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How much do you know about commonly abused drugs?

Learn more about abused drugs with Mobile health's guide below.

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abused drugs

Below is a list of commonly abused drugs with their street names, drug type, method of ingestion, desired effects and side effects, and drug schedule classification.

A drug schedule classification is defined by:

“..Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse…” http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml

Information has been compiled from a variety of authority sources including www.webmd.com, www.drugabuse.gov, www.Wikipedia.org, www.drugs.com, www.dea.gov, and www.everydayhealth.com.

Commonly Abused Drugs

Drug Name: Adderall

Street Names: amps, bennies, ralls, speed, black beauties, dexies, uppers, beans
Type of Drug: Amphetamine & Dextroamphetamine
How Taken: swallowed, snorted.
Appearance: white circle or blue ellipse
Desired Effect (why people take it): to increase focus, to combat adhd, to stay awake
Possible Side Effects: bladder pain, various urination and kidney problems, fever, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, loss of strength, dry mouth, weight loss
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Amphetamine (Brands include Adderall, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, more)

Street Names: speed, uppers, benz, hearts, pep pills
Type of Drug: Stimulant
How Taken: swallowed, snorted, smoked, injected
Appearance: pill form, powder, more
Desired Effect (why people take it): euphoria, increase wakefulness, cognitive stimulant, aphrodisiac
Possible Side Effects: increased heart rate, hypertension, reduced blood flow, dry mouth, grinding of teeth, seizures, sweating, various urinary problems
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I + Schedule II


Drug Name: Barbiturates (Brands include Nembutal, Luminal, Seconal, more)

Street Names: downers, barbs, yellow jackets, red dolls, rainbows
Type of Drug: sedative
How Taken: injected, swallowed
Appearance: typically pill form
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used for treatment of headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Recreationally taken for relaxation and euphoric effects.
Possible Side Effects: slurred speech, loss of inhibitions, drowsiness, eye tics
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II + Schedule III


Drug Name: Benzodiazepines (Brands include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien)

Street Names: benzos, downers, goofballs, tranx, bzds
Type of Drug: sedative
How Taken: swallowed
Appearance: typically pill form
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used for treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. Recreationally taken for relaxation.
Possible Side Effects: fatigue, confusion, dizziness, lowered coordination, depression, vision problems
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule IV


Drug Name: Cocaine

Street Names: blow, coke, rock, snow, bump
Type of Drug: stimulant
How Taken: Snorted, smoked, injected, swallowed.
Appearance: typically white powder, but crack is a waxy white/yellow/grey solid
Desired Effect (why people take it): feeling of euphoria, increased energy, increased confidence
Possible Side Effects: tremors, convulsions, elevated body temperature, cardiac arrest, death
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Codeine

Street Names: Cody, Captain Cody, T-3s, purple drank
Type of Drug: Opiate
How Taken: swallowed, injected
Appearance: typically purple syrup
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used to treat pain and relieve cough. Recreationally used for relaxation and euphoria.
Possible Side Effects: fatigue, constipation, vomiting, depression, seizure, inability to breathe
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule III


Drug Name: Ecstasy

Street Names: X, E, smartees, Malcolm, candy
Type of Drug: Stimulant/MDMA
How Taken: swallowed, snorted
Appearance: variety of colorful pills of many shapes
Desired Effect (why people take it): emotional warmth, general feeling of well-being, mental stimulation
Possible Side Effects: impaired judgment, chills, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, depression, brain damage, psychosis
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Heroin

Street Names: smack, H, skunk, brown sugar, junk
Type of Drug: opiate
How Taken: injected, smoked, snorted
Appearance: in pure form, it’s a fine white power, but when cut, it’s gray, brown, or even black
Desired Effect (why people take it): rush of sensation, increased pleasure
Possible Side Effects: tooth decay, cold sweats, itching, weakened immune system, loss of memory, loss of intellectual ability, loss of appetite, depression, heavily impaired breathing, coma
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Hydrocodone (Brand names: Vicodin, Lorcet, Xodol, more)

