*WARNING: contains descriptions of drugs*
A Liverpool University professor has come up with a ‘Drugs Venn’ – a new and simple way to help easily identify drugs.
Revealed in an academic paper co-authored by the University of Liverpool, the Drugs Venn, a new model seeking to simplify and improve the classification of drugs by their effects.
In the paper, Jump-starting the conversation about harm reduction: making sense of drug effects, Professor Fiona Measham, University of Liverpool Chair in Criminology and Director of The Loop, worked with Mark Adley, who is currently studying for his PhD at Newcastle University, and Guy Jones, Senior Chemist at the Loop, assess the benefits and downsides of the established Drugs Wheel and Drugs Pyramid models, before introducing the Drugs Venn.
The Drugs Venn, a new model seeking to simplify and improve the classification of drugs by their effects building on the most useful aspects of the existing Drugs Wheel and Drugs Pyramid. Basically, it’s similar to the Venn diagrams you had to make at school, but it breaks the drugs down into three ‘effect’ categories: psychedelics, stimulants, and depressants.
Typically, LSD is under psychedelics, caffeine under stimulants, and things like diazepam is under depressants. Then there’s the overlapping areas where things like MDMA, cannabinoids, and PCP sit.
Professor Measham explained the thought behind creating the diagram was help ‘create and communicate classifications with practical utility in the real world’ as there’s no one standard way to classify drugs and some overlap – as shown in the diagram.
She said: ‘The drug market exploded in the 2000s with one or two new drugs being identified every week but what do all these hundreds of New Psychoactive Substances actually do?
‘Given that there is no perfect way of classifying drugs, the challenge for academics and practitioners is to create and communicate classifications with practical utility in the real world.
‘The three models discussed in this paper – the Drugs Wheel, Pyramid and Venn – provide an opportunity to jump start these risk communications and with The Loop, I have seen how constructive they can be.’