Understanding the Street Names
of Drugs & Why You Need to
Know About Them

When someone you care about is using drugs, you may feel overwhelmed and in a constant state of confusion. Not only is it challenging to figure out what is going on and what you can do to help, but it is also difficult to know what drugs are being used and to comprehend the risks involved. There are so many varieties of drugs, and then you throw in the variety of names that are attributed to the same drug, and the swirling pile of confusion only grows. Sometimes, you may hear a term for a drug that you never previously heard of as it is considered to be a street name for the drug. If you do not know the street names of drugs, someone could be talking about them right in front of you without you knowing. That is why it is critical that you have the knowledge of the various names of drugs and the street names of drugs, as well. Knowledge is certainly power, so it is important to gather that knowledge so that you have the tools of understanding on your side.

With drug use on the rise and statistics showing that use has increased as a result of the pandemic, it is an issue that will affect most of us in one way or another. There are so many different types of drugs, and each kind comes with its own set of inherent risks and dangers. First, you have this growing list of drugs. Then, you have this list of names associated with each drug. All in all, it gets very confusing. If you do not have a knowledge of the street names used for certain drugs, you may feel further overwhelmed, which may have been the goal in dealers and users when concocting street names originally.

It has been said that, in fact, street names for drugs were most likely created initially to provide confusion for people of authority, such as parents and police. But, as the generations change and as social media expands, many of the slang names change along the way, too. Having an awareness about the names of drugs (including their slang names) is a key to knowing what is going on with your loved one. Street names have become a part of a culture of substance abuse and are aimed at sounding benign and thus, users hope, undetectable when discussed in conversation.

As we are beginning 2022, this article aims to provide a current list of street names for drugs and an explanation as to why you need to understand them. Of course, the names are often changing, as that is part of the goal of street names in the first place: to keep users’ discussions about drugs more undetectable. So, it is important that you continually research and try to stay on top of the growing list of street names. A current glossary is below. Yet, keep in mind that while some of these names stick around for generations (such as “weed” for marijuana), the list of street names is often changing. So, continue to do your research and prioritize staying on top of the most current trends in drug names.

Why Knowing Street Names of
Drugs Matters Now

Drug use amongst young adults and adults has been exploding in recent years. That means, sadly, that most of us will not escape unscathed: We most certainly will care deeply for someone who is misusing drugs. If that person is close to us and we are trying to help, we must arm ourselves with an abundance of knowledge. It is more important now than ever with drug use on the rise that we have a clear understanding of drugs, their slang names and their risks.

By using slang terms for drugs, many teens are able to talk with their friends openly about drugs, and the parents have no clue what is being discussed. Street names help divert attention. They can confuse family members, friends, teachers, and police. But if you know the street names and have a basic awareness, you are better able to recognize them in conversations. Street names can be looked at as a type of code that drug users and dealers use to keep their conversations about illegal drugs undetected.

Some drugs may even have the same street name because they have a similar makeup, making it all even more confusing. Also, the street names for drugs are not just used for illegal drugs like cocaine. They are used to refer to prescription drugs, which many people are misusing. These prescription drugs are even offered to teens online and through social media. It is no longer the case where people have to turn “to the streets” in order to acquire drugs. So, a child may be talking to a friend on social media about getting “Xannies,” while the parents have no idea that their child is trying to purchase benzodiazepines. Further, it is not just teens that we have to be concerned about in terms of using street names for drugs. Many adults regularly refer to drugs with slang terminology, as well. For example, if your loved one is talking to a buddy about getting some “snow,” it is critical that you know that it is cocaine that they are referencing.

The use of prescription drugs and illicit drugs continues to be on the rise. In the news, we are hearing more and more about the opioid crisis, as well. According to SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association, “The nation remains in a prescription and illicit opioids crisis, as 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S – the highest single year ever reported – in the 12 months ending in May 2020; most of the overdose deaths involved a prescription or illicit opioid.” This fact is startling, and it is just referencing opioids. There are many other drugs about which we need to be concerned.

This article aims to give you some updated knowledge on street names for drugs so you can at least start by knowing what your loved one is using. Further, it will arm you with details about the drugs’ history, effects on users, and signs of usage.

