The Wide World of Drugs

With so many possible drugs available today, is it any wonder that 1 in every 12 people has had, is having or will have a problem/addiction. Obviously there is wide variety of street drugs. However, often overlooked is the misuse/abuse of prescription drugs, which, according to recent studies, has become an extreme danger throughout society. As a matter of information, the material below is a basic list of drugs that are commonly being abused all of which can become physically and/or emotionally addicting and all of which may lead to medical complications and withdrawal symptoms.

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Comes in many forms such as beer, wine and hard liquor.

Obviously, alcohol is the most readily available drug and it ranks third in the United States as a cause of death. It is classified as a depressant and can negatively impact the brain, vision, hearing and muscle coordination. Alcoholism is impacting millions of Americans and their families each and every day, and among teenagers and college students, binge drinking has reached near epidemic proportions.


Also known as ‘pot’, ‘weed’, ‘grass’ and can come in other forms such as ‘hashish’ or ‘hash’.

It’s not the marijuana of the 60s and 70s any more. Its potency has increased by nearly 700 percent over the years. It can produce effects on the nervous system such as loss of energy, decreased coordination, loss of memory and questionable judgment or reasoning.


Also known as ‘smack’, ‘horse’, ‘H’, ‘tar’ and ‘China White’, and sometime misspelled as “heron” and “heroine.”

In its street version, this drug has been used for centuries to promote a sense of well being and to relieve pain. However, it also creates a very fast physical */dependency/* that is extremely difficult to break. From a pharmaceutical standpoint, synthetically produced opiates are manufactured primarily as pain relievers. Used judiciously, they have value. Abused, and they become just as dangerous as their street cousin heroin. Some of the more common prescription drugs in this category are Morphine, */Oxycontin/*, Vicodin, */Lortab/Loratab, Dilaudid, Darvon, Percocet, Percodan, Demerol, Hydrocodone/* and */Codine/Codeine/*. Methadone has also been used as a pain reliever and as a medication to ease withdrawal symptoms from heroin. However, there are some newer alternatives such as buprenorphine and soboxin (which is a combination of buprenorphine and moloxin to prevent misuse) that have been found to be quite effective without some of the drawbacks of methadone.


Also known as ‘coke’, ‘blow’, ‘powder’, ‘snow’ and ‘nose’ candy’ or, in the case of ‘crack’, ‘rock’ or ‘base’.

Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs available today. It offers an intense immediate rush lasting for 15 to 30 minutes with lesser euphoria for a few hours. However, as tolerance builds, more and more cocaine or switching to crack is needed to sustain the result. Negative complications from cocaine use are quite severe and can include respiratory problems, loss of ambition and efficiency, and time distortion. In addition, chronic use can result in near permanent brain impairment.

Methamphetamine Amphetamines

Also known as ‘speed’, ‘meth’, ‘crystal’, ‘crank’, ‘uppers’ and ‘bennies’.

Pharmaceutical versions include Ritalin, Dexedrine and Cylert. These are very potent stimulants often used by people who want to stay awake and active for extended periods of time. Other than the pharmaceuticals, which can also lead to problems, meth is usually cooked in home-based laboratories with devastating results on the end user. The chemicals are commonly available in grocery and drug stores. However, when combined to make meth, they are quite volatile and can lead to explosions. The residue is also very dangerous and hazardous to the health of those who are exposed. Meth is quite addictive and those who are cut off from their supply can become violent and paranoid.

Sedatives Benzodiazepine

Also known as ‘yellow jackets’, ‘ludes’, roofies and reds and include those pharmaceutical drugs such as barbiturates and tranquilizers such as Xanax, Librium, Ativan and Valium among others.

Because of the availability of these drugs through prescription, these drugs are very easily abused, usually over a long period of time. As a result, the long-term, negative implications can be quite severe.

Club Drugs

Including ‘Ecstasy’ (also known as ‘E’, ‘extasy’, ‘X, ‘XTC’ and essence’);

‘GHB’ (also known as ‘liquid ecstasy’ and ‘G’);

‘Ketamine’ (also known as ‘K’, ‘Kat’, ‘Special K’ and ‘Vitamin K’); ‘PCP’ (also known as ‘Angel Dust’);

and ‘LSD’ (also known as ‘acid’).

Ecstasy combines the properties of methamphetamine and mescaline offering not only a rush, but also hallucinogenic qualities. Heavy doses can have wide ranging negative consequences. GHB and Rohypnolare commonly used to relax the user. However, they are often used for the purpose of gaining submission over the user without their knowledge, thus resulting in the name ‘Date Rape drugs’. A large enough dose of GHB can also result in coma and death. Ketamine and PCP are veterinary anesthetics. Large enough doses can cause delirium, high blood pressure, amnesia and respiratory problems as well as a tendency toward violence. LSD was the hallucinogenic drug of choice in the 70s and is still readily available. Its use often results in delusions and a total loss of reality. It can also cause the user to suffer delusional flashbacks long after the last dose was taken.