Commonly Abused Drugs Guide | Harbor Village of Miami Florida - Harbor Village


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See our glossary of drugs

  • Acamprosate: 

    Also referred to by it’s brand name, Campral, acamprosate is a drug used for the treatment of dependence to alcohol and benzodiazepines. This drug does not treat symptoms of withdrawal, however it assists in helping individuals avoid using alcohol and benzodiazepines.

  • Adderall:: 

    Adderall is a prescription drug composed of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The two ingredients combined stimulates the central nervous system, influencing brain chemicals that induce hyperactivity and impulsivity. Adderall is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • Alcohol: : 

    Also called ethyl alcohol, alcohol is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine and liquor the substance is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol consumption is socially acceptable, however consuming alcohol in excessive amounts equates to abuse and chronic drinking.

  • Alprazolam: 

    Most commonly referred to by it’s brand name Xanax, Alprazolam is a central nervous system depressant that has the power to limit irregular excitement within the brain. This drug is primarily used to treat anxiety, anxiety related problems and panic attacks.

  • Amobarbital:: 

    Also known as sodium amytal, Amobarbital is a barbiturate derived drug that has sedative and hypnotic properties. This drug is found in the form of an odorless and bitter, white crystalline powder. This drug is typically used as a short term treatment for issues related to insomnia and anxiety.

  • Amphetamine: : 

    A psychoactive stimulant drug that stimulates the central nervous system and suppresses the appetite, amphetamine is commonly used to treat issues associated with narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Amphetamine enhances the release of certain brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

