinogens. (A fourth, smaller separate group would be the Antipsychotics.)

In the Stimulant group would be a Psychomotor Stimulants subgroup (cocaine and amphetamines), and lesser stimulants would fall outside that group (i.e. caffeine, nicotine, etc).

In the Depressant group would be a Sedative Hypnotics subgroup (alcohol and barbituates paired up, and Ativan, Valium, Xanax, etc grouped up), as well as a Narcotic Analgesics subgroup (opium, codeine, morphine, heroin, etc). Other depressants would fall outside these groups (GHB).

In the Hallucinogens group, there would be a Dissociatives subgroup (ketamine, DXM, PCP, nitrous oxide, salvinorum), a Deliriants subgroup (muscimol, atropine, inhalants), and a Psychedelics subgroup (MDMA, mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, AMT, DMT, Ibogaine, etc).

Marijuana would fall just about dead center between the three main intersecting groups, since it possesses properties of each, but doesn't really belong to any of the categories. It is only a hallucinogen in very high doses (for some people), and many different substances can cause hallucinations in high doses.

--Thoric 16:08, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Someone should add the FDA's definition of a "drug" to this entry because I think it would be pertinent and informative.

--User:Remember 18:05, 27 July 2005

This page is a mess[edit]

The categorization is sloppy and unorganized, here are the new categories I propose: stimulants, narcotics (opiates & opiods), hallucinogens, depressants, cannabis/hashish, herbs, other chemicals, common otc medications

The last two need actual names but it's a start and a big improvement. --Petrock 23:02, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Why the hell somedoby removed painkillers ? --Taw

All painkillers are used as recreational drugs. And yes, Acetaminophen is also abused in drug-mixes.

I'm moving the War on Drugs section here because it lacks a neutral tone and has bad spelling and questionable grammar. I have replaced it with one of my own bias, which I hope is more neutral. I'm admittedly pretty avidly anti-drug so please feel free to correct the article where needed. -- BryceHarrington

(BTW, The War on Drugs is an abomination. This is fact, not opinion. --Thoric)

War on Drugs[edit]

Unfortunately regulating efforts changed into war against drug-users in many countries since 1960s-1980s. Effects of War os Drugs are many bilions dollars wasted many every year, milions of innocent people

put into prisons, spreading of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, rise of criminal organizations in many countries and reduction of civil liberties. And War on Drugs had very little effect on drug usage, accessibility or prices.

It is widely believed that, as War on Drugs failed to reduce drugs usage, safer and less adictive drugs (like Marijuana and Methadon) should be legalized for adults. Legalization of Marijuana in Netherlands proved legalization doesn't cause any social problems. Therefore many European countries partially legalized private Marijuana usage.

Probably the most tragic effect of War on Drugs is that patients hving glaucoma and sclerosis are being denied Marijuana that could help them.

At the very least we should call drug prohibition 'drug prohibition' rather than 'war on drugs'. It is not the business of an encyclopedia to endorse propaganda terms.

'War on drugs' is much more popular term than 'drug prohibition'.

(Only in the USA, and occasionally in other countries when having a laugh at the USA, notwithstanding similar stupidity elsewhere. 'drug prohibition' would be the normal term in several English speaking countries.)

(I've heard the Australian media use the term completely seriously -- Simon J Kissane).

And some aspects of it, like ban on medical marijuana usage, have nothing to do with 'drug prohibition'.

If marijuana is a drug, and it is prohibited, then that is drug prohibition. 'Drug prohibition' is the descriptive term for what is being discussed - the prohibition of drugs. Calling the prohibition of drugs something else is misleading, especially if the term that is used is a politically-loaded catchphrase. The term 'drug war' was adopted because it served the interests of prohibitionists; it's strange that opponents of prohibition would accede in its use. - Tim

So let it be `Drug Prohibitiuon (also known as `War on Drugs')'. While both prohibitionists and opponents use the same term, prohibitionists think about `war against drugs' and opponents about `war against drug users'. --Taw

Well, I can't see any bias in my version. It contains only facts. Your version contains many false claims and you removed important things like Medical Marijuana usage.