3 Classifications of Drugs

Stimulants Icon

Stimulants

Stimulants are a class of drugs that speed up messages that travel between the brain and the body. They affect the user by making them feel more awake and energized.

Depressants Icon

Depressants

Depressants are drugs that inhibit the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and are among the most widely used drugs in the world.

Hallucinogen Icon

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that alter perception, thoughts, and feelings. They cause hallucinations, or sensations and images that seem real, but they are not.

Stimulant Drugs

1. Cocaine

Street Names of Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Drug use amongst young adults and adults has been exploding in recent years. That means, sadly, that most of us will not escape unscathed: We most certainly will care deeply for someone who is misusing drugs. If that person is close to us and we are trying to help, we must arm ourselves with an abundance of knowledge. It is more important now than ever with drug use on the rise that we have a clear understanding of drugs, their slang names and their risks.

By using slang terms for drugs, many teens are able to talk with their friends openly about drugs, and the parents have no clue what is being discussed. Street names help divert attention. They can confuse family members, friends, teachers, and police. But if you know the street names and have a basic awareness, you are better able to recognize them in conversations. Street names can be looked at as a type of code that drug users and dealers use to keep their conversations about illegal drugs undetected.

Some drugs may even have the same street name because they have a similar makeup, making it all even more confusing. Also, the street names for drugs are not just used for illegal drugs like cocaine. They are used to refer to prescription drugs, which many people are misusing. These prescription drugs are even offered to teens online and through social media. It is no longer the case where people have to turn “to the streets” in order to acquire drugs. So, a child may be talking to a friend on social media about getting “Xannies,” while the parents have no idea that their child is trying to purchase benzodiazepines. Further, it is not just teens that we have to be concerned about in terms of using street names for drugs. Many adults regularly refer to drugs with slang terminology, as well. For example, if your loved one is talking to a buddy about getting some “snow,” it is critical that you know that it is cocaine that they are referencing.

The use of prescription drugs and illicit drugs continues to be on the rise. In the news, we are hearing more and more about the opioid crisis, as well. According to SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association, “The nation remains in a prescription and illicit opioids crisis, as 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S – the highest single year ever reported – in the 12 months ending in May 2020; most of the overdose deaths involved a prescription or illicit opioid.” This fact is startling, and it is just referencing opioids. There are many other drugs about which we need to be concerned.

This article aims to give you some updated knowledge on street names for drugs so you can at least start by knowing what your loved one is using. Further, it will arm you with details about the drugs’ history, effects on users, and signs of usage.

History of Cocaine

Thousands of years ago, cocaine was used in an effort to reduce hunger and pain. It was also used by indigenous groups who originally chewed coca leaves during religious ceremonies. In 1859, it was first isolated by a German chemist and later (in the 1880s) it became popular in th medical community. As a matter of fact, even Sigmund Freud promoted cocaine and referred to it as a “magical” substance. It gained more popularity, and even Coca-Cola used the coca leaves in its first liquid drinks. It was being considered as a miraculous drug and was used in many doctors’ tonics and prescriptions. 

It was not until 1914 when thousands of cocaine deaths were being reported, and the U.S. Government outlawed cocaine. Yet, that did not stop it from seeing a resurgence in the 1970s when it became “fashionable” to use again. During that time, Colombian drug traffickers set up an elaborate network to bring cocaine into the States. But, by the 1980s, it had the reputation of being extremely dangerous and addictive. That is also when crack cocaine, a crystallized form of cocaine, hit the market. It was a way for dealers to make more money as crack, which could be smoked, was more costly. And, by 2008, cocaine became the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world. 

It is a Schedule II substance in the United States, meaning the government has determined that it is easily abused and can cause dependence.

How Cocaine Works

By sending high levels of dopamine into your body, cocaine is able to impact the parts of the brain that control pleasure. This results in a feeling known as being “high,” which includes feelings of alertness, focus, and energy. Additionally, while using the drug, many may feel intense happiness, paranoia, decreased appetite, irritability, or extreme sensitivity to touch, sound, and sight. Cocaine does affect users differently though, depending on one’s size, health, other drugs taken, and the strength of the drug. Some experience feelings of confidence and great joy while others feel anxious and dizzy. 