  • Barbiturates: A derivative of barbituric acid, barbiturates are used to suppress the central nervous system. Barbiturates are classified as depressants for their sedative properties, causing the onset of drowsiness in its users. This drug is generally used as an anesthetic in surgery, an anticonvulsant, a remedy for insomnia, and treatment for migraine headaches.
  • Bath Salts: Bath Salts are a group of psychoactive designer drugs containing synthetic chemicals derived from cathinone, usually found in a crystal-like form, Bath Salts produce a hallucinogenic “high,” causing a state of severe intoxication in it’s users. Bath salts are stimulant drugs with a similar “high” and effects of other stimulant drugs such as MDMA and methamphetamine.
  • Benzodiazepine: Also referred to as “Benzos,” benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs which enhances the neurotransmitter GABA, resulting in sedative, hypnotic, anti anxiety, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. Benzodiazepines have many medical uses, generally they’re used for issues such as anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. Benzos are also used during detox to treat withdrawal symptoms. Commonly most used benzodiazepines range from Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.
  • Buprenorphine: is an opioid medication primarily used to treat opioid addiction and the pain associated with withdrawal symptom. Generally buprenorphine is administered as a tablet, and it’s most commonly recognized by it’s brand names including Suboxone, Subutex, Buprenex, and Butrans.
  • Butalbital: Butalbital is a barbiturate drug which is primarily used to ease anxiety and induce relaxation. It is commonly combined with other drugs, such as acetaminophen, to treat moderate to severe headaches.
  • Cannabis: The plant responsible for marijuana, Hashish, the synthesis of synthetic K2 and other cannabinoids. Cannabis is the plant where Mariana comes from. The substance is addictive, and causes long term anxiety disorders with continued abuse.
  • Cholordiazepoxide is classified as a sedative and hypnotic drug, as well as a benzodiazepine. Chlordiazepoxide is generally used for the short term treatment of anxiety, as well as treatment to manage acute symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol.
  • Clonazepam: Also referred to as it’s trade name Klonopin, is a benzodiazepine drug which is a sedative and hypnotic, it’s properties can be used to medically treat anxiety and panic disorders, epileptic seizures, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It’s sedative and hypnotic properties make clonazepam a muscle relaxant.
  • Cocaine: Commonly referred to as “coke,” cocaine is an addictive and illicit stimulant drug. It is a derivative of the coca plant, usually in the form of a white salt-like powder. Cocaine is one of the most recreationally used illicit drugs, it is also one of the hardest drugs to recover from using.
  • Codeine: is a narcotic pain reliever and cough suppressant used to medically treat mild to severe pain and to suppress coughs. This drug is commonly found in the form of a tablet or syrup. Codeine has been widely and illegally used, especially as the syrup component in “purple drank” or “lean.”
  • Crack Cocaine: also known as free base cocaine or “crack,” is an illicit and addictive stimulant drug which produces an immediate high inducing intense feelings of euphoria. This drug is commonly smoked, injected or snorted and can cause addiction after the first use. Crack cocaine addictions are one of the hardest to treat.
  • Designer Drugs: a group of psychoactive drugs that are created as a synthetic version of a controlled substance to mimic its effects; designer drugs are synthesized in a manner so they aren’t classified as illegal. Popular designer drugs include flakka, bath salts, synthetic marijuana (K2), ecstasy and ketamine.
  • Dextroamphetamine: most commonly recognized by the brand names Dexedrine or Dextrostat, is a central nervous stimulant drug. This drug is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy in adults.
  • Dextromethorphan: also referred to as DXM, is an antitussive drug which is primarily used to suppress coughs. Commonly found in many over-the-counter cough syrups.
  • Diazepam: also commonly referred to as it’s brand name Valium, is a benzodiazepine drug which is a central nervous system depressant. This drug is commonly used to treat conditions such as anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Disulfiram: also referred to as its brand names Antabuse or Antabus, is a drug primarily used to treat chronic alcoholism. This drug has the capabilities to produce a sensitivity to alcohol as well as blocking alcohol from being processed in the body. Disulfiram causes the body to have a negative reaction to alcohol, causing the onset of symptoms typically experienced during a hangover such as headache, vomiting, and chest pains.
  • Ephedrine: A stimulant drug responsible for cardiovascular problems with untreated substance use disorders.
  • Fentanyl: also recognized by it’s brand names Sublimaze and Actiq, is a powerful narcotic pain medication, more potent than heroin and morphine. This drug is primarily used to treat severe pain, as an anesthetic and sometimes administered to cancer patients.
  • Flakka: Known as Alpa-PHP, flakka is wreaking havoc in South Florida, and induces its users with superhuman strength. The highly addictive substance prompts heightened delirium, making users particularly aggressive and prone to hallucinations.
  • GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate): A central nervous system depressant, GHB is commonly known as a “date rape drug” and is slipped into unattended alcoholic drinks; the effects of GHB include euphoria, augmented libido, and feelings of peace.
  • Halcion (brand name: Triazolam): A benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia, halcion is a depressant, and induces drowsiness. Users who abuse the substance, which is not recommended for use more than ten days, report performing activities like operating a vehicle or engaging in intimate behavior without being conscious.
  • Hashish (Hash): A derivative of the cannabis plant, hash is more potent than marijuana, as the substance is comprised from a concentration of the most potent part of the cannabis plant with the most THC. The substance typically appears as a resin or oil.