As much as I am a dedicated libertarian, and believe strongly that the war on drugs is a national disgrace, abject failure, and morally reprehensible, I have to agree that the next is biased and doesn't belong here as is. I may agree with every word of it--and it may even be strictly factual--but even facts can be presented in a clearly biased way, and this text is a good example of that. We probably should have an article that examines drug laws by country, and the likely effects thereof, but this isn't it. --LDC

Societies have long sought to control the use of drugs within their culture.

Yeah, since 19 century.

Such substances and the behaviors of their users can run counter to principles and behaviors that the society wishes to promote for itself. For example, it is accepted that use of alcohol while driving a vehicle can lead to death of innocent individuals; addiction to alcohol can make the individual unable to support himself financially and thus become a burden on society.
Within the last century, as a wide variety of socially unacceptable drugs have become increasingly more and more easily available, national governments have become heavily involved in enforcing controls on them.

The only drug-related principle that society is against is fun. The only reason why US government banned drugs was WASP racism and later lobying by medical corporations which sell legal psychoactive substances.

But unlike alcohol, which had a history of socially accepted use prior to Prohibition, there is a question whether our society could ever wish to allow uncontrolled use of any of these substances.

Marijuana, mushrooms, optiates, amphetamine and cocaine were socially acceptable before War on Drugs. Oh ? You mean society == White Anglo-Saxons Puritans ? Then maybe not ... --Taw

Societies have long sought to control the use of drugs within their culture. Such substances and the behaviors of their users can run counter to principles and behaviors that the society wishes to promote for itself. For example, it is accepted that use of alcohol while driving a vehicle can lead to death of innocent individuals; addiction to alcohol can make the individual unable to support himself financially and thus become a burden on society. Within the last century, as a wide variety of socially unacceptable drugs have become increasingly more and more easily available, national governments have become heavily involved in enforcing controls on them. Unfortunately, as is not atypical with reliance on government intervention in social affairs, there have been a variety of consequences; an oft cited example is the 1920s Prohibition Act, that illegalized alcohol and thereby inadvertantly spawned an explosion in organized crime and did little to actually solve the problems as intended, and it was ultimately reversed. Since the 1960s, the U.S. and other governments have been pursuing a similar course of action against other controlled substances, with similar consequences in terms of increased violent crime and corruption, health issues, impingement of civil rights, and forth. Meanwhile, illegal drug use has not abated and shows little sign of doing so soon, which leads some to wonder if the War on Drugs, like Prohibition, is worth the consequences it has brought. But unlike alcohol, which had a history of socially accepted use prior to Prohibition, there is a question whether our society could ever wish to allow uncontrolled use of any of these substances.

Y'know, if youse would simply rechannel your debating energies to the article itself, drug would contain more than the five sentences (count 'em) it now contains. Yes, it's a fascinating topic, but is Wikipedia a talk forum or is it an encyclopedia?  :-) --LMS

Some things in life are more important than others. The depravity of 2 million American citizens in jail, most of whom have harmed no one in any way, and the complacency of American politicians and public to the tragedy is a subject that demands attention. It is a topic that should be covered, and this forum has shown that it can cover controversial subjects and do a pretty good job coming up with factual, minimally biased reportage on them. That's a worthy goal. Along the way, I'm sure we'll throw in a few medical facts about the drugs themselves, but frankly, that information is already easily available to anyone. It should wind up here as well, but I don't for a moment apologize for spending my time and energy on something much more important, like reporting and helping to end the national disgrace that is drug prohibition. --LDC

You're missing my point, Lee. I don't see lots of reporting on the legalization camp's arguments to end drug prohibition. I see five sentences.  :-) --LMS

Yes, because we haven't had enough discussion to find the basic points of contention and the appropriate advocates yet. I strongly suspect there will be several more pages of discussion before we get a few more good sentences. Look at Capitalism, for example; that took weeks, and large amounts of discussion, but it's a great article. That will happen here too, and encouraging off-line discussion, not denigrating it, will make it happen faster. --LDC

I think the arguments for legalization got moved: talk:Cannabis

Well, that's reasonable, Lee. I don't at all mean to discourage discussion that actually is aimed at creating encyclopedia articles, but the above doesn't look like that to me. It looks like discussion for its own sake. I have a similar objection to the talk:Abortion page proceedings. I could be totally wrong in my judgment, of course! Maybe we should encourage as much partisan bickering, or "discussion for its own sake," as possible, on the theory that it will actually result in better articles. Personally, I don't think so, but I could easily be convinced otherwise.

