The Drugs Wheel

By 2012 there was an increasing number of new psychoactive subs­tances on the market that didn’t fit within previous methods of drug classification. Many substance awareness train­ing sessions made use of an ‘Other’ category to include drugs such as synthetic canna­binoids, empath­ogenic drugs such as 5-APB and diss­ociatives such as MXE. However this ‘Other’ category quickly became filled with these new drugs; it was time for a more complete model to adjust to this changing landscape.

Initial attempts to classify drugs by drug type (such as trypt­amine, phen­ethyl­amine, aryl­cyclo­hexyl­amine etc.) proved too complex. However, adding the three new categ­ories of canna­binoids, emp­ath­og­ens and diss­ociatives meant that all drugs could now be placed neatly within one model.

Classifying drugs in this way allows for advice and harm reduc­tion information to be given by cat­egory, meaning that workers don’t need to know in-depth det­ails of every compound.

There are now localised or translated Drugs Wheels: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Australian, Bulgarian and Polish.

The full website dedicated to The Drugs Wheel has multiple versions of the wheel, training, information sheets, and more.