  • Heroin: One of the most commonly abused opiates, heroin is an addictive substance which develops physical and psychological dependence quickly; because one’s tolerance levels begin to establish themselves after the first use. Many heroin addicts begin experimenting with heroin after becoming addicted to prescription opiate painkillers.
  • Hydrocodone (brand name: hydrocet): A narcotic painkiller, hydrocodone is a depressant which can cause problems with respiratory functioning. Hydrocodone may become addictive, even when adhered to the prescription recommendation. Derived from morphine, hydrocodone use poses risk of overdose.
  • Hydromorphone: commonly recognized by the brand names Diluadid and Palladone, is an opioid narcotic drug which is a derivative of morphine. This drug is primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain in hospital settings.
  • Inhalants: Substances which can be inhaled by means of sniffing, or huffing. Many teenagers experiment with inhalants because they are readily available around most homes, including air freshener, acetone, and gasoline. Sudden sniffing death syndrome may occur with continued abuse. Inhalants can become psychologically addictive. All inhalants have the potential to cause irrevocable brain damage.
    • Gasoline: Typically abused by teenagers and young adults, gasoline huffing is typically the result of strained depressive emotions. Users typically huff gasoline from a plastic bag or cloth.
    • Nail Polish Remover: Because of its ease of availability, nail polish remover is often huffed with the use of a cloth or plastic bag, similarly to gasoline.
    • Aerosols: Any substance which sprays out of a can has the potential to be abused, including whipped cream cans, air fresheners, and spraypaint. Long term use of aerosol abuse results in muscle weakness, brain damage, and permanent damage to the liver and kidneys.
  • Kadian: A time lapse medication for chronic pain, Kadian is an opiate pain reliever with a high threshold for abuse and addiction. Typically used in a hospital setting, trauma patients are treated with the potent opiate to lessen serious injuries.
  • Kapanol: An opiate painkiller, derived from morphine, kapanol addiction cases are less reported than other opiate prescription medications like vicodin. When abused out of context of recommended dosage methods and allowance, addiction is probable.
  • Ketamine (special k): A Hallucinogen, Ketamine is referred to as a date rape drug because its depressive effects make one’s ability to move impaired, and may make it impossible for one under its effects to escape harmful and dangerous situations.
  • Klonopin: Used to treat seizures, anxiety, and panic attacks, klonopin’s benzodiazepine properties make the substance the object of addiction, and cause many users to suffer from hallucinations. Many users of the substance report feeling at ease, due to the substance’s effect on the brain. Klonopin slows the brain’s cognition functionality considerably and depresses the central nervous system.
  • K2 (Spice): Synthetic marijuana is responsible for hospitalizations; K2/Spice was synthesized to mimic marijuana and causes many health conditions and co-occurring mental disorders similar to the cannabinoid drug it attempts to mimic.
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide): One of the most commonly abused hallucinogens, LSD addiction may cause permanent brain damage and forces those with LSD use disorders to develop many psychological disorders.
  • Librium: A useful medication for treating anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and sometimes used in alcohol detox, Librium is only intended for short time use and establishes physical dependence thereafter. Mental and emotional dissociation is a mark of addiction and abuse of the substance.
  • Lorazepem: Also referred to as it’s brand names Ativan or Orfidal, is a strong anti anxiety prescription medication that sedates brain activity. This drug is commonly used to treat issues associated with anxiety, insomnia, and acute seizures. Lorazepram is also most commonly used to treat individuals who have overdosed on stimulant drugs.
  • Luminal (phenobarbital): When used as intended, luminal is not addictive and is used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, many phobias, and seizures. Luminal takes longer than some addictive substances to create a physical dependence to the drug; many users report feeling euphoria on their first use of the substance.
  • Marijuana: derived from the hemp plant cannabis sativa, commonly referred to as weed, pot, ganja or Mary Jane. This drug contains the chemical THC, is a mind altering chemical that distorts the mind’s perception of reality. Marijuana is commonly smoked, brewed as a tea, or mixed into foods making it edible. Marijuana is one of the most widely used illicit drugs.
  • MDMA: also recognized by it’s street names Ecstasy and Molly, is a synthetic psychoactive or designer drug that causes its users to experience feelings such as euphoria and enhanced energy. MDMA is usually found in powder form, in capsules or tablets.
  • Meldonium: also known as Mildronate, is an anti-ischemic drug used to treat heart conditions which affect blood flow throughout the body, such as heart failure or angina.
  • Meperidine: is most commonly recognized by it’s brand name Demerol. Meperidine is an opiate pain reliever that is most commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain.
  • Mescaline: A powerful hallucinogen from the early 16th century, mescaline is a hallucinogen which may be chewed, mixed in an beverage, swallowed, or injected. Hallucinations include auditory, visual, and sensory.
  • Methadone: Used in medically assisted drug treatment for opiate addiction recovery, methadone helps heroin and opiate addicts live out their lives normally while they attend recovery, without the high of other opiates induce.
  • Methamphetamine (methadrine): commonly referred to as meth or crystal meth, is an illicit and addictive stimulant drug commonly found in the white crystalline form. Meth is typically smoked, snorted, or injected by a needle.
  • Methaqualone: most commonly referred to as it’s brand name Quaalude, is a sedative hypnotic drug that depresses the central nervous system. This drug is primarily used to treat insomnia and induce muscle relaxation.