So there are two issues here: on the one hand, whether what looks like partisan wrangling is actually aimed at producing articles; on the other hand, whether partisan wrangling, regardless of its explicit aim, is desireable (because it helps produce better articles). --LMS

If not the first then certainly the second case. MHO. --Koyaanis Qatsi

OK, but why? --LMS

Well, simply because I think it does help produce better articles because I also think that it generally does cause people to rethink their positions. And yes, I've done some of this myself, though it's probably not obvious.  :-) --Koyaanis Qatsi

Why somebody changed average world laws into US laws ? --Taw

There's no such thing as "average" laws. US law is typical of international law--some contries are better, some are worse. But now the laws in the article are actually verifiable facts, rather than just an overall impression. --LDC

Listing Marijuana as `prohibited even for medical use' is very US-centric. Laws of EU countries, US, Canada, and other 1st world countries should be considered. --Taw If it's too dificult to consider them all, European laws should be presented as US laws are much more radical than world average.

Why are painkillers listed separately from medicinal drugs? Also is there somewhere that anabolic steriods are merely regulated and not prohibited for non-medical use? -rmhermen

Because most painkillers are used as recreational drugs and are addictive. --Taw

Just because they are addictive or abused doesn't make them not primarily medicinal drugs. People use tranquilizers and other classes of drugs as recreation but they are still medicinal. I would imagine some drugs must be addictive although not painkillers. (can't think of any yet.) ---rmhermen

Seriously? The most obvious is the most addictive drug in common use today: nicotine.

There is no difference between medical and non-medical drugs. Majority of abused drugs have significant medical use. All (at least, I don't know single exception yet) enhancing drugs have some medical use. Marijuana have significant medical use. Methadone, morphine and acetaminophen have significant medical use. Does it mean that only halucinogens, alcohol, nicotine and more obscure derivatives will be left on this page? Of course, you should write something about medical use if you feel it's neccessary. --Taw

Why did somebody moved most of article into a subpage ? And why does title of subpage has nothing to do with content (the only type of drugs that has something to do with narcosis, and guess what ? - those are left on main page).

"Narcotic" is mainly prohibitionist propaganda term, they use it to group many completely unrelated substances. I don't think we should use this term. --Taw

I just took marijauna out of "hallucinogenic" (and left it under general mood altering stuff). It is occasionally claimed to be hallucinogenic, but this is way too controversial to be stated as fact here in the encyclopedia. In fact, it is not hallucinogenic except perhaps in very rare cases, and most of those probably involve use with other drugs, or a pre-existing psycosis, or both. Basically, the "marijuana is hallicinogenic" is a piece of propoganda bullshit put out by lunatic fringe prohibitionists. Of cause, we can't say that in the encyclopedia either. But neither can we repeat their bullshit as fact.

This is certainly NOT true. Cannabis IS a hallucinogen, and that is accepted in the medical and scientific community. You can proove it yourself, just take enough of it. Alkohol, e.g., is clearly not hallucinogenic, because when you take too much, it'll cause a narcosis and perhaps, you'll die.

"no medical uses currently known" was clearly wrong: in Switzerland both drugs were used in the 90s in psychotherapy research with (once again) very promising results. The therapeutical use has been stopped again due to political reasons - not medical ones. AFAIK both drugs are used by psychotherapists these days also in the US, where as has been written before, the laws are very strict. These US therapists do not have a licence to do so, because they probably wouldn't get one, but they certainly know how to help their patients best. -- DA, MD.

Cannabis really should not be classified as a hallucinogen. In many systems, I see Cannabis and Hashish classified in their own category, appropriately named cannabis. I wanted to stick Kava Kava, St. John's Wort, and Valerian root on there, but I'm unsure of where exactly and "herbs" category would fit best. Your thoughts? PetRockStealer ---

Cannabis IS a hallucinogen, this is widely accepted not only in the scientific and medical community, but also amongst users who actually know what they're talking sbout. Hint, this excludes the guy who had a joint back in highschool (but didn't inhale, natch) and braindead all-day tokers. Whilst visual hallucinations are rare and require extremely high doses, 'thought' hallucinations are a central part of the cannabis experience. Cannabis alters the perception of your own thought patterns in much the same way as LSD or mushrooms (except less strongly and well.. different). But it is definitely hallucinogenic in nature. After thought : oh and by the way, try listening to your favourite music stoned and tell me your audio perception isn't altered !