Users who repeatedly experiment with cocaine may experience long-term effects such as heart disease, mood disorders, hallucinations, tremors, strokes, panic, chest pain, headaches, convulsions, and a loss of smell and/or nosebleeds. If users inject cocaine, they are at an increased risk of vein damage, overdose, hepatitis B or C, and HIV. Users also experience a need for more cocaine to keep the high going. Often, the drug is used in a binge type of way, meaning that the user needs to get and use as much cocaine as possible when using the drug. 

Rather quickly, the body adapts to the cocaine and more is needed in order for the user to receive the same feeling or the same high. This is the start of the addiction, and this is the danger that can lead to overdose. While greater amounts of cocaine are being used, the body becomes more dependent on the addictive substance. Further, while using, cocaine’s effects wear off rather quickly. The high from snorting cocaine, for example, may last 15 to 30 minutes. That is why people often get in this binge state when using cocaine as they want more to keep the high going. 

Overall short-term health effects of cocaine can include: nausea, raised body temperature, restlessness, dilated pupils, and increased blood pressure. With regular use, severe complications can occur including cardiovascular effects, neurological effects, gastrointestinal complications, and even sudden death (which could occur even with just one first-time use). 

2. Amphetamines

Street Names of Amphetamines

What are Amphetamines?

Another stimulant, amphetamine, is a psychostimulant drug that speeds up the messages that travel between the brain and the body. While many are prescribed by doctors for conditions such as narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they are often misused as performance-enhancing drugs or sold illegally, often known as speed. Many younger people abuse the drug by taking it without a prescription to use as a study aid, to stay awake, or to suppress their appetites. 

They often come in a tablet or capsule form; however, they can be in a powder or crystals, as well. The commonly-prescribed amphetamines are Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine. When produced illegally, a mix of other drugs and binding agents may be added. While amphetamines are usually swallowed, they may be injected, snorted, or smoked, as well. 

History of Amphetamines

Amphetamines are said to have first been synthesized in Germany in the 1800s. It wasn’t until around 1930 when the stimulant properties of the drug were discovered. At that time, it was used to treat nasal congestion. They were initially marketed as an over-the-counter inhaler named Benzedrine. By the late 1940s, amphetamines were gaining success as a diet medication and as an antidepressant. It was determined that they were helpful in treating hangovers from alcohol, too. Then, it started being used for narcolepsy and for ADHD (two conditions for which it is still used today). One of the most well-known amphetamines used to treat ADHD is Adderall, a drug which is often misused, as well. 

Doctors did realize early on that amphetamines’ medical uses were valuable, they also came with many dangerous risks, including a high abuse potential. Around 1970, the drug became strictly controlled. Today, amphetamines are often abused by students who believe it can help them better focus on their studies. The ironic truth is that studies have shown that this illegal use of amphetamines actually results in students performing worse in school. 

How Amphetamines Work

Some of the feelings or effects that users experience with amphetamines include: more energy, feelings of joy and confidence, increased heartbeat, reduced appetite, dry mouth, increased sex drive, and large pupils. On the contrary, when amphetamines are prescribed to children who are hyperactive and when they are given the correct dosage, they can have a calming effect. Also, when children are prescribed amphetamines, they are often initially checked by a physician to monitor their heart and blood pressure. This fact alone shows that these are serious substances that can have dangerous side effects. A large amount taken or a strong batch could lead to an overdose, which can be deadly. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), chronic amphetamine use can lead to a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia (paranoia, hallucination, erratic behavior). 

Many people who take amphetamines say they initially experience a sudden rush, which can last a brief time. However, certain doses can last for up to 12 hours at a time. Depending on the dose and the frequency, many people have described an experience known as a “coming down” as the drug is leaving their system. This can happen to some hours after using and for others it can happen days later. This feeling includes restlessness, irritability, mood swings, headaches, paranoia, and confusion. 

