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Other Drugs

What Do We Mean by ‘Other Drugs?’

There are thousands of other drugs your children may encounter. Some are legal while others are illegal. Many are designed to help someone feel better or deal with a condition, but, like all drugs, they can be very harmful if taken in large quantities.

Below is a list of some of the more commonly abused and/or misused drugs found in our world today, and a few details about each.


Street names:
Bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers1

How they’re used:
Swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected1

Amphetamines stimulate processes in the body. While they can boost attention and energy, they also raise blood pressure and make hearts beat faster. They can cause tremors, anxiety and irritability. They can reduce appetite and even lead to panic, paranoia, violent behavior and psychosis. The risks that accompany amphetamines include weight loss, insomnia, cardiac or cardiovascular complications, stroke, seizures and addiction. 1,2


Street names:
Coke, Coca, C, snow, flake, blow, bump, candy, Charlie, rock and toot2

How it’s used:
Snorted, smoked or injected 1

Cocaine is another stimulant that has the same effects of amphetamines, but can also cause nasal damage from snorting it in its powder form. It is powerfully addictive. Crack is a form of cocaine that’s mixed with other chemicals and heated to produce a crystal that’s smoked. Cocaine causes a temporary feeling of intense pleasure and increased energy that wears off and leads to tired or sad feelings and cravings to take the drug again. Repeated usage can reduce a person’s ability to feel any pleasure at all. 1,2

Cough and Cold Medicine

Street names:
Robotripping, robo, tussin, triple c, dex, skittles, candy, velvet, drank2

How they’re used:
Drank, swallowed or snorted2

While millions consume them to deal with cold symptoms, cough and cold medicines have mind-altering ingredients when taken in high doses. Many over-the-counter cough syrups contain dextromethorphan (DMX), which can produce euphoric or dissociative feelings, like you’re separated from your body. Promethazine-codeine cough syrups have codeine, which, when taken in high doses, can produce euphoria. Both can lead to serious health problems, lack of motivation and addiction. Other effects can include loss of coordination, numbness, nausea, increased blood pressure, increased or decreased heart rate and slowed breathing.2


Street names:
Molly, E, XTC, X, Adam, hug, beans, clarity, lover’s speed and love drug2

How it’s used:
Usually swallowed, also snorted2

A man-made drug with no medical benefits that creates stimulant and mild hallucinogenic effects. Can lead to increase tactile sensitivity, empathic feelings, lowered inhibition, anxiety, chills, sweating, teeth clenching and muscle cramping. Aftereffects can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and anxiety. Some studies have shown that heavy users have long-lasting problems, such as confusion, depression and problems with memory and attention.1,2


Street name:
Horse, smack, Big H, junk, black tar, brown sugar, dope and ska1,2

How it’s used:
Injected, smoked or snorted1

In the short-term, heroin creates a rush of good feelings and clouded thinking, sleepiness and decreased breathing and heart rate. Regular use creates strong addiction, higher tolerance and dependence. Over time, the possibility of overdose increases, which can result in death when breathing stops. Other effects include nausea and vomiting, itching, increased risk of HIV or hepatitis through shared needles, and coma.1,2

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)

Street names: Acid, blotter, cubes, microdot yellow sunshine, blue heaven1

How it’s used:
Swallowed or absorbed through mouth tissues1

LSD is a hallucinogen that leads to an altered state of perception and feeling, hallucinations and nausea. It will increase body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. It can lead to a loss of appetite, sweating, sleeplessness, numbness, dizziness, weakness, tremors, impulsive behavior and volatile emotions.1


Street names: Weed, pot, bud, grass, herb, Mary Jane, MJ, reefer, skunk, boom, gangster, chronic, ganja, dabs, trees, flowers, rigs, sap, globs, oil, 7:10, bhombs, torch, nails 1,2

How it's used: Smoked in joints, bongs, or through hollowed-out cigars called blunts. Also used in food.2

Can cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, slowed reaction time, distorted sensory perception, impaired balance and coordination, increased heart rate and appetite, impaired learning memory, anxiety, panic attacks and psychosis. Health risks include cough, frequent respiratory infections, possible mental health decline and addiction. 1,2

While the health effects of marijuana use are still being studied, current evidence shows that marijuana use among youth is unsafe. It's good to know what risks come with retail marijuana.


Street names:
Meth, ice, crank, chalk, crystal, fire, glass, go fast, speed1

How it’s used: Swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked1

Effects: Very addictive, methamphetamine quickly releases chemicals to the brain that create short-lived feelings of extreme pleasure. Other feelings can include being very awake and active, faster or irregular heartbeat, and higher blood pressure and body temperature. Meth users are at an increased risk of HIV/AIDS or hepatitis from unsafe sex and shared needles. Regular use can cause problems with movement and thinking. Long-term use can cause severe dental and skin problems that are very unsightly. It can also result in anxiety and confusion, sleeping problems, mood swings, violent behavior, psychosis and severe weight loss.1

To learn more about the details and effects of these drugs and others, visit DrugAbuse.gov.


National Institute on Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Abuse & Addiction. “Commonly Abused Drugs Chart,”
accessed 9/18/14.

NIDA for Teens. “The Science Behind Drug Abuse,”
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts; accessed 9/18/14.

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