Street Names: vikes, hydro
Type of Drug: opioid pain reliever
How Taken: chewed, swallowed, snorted, injected, suppositories
Appearance: white or yellow oval pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used as a painkiller. Recreationally used for its numbing effects, warming of the stomach/cooling in the lungs, and relaxation/euphoria.
Possible Side Effects: fuzzy thinking, anxiety, mood swings, chest tightness, vomiting, hearing loss
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule III


Drug Name: K2

Street Names: spice, blaze, black mamba, genie, Bombay blue
Type of Drug: synthetic marijuana
How Taken: smoked
Appearance: looks as much like potpourri as it does marijuana
Desired Effect (why people take it): euphoria, relaxation
Possible Side Effects: agitation, elevated heart rate, seizures, vomiting, paranoia, psychotic symptoms
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Ketamine

Street Names: special k, vitamin k, super k, lady k, kit kat
Type of Drug: sedative
How Taken: injected, snorted, smoked
Appearance: generally white crystals/shards
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used for anesthesia purposes. Recreationally taken for hallucinations.
Possible Side Effects: confusion, agitation, tremors, spasms, delirium
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule III


Drug Name: LSD

Street Names: acid, cid, trips, tabs, blotters
Type of Drug: Hallucinogen
How Taken: swallowed, absorbed orally
Appearance: LSD is usually a clear liquid or gel colored by the blotter paper it’s served on
Desired Effect (why people take it): altered thinking processes, hallucinations, altered sense of time
Possible Side Effects: Anxiety, paranoia, delusions, confusion
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Marijuana

Street Names: pot, ganja, dope, grass, reefer
Type of Drug: Cannabinoid
How Taken: smoked, swallowed
Appearance: green & brown mixture of dried leaves/stems/seeds/flowers
Desired Effect (why people take it): euphoria, relaxation, anti-nausea
Possible Side Effects: sleepiness, short term memory impairment
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: MDMA

Street Names: molly, hug, clarity, adam
Type of Drug: amphetamine & hallucinogen
How Taken: swallowed, snorted, injected
Appearance: white/yellow/brown crystals
Desired Effect (why people take it): emotional warmth, general feeling of well-being, mental stimulation
Possible Side Effects: impaired judgment, chills, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, depression, brain damage, psychosis
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Methadone

Street Names: wafers, fizzies, dose, salvia, juice
Type of Drug: opiate
How Taken: swallowed, injected
Appearance: in liquid form typically red or orange
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used as a maintenance treatment for heroin addiction. Recreationally used to simulate heroin or other opiates.
Possible Side Effects: sedation, bowel issues, sweating, weakness, fatigue, confusion, headache, anorexia, urinary issues, anxiety, sudden death
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Methamphetamine

Street Names: speed, crank, tweak, wash, brown
Type of Drug: Stimulant
How Taken: swallowed, snorted, smoked, injected
Appearance: powder, colored crystals, pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): increase sex drive, lift mood, increase energy
Possible Side Effects: tooth decay, irregular heartbeat, sweating, rapid breathing, psychosis, suicide, depression, cerebral hemorrhage
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Methaqualone (brand name: Quaalude)

Street Names: ludes, furies, soap, disco biscuits, quacks
Type of Drug: sedative
How Taken: swallowed
Appearance: white circular pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): used as a sedative, muscle relaxant, aphrodisiac
Possible Side Effects: drowsiness, reduced heat rate, numbness, delirium, kidney failure, coma, death
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Morphine

Street Names: M, morph, drone, monkey, aunti em
Type of Drug: opioid pain reliever
How Taken: injected, swallowed, smoked
Appearance: pill, liquid
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used to treat severe pain. Recreationally used for relaxation & euphoria.
Possible Side Effects: stomach pain, blurred vision, headache, weakness, pounding in ears, fainting
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Opium

