Drug Education

Alcohol

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Ethyl Alcohol Possible/Possible Oral 1-4
Ethanol Possible/Possible Oral 1-4
What is Alcohol? Liquid distilled product of fermented fruits, grains and vegetables
Used as solvent, antiseptic and sedative
Moderate potential for abuse
Possible Effects Intoxication
Sensory alteration
Anxiety reduction
Symptoms of Overdose Staggering
Odor of alcohol on breath
Loss of coordination
Slurred speech, dilated pupils
Fetal alcohol syndrome (in babies)
Nerve and liver damage
Withdrawal Syndrome Sweating
Tremors
Altered perception
Psychosis,fear, auditory hallucinations
Indications of Possible Misuse Confusion, disorientation, loss of motor nerve control
Convulsions, shock, shallow respiration
Involuntary defecation, drowsiness
Respiratory depression and possible death

 

Cannabis

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Marijuana
Pot, grass
Unknown/Moderate Smoked,oral 2-4
Tetrahydro-
cannabinol
Unknown/Moderate Smoked, oral 2-4
Hashish Unknown/Moderate Smoked, oral 2-4
Hashish Oil Unknown/Moderate Smoked, oral 2-4
What is Cannabis? Hemp plant from which marijuana and hashish are produced;
Hashish consists of resinous secretions of the cannabis plant;
Marijuana is a tobacco-like substance.
Possible Effects Euphoria followed by relaxation; loss of appetite; impaired memory, concentration, knowledge retention; loss of coordination, more vivid sense of taste, sight, smell, hearing; stronger doses cause fluctuating emotions, fragmentary thoughts, disoriented behavior, psychosis; may cause irritation to lungs, respiratory system; may cause cancer.
Symptoms of Overdose Fatigue, lack of coordination, paranoia, possible psychosis
Withdrawal Syndrome Insomnia, hyperactivity, sometimes decreased appetite
Indications of Possible Misuse Animated behavior, loud talking, followed by sleepiness
Dilated pupils, blood shot eyes
Distortions in perception; hallucinations
Distortions in depth and time perception; loss of coordination

 

Depressants

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Barbiturates High/Mod. Oral 1-16
Methaqualone High/High Oral 4-8
Tranquilizers Low/Low Oral 4-8
Chloral Hydrate Mod./Mod. Oral 5-8
Glutethimide High/Mod. Oral 4-8
What are Depressants? Drugs used medicinally to relieve anxiety, irritability, tension. High potential for abuse, development of tolerance.
Produce state of intoxication similar to that of alcohol.
Combined with alcohol, increase effects, multiply risks.
Possible Effects Sensory alteration, anxiety reduction, intoxication.
Small amounts cause calmness, relaxed muscles.
Larger amounts cause slurred speech, impaired judgment, loss of motor coordination.
Very large doses may cause respiratory depression, coma, death.
Newborn babies of abusers may show dependence, withdrawal symptoms, behavioral problems, birth defects.
Symptoms of Overdose Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils.
Weak and rapid pulse, coma, death.
Withdrawal Syndrome Anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, loss of appetite.
Abrupt cessation or reduced high dose may cause convulsions, delirium, death.
Indications of Possible Misuse Behavior similar to alcohol intoxication (without odor of alcohol on breath).
Staggering,stumbling, lack of coordination, slurred speech.
Falling asleep while at work, difficulty concentrating.
Dilated pupils.

 

Hallucinogens

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
PCP
Angel Dust
Loveboat
Unknown/High Smoked,oral, injected Up to days
LSD
Acid
Green/Red Dragon
None/Unknown Oral 8-12 hrs.
Mescaline,Peyote None/Unknown Oral, injected 8-12 hrs.
Psilocybin None/Unknown Oral, injected, smoked, sniffed Variable
Designer Drugs*
Ecstasy - PCE
Unknown/Unknown Oral, injected, smoked Variable
What are Hallucinogens? Drugs that produce behavioral changes that are often multiple and dramatic.
No known medical use, but some block sensation to pain and use may result in self-inflicted injuries.
"Designer Drugs", made to imitate certain illegal drugs, are often many time stronger than drugs they imitate.
Possible Effects Rapidly changing feelings, immediately and long after use.
Chronic use may cause persistent problems, depression, violent behavior, anxiety, distorted perception of time.
Large doses may cause convulsions, coma, heart/lung failure, ruptured blood vessels in the brain.
May cause hallucinations, illusions, dizziness, confusion, suspicion, anxiety,loss of control.
Delayed effects - "flashbacks" may occur long after use.
Designer drugs - one use may cause irreversible brain damage.
Symptoms of Overdose Longer, more intense "trip" episodes, psychosis, coma, death
Withdrawal Syndrome No known withdrawal syndrome
Indications of Possible Misuse Extreme changes in behavior and mood; person may sit or recline in a trance like state; person may appear fearful.
Chills, irregular breathing, sweating, trembling hands.
Changes in sense of light, hearing, touch, smell, and time.
Increase in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar.

* Phencyclidine analogs, Amphetamine variants

Narcotics

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Opium High/High Oral, smoked 3-6
Morphine High/High Oral, smoked, injected 3-6
Codeine Mod./Mod. Oral, injected 3-6
Heroin High/High Smoked, injected, sniffed 3-6
Hydromorphone High/High Oral, injected 3-6
Meperidine High/High Oral, injected 3-6
Methadone High/High Oral, injected 12-24

 

Steroids

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Dianabol Possible/Possible Oral days - weeks
Nandrolone Possible/Possible Oral days - weeks
What are steroids? Synthetic compounds available legally and illegally
Drugs that are closely related to the male sex hormone, testosterone
Moderate potential for abuse, particularly among young males
Possible Effects Increase in body weight
Increase in muscle strength
Enhance athletic performance
Increase physical endurance
Symptoms of Overdose Quick weight and muscle gains
Extremely aggressive behavior or "Roid rage"
Severe skin rashes
Impotence, withered testicles
In females, development of irreversible masculine traits
Withdrawal Syndrome Significant weight loss
Depression
Behavioral changes
Trembling
Indications of Possible Misuse Increased combativeness and aggressiveness
Jaundice
Purple or red spots on body; unexplained darkness of skin
Persistent unpleasant breath odor
Swelling of feet or lower legs


Stimulants

Drug Dependence
Physical/Psychological
How Used Duration
(hours)
Cocaine* Possible/High Sniffed, smoked
injected
1-2
Amphetamines Possible/High Oral, injected 2-4
Methamphetamine Possible/High Oral, injected 2-4
Phenmetrazine Possible/High Oral, injected 2-4
Methylphenidate Possible/Mod. Oral, injected 2-4
Other Stimulants Possible/High Oral, injected 2-4
Ice High/High Smoked, oral
injected, inhaled
4-14
What are Stimulants? Drugs used to increase alertness, relieve fatigue, feel stronger and more decisive; used for euphoric effects or to counteract the "down" feeling of tranquilizers or alcohol.
Possible Effects Increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils and decreased appetite; high doses may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination, collapse; may cause perspiration, blurred vision, dizziness, a feeling of restlessness, anxiety, delusions.
Symptoms of Overdose Agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death.
Withdrawal Syndrome Apathy,long periods of sleep, irritability, depression, disorientation.
Indications of Possible Misuse Excessive activity, talkativeness, irritability, argumentativeness or nervousness
Increased blood pressure or pulse rate, dilated pupils<
Long periods without sleeping or eating
Euphoria
* Cocaine, while classified under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as a narcotic, is also discussed as a stimulant.