Long-term effects of amphetamines can cause: depression, anxiety, dependence on the drug, restless sleep, increased risk of stroke, and decreased appetite. Because they reduce appetite, they can cause vitamin deficiencies and cause one to be more prone to illness. Also, long-term use of amphetamines have been linked to mental health issues. If used as prescribed, amphetamines are not known to lead to addiction. What can happen with long-term use is that one’s tolerance builds up and changes resulting in higher doses needed for the same results. However, when misused, they certainly can lead to addiction and a variety of other health problems. 

3. Methamphetamines

Street Names of Methamphetamines

What are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines are stimulants that are in the amphetamine family. Known as “meth” this stimulant can have catastrophic health effects if not prescribed and used properly, even with just one use. The drug speeds up the body’s systems, sometimes to very dangerous levels. Pharmaceutical methamphetamine, used for medical use, is used in some prescriptions that treat ADHD and occasionally, but rarely, in cases of extreme obesity. Methamphetamines take the form of a white crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Crystal methamphetamine (known as crystal meth) is the illicit, crystalline form, which is highly addictive and extremely dangerous. This Schedule II classified drug is made illegally in meth labs. Crystal meth is the street form of methamphetamine and is widely abused as a recreational drug. Typically, this form of meth is made up of the chemical known as D-methamphetamine HCI. Users either inject, smoke, or inhale this powerful stimulant and immediately feel its effects. While this drug is often injected, users face the risk of contracting HIV, as well as facing the dangers of many other health risks. 

History of Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine is believed to have first been created in the late 1800s by a Japanese chemist. The original goals were supposedly to use this stimulant to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. But, it wasn’t until World War II when its use in the United States appeared as a tool to keep soldiers awake and even more aggressive. Other countries involved in the war began to use methamphetamine for their troops, as well. The United States had methamphetamine in pharmacies under the name of Benzedrine, before the war, but its popularity soared thereafter. Known as “bennies,” people began using them to lose weight, stay awake, and combat depression. Some doctors were even giving meth injections to patients. 

In the 1950s, tablets called Methedrine became widely used by college students, athletes, and truck drivers. Yet with that rising use came rising problems including reports of meth psychosis and addiction. By 1959, the FDA’s awareness of these problems led them to make it available by prescription only. About a decade later, meth’s medical use declined as doctors became more and more concerned with harmful side effects and addiction problems. Unfortunately, at that point, many patients were already addicted. Soon, treatment programs for meth addiction began popping up to help people stop using. Yet drug dealers and home meth labs were spreading all over the United States. 

In 1980, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, ingredients in over-the-counter cold medicines, was discovered and used to produce the potent and often-deadly crystal meth. The fact that crystal meth can be made by many accessible household products makes it even more dangerous and harder to manage. By 2006, the U.N. World Drug Report said that meth had become the most abused hard drug on the planet. The Federal Government has tried to regulate this by limiting pharmaceutical products with those certain ingredients used to make meth. Soon, more and more states made pseudoephedrine products prescription only, making it more challenging for meth producers to get their ingredients. 

Today, methamphetamine is rarely used medically, but its popularity is still very strong for illegal use and it remains a U.S. public health concern. Small amounts are produced in home labs, and some superlabs, which have large-scale, industrial equipment, still exist, as well. It is known to be a dangerous and highly-addictive substance, yet its use is still prevalent. According to the CDC, there is a strong overlap between methamphetamine use and serious mental illness, which “suggests an important role for mental health providers to engage in care with this population, in coordination with addiction and other health care providers.” 

How Methamphetamines Work

Methamphetamine works by forcing neurons in the brain to release noradrenaline and dopamine. This causes people to feel energetic, awake, and full of euphoria. Yet, because neurons only store limited amounts of dopamine, those euphoric feelings fade quickly, resulting in strong cravings to use again. 

