Home > Terminology and information on drugs.

Pike, Brigid (2016) Terminology and information on drugs. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 57, Spring 2016, p. 13.

PDF (Drugnet 57)

The most recent revision of the UNODC’s Terminology and information on drugs1 presents introductory information on the better known psychoactive substances under international control.  This includes both the scientific names of these substances and the names by which they are commonly known.  The revision follows changes in the manufacturing and marketing of drugs and recent scheduling decisions by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. 


The publication acts as a basic guide to patterns of abuse of these drugs, their effects and potential medical use. It also provides a useful explanation of the schedules in the international drug control treaties.  These were established to allow control of certain substances while ensuring their continued availability for legitimate medical and scientific purposes. 


The types of substances on which information is provided are cannabis; synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists; opium and opiates; opioids; coca and cocaine; amphetamine-type stimulants; central nervous system depressants; and, hallucinogens. 


A glossary provides definitions of terms in common use to describe the preparation, use, effects and consequences as well as common legal terms relating to the marketing of illicit drugs and official efforts to counter this.


1 United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (2016) Terminology and information on drugs. Third edition.  New York: United Nations. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/5792/

Repository Staff Only: item control page