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Drugs of Abuse

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Acid/LSD Description:
One of the strongest mood-changing drugs. It is sold as tablets, capsules, liquid, or on absorbent paper.

Acid/LSD Street Names:
Acid, blotter, and many others.

Acid/LSD Effects:
Unpredictable psychological effects. With large enough doses, users experience delusions and visual hallucinations. Physical effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; sleeplessness; and loss of appetite.


Club Drugs

Club Drugs Description:
Typically used by teenagers and young adults at bars, clubs, concerts, and parties. The most common club drugs include Ecstasy (MDMA), GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, methamphetamine, and acid (LSD).

Club Drugs Street Names:
XTC, X (MDMA); Special K, Vitamin K (ketamine); liquid ecstasy, soap (GHB); roofies (Rohypnol).

Club Drugs Effects:
Chronic use of MDMA may lead to changes in brain function. GHB abuse can cause coma and seizures. High doses of ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, and other problems. Mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol can incapacitate users and cause amnesia.



Cocaine Description:
A powerfully addictive drug that is snorted, sniffed, injected, or smoked. Crack is cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking.

Cocaine Street Names:
Coke, snow, flake, blow, and many others.

Cocaine Effects:
A powerfully addictive drug, cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric and energetic. Common health effects include heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter.



Ecstasy/MDMA Description:
A drug that has stimulant and psychodelic properties. It is taken orally as a capsule or tablet.

Ecstasy/MDMA Street Names:
XTC, X, Adam, hug, beans, love drug.

Ecstasy/MDMA Effects:
Short-term effects include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, and increased physical energy. Adverse health effects can include nausea, chills, sweating, teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision.



Heroin Description:
An addictive drug that is processed from morphine and usually appears as a white or brown powder.

Heroin Street Names:
Smack, H, ska, junk, and many others.

Heroin Effects:
Short-term effects include a surge of euphoria followed by alternately wakeful and drowsy states and cloudy mental functioning. Associated with fatal overdose and- particularly in users who inject the drug-infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.



Inhalants Description:
Breathable chemical vapors that users intentionally inhale because of the chemicals' mind-altering effects. The substances inhaled are often common household products that contain volatile solvents or aerosols.

Inhalants Street Names:
Whippets, poppers, snappers.

Inhalants Effects:
Most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication. If sufficient amounts are inhaled, nearly all solvents and gases produce a loss of sensation, and even unconsciousness.



Marijuana Description:
The most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. The main active chemical is THC.

Marijuana Street Names:
Pot, ganga, weed, grass, and many others.

Marijuana Effects:
Short-term effects include memory and learning problems, distorted perception, and difficulty thinking and solving problems.



Methamphetamine Description:
An addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine, but has longer lasting and more toxic effects on the central nervous system. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Methamphetamine Street Names:
Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, glass.

Methamphetamine Effects:
Increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, and stroke.



PCP/Phencyclidine Description:
Illegally manufactured in labs and sold as tablets, capsules, or colored powder. It can be snorted, smoked, or eaten. Developed in the 1950s as an IV anesthetic, PCP was never approved for human use because of problems during clinical studies, including intensely negative psychological effects.

PCP/Phencyclidine Street Names:
Angel dust, ozone, wack, rocket fuel, and many others.

PCP/Phencyclidine Effects:
Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms because of overdose or because of the drug's unpleasant psychological effects. In a hospital or detention setting, people high on PCP often become violent or suicidal.


Prescription Medications

Prescription drugs that are abused or used for nonmedical reasons can alter brain activity and lead to dependence. Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (often prescribed to treat pain), central nervous system depressants (often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (prescribed to treat narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity).

Street Names:
Commonly used opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), propoxyphene (Darvon), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), and diphenoxylate (Lomotil). Common central nervous system depressants include barbiturates such as pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), and benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Stimulants include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Long-term use of opioids or central nervous system depressants can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Taken in high doses, stimulants can lead to compulsive use, paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and irregular heartbeat.



Nicotine Description:
One of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S.

Nicotine Effects:
Nicotine is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker's risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children.


Steroids (Anabolic)

Steroids Description:
Human-made substances related to male sex hormones. Some athletes abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance. Abuse of anabolic steroids can lead to serious health problems, some of which are irreversible.

Steroids Effects:
Major side effects can include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure, kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling. In males, side effects may include shrinking of the testicles and breast development. In females, side effects may include growth of facial hair, menstrual changes, and deepened voice. In teenagers, growth may be halted prematurely and permanently.



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