  • Morphine: an opiate analgesic drug which is a derivative of opium, Morphine acts directly within the central nervous system to treat pain. Morphine is primarily used in medical settings to treat acute and chronic to severe pain. Morphine has a very high potential for addiction, tolerance, and dependency.
  • Mushrooms: are psilocybin mushrooms which contain psilocybin and psilocin, which are used recreationally for their psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects.
  • Naltrexone: also commonly referred to as it’s brand name Depade or Revia, is an opioid receptor antagonist, which is primarily used to treat alcohol or opioid dependence. This drug works within the brain to help prevent opioid use and also blunts the effects of opioids. Naltrexone is commonly used during detox treatments.
  • Nembutal (pentobarbital): Used in medicine to alleviate intracranial pressure, remedy insomnia, and induce comas, nembutal is commonly abused for its depressant effects. Nembutal is a barbiturate.
  • Opium: Opium is the plant heroin and morphine are derived from. The substance is physically and psychologically addictive. In Asian countries, opium abuse was once a rife social problem.
  • Oramorph: An opiate based pain medication, oramorph is prescribed by medical professionals to those who require 24 hour pain management. The substance is a schedule II narcotic and poses a dire threat to physical and psychological dependence.
  • OxyContin (generic name: oxycodone): An opiate narcotic drug, Oxycontin is very addictive, and is often a gateway drug to heroin. The substance is prescribed to those who are expected to manage pain for a long period of time. Addiction and overdose are common among those who abuse the medication outside of the prescribed guidelines.
  • PCP (phencyclidine): A Hallucinogen, PCP is one of the most commonly abused drugs giving rise to auditory, tactile, and visual hallucinations. Extended abuse of PCP causes permanent damage to neurotransmitters.
  • Palladone: Palladone is an opiate pain reliever intended for those with continuous pain- however, the FDA removed it from the market in 2005 in response to its potential for danger to those prescribed it. Dose-dumping was the FDA’s main concern, which is when the medication is rapidly released into the bloodstream, causing overdose.
  • Percocet (percs): A schedule II narcotic, percocet is a combination medication of the opiate oxycodone and acetaminophen. Percocet is highly addictive and is typically prescribed to help manage moderate to severe pain.
  • Percodan: A mixture of oxycodone and aspirin, percodan is an opiate pain medication, which has a high potential for abuse, and is a Schedule II drug.
  • Peyote: A hallucinogen derived from a cactus, peyote causes those who abuse it to experience hallucinations. Those who continue to abuse the substance are at risk for incurring permanent brain damage and anxiety disorders.
  • Phenazepam: A benzodiazepine which is notorious for causing those who abuse the substance to overdose, which can be fatal. Phenazepam is a depressant, which helps users relax and feel at ease. Many who abuse the potent prescription drug suffer from untreated anxiety disorders, or other similar conditions causing increased emotional unrest.
  • Ritalin: is the brand name for the drug methylphenidate, and is a central nervous system stimulant; Ritalin alters the chemicals in the brain and nerves which contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Ritalin is primarily used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Its effects can increase one’s ability to pay attention, stay focused on a task, and control behavioral issues.
  • Rohypnol: also commonly referred to as “roofies” or the “date rape drug,” Rohypnol is an intermediate acting benzodiazepine with similar effects to those of diazepam. The drug slows the central nervous system causing various effects such as exhaustion, sedation, confusion, impaired judgement, coordination and memory. Rohypnol causes it’s user to become physically and psychologically incapacitated, forcing the individual to be incapable of moving or thinking – which can be attributed to why Rohypnol is commonly used in sexual assault offenses.
  • Secobarbital Sodium: also recognized by it’s brand name Seconal, Secobarbital Sodium is a barbiturate drug which depresses the central nervous system causing the onset of mild sedation or sleep. This drug is primarily used to treat sleeping disorders and is a sedative to produce anesthesia.
  • Speed: a derivative of methamphetamine which is mixed with other chemicals to produce a feeling of “speeding up,” speed is a stimulant drug producing feelings of being “up” and causes its users to experience a state of euphoria. This drug is commonly found in powder form and is smoked, snorted, orally ingested, or injected intravenously.
  • Tramadol: also recognized by it’s brand name Ryzolt, is an opioid painkiller which is primarily used to treat moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. This drug is commonly used to relieve pain symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Triazolam (Halcion): a benzodiazepine drug which depresses the central nervous system to cause the onset of drowsiness. This drug is primarily used to treat sleeping conditions such as insomnia.
  • Vicodin: a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, these two medications create a narcotic pain reliever that is primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain.
  • Vicoprofen: a combination of vicodin and ibuprofen, Vicoprofen is a narcotic painkiller which is used short term to treat severe pain.
  • Xodol: a combination of the painkillers hydrocodone and acetaminophen, acetaminophen increases the effects of hydrocodone. As a combination these two create a narcotic pain medication which is generally used to relieve moderate to severe symptoms of pain.
  • Xanax: Xanax is typically prescribed to help those with chronic anxiety function normally, but Xanax has become a popular abused drug. Users enjoy the depressant because they feel relaxed, but may end up developing permanent anxiety disorders.
  • Zolpiderm: most commonly recognized by it’s brand name Ambien, is a sedative hypnotic drug that is prescribed to treat sleep related problems such as insomnia. Zolpiderm is usually administered as a pill or spray, and is used to make individuals feel relaxed, comfortable and sleepy.

