Opioids

Effects
Opioids are a class of prescription medicines generally used to relieve pain by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain, creating a sense of well-being by reducing tension, anxiety and aggression. The main ingredient of prescription pain relievers is derived from the opium poppy plant, which is also the main ingredient in heroin. Because of the highly addictive nature of opioids, people can quite easily become dependent on the medicine and turn to heroin as a cheaper and more accessible alternative. Opioids can be swallowed, snorted or smoked as a powder, through a patch, or injected.

Brand Names
OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet, Lomotil, Kadian, Avinza, MS Contin, Duragesic, Darvon, Dilaudid, Demerol

Street Names
Aunti Emm, Big O, God’s Medicine, Happy Pills, Hilbilly heroin, Midnight Oil, Mira, Oxy, OC, Oxycotton, Percs, Vikes, Vikings

Sedatives

Effects
Sedatives, also referred to as depressants, suppress your central nervous system activity and make you tired, calm and lose inhibitions. These drugs are often prescribed to help people with anxiety, sleep disorders or seizures. There are two major types of sedatives known as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Medically, barbiturates (a.k.a. sleeping pills) are prescribed for acute anxiety, tension and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines (a.k.a. tranquilizers) are prescribed for anxiety, acute stress reactions and panic attacks. Most of these drugs are used legitimately for pain relief, as anesthesia, or in the treatment of psychological issues. When misused, tolerance and dependence can result in seizures and overdose, especially when paired with alcohol or other prescription drugs. Sedatives can be swallowed or injected.

Brand Names
Valium, Librium, Xanax, Halcion, ProSom, Nembutal, Quaalude, Seconal

Street Names
Bennies, Benzos, Downers, Sleeping pills, Footballs, Candy, Xannies, Xanbars

Stimulants

Effects
A stimulant is a drug that excites your central nervous system, resulting in a rise in alertness, attention, energy, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Stimulants are most commonly prescribed to people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to help settle their brains and allow them to focus. For those who don’t have medical conditions that warrant these drugs, stimulants often have the opposite effect, including increased energy, exhilaration and the inability to sleep. Despite their hype as “study drugs,” increasing evidence shows that misusing stimulants is associated with lower odds of obtaining a college degree. They can also cause anxiety, depression, irritability, suicidal ideation and extreme loss of appetite. Stimulants are also highly addictive as dependence and painful withdrawals are common. Stimulants can be swallowed, snorted as powder, or injected.

Brand Names
Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Concerta

Street Names
Cat, Crank, Flake, Pellets, R-Ball, Skippy, Snow, Speed, Study drugs, Uppers, Vitamin R

Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines

Effects
Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines include cough syrups and capsules containing dextromethorphan (DXM). These OTC cough medicines are safe for stopping coughs during a cold if you take them as directed. Taking more than the recommended amount can produce euphoria (a relaxed pleasurable feeling) but also dissociative (like you are detached from your body) or even hallucinogenic (distorted perceptions of reality) effects. Misuse can result in loss of coordination, numbness, stomachaches, increased heart rate and lack of oxygen in rare cases causing permanent brain damage. Promethazine-codeine cough syrup contains the opioid codeine, which stops coughs, but when taken in higher doses produces a euphoric, calming feeling. It also can slow heart and breathing rates to dangerously low, even deadly, levels.

Brand Names
Alka Seltzer Plus™, Comtrex™, Coricidin™, Delsym™, Dimetapp™, Mucinex DM™, Pediacare™, Robitussin™, Theraflu™, Triaminic™, Tylenol Cough & Cold™, Vicks DayQuil™/NyQuil™, Vicks Formula 44™ and many more.

Street Names
Candy, Dex, Drank, Lean, Robo, Robotripping, Skittles, Triple C, Tussin, Velvet