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The Top 10 Most Common Drugs of Abuse  

  • Drugs of abuse can include anything illicit or illegal.
  • Drug abuse can lead to drug dependence and a myriad of other devastating effects.
  • Recovery from drug abuse is possible with appropriate treatment.

Mariya Rizwan

Pharm D

December 22, 2022
Simmons University

Drugs of Abuse

Drug abuse is the illegal use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used or consuming them in excessive amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, emotional, and job-related problems. 

 Drugs of abuse help obtain pleasurable effects on the brain. They have very harmful effects on the body, and the most common side effect they have is dependence. 

 Here we will review the brand names or street names, route of administration, effects of intoxication, and health consequences of 10 drugs of abuse. 

  10 drugs of abuse

Amphetamine

Brand names: Adderall and Dexedrine 

Street names: bennies, black beauties, hearts, speed, truck drivers, uppers 

Route of administration: injection, snorted, or smoked 

Effects of Intoxication: the effects of amphetamine intoxication are; 

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Increased body temperature and metabolism 
  • Increased energy and mental alertness 
  • Tremors 
  • Reduced appetite 
  • CNS effects such as irritability, anxiety, panic, violent behavior, and psychosis

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of abusing amphetamines can be; 

  • Weight loss 
  • Insomnia  
  • Cardiovascular complications 
  • Stroke 
  • Seizures 
  • Addiction 
  • Tremor and irritability 

Barbiturates

Brand names: Nembutal, Seconal, and Phenobarbital  

Street names: barbs, reds, phennies, yellows, yellow jackets 

Route of administration: injection and oral  

Effects of intoxication: the effects of barbiturates intoxication are; 

  • Reduction of pain and anxiety 
  • Feeling of well-being 
  • Lowered inhibitions 
  • Slowed pulse 
  • Labored breathing 
  • Hypotension 
  • Poor concentration 
  • Sedation 

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of barbiturates abuse can be;

  • Confusion 
  • Fatigue 
  • Impaired coordination, memory, and judgment 
  • Respiratory depression 
  • Addiction 
  • Depression  
  • Unusual excitement 
  • Fever 
  • CNS effects such as irritability, slurred speech, and dizziness 

Benzodiazepines

Brand names: Ativan, Librium, Valium, Xanax 

Street names: candy, downers, tranks, Xannies, Xannie bars 

Route of administration: oral  

Effects of intoxication: the effects of benzodiazepines intoxication are:  

  • Reduction of pain and anxiety 
  • A feeling of well-being 
  • Lowered inhibitions 
  • Slowed pulse 
  • Labored breathing 
  • Hypotension  
  • CNS effects such as poor concentration; sedation, and drowsiness

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of benzodiazepines drug abuse can be; 

  • Confusion 
  • Fatigue 
  • Impaired coordination, memory, and judgment; 
  • Respiratory depression 
  • Addiction 
  • Depression  
  • CNS effects such as irritability, slurred speech, and dizziness 

Bupropion

Brand names: Wellbutrin 

Street names: poor man’s cocaine 

Route of administration: oral  

Effects of intoxication: the effects of bupropion intoxication are; 

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Increased body temperature 
  • Increased mental alertness and feel euphoric 
  • Exhilarated and energetic

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of bupropion drug abuse are; 

  • Seizures 
  • Tachycardia or arrhythmias 
  • Loss of consciousness

Cocaine

Street name: Blow, bump, candy, coke, crack, rock, snow, toot 

Route of administration: injection, smoked, and snorted 

Effects of intoxication: the effects of cocaine intoxication are; 

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Increased body temperature 
  • Increased  metabolism and energy 
  • Increased mental alertness 
  • Tremors 
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety and panic 
  • Violent behavior and psychosis

Health consequences: the health consequences of cocaine drug abuse are; 

  • Weight loss 
  • Insomnia  
  • Cardiovascular complications, 
  • Stroke  
  • Seizures 
  • Addiction  
  • Nasal damage from snorting 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat 
  • Headaches  
  • Malnutrition 

top drugs of abuse

Codeine

Brand names: Fiorinal with codeine, Tylenol with codeine 

Street names: Captain Cody, schoolboy, loads, pancakes, and syrup 

Route of administration: injection and oral 

Effects of intoxication: the effects of codeine intoxication are; 

  • Pain relief 
  • Euphoria 
  • Drowsiness

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of codeine drug abuse are; 

  • Respiratory depression or arrest 
  • Nausea  
  • Confusion  
  • Constipation 
  • Sedation 
  • Unconsciousness or coma  
  • Tolerance and addiction 

Flunitrazepam

Brand name: Rohypnol 

Street name: forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, roofies, roofinol, rope, rophies 

Route of administration: oral and snorted 

Effects of intoxication: the effects of flunitrazepam intoxication are; 

  • Sedation 
  • Muscle relaxation 
  • Confusion and  memory loss 
  • Dizziness  
  • Impaired coordination 
  • Reduced pain and anxiety 
  • A feeling of well-being

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of flunitrazepam drug abuse are; 

Gabapentin

Brand name: Lyrica, Neurontin 

Street name: gabbie 

Route of administration: oral  

Effects of intoxication: the effects of gabapentin intoxication are:

  • Self-treatment of alcohol, cocaine, or opioid craving 
  • Euphoria and relaxation

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of gabapentin drug abuse are:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Double vision 
  • Drowsiness and lethargy 
  • Slurred speech 

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate or GHB

Street names: Georgia home boy, grievous bodily harm, 

liquid ecstasy, goop, liquid X 

Route of administration: oral  

Effects of intoxication: the intoxication effects of GHB are:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Nausea and headache 
  • Disorientation 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Memory loss

Health consequences: the potential health effects of GHB drug abuse are:

  • Unconsciousness 
  • Seizures  
  • Coma  
  • Confusion 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Headache 

Heroin

Street names: Smack, brown sugar, dope, junk, white horse, China white 

Routes of administration: injection, smoked, and snorted 

Effects of intoxication: the effects of heroin intoxication are;

  • Euphoria 
  • Drowsiness and impaired coordination 
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion, 
  • Nausea  
  • Sedation 
  • A feeling of heaviness in the body 
  • Labored breathing

Health consequences: the potential health consequences of heroin drug abuse are; 

  • Constipation 
  • Confusion  
  • Sedation  
  • Respiratory depression  
  • Coma  
  • Addiction 

drugs of abuse

The Bottom Line

If you are a resident of the U.S., you have the right to bodily autonomy and in most cases, there are various employment opportunities that do not require any proof of vaccination.  

We strongly recommend that you do not seek, produce, or distribute fake vaccine cards – it is not only a danger to those around you, but it could cost you your career and so much more.  

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