With respect to the debate about whether marijuana is or isn't a hallucinogen, my understanding is that it is something of a hybrid, or at least a difficult drug to classify. It certainly has different properties than traditional hallucinogens (such as LSD, mescaline, psilocybin/psilocin) and dissociative hallucinogens (PCP/Ketamine). The fact that LSD and PCP are both usually just called "hallucinogens" doesn't mean anything except that they can both cause hallucinations. If you look at their effects further, you realize that's where the similarities end. Dissociatives have limited medical and veterinary use as anesthetic agents, but traditional hallucinogens do not. People I have spoken with that have used both PCP and LSD say the drugs are completely different.
So yes, marijuana can cause hallucinations at high doses, but so does diphenhydramine (Benadryl). And yes, it does cause altered perception, but so do most drugs of abuse. Just because the medical profession wants to group marijuana neatly with the other hallucinogens doesn't mean they're correct. It wasn't until a few decades ago that cocaine was reclassified from a narcotic to a stimulant by the medical community. I had a medical textbook that was published in the mid 70's that claimed cocaine was a narcotic, alongside codeine and morphine. Here we have a drug that has been around for over 100 years, and it was only a few decades ago that science/medicine figured that out, so forgive me if I don't just take their word for it. Science (which I have a great deal of respect for) is about classifying, measuring, and describing things - and changing theories when new information comes to light. The "tree of life" used to be categorized into plants, animals, and fungi. Eventually, different types of life were discovered, and they had to totally redesign the tree. Now we know about bacteria existing at the bottom of the ocean that reduce sulfur instead of oxygen and they had to create a new phylum for them.
If you want to classify it as some kind of an "atypical hallucinogen" fine, but classifying it in the same group as PCP without an explanation is inappropriate and deceptive. We don't see marijuana users (medicinal or otherwise) lifting cars, killing people, jumping out of windows because they think they can fly, etc. Calling it a hallucinogen also does a disservice to people who use it medically, by implying that they are no different than users of hallucinogens.
THC activates a different receptor than any other hallucinogen (the same one as anandamide). So, in my opinion, marijuana should be classified either as an atypical hallucinogen or (better yet) in its own group. --ZZYZX 07:27, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Page as hub article?[edit]

I am thinking the article could become more of a hub article (a bit like Cannabis). Drug (disambiguation) will not serve because it has to refer to drug or demon in ancient Vedic Hinduism and Drûg or Drúedain, a race of Men from Middle-earth in the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien. I picture the hub article with opening sentences as follows:

In most states many drugs are illegal, or they are if produced, supplied or possessed without licence. Medicines are usually licensed drugs. Illegal drug use is called often recreational drug use, but this concept can include also drugs which are perfectly legal in most states (such as tea and coffee) as well as drugs supplied via licensing arrangements for essentilly recreational purposes (eg tobacco and alcohol.
Drug may meean or refer to:

I would not include the disambig template, which seems to me inconsistent with a page's use as a hub article.

Laurel Bush 10:05, 14 May 2005 (UTC).


What is the name of that plant that many people consume in the Sahel? It's named chatt or chott or something similar. -- Error

It's khat, sometimes spelled as qat The Way 04:16, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

New Entry: Lactucarium[edit]

I just added Lactucarium AKA "Lettuce Opium" to Wikipedia. It is a drug from wild lettuce fluids. It has opium-like properties and contains extremely minute amounts of morphine. I am not sure what category it would be classified into as far as drugs go.

