Learn the facts about the most commonly abused drugs. Each drug page includes a brief overview, street and clinical names, the effects of the drug on the brain. Most drugs of abuse can alter a person's thinking and judgment, leading to health risks, including addiction, drugged driving and infectious disease. Most drugs. Drug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Each year drug abuse causes millions of serious.
Abuse Drugs of
Problems can sometimes sneak up on you, as your drug use gradually increases over time. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a rave, or painkillers when your back aches, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day. Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you. As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities.
Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need. Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces feelings of isolation.
With the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life.
Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will. Short-term medical use of opioid painkillers can help to manage severe pain after an accident or surgery, for example.
However, regular or longer-term use of opioids can lead to addiction. The brain changes associated with addiction can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise, and other treatments. Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can get better. Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process—and the earlier, the better. The longer drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is to treat.
People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer, or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own.
As they sober up and their thinking clears, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change. Recovery from drug addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks. Signs and symptoms of drug abuse and drug addiction Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar.
If you recognize yourself in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, talk to someone about your drug use. Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home e. Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high , such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex. Experiencing legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts. You use to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
Loss of control over your drug use. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless. Your life revolves around drug use. Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss. Stimulants including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth: Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
Inhalants glues, aerosols, vapors: Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion. Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.
In recent years, prescription drug abuse has become an escalating problem, most commonly involving opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and stimulants.
Many people start taking these drugs to cope with a specific medical problem—taking painkillers following injury or surgery, for example. However, over time, increased doses are needed to achieve the same level of pain relief and some users can become physically dependent, experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit.
One of the earliest warning signs of a developing problem is going through the medication at a faster-than-expected rate. In other cases, people start abusing medication not prescribed for them in order to experience a high, relieve tension, increase alertness, or improve concentration. Being aware of any signs of dependency can help identify prescription drug problems at an early stage and help to prevent them progressing into an addiction.
Opioid painkillers including OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco: Drooping eyes, constricted pupils even in dim light, sudden itching or flushing, slurred speech; drowsiness, lack of energy; inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, decline in performance at work or school; neglecting friendships and social activities.
Anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and hypnotics including Xanax, Valium, Ambien: Contracted pupils; drunk-like, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, clumsiness; poor judgment, drowsiness, slowed breathing. Stimulants including Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Dexedrine: Dilated pupils, reduced appetite; agitation, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature; insomnia, paranoia.
If you suspect that a friend or family member has a drug problem, here are a few things you can do:. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support without being judgmental.
The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Take care of yourself. Alcohol can increase plasma concentrations of MDMA, which may increase the risk of neurotoxic effects. Withdrawal Symptoms Fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, trouble concentrating. Treatment Options Medications There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to mescaline or other hallucinogens.
An extremely addictive stimulant amphetamine drug. In Combination with Alcohol Masks the depressant effect of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure. Withdrawal Symptoms Depression, anxiety, tiredness. Psychoactive when taken in higher-than-recommended amounts. Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dextromethorphan.
An anti-diarrheal that can cause euphoria when taken in higher-than-recommended doses. In high does, can produce euphoria. May lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms of other drugs. Other Health-related Issues Fainting, stomach pain, constipation, loss of consciousness, cardiovascular toxicity, pupil dilation, and kidney failure from urinary retention.
Withdrawal Symptoms Severe anxiety, vomiting, and diarrhea. Behavioral Therapies The same behavioral therapies that have helped treat addiction to heroin may be used to treat addiction to loperamide. A dissociative drug developed as an intravenous anesthetic that has been discontinued due to serious adverse effects.
Long-term Heart problems, psychosis, anger, paranoia. In Combination with Alcohol Masks the depressant action of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure.
Withdrawal Symptoms Depression, tiredness, sleep problems. Behavioral Therapies Behavioral therapies that have helped treat addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine may be useful in treating prescription stimulant addiction. A hallucinogen in certain types of mushrooms that grow in parts of South America, Mexico, and the United States. Long-term Risk of flashbacks and memory problems. Other Health-related Issues Risk of poisoning if a poisonous mushroom is accidentally used.
In Combination with Alcohol May decrease the perceived effects of alcohol. Treatment Options Medications It is not known whether psilocybin is addictive.
There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to psilocybin or other hallucinogens. Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if psilocybin is addictive and whether behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to this or other hallucinogens. In Combination with Alcohol Severe sedation, unconsciousness, and slowed heart rate and breathing, which can lead to death.
Withdrawal Symptoms Headache; muscle pain; extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, irritability; numbness and tingling of hands or feet; hallucinations, delirium, convulsions, seizures, or shock. Treatment Options Medications It is not known whether salvia is addictive. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to salvia or other dissociative drugs.
Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if salvia is addictive, but behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs. Man-made substances used to treat conditions caused by low levels of steroid hormones in the body misused to enhance athletic and sexual performance and physical appearance.
Acne, fluid retention especially in the hands and feet , oily skin, yellowing of the skin, infection. Long-term Kidney damage or failure; liver damage; high blood pressure, enlarged heart, or changes in cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke or heart attack, even in young people; aggression; extreme mood swings; anger "roid rage" ; extreme irritability; delusions; impaired judgment.
Other Health-related Issues Males: In Combination with Alcohol Increased risk of violent behavior. Withdrawal Symptoms Mood swings; tiredness; restlessness; loss of appetite; insomnia; lowered sex drive; depression, sometimes leading to suicide attempts. Treatment Options Medications Hormone therapy Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat steroid addiction.
A wide variety of herbal mixtures containing man-made cannabinoid chemicals related to THC in marijuana but often much stronger and more dangerous. Other Health-related Issues Use of synthetic cannabinoids has led to an increase in emergency room visits in certain areas. Withdrawal Symptoms Headaches, anxiety, depression, irritability.
Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat synthetic cannabinoid addiction.
Synthetic Cathinones Bath Salts. An emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, a stimulant found naturally in the khat plant.
Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken DEA Schedule Bloom, Cloud Nine, Cosmic Blast, Flakka, Ivory Wave, Lunar Wave, Scarface, Vanilla Sky, White Lightning No commercial uses for ingested "bath salts" White or brown crystalline powder sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled "not for human consumption" and sometimes sold as jewelry cleaner; tablet, capsule, liquid Swallowed, snorted, injected I Some formulations have been banned by the DEA Possible Health Effects Short-term Increased heart rate and blood pressure; euphoria; increased sociability and sex drive; paranoia, agitation, and hallucinations; violent behavior; sweating; nausea, vomiting; insomnia; irritability; dizziness; depression; panic attacks; reduced motor control; cloudy thinking.
Withdrawal Symptoms Depression, anxiety. Plant grown for its leaves, which are dried and fermented before use. Long-term Greatly increased risk of cancer, especially lung cancer when smoked and oral cancers when chewed; chronic bronchitis; emphysema; heart disease; leukemia; cataracts; pneumonia.
Withdrawal Symptoms Irritability, attention and sleep problems, depression, increased appetite. Strong hallucinations including altered visual and auditory perceptions; increased heart rate and blood pressure; nausea; burning sensation in the stomach; tingling sensations and increased skin sensitivity.
Possible changes to the serotoninergic and immune systems, although more research is needed. It is not known whether ayahuasca is addictive. More research is needed to find out if ayahuasca is addictive and, if so, whether behavioral therapies are effective.
Drowsiness, slurred speech, poor concentration, confusion, dizziness, problems with movement and memory, lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing. Sleep medications are sometimes used as date rape drugs. Must be discussed with a health care provider; barbiturate withdrawal can cause a serious abstinence syndrome that may even include seizures. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to prescription sedatives; lowering the dose over time must be done with the help of a health care provider.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to prescription sedatives.
Narrowed blood vessels; enlarged pupils; increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; headache; abdominal pain and nausea; euphoria; increased energy, alertness; insomnia, restlessness; anxiety; erratic and violent behavior, panic attacks, paranoia, psychosis; heart rhythm problems, heart attack; stroke, seizure, coma. Loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, nasal damage and trouble swallowing from snorting; infection and death of bowel tissue from decreased blood flow; poor nutrition and weight loss; lung damage from smoking.
Depression, tiredness, increased appetite, insomnia, vivid unpleasant dreams, slowed thinking and movement, restlessness. Cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT Contingency management, or motivational incentives, including vouchers The Matrix Model Community-based recovery groups, such as Step programs Mobile medical application: Intense visual hallucinations, depersonalization, auditory distortions, and an altered perception of time and body image, usually peaking in about 30 minutes when drank as tea.
It is not known whether DMT is addictive. More research is needed to find out if DMT is addictive and, if so, whether behavioral therapies are effective. Euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, memory loss, unconsciousness, slowed heart rate and breathing, lower body temperature, seizures, coma, death. Insomnia, anxiety, tremors, sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, psychotic thoughts.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat GHB addiction. Euphoria; dry mouth; itching; nausea; vomiting; analgesia; slowed breathing and heart rate. Collapsed veins; abscesses swollen tissue with pus ; infection of the lining and valves in the heart; constipation and stomach cramps; liver or kidney disease; pneumonia.
Restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps "cold turkey". Methadone Buprenorphine Naltrexone short- and long-acting forms. Contingency management, or motivational incentives Step facilitation therapy Mobile medical application: Paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, lighter fluids, correction fluids, permanent markers, electronics cleaners and freeze sprays, glue, spray paint, hair or deodorant sprays, fabric protector sprays, aerosol computer cleaning products, vegetable oil sprays, butane lighters, propane tanks, whipped cream aerosol containers, refrigerant gases, ether, chloroform, halothane, nitrous oxide.
Liver and kidney damage; bone marrow damage; limb spasms due to nerve damage; brain damage from lack of oxygen that can cause problems with thinking, movement, vision, and hearing. More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat inhalant addiction. Problems with attention, learning, and memory; dreamlike states, hallucinations; sedation; confusion; loss of memory; raised blood pressure; unconsciousness; dangerously slowed breathing.
Sometimes used as a date rape drug. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to ketamine or other dissociative drugs.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs. Euphoria, increased alertness and arousal, increased blood pressure and heart rate, depression, paranoia, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, fine tremors, loss of short-term memory.
Gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, ulcers, and stomach inflammation; and increased risk of heart attack. In rare cases associated with heavy use: It is not known whether khat is addictive. More research is needed to find out if khat is addictive and, if so, whether behavioral therapies are effective. Nausea, dizziness, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, loss of appetite.
Anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, skin darkening, dry mouth, frequent urination, constipation. Muscle aches, insomnia, hostility, aggression, emotional changes, runny nose, jerky movements. More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to kratom. Tablet; capsule; clear liquid; small, decorated squares of absorbent paper that liquid has been added to. Frightening flashbacks called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder [HPPD] ; ongoing visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, paranoia, and mood swings.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to hallucinogens. Boom, Gangster, Hash, Hemp. Increased heart rate, blood pressure; further slowing of mental processing and reaction time. Lowered inhibition; enhanced sensory perception; increased heart rate and blood pressure; muscle tension; nausea; faintness; chills or sweating; sharp rise in body temperature leading to kidney failure or death.
Long-lasting confusion, depression, problems with attention, memory, and sleep; increased anxiety, impulsiveness; less interest in sex. There is conflicting evidence about whether MDMA is addictive.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat MDMA addiction. Enhanced perception and feeling; hallucinations; euphoria; anxiety; increased body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure; sweating; problems with movement. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to mescaline or other hallucinogens.
Increased wakefulness and physical activity; decreased appetite; increased breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature; irregular heartbeat. Masks the depressant effect of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure. Cough relief; euphoria; slurred speech; increased heart rate and blood pressure; dizziness; nausea; vomiting.
More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dextromethorphan. Fainting, stomach pain, constipation, loss of consciousness, cardiovascular toxicity, pupil dilation, and kidney failure from urinary retention.
The same behavioral therapies that have helped treat addiction to heroin may be used to treat addiction to loperamide. Contingency management, or motivational incentives. Injected, snorted, swallowed, smoked powder added to mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. PCP has been linked to self-injury. Restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps "cold turkey" , leg movements. Methadone Buprenorphine Naltrexone short- and long-acting.
The same behavioral therapies that have helped treat addiction to heroin are used to treat prescription opioid addiction. Increased alertness, attention, energy; increased blood pressure and heart rate; narrowed blood vessels; increased blood sugar; opened-up breathing passages.
Masks the depressant action of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure. Behavioral therapies that have helped treat addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine may be useful in treating prescription stimulant addiction. Hallucinations, altered perception of time, inability to tell fantasy from reality, panic, muscle relaxation or weakness, problems with movement, enlarged pupils, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness.
It is not known whether psilocybin is addictive. More research is needed to find out if psilocybin is addictive and whether behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to this or other hallucinogens. Drowsiness, sedation, sleep; amnesia, blackout; decreased anxiety; muscle relaxation, impaired reaction time and motor coordination; impaired mental functioning and judgment; confusion; aggression; excitability; slurred speech; headache; slowed breathing and heart rate.
Severe sedation, unconsciousness, and slowed heart rate and breathing, which can lead to death. Headache; muscle pain; extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, irritability; numbness and tingling of hands or feet; hallucinations, delirium, convulsions, seizures, or shock.
Drugs of Abuse
Genetic Science Learning Center. (, August 30) Drugs of Abuse. Retrieved February 07, , from 11motors-club.info You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else's prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid. Substance abuse is when you take drugs that are not legal. It's also when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal substances.