Purpose of Classification of Drugs

Classification of Drugs and Incidence and Prevalence of Crime

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Purpose of Classification of Drugs

Classification is the act of arranging items into similar groups. Drug classifications categorize drugs according to categories. Classifying drugs according to chemical composition is helpful because drugs with the same chemical content have similar risks and impacts. Additionally, treatment is effective for drugs that have similar chemical compositions. Worth noting, despite having generalities, drugs that have the same chemical composition have different medical and legal implications. There are various drug classification systems. Drugs are classified according to chemical make-up, effect and legal definitions (Alamgir, 2017). Examples of drugs categorized according to chemical make-up include alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, and barbiturates. Alcohol is one of the most used drugs across the world. In the United States, alcohol is legal to some extent. Alcohol has numerous effects on users. Alcohol severely impairs perception and judgment. It also lowers inhibition and creates feelings of euphoria. Forms of alcohol include liquor, wine, and beers. Opioids are made from opium of chemicals designed to mimic the drug. Opioids are some of the most addictive drugs and they pose a severe challenge in American society today. They function by acting on brain receptors and mimicking effects of neurotransmitters. Examples of opioids include fentanyl, heroine, and oxycodone. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and are mostly used to treat sleep and psychiatric conditions. Cannabinoids include hashish and marijuana. They contain tetrahydrocannabinol which negatively impacts physical and mental functioning. Barbiturates function by slowing down the functioning of the central nervous system. Drugs classified according to effect include inhalants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Stimulants such as cocaine increase performance and productivity. Hallucinogens affect a person’s perception of reality and inhalants are ingested through huffing or breathing them in. Examples of Drugs that are classified according to legal definitions include schedule I, schedule II, schedule III, schedule IV, and schedule V drugs. They are categorized according to legitimacy, risk of addiction, the potential of abuse, and medical use.

Relationship between Prevalence and Incidence of Crime in the Study of Crime

As regards crime, prevalence is the total number of incidents or cases that occur in a given population. In essence, the prevalence of crime has to do with the proportion of targets, households, or properties likely to be victimized if crime occurs in a given area. There are two types of prevalence in crime, namely point prevalence and period prevalence. Point prevalence of crime is the specific number of crime cases occurring at a particular point. On the other hand, period prevalence points to the number of people affected by the crime within a stipulated time period. On the other hand, incidence refers to the number of new cases of crime that occur within a specific time frame. Incidence of crime takes into account the time that the crime takes place. Prevalence is different from incidence as it considers both new and existing cases of the population at a specific time, while incidence is only limited to new cases (Sherman, 2020). Essentially, the relationship between prevalence and incidence of crime is that incidence factors the proportion of people affected by a given crime with a given period of time while prevalence only incorporates the people affected by the crime during a given time frame. The factor connecting crime incidence and prevalence is the length of time it takes for the crime to affect a person. Crime incidence is often a product of crime concentration and prevalence. It is the number of crimes recorded to have occurred in a given place and is expressed according to the rate per head of the area population.


Alamgir, A. N. M. (2017). Classification of drugs, nutraceuticals, functional food, and cosmeceuticals; proteins, peptides, and enzymes as drugs. In Therapeutic Use of Medicinal Plants and Their Extracts: Volume 1 (pp. 125-175). Springer, Cham.

Sherman, L. W. (2020). Shattering the paradox of guns and crime: Incidence, prevalence, and the 2020 Stockholm.