Good job. It doesn't contain any morphine, though. I'm not sure what the active component of it is, or if anyone even knows - but it's not morphine. Supposedly regular lettuce has some small amount of whatever drug wild lettuce has, but it's much less. I've read about this on various newsgroups. Some people say it works, others say it doesn't. If it really does do anything, it's apparently not worth listing as a controlled substance by the DEA. If it really does contain a drug, it seems like it would be listed as an opiate. Someone should research this, though - it may be an (as yet) undiscovered pain drug. ZZYZX 07:40, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

The future of this page[edit]

A lot of the material on this page runs parallel to pharmacology, and there are a number of important deficiencies. I am quite in favour of rewriting the whole thing, but some community opinion needs to preface such a move. JFW | T@lk 22:15, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Drug Chart[edit]

Here is my drug chart (in progress). Please provide some feedback :) --Thoric | T@lk 17:45, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • Stimulants (blue) are more potent as you go up and to the left
  • Depressants (red) are more potent as you go down and to the right
  • Hallucinogens (green) are more generally potent/unpredictable as you go down.
  • Also, Hallucinogens are more psychedelic to the left, and more dissociative to the right.
  • Keep in mind that areas overlap:
    • The yellow area includes dissociatives with a CNS depressant effect.
    • The cyan area includes psychedelics with a stimulant effect.
    • The pink area represents antipsychotics.
    • The purple area represents mild stimulants which produce cognitive and/or antipsychotic benefits.
    • The white area in the center includes drugs that don't properly fall into any one category.
    • Ibogaine is in the middle between psychedelics and dissociatives as there is disagreement as to which it is.
    • The psychedelic area is the whole left side of the hallucinogen region (not just the cyan portion), and dissociatives are the whole right side of the hallucinogen region (not just the yellow portion).

(See also my drug chart graphic image)

(Very two-dimensional. Drug effects are much more complex and multi-dimensional. There is no single, simple and neutral system of classification. Laurel Bush 13:10, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC))

It's hard to make a multi-dimensional table that will fit on a single page. My intent was to produce something that would help the average person understand how different common drugs relate to each other. --Thoric 04:57, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Drug Chart

Major Tranquilizers

Atypical antipsychotics       Typical antipsychotics

STIMULANTS   Seroquel   Zyprexa Haldol   Prolixin DEPRESSANTS
Psychomotor Stimulants

  Amphetamines   Khat
  Ritalin   Cocaine


 Zyban   Tenuate


  Paxil   Prozac

Minor Tranquilizers

    Ativan   Valium
    Xanax   Rohypnol

Other Sympathomimetic amines


Betel nut
Other Sedative Hypnotics

    Alcohol         Ether   Chloral hydrate
    Barbituates   GHB    Chloroform





Marijuana Dissociatives

  PCP         DXM

  Ibotenic acid

Narcotic Analgesics


DMT Ibogaine   Nitrous oxide




Drugs Expiration Dates[edit]

I think this would be worth mentioning in Wikipedia. Apparently, research by department of defence suggest drugs remain in good condation long after expirely date. I wonder what you guys have to say about this article. [1] Quote "ata from the Department of Defense/US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Shelf Life Extension Program, which tests the stability of drug products past their expiration date, showed 84% of 1122 lots of 96 different drug products stored in military facilities in their unopened original container would be expected to remain stable for an average of 57 months after their original expiration date.[25] Some US Army studies on Valium, for example, show that the drug is very stable and completely safe and effective for up to 8 years after manufacture. Tablets of ciprofloxacin, an expensive antibiotic, were found completely safe and effective when tested 9.5 years after the expiration date." gathima 06:18, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It would be good to have information on the shelf-life of certain drugs, but it would be dangerous to assume that all drugs last significantly longer than their expiration date. --Thoric 21:23, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
I read about this a few weeks ago. Most drugs will last much longer than the listed expiration date on the prescription bottle. Most drugs also break down into inactive chemicals, but there are drugs that are dangerous to use after the expiration date. Tetracyclines, for example, decompose into a toxic chemical. It's best not to use expired drugs unless you know for sure that that particular medicine doesn't become toxic over time. ZZYZX 07:56, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


At the moment this page is mainly about psychoactive drugs. Can we please agree whether all non-psychoactive drugs should be discussed on medication instead? I voiced same on 4/10/2004 with no response. JFW | T@lk 06:43, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Medication represents a rather narrow definition of drug. Laurel Bush 09:11, 9 May 2005 (UTC).

