Various Types of Drug and Alcohol

  • Acid: see LSD
  • Adderall
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and improve focus.
  • Why People Abuse It: To increase energy and to stay awake.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets or capsules.
  • How People Abuse It: Crushing it into fine powder to snort or inject it.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Alcohol
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To cook, to enjoy responsibly at social occasions, and other reasons.
  • Why People Abuse It: To enhance social situations, relax, and other reasons.
  • What It Looks Like: Different liquids or ice-type substances.
  • How People Abuse It: Drinking large amounts in a short period of time, drinking while using other substances.
  • How People Obtain It: Adults twenty-one and older can purchase it legally in the U.S.
  • Angel Dust: see PCP
  • Antidepressants: Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat depression and anxiety.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create feelings of calmness or well-being.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets and capsules.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or by snorting it.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Ativan: see benzodiazepines
  • Bath Salts
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: There are no recommended uses for bath salts.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create well-being and enhance social and sexual situations.
  • What It Looks Like: Small crystals or grains that form a powdery substance.
  • How People Abuse It: Snorting, injecting, smoking, or swallow it.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Benzodiazepines (benzos, or tranquilizers): Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Rohypnol
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures and to relax muscles. Also to promote sleep.
  • Why People Abuse It: To sedate themselves or hurt others.
  • What It Looks Like: Capsules or tablets, occasionally as a liquid.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or snorting.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription or illegally.
  • Club or Party Drugs, including Ecstasy (MDMA or Molly), Ketamine, and Cocaine
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: Ecstasy—psychotherapy tool, ketamine—anesthesia, cocaine—anesthesia
  • Why People Abuse It: To create feelings of well-being and heightened sensations.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets, capsules, crystals, or powder.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or snorting.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Cocaine/Crack Cocaine (Coke)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: Anesthesia.
  • Why People Abuse It: To increase their energy.
  • What It Looks Like: White powder. Crack cocaine looks like small rocks or stones.
  • How People Abuse It: Snorting cocaine powder. Smoking liquefied crack rocks.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Codeine: see painkilling drugs
  • Cough Syrup with Codeine with Soft drinks and Candy (Purple Drank, Lean, Sizzurp)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat coughs and colds.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high.
  • What It Looks Like: Purple liquid.
  • How People Abuse It: Drinking it.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally. Cough syrup with codeine requires a prescription.
  • Diet Pills
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To lose weight.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create feelings of well-being and increase energy.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets and capsules.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth.
  • How People Obtain It: Buying them over-the-counter, although some are illegal.
  • Ecstasy (MDMA, Molly)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: As a tool in psychotherapy.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create feelings of well-being and heighten sensations.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets, often with words or designs on them.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Fentanyl: see painkilling drugs
  • Heroin
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: Sometimes used in scientific experiments.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high.
  • What It Looks Like: Powder.
  • How People Abuse It: Injecting, snorting, or smoking it.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • hydrocodone: see Vicodin
  • Inhalants
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: As household products, such as paint, glue, gasoline, etc.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high, create well-being, and lower inhibitions.
  • What It Looks Like: Household products.
  • How People Abuse It: Sniffing or bringing the fumes into one’s mouth and nose.
  • How People Obtain It: Legally.
  • K2 or Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: There are no recommended uses for K2/spice.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high.
  • What It Looks Like: Grass or grass nuggets.
  • How People Abuse It: Smoking it.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • LSD (Acid, Hallucinogens)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: Formerly used in psychotherapy.
  • Why People Abuse It: To “trip” or alter reality.
  • What It Looks Like: Paper squares, gelatin squares, capsules, tablets, or liquid.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or in the eyes.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Marijuana (Weed, Pot)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat nausea and pain.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high, to enhance sensations, to relax.
  • What It Looks Like: Grass.
  • How People Abuse It: Smoking it or eating or drinking it as part of food or tea. Medical marijuana is sometimes in the form of oil or pills.
  • How People Obtain It: Sometimes illegally, sometimes legally in some areas, sometimes legally with a prescription in some areas.
  • Meth (Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Why People Abuse It: To create well-being.
  • What It Looks Like: Powder, rocks, or pills.
  • How People Abuse It: Smoking, snorting, or injecting it, or by mouth.
  • How People Obtain It: Usually illegally, only rarely with a prescription.
  • Methadone
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat drug withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablet or liquid.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or injecting it.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Morphine: see Painkilling Drugs
  • Opioids/Opiates: see Painkilling Drugs
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs: Cough Medicine, Diet Pills, Painkilling Drugs, Sleeping Pills etc.
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To relieve coughs or pain, create sleepiness, lose weight, etc.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create well-being.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets, capsules, or liquids.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth.
  • How People Obtain It: Legally.
  • Painkilling Drugs (Opioids/Opiates): Codeine, Fentanyl, Morphine, OxyContin (Oxycodone), Percocet, Vicodin (Hydrocodone)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To relieve pain.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create feelings of well-being.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets or capsules, sometimes injectable liquids.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or injecting.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Paxil: see antidepressants
  • PCP (Angel Dust)
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: Animal tranquilizer or anesthesia.
  • Why People Abuse It: To hallucinate, alter reality, and heighten the senses.
  • What It Looks Like: Powder or liquid.
  • How People Abuse It: Smoking, injecting, snorting, by mouth or the skin, or as eye drops.
  • How People Obtain It: Illegally.
  • Percocet: see painkilling drugs
  • Prozac: see antidepressants
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat pain, insomnia, ADHD, and other conditions
  • Why People Abuse It: To get high, increase energy, create sleepiness, etc., depending on the drug
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets, capsules, liquids.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth, snorting, or injecting.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Ritalin
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and improve focus.
  • Why People Abuse It: To increase energy and to stay awake.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets or capsules.
  • How People Abuse It: Crushing it into fine powder to snort or inject it.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription and illegally.
  • Sleeping Pills: Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata. Benzodiazepines are also used for sleep.
  • Recommended (Real) Use for Drug: To promote sleep.
  • Why People Abuse It: To create sleepiness or relaxation, or to hurt others.
  • What It Looks Like: Tablets or capsules.
  • How People Abuse It: By mouth or snorting.
  • How People Obtain It: By prescription or illegally.
  • Spice: see K2
  • Tranquilizers: see benzodiazepines
  • Valium: see benzodiazepines
  • Vicodin (hyrocodone): see painkilling drugs
  • Xanax: see benzodiazepines
  • Zoloft: see antidepressants

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