After alcohol, cannabis is the mind-altering drug most often abused by students.
- Physical effects: increases heart rate, lowers blood pressure, limits control of movement
- Mental effects: distorts perception of reality
- Form: looks like dried parsley mixed with stems that may include seeds
- Also called: pot, grass, weed, reefer, dope, mary jane, acapulco gold
- It is eaten or smoked.
- Additional types of cannabis are hash, hash oil
Cocaine is one of the most addictive illegal drugs.
- Physical effects: slows, then increases heart rate and blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, increases breathing rate, dries mouth, dilates pupils, exaggerates movements
- Mental effects: stimulates rapid, intense general euphoria; produces a rush, makes a person feel energetic and alert with no need for food or sleep; user becomes talkative or peaceful, self-confident, in command, quick, agitated, anxious, unhappy
- Form: A white crystalline powder, often diluted with other ingredients.
- Also called: coke, snow, flake, white, nose candy, Big C, snow bird, lady
- It is inhaled, injected or smoked.
- A concentrated form of cocaine is crack. It is extremely potent, and its effects are felt within seconds. The unregulated, higher concentration may pose an increased risk of overdose.
Ecstasy is considered a designer drug. It is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties.
- Physical effects: increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, loss of appetite, tense muscles, involuntary clenching of teeth, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness and chills or sweats
- Mental effects: sense of empathy, openness, peace and caring; increased awareness of touch and sound; possible reduction of fear and defensiveness; possible paranoia, confusion, depression, severe anxiety or sleep disturbance
- Forms: tablets are most common; occasionally sold in capsules or as powder
- Also called: MDMA, X, XTC, E, M, Adam, Bean, Roll
- Usually taken orally, sometimes snorted
Stimulants amphetamines, methamphetamines
- Physical effects: increased alertness, pulse rate and blood pressure; insomnia, loss of appetite
- Mental effects: sense of well-being, high energy, release of social inhibitions, feelings of cleverness, competence and power (effects similar to cocaine but last longer, from four to six hours depending on dose and potency)
- Forms: capsules, pills, tablets or powder
- Also called: speed, uppers, ups, black beauties, pep pills; methamphetamines are also known as crank or crystal meth
- Taken orally, injected or inhaled
Depressants barbiturates, tranquilizers
- Physical effects: similar to alcohol. Small doses produce calmness; larger doses
cause slurred speech, staggering gait and altered perception.
- Mental effects: lessening of pain and anxiety, intoxication, relaxation, feeling of
well-being, lowering of inhibitions, poor concentration
- Forms: capsules or tablets
- Also called: downers, barbs, blue devils, red devils, yellow jackets, yellows
- Taken orally
Hallucinogens phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline and peyote (mesc), psilocybin (mushrooms)
All hallucinogens produce unpredictable, negative effects.
- Physical effects: perception of time is slowed; body movement slowed; senses dulled; dizziness, weakness, nausea, drowsiness
- Mental effects: vivid distortion of senses ranging from extreme excitement to absolute terror; can cause illusions and hallucinations
- Also called:
PCP: angel dust, loveboat, lovely
LSD: acid, green or red dragon, white lightning, blue heaven
Mescaline: buttons, cactus; peyote
Mushrooms: magic mushrooms; shrooms
- Forms and use:
PCP: liquid, capsules, powder, pills; taken orally or injected
LSD: brightly colored tablets, blotter paper, gelatin squares, liquid; taken orally,
licked off paper or eaten
Mescaline: hard brown discs, tablets or capsules; chewed, swallowed or smoked
Mushrooms: fresh or dried mushrooms; eaten
Narcotics Opium, Heroin
- Physical effects: euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, sleep, nausea
- Mental effects: rush of pleasure, numbness, lack of pain, euphoria; anxiety,
depression may occur after use
- Heroin is also called: smack, horse, junk, H
- Forms and use:
Heroin is a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance; opium is
dark brown chunks or powder.
Heroin is injected, inhaled or smoked; opium is smoked or taken orally.
Date Rape Drugs
Rohypnol, a potent and fast-acting sedative, and GHB, a powerful depressant, are two
drugs reported to be used at bars, raves and parties to weaken a potential sexual assault victim. The odorless drugs are dissolved into drinks. Once dissolved, Rohypnol may leave a residue and GHB may give a salty taste, but both can be hard to detect in many beverages. Once the drug is consumed, the victim becomes weak, helpless or unconscious and unable to resist sexual advances. When the drug wears off, the victim may not remember what happened or who participated because the drug often causes amnesia. Recreational use of these drugs also has been reported. Physical incapacitation from using the drug(s) puts the user at risk for rape or other victimization. Recreational use also can lead to death from the physical effects of the drug.
- Physical and mental effects: drowsiness, confusion, impaired motor skills, dizziness, loss of inhibition, impaired judgment, slurred speech, reduced consciousness, partial amnesia, hangover effect; person may appear drunk. When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol reduces blood pressure.
- Also called: roofies, roaches
- Forms: white pill. It leaves a crumbly residue in liquid and turns the liquid bluish and murky.
- Physical and mental effects: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, seizures,
respiratory depression, intense drowsiness, unconsciousness, coma, partial amnesia
- onset of effects within 15 to 30 minutes and lasts 30 to 40 minutes
- Also called: liquid ecstasy, liquid G, Vita-G
- Form: a clear liquid that leaves a salty taste in beverages
- GHB is a mixture of lye and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL, a chemical compound) and varies in intensity, making it potentially deadly.