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The Different Types of Drug Categories

Last updated on 9th January 2023

Controlled drugs are classed according to their relative degree of overall harm from misuse. To classify drugs, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) considers scientific evidence on medical and social harms and risks. A drug or other substance is tightly controlled by the Government because it may be abused or cause addiction.

There are three classes of controlled drugs and the class of drugs a person is caught possessing, supplying or producing affects the severity of the offence.

Class A Drugs

Class A

Class A drugs are treated as the most dangerous, a prosecution is usual when a case involves the possession of Class A drugs.

The types of Class A drugs include:

  • Cocaine.
  • Ecstasy.
  • Heroin.
  • LSD.
  • Magic mushrooms.
  • Methadone.
  • Methamphetamine.
Class B drugs

Class B

Class B drugs are seen as dangerous substances but perhaps not as harmful as Class A drugs.

The types of Class B drugs include:

  • Amphetamines.
  • Cannabis.
  • Codeine.
  • GHB (sometimes referred to as a date rare drug).
  • Ketamine.
  • Mephedrone.
  • Methylphenidate.
Class C Drugs

Class C

Class C drugs are a category of controlled drugs under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that are seen to be the least harmful of substances to people, but still attract long prison sentences if found guilty in course, even for possession.

The types of Class C drugs include:

  • Anabolic steroids.
  • Benzodiazepines.
  • Khat.
  • Piperazines.

Useful Links

To report Class A, B or C drug offences, contact the police on 999 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

For anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s use of Class A, B or C drugs, you can call FRANK on 0330 123 6600.

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About the author

Eve Johnson

Eve Johnson

Eve has worked at CPD from the start, she organises the course and blog production, as well as supporting students with any problems they may have and helping them choose the correct courses. Eve is also studying for her Business Administration Level 3 qualification. Outside of work Eve likes to buy anything with flamingos on it, catching up with friends, spending time with her family and occasionally going to the gym!



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