Yeah, but at the moment there is a large overlap between the two, and I think the reader is more helped if the subjects are disambiguated. For example, all those psychoactive drugs are potentially drugs of abuse and hence need relevant information about incidence of addiction, rehab/detox and similar. On the other hands, simvastatin is only abused by people with a cholesterol phobia :-) JFW | T@lk 09:44, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, but I think the article is about (or should be about) drug(s) (including medication), and not about perceptions of drug abuse. Laurel Bush 10:58, 9 May 2005 (UTC).
Agreed. Plenty of medications are abused, and likewise plenty of drugs are used in moderation. Drug abuse has its own page already, and also exist pages on addiction and substance abuse. Any specific abuse information should be there, or on specific separate abuse pages for each drug... i.e. alcohol abuse. BTW, psychoactive drugs already have their own page, though there seems to be dispute whether it should be an article or a category. --Thoric 17:02, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
So what shall we do: merge and redirect, or limit the scope of this article? JFW | T@lk 18:05, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Truthfully this particular article needs a lot of work. Ideally a broad and complex topic such as this should primarily link people to more specific articles. This is done to some degree, but it's a bit of a mess at the moment. Things start to fall apart around the Effiacy section. The classification section should be in a table, and possible save the big list of drugs for category pages, or at the least list the drugs in a comma separated list under each category rather than one line per drug. So the answer is yes -- merge medication into this article, redirect medication to drug, and also limit the scope of this article moreso to a definition of what a drug is from Alcohol to Zyprexa, with a list of different categories of groupings and links to articles with specific information. --Thoric 20:02, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
I tend to read medication as meaning licensed (medical) drugs/drug use and I think actually it is a subject quite big enough for its own article, but with some sort of summary within the drug article
yes, medication tends to be prescribed, but they are still drugs --Thoric 22:45, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
As respects revision of the drug article I suggest we try to avoid implicit assumptions like:
  • If its possession/use is illegal then its use is abuse.
  • If it is not medication (licensed medicine) then it is without therapeutic use or potential.
  • Addiction/dependence is a symptom of abuse, or of the drug's potential to be abused.
These are assumptions. They are not self evident truths.
Laurel Bush 15:38, 10 May 2005 (UTC).

Ah, yes. So can we please agree that the drug article is about non-licensed substances, and medication about licenced/medically prescribed pharmaca? At the moment this page overlaps too much with medication and causes confusion. The list at the bottom only mentions drugs that have some psychotropic action.

Laurel Bush, I agree that we should avoid your two last "assumptions". There are plenty of unlicensed substances with therapeutic use or potential (think St. John's Wort), and addiction/dependence may not be a result of abuse at all (think all those people taking benzodiazepines). I do disagree with your first point. The term "abuse" has a medical and a legal meaning. In a country where owning and using cannabis is illegal, a multiple sclerosis patient using cannabis for symptom control is legally abusing the substance, even though his/her doctor may warmly condone this activity. The law has no other term for it, so "abuse" it is. JFW | T@lk 19:29, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Are acetaminophen and the NSAIDs psychotropic? The word drug does not imply psychotropic. The word drug also does not imply lack of licensing or legitimacy. The drug article contains many licensed substances. Were are not all in your country of illegal cannabis. Several countries allow medical use of cannabis. Kindly refrain from mislabeling use as abuse based solely on your local laws. Looking over the medication page, it doesn't appear that there is significant overlap, and as long as both pages cross-reference each other, I don't see any problem. --Thoric 22:45, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

The basic problem seems to be that the name or title drug has acquired a multiplicity of often competing meanings and connotations. The article can not avoid being in many respects a rather long and complex disambiguation exercise. Laurel Bush 10:46, 28 May 2005 (UTC).

There is nothing wrong with this page clarifying the definition and linking off to more appropriate specific pages. Social-political polluting of terminology should have little bearing here. Example: Drug store redirects to Pharmacy, not to Drug dealer ;) --Thoric 16:13, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Abuse and illegal. Perceived abuse is cited often as a reason for prohibition/licensing. Perception of abuse often precedes the illegal status. And if abuse did mean simply illegal then we would not need abuse: we would just need illegal and acceptance of arbitary law. Laurel Bush 10:15, 30 May 2005 (UTC).

