1248.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Drugs of Concern, 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2011   
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One new group has been created at the broad group level. Six new narrow groups have been included in the Second Edition, and one narrow group previously included in the first edition of the ASCDC has been removed. Four base level categories that existed in the first edition have been moved to different narrow groups. Thirty-two new base level categories have been created, and one base level category has been expanded to include a drug formerly included in a 'not elsewhere classified' category.

These changes are detailed below:
  • Cannabinoids and Related Drugs Broad Group
    Narrow Group 32 'Cannabinoids' has been removed from Broad Group 3 'Stimulants and Hallucinogens' and a new Broad Group 7 'Cannabinoids and Related Drugs' has been created. Many users indicated that Cannabinoids did not fit well in the 'Stimulants and Hallucinogens' group. Given this, it was decided that the classification would be best served by the creation of a new broad group, Broad Group 7, 'Cannabinoids and Related Drugs' for these drugs. This new broad group will also allow for the inclusion of new base level categories for 'Cannabinoid' extracted from the plants (code 7101) and for synthesised 'Cannabinoid agonists' (7102), which stakeholders requested to have separately identified as the molecular similarity does not fit perfectly within any other base level unit.
  • GHB Type Drugs and Analogues
    The 'GHB Type Drugs and Analogues' narrow group was created to reflect the rise in prevalence of a number of drugs that are similar to gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in action and composition that were not separately identified in the first edition of ASCDC. Stakeholder feedback indicated that use of drugs of this type is widespread enough to warrant the creation of a new narrow group. In the first edition of ASCDC, GHB type drugs were included in Narrow Group 22, 'Anaesthetics'.
  • Cathinones
    While 'Cathinone' and 'Methcathinone' were identified as separate base level categories in the first edition of ASCDC, stakeholders identified a number of related drugs that were not separately identified. The new narrow group 'Cathinones' groups all of these drugs together. Cathinones were included in Narrow Group 39, 'Other Stimulants and Hallucinogens' in the first edition of ASCDC.
  • Piperazines
    Narrow Group 38, 'Piperazines', represents a category of stimulant whose use as a recreational drug has increased markedly since the publication of the original ASCDC. There was considerable interest from stakeholders in having this category of drug separately identified as a narrow group. No Piperazines were separately identified in the first edition of ASCDC, although conceptually they would have been in Narrow Group 39, 'Other Stimulants and Hallucinogens'.
  • Atypical Antipsychotics
    Narrow Group 56, 'Atypical Antipsychotics', are a class of antipsychotic medication that had only recently been introduced when the first edition of ASCDC was published. Since then, their prescription has become commonplace and the opportunity for them to be misused and abused has consequently increased. In the first edition of ASCDC, Atypical Antipsychotics were included in the nec category of Narrow Group 59, 'Other Antidepressants and Antipsychotics'.
  • Laxatives
    Narrow Group 93 'Laxatives', comprises a type of drug that is frequently and increasingly abused, especially by people with eating disorders. The inclusion of 'Laxatives' was seen by stakeholders as a useful adjunct to the existing narrow group 'Diuretics'. Laxatives were not identified as a drug of concern in the first edition of ASCDC.

Movement of existing drugs of concern
With the creation of the new broad and narrow groups, several base level categories have been moved from existing narrow groups to these new groups. Specifically, 'Gamma-hydroxybutyrate' has moved from 2201 to 2501, 'Cannabinoids' from 3201 to 7101, 'Cathinone' from 3902 to 3701, and 'Methcathinone' from 3904 to 3702.

New drugs of concern
Due to the increasing incidence of their misuse and abuse and consequent need to individually identify them in statistics, the following base level categories have been included in the Second Edition ASCDC:

2599GHB Type Drugs and Analogues, nec
3104Amphetamine analogues
3414Phenethylamine analogues
3506Tryptamine analogues
3703Cathinone analogues
3799Cathinones, nec
3804Phenylpiperazine analogues
3899Piperazines, nec
5699Atypical Antipsychotics, nec
7102Cannabinoid agonists
7199Cannabinoids and Related Drugs, nec

Inclusion of Psilocin with Psilocybin
Psilocybin and Psilocin are two closely related tryptamines. The two drugs are most commonly found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the two can exist within the same mushroom. Stakeholder feedback has indicated that in most cases, a clinician would be unable to determine if a patient was affected by psilocybin or psilocin. Therefore 'Psilocin' has been moved from 3599 'Tryptamines, nec' and combined with the first edition base level category 3505 'Psilocybin' to form a single base level category of 3505 'Psilocybin or Psilocin'.

Precursor Substances
A number of stakeholders requested that the classification include a grouping for precursor substances. However, while researching the precursor substances, it became clear that this would not be possible as not all precursor substances are drugs, for example safrole (an oil used in making perfume), and some drugs, such as pseudoephedrine, would need to be included in two categories in the classification. This is not possible as all categories in a classification must be mutually exclusive.

A list of precursors can be found in the Code of Practice for Supply Diversion into Illicit Drug Manufacture published by The Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) on the website: http://www.pacia.org.au/Content/drugs.aspx

Comparison between ASCDC 2000 and ASCDC 2011

See the changes (including additions and deletions) in the Type of Drug Classification and Additional Classifications data cube, Table 3 Comparison of the Structure Between 2000 and 2011.


A new broad group and new narrow groups have been added to the main structure of the ASCDC.
New supplementary codes have been created for these groups where appropriate.

The following list of supplementary codes includes the new codes in bold:

1000Analgesics, nfd
1100Organic Opiate Analgesics, nfd
1200Semisynthetic Opioid Analgesics, nfd
1300Synthetic Opioid Analgesics, nfd
1400Non Opioid Analgesics, nfd
2000Sedatives and Hypnotics, nfd
2100Alcohols, nfd
2200Anaesthetics, nfd
2300Barbiturates, nfd
2400Benzodiazepines, nfd
2500GHB Type Drugs and Analogues, nfd
2900Other Sedatives and Hypnotics, nfd
3000Stimulants and Hallucinogens, nfd
3100Amphetamines, nfd
3300Ephedra Alkaloids, nfd
3400Phenethylamines, nfd
3500Tryptamines, nfd
3600Volatile Nitrates, nfd
3700Cathinones, nfd
3800Piperazines, nfd
3900Other Stimulants and Hallucinogens, nfd
4000Anabolic Agents and Selected Hormones, nfd
4100Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, nfd
4200Beta2 Agonists, nfd
4300Peptide Hormones, Mimetics and Analogues, nfd
4900Other Anabolic Agents and Selected Hormones, nfd
5000Antidepressants and Antipsychotics, nfd
5100Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, nfd
5200Phenothiazines, nfd
5300Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, nfd
5400Thioxanthenes, nfd
5500Tricyclic Antidepressants, nfd
5600Atypical Antipsychotics, nfd
5900Other Antidepressants and Antipsychotics, nfd
6000Volatile Solvents, nfd
6100Aliphatic Hydrocarbons, nfd
6200Aromatic Hydrocarbons, nfd
6300Halogenated Hydrocarbons, nfd
6900Other Volatile Solvents, nfd
7100Cannabinoids and Related Drugs, nfd
9000Miscellaneous Drugs of Concern, nfd
9100Diuretics, nfd
9200Opioid Antagonists, nfd