Human enhancement drugs (HEDs) can be divided into six categories:

  1. ‘Muscle drugs’  (e.g., steroids)
  2. Weight-loss drugs (e.g., ephedrine)
  3. Image-enhancing drugs (e.g., skin-lightening products)
  4. ‘Sex drugs’ and aphrodisiacs (e.g., viagra)
  5. Cognitive enhancers (e.g., Ritalin)
  6. Drugs taken to improve mood and social behaviour (e.g., Diazepam)

For a general overview of the different types of human enhancement drugs (HEDs), what performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) and doping substances are, and how human enhancement drugs connects to the traditional drug market and the illicit market of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs), we recommend to read:

  1. Van de Ven, K. (2016, Januari, 10). Understanding the similarities and differences between human enhancement drugs (HEDs), performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) and novel psychoactive substances (NPSs). UK: Human Enhancement Drug Network.
  2. Evans-Brown, M.J., McVeigh, J., Perkins, C., & Bellis, M.A. (2012). Human enhancement drugs. The emerging challenges to public health. Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University (focus on UK situation).



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