Medication drugs[edit]

Medication drugs should follow a convention on how to write them(sections for side effects, mechanism of action etc.), it will be easier to follow and most of all, to contribute in those articles. Fadix 17:41, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It sounds like a good idea to me. If you didn't notice it already, I think you might want to take a look at this: WikiProject Drugs -- Stereotek 11:13, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yeh, I have seen it, I'll try to contribute, I think I'll just search for a drug that the entry isen't complete, or creat those that have no entries. The drugs entries I've viewed are not as complete as they should, considering that it is an encyclopedia, which has to be more complete. It will be interesting to make of those entries, like the essential pharmacist of doctor guide, and even adding interactions with other drugs and herbals, and including few of thse studies lists of their efficiencies and side effects vs placebo etc. It would be very practical. Fadix 17:27, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)


This page is beyond hope. At the moment the page lacks a philosophy, and it attempts to cover anything from psilocybe (e.g. psychoactive substances with no medical use) to methotrexate. I think it should be a disambiguation page, one linking to medication and one linking to psychoactive drugs. This is not the first time I've complained about this, and I'm very tempted to be bold. JFW | T@lk 16:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

There are just two kinds of drug? Medication and psychoactive drugs, with no overlap between the two types? The suggestion seems to represent a wish for simplicity and clarity which just do not exist. Laurel Bush 12:07, 5 August 2005 (UTC).

So what should this page be about? At the moment it fails to cover anything properly. And of course the disambig can contain more than two links. JFW | T@lk 01:18, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

I feel an urge to be bold, pretty much in the way Ed Poor deleted VFD. JFW | T@lk 17:20, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Go for it, SqueakBox 17:51, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

It seems this has come up before. Medications are still drugs, and psychedelics do have history (old and recent) of medical use. As it stands, the current page is already a disambiguation page (of sorts), it just needs more of its content to be compacted and/or merged onto other pages. The classification section could/should be collapsed into a table... same with the regulation section. I don't think it should be a simple disambiguation page such as drug (disambiguation), but similar to the Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants page and how it is expanded in more detail by the individual psychedelic drug, dissociative drug and deliriant pages. --Thoric 21:20, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Thoric, does that mean you agree in principle to turning this into a proper disambig? JFW | T@lk 00:58, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
That depends on what a "proper disambig" is ;) Let us hear your proposal (brief outline is fine) :) --Thoric 12:21, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
To me "proper disambig" means "complete with the disambig classification template", which tends to discourage links to the article from within other articles, in favour of links to articles listed in the disambig page. I dont feel "proper disambig" is appropriate for Drug. Laurel Bush 14:50, 18 August 2005 (UTC).

Classification Section Cleaned but still messy[edit]

I made some changes to the classification scheme used in the article. It was a major mess, with classifications that were made up by whoever devised it. I created a category for stimulants and added the proper drugs, added the correct (pharmaceutical/chemical) name for vicodin, darvocet, valium, etc. More proper names need added. The categories are still messy and many specific drugs and types are still missing. The Way 04:05, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I continued to revamp the classification scheme and I believe it is much more correct now, though the various categories still need alphabetized. The Way 04:42, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Dictionary definition[edit]

"The dictionary definition of drug states that a drug is "any substance used for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease, or a component of medication." By this definition, anything used in conjuction with disease is a drug, regardless of whether it is natural, synthetic, legal, or illegal." - Wondering which dictionary this refers to. Laurel Bush 14:09, 6 October 2005 (UTC).

The site DICTIONARY.COM, specifically
ZZYZX 08:03, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


Before you undo the move, please read my posting on talk:Drug and flame me there accordingly. JFW | T@lk 03:07, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

How about posting a proposal (as requested above) rather than making said, "bold move", which is completely POV in favour of the status quo of drug prohibition. --Thoric 05:53, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, because the replies were highly divergent, generally poorly argued and generally unhelpful in doing something about the sorry state of this article. I am fully aware of your own POV vis a vis prohibition, so I doubt a long discussion on this subject will make much difference now.