Why are Drugs Harmful?

When used as prescribed by a medical doctor, many drugs and pharmaceuticals are safe to use within the prescribed dose, if taken with exact instructions. In fact, many medications allow us to recover from disease and afflictions we would not otherwise be able to function with. However, many drugs are addictive, and cause life long problems for millions throughout the entire united states. Drug addiction is not an individual problem, because addiction affects families, communities, and even the criminal justice system.

Drugs are harmful when they make the people who take them physically and mentally dependent on them. Eventually if drug use disorders- also known as drug addiction- is not treated promptly drugs can cause serious, permanent physical and mental damage. Many drugs permanently effect the way our brains work, and create lasting disorders and conditions many struggle with for the rest of their lives. Treating drug addiction is a national social problem, and one which is associate with negative connotations- because drug addiction is sometimes incorrectly thought as a “choice.”

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is the condition caused by addictive substances- meaning that one is physically and psychologically addicted to a particular addictive substance. Those who are physically addicted to drugs must continue to take their substance of choice, even if it forces them to make poor decisions, and aids the the detriment of the professional, personal, and academic lives. Many people suffering from drug addiction don’t get the help they need in time before they overdose- which can be fatal. In recent years drug overdose around the States have continued to rise as more and more people become addicted, and do not get treatment.

Identifying drug addiction initially can be hard to tell, but once someone is in the full swing of addiction he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms after abstaining from their substance of choice for even a couple of hours. You can recognize withdrawal immediately because someone going through withdrawal will seem to turn into a completely different person, and will exhibits signs of sickness, like shaking, profuse sweating, or delirium.

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What Can I Do to Prevent Drug Addiction?

To prevent you or your loved ones from developing drug use disorders only take medications your doctor has prescribed you, and make sure you follow his or her instructions to the mainletter! Taking more of a drug will almost always predispose you for developing an addiction to it. If you feel like you need to up your dosage of medication its important to talk it over with your doctor- who may have other options for you to try before increasing your dose of a potentially addictive substance.

You can also abstain from experimenting with drugs like marijuana and alcohol, which have been proven to make one more open to trying different drugs. Abstinence is always key to preventing drug addiction. Perhaps the most effective way to prevent drug addiction is to learn all you can about the disease. Watch documentaries and read books about all of the adverse effects addiction creates. Those who suffer from addiction today would go back and never take their first hit of an addictive substance if they had to chance of a do-over.

When Should I get Help for Drug Addiction?

If you’ve already started experimenting with an addictive substance it’s imperative you get help right away to avoid developing a chronic drug addiction. Call Harbor Village right now to get immediate help for you or a loved one you may suspect to be struggling with drug addiction.

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