Crystal meth works by affecting the communication between the brain and the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. As is suggested by its name, it is crystalline in its form. The crystals are crushed for use. At first, users feel energized and confident. They experience an instant feeling of euphoria as the dopamine levels in their brain increase. But, these feelings fade rather quickly, and many negative effects often quickly follow. Dopamine’s impact is not only on the brain: It also is involved with our ability to learn and to retain information. Thus, with continued use, people often experience an imbalance in their brain’s dopamine, which can cause memory and learning problems. In addition to crystal meth potentially causing an upset of the brain’s dopamine, its use can present many other symptoms including: increased blood pressure, heavy sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, paranoia, fatigue, anxiety, and violent behavior. 

Abuse of meth can lead to psychosis, a condition where users sometimes pick or scratch at their skin incessantly, feeling as if bugs are crawling all over. Then, skin abrasions and rashes often follow. People on meth who continually use and are chasing that initial high may also may experience insomnia for as long as two weeks. This is known as “tweaking,” and it can also present with rapid eye movement, jumbled talk, and jerky movements. Tweaking can be a dangerous time as people in that state may be prone to criminal behavior and violence. 

According to the American Addiction Centers, crystal meth has become one of the most harrowing drugs to ever reach the American street market. Unlike some other substances that people may be able to conceal using, many meth users become singularly focused on their drug use. They may quickly give up on their normal obligations and not care what others think. This may be a direct result of the crystal meth itself and is a sign to look for in those who may be using.  

Depressant Drugs

1. Alcohol

Street Names of Alcohol

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a sedative hypnotic drug, which acts to depress the central nervous system at higher dosages. At a lower dose, it can initially act as a stimulant; however, larger amounts at a time lead to drowsiness and even potentially coma or death. Alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) is the ingredient in spirits, wine, and beer that is formed when yeast ferments. It is one of the world’s most-used drugs and has a great impact on overall health. As a matter of fact, alcohol use disorder is the most common type of substance use disorder in our nation.

History of Alcohol

For thousands of years, people have been fermenting grapes and various fruits to make alcohol and to use alcohol in various religious and sacrificial settings. The earliest evidence of this comes from China around 7000 B.C. Later, in ancient Egypt, beer became a regular part of the daily diet. Around 2000 B.C., wine was recorded being made in Greece. Similarly, they used alcohol as part of certain rituals, and they believed it had medicinal value, as well. 

Next, the Romans began wine production and created vineyard models and mass production. So many cultures around the world were discovering alcohol and believing in its medicinal powers. It was in China, however, where the first people distilled spirits that were based in yeast fermentation.  By the 1500s, alcohol was prevalent in England, where they put legislation in place that promoted distilling. When the English immigrated to America, they began brewing their own beer with malted barley from England. It did not take long (throughout the 1600s and 1700s) until Americans were consuming vast amounts of alcohol. 

During the Civil War, alcohol was used for medication and sedation. However, soldiers began to act erratically under the influence, and the nation began seeing that there were many problems associated with the consumption of alcohol. Soon thereafter, we had the Prohibition, which banned the production and sale of alcohol. Yet, thanks to organized crime and underground production, people did not stop consuming alcohol. Yet, people were becoming more and more aware of its addictive nature and the problems associated with frequent use. By 1952, the American Medical Association first defined alcoholism, and 15 years later (in 1967) they updated that definition as a complex disease. At that point, treatment became more common. 

In 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, and now nearly 200 countries around the world have AA groups. In recent years, alcohol use continues to soar and alcoholism continues to be a great concern. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 85 percent of people reported consuming alcohol in their lifetime and more than 25 percent of people ages 18 and up reported binge drinking in the past month of that survey. Alcohol-related deaths and addiction are widely reported, with car-related deaths involving alcohol standing at about 40 percent. Even though alcohol is the oldest drug in history, it still is one of the most prevalent and abused drugs in our society today. 

How Alcohol Works

Alcohol works by its absorption into the bloodstream from the stomach and small intestine. The liver breaks it down, and it is then eliminated by the body. Yet, according to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), alcohol consumption can take a toll on many parts of the body. The NIH explains that while alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathway, it can affect one’s mood and behavior. Further, it can damage the heart and cause problems such as high blood pressure and heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beat). Heavy drinking can also cause problems to the liver and to the pancreas, can weaken the immune system, and is known to cause an increased risk of many types of cancer.

2. Opioids

Street Names of Opioids