Introduction to DOPE


This is a summary of the the drugs on the DEA website. It include drug category (i.e., stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens), classes (i.e., amphetamines, cocaine, barbiturates) and drug synonyms. Synonyms include brand/generic names (Adderall®, Vallium®, clonazepam) and street names (Apache, White Girl). Eventually the ontology needs to be expanded to add a grouping variable for related synonyms. For example, the generic clonazepam, the brand name Klonopin® and the street name k-pin all should be grouped with the general name clonazepam

Web Scrape

Two files, dea_factsheets.rda and dea_brands.rda, were created by scraping the “fact sheets” on the DEA website on September 10th 2020. The fact had 12 records added because the DEA slang file has additional “classes” (e.g., crack cocaine, mushrooms, PCP, etc.). These extra “classes” are problematic for the DEA ontology because they also include a specific brand name (i.e., ritalin) and two benzodiazepines (i.e., alprazolam, clonazepam). Eventually these need to be added as part of a “generic name” level in the ontology.

Fact Sheets

  • dea_factsheets.rda (N = 41 records) has 11 drug categories and 41 classes (e.g., PCP, acetaminophen and oxycodone, etc.). One extra category “benzodiazepine” was added because it is a grouping category in the DEA slang file.
designer drugs
drugs of concern
narcotics (opioids)

Drug Brands

  • dea_brands.rda (N = 28 records) has 8 drug classes (e.g., amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, etc.) and 28 brands (e.g., Adderall®, Concerta®, etc.)


Two pdfs, with slang1 and controlled substances2 were download and processed to make slang.rda and controlled.rda.


  • dea_street_names.rda (N = 1731 records) contains 26 drug classes and 3 brands (e.g., Klonopin, Percocet, Xanax).

    • Note Percocet® is here as a class but it is not in the scraped files.
    • Several extra classes are in the slang file including: Hydrocodone, Crack Cocaine, Marijana Concentrates, PCP and Promethazine with Codeine.
    • Discrepancies, relative to the fact sheets, include psilocybin listed as Mushrooms, bath salts listed as Synthetic Cathinones, synthetic marijuana listed as Synthetic Cannabinoids.
    • There are dpulicate terms (e.g., Ace, Alice, Azucar)

Controlled Substances

  • dea_controlled.rda (N = 732 records) has these variables
    • substance: Chemical and/or brand names
    • number:
    • schedule: I, II, III, IV or V
    • narcotic: Y or N
    • synonym: Chemical and/or brand names

Parsing the SUBSTANCES and names variables will be very difficult because the delimiters between drugs are not at all consistent.

DEA Summary

Figure 1 shows the DEA website drug ontology. Problematic entries shown with a red callout.

Figure 1 shows the DEA website drug ontology. Problematic entries shown with a red callout.

There are several things (in the black box) that need to be placed in the tree. Things with the red call out are inconsistencies.

No Slang

This is a summary of the the drugs on the no slang website.

Web Scrape

One file, noslang_street_names.rda , was created by scraping the Drug Slang Dictionary October 12th 2020.