You are completely within your rights to:

  • merge this article with recreational drug use, which gives you an opportunity to remove the "pro-prohibition bias"
  • request a move to a more balanced title
  • edit the article extensively

I think we should continue this discussion on talk:drug, where all other replies have been made. JFW | T@lk 04:39, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Abuse and non-clinical use[edit]

"A drug of abuse is any substance that is used for non-clinical purposes to modify a chemical process or processes in the body such as to enhance a performance or ability, or to alter states of mind": Does this mean that any non-clinical use is abuse? Laurel Bush 12:15, 20 October 2005 (UTC).

If it's a registered drug, certainly. If its possession/use/sale is illegal, certainly. But I agree that my new version sounds POVish, and I was half expecting you to disagree on its premises :-) JFW | T@lk 21:30, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

So, as used by yourself, the intended meaning of the sentence is A drug of abuse is any substance used non-clinically to modify a chemical process or processes in the body such as to enhance a performance or ability, or to alter states of mind, while it (the substance) is registered as a drug for clinical use or is otherwise illegal in non-clinical use.? Or what? Sorry. You seem to have introduced some qualification to your definition of drug of abuse and the syntax of the original sentence was itself somewhat problematic. And I suggest that your perception of drug abuse is that it is essentially any unlicensed drug use. Laurel Bush 10:50, 22 October 2005 (UTC).

Would you agree with this statement (you can take my word for it that I have done the plumbing): I am not a qualified plumber but I have done some plumbing now and again, here and there. It may not be very good. It may not be legal. But it is still plumbing. If however I practise inexpert medicine or pharmacy then I can not call it medicine or pharmacy and I must call it something else, such as drug abuse or drug pushing.? Or would you agree that it makes nonesense of the English language and tends to block the possibility of rational dscussion? Also, would your agree that clinical drug use can amount to drug abuse, or institutionalised drug abuse? Laurel Bush 11:19, 22 October 2005 (UTC).

Ah, that's a nice analogy; let's see where it fails... I think the use of legally restrained (e.g. POM in the UK) substances to achieve any result apart from its registered used and with a prescription would make it abuse. I do agree that medication can be "abused" by professionals if they are used in a way that is not in the patient's best interest (such as administering morphine in a terminal patient if that patient is not in visible distress, because "they have to die some way or another").

Hence my distinction between use and abuse is determined both by legal parameters (the government wants epo to be used by patients with renal failure, not by bicyclists anxious to win the Tour de France) and by ethical ones (is the professional recommending its use/prescribing the substance acting in the interest of the patient). Failure to meet these parameters is making improper use (or abuse) of these substances.

As for the plumbing thing, the practice of plumbing is not restricted by law; it is the responsibility of the person who calls out this "plumber" to check whether he is a member of a professional organisation, insured for poor work and accidents and actually value for money. The governments in most countries have decided that this cannot be expected of patients vis a vis their medical professionals. That is why these titles (and the right to prescribe) are protected by the law. As for being ethical, a hobby plumber who wilfully causes harm will soon discover this is a great way to get in trouble. JFW | T@lk 22:04, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

There's also a cultural compponent to the term. What used to be considered drug abuse in "Reefer Madness" days is now considered by many people to be recreational drug use and in some cases, medicinal use. Various native American cultures have been using hallucinogens in a way that many people would consider abuse, and most college students have used alcohol in a manner that would classify as abuse. What I'm trying to point out is that it's going to be difficult to come up with a definition for drug abuse that everyone will agree with, since there is such a range of opinions as to what constitutes it. ZZYZX 08:21, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Thinking maybe Medicine should be a disambiguation page. Laurel Bush 16:10, 28 October 2005 (UTC).

Whether a substance is restricted by law or sanctioned by professional medical practice is entirely irrelevant to the present topic, DSM and other criteria notwithstanding, and should be disregarded. If the editors cannot create a definition of abuse that can stand independent of the franchise of states or guilds, then perhaps the term abuse itself is meaningless, underscoring the moral bankrupcy of most policy carried out in its name. -SM 13:56, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

-- I dislike the title as it is emotive and biased. Something value neutral such as 'non medical drugs' or 'non clinical drugs' would be more appropriate to an impartial encyclopedia.

Why substance abuse counselors need to understand Pharmacology? (talk) 07:53, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[edit]