Street Names: ope, dream stick, gee, gondola, gum
Type of Drug: opiate
How Taken: swallowed, smoked
Appearance: brown or black block of tar-like powder
Desired Effect (why people take it): feelings of well-being, feelings of relaxation, euphoria
Possible Side Effects: red eyes, loss of interest in personal appearance, depression, persistent cough, mood swings
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Oxycodone (Brand names: Oxycontin, Percocet, Roxicodone, more)

Street Names: blue, kicker, OC, O, oxy
Type of Drug: opioid pain reliever
How Taken: chewed, swallowed, snorted, injected, suppositories
Appearance: typically a circular white pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): ): Medically used as a painkiller. Recreationally used for its numbing effects, warming of the stomach/cooling in the lungs, and relaxation/euphoria.
Possible Side Effects: fuzzy thinking, anxiety, mood swings, chest tightness, vomiting, hearing loss
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Phencylcidine (PCP)

Street Names: angel dust, hog, wack, dust, rocket fuel
Type of Drug: hallucinogen
How Taken: snorted, smoked, injected, swallowed
Appearance: typically a white powder
Desired Effect (why people take it): feelings of euphoria and disassociation
Possible Side Effects: staggering, loss of balance, slurred speech, convulsions, paranoia, rage, amnesia, delusions
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Propoxyphene (Darvon)

Street Names: pinks, footballs, pink footballs
Type of Drug: opioid pain reliever
How Taken: chewed, swallowed, snorted, injected, suppositories
Appearance: like a pink football
Desired Effect (why people take it): ): Medically used as a painkiller. Recreationally used for its numbing effects, warming of the stomach/cooling in the lungs, and relaxation/euphoria.
Possible Side Effects: fuzzy thinking, anxiety, mood swings, chest tightness, vomiting, hearing loss
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule IV


Drug Name: Psilocybin

Street Names: shrooms, mushrooms, magic mushrooms
Type of Drug: Hallucinogen
How Taken: swallowed
Appearance: brown and white mushroom
Desired Effect (why people take it): psychedelic effects, sensory effects, feeling of well-being
Possible Side Effects: anxiety, fear, paranoia
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Ritalin

Street Names: rids, vitamin r, diet coke, skittles, smarties
Type of Drug: stimulant
How Taken: swallowed, snorted
Appearance: yellow, green, or whit circular pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): Medically used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. Recreationally taken to increase focus and stay awake.
Possible Side Effects: stomach pain, elevated heart rate, faintness, aggression, easy bruising, sweating, paranoia
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule II


Drug Name: Synthetic Cathinones

Street Names: bath salts
Type of Drug: synthetic stimulant/amphetamine
How Taken: swallowed, snorted, injected
Appearance: slightly yellow powder
Desired Effect (why people take it): feeling of euphoria, increased energy, increased confidence
Possible Side Effects: agitation, heart problems, malnutrition, psychosis, sense of unreality, ulcers, delirium, self-mutilation, hallucinations
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule I


Drug Name: Valium

Street Names: v’s, foofoo, howards, tranks, yellow v’s
Type of Drug: benzodiazepine
How Taken: swallowed
Appearance: small round yellow or blue pill
Desired Effect (why people take it): Anti-anxiety, relaxation
Possible Side Effects: fatigue, slurred speech, lack of coordination, difficulty speaking/concentrating/remembering, general weakness, decreased libido, difficulty breathing
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule IV


Drug Name: Xanax

Street Names: zanies, benzos, zanbars, z-bars, blue footballs
Type of Drug: benzodiazepine
How Taken: swallowed
Appearance: white, orange, or blue.. rectangle/hexagon/oval
Desired Effect (why people take it): Anti-anxiety, relaxation
Possible Side Effects: fatigue, slurred speech, lack of coordination, difficulty speaking/concentrating/remembering, general weakness, decreased libido, difficulty breathing
Controlled Substance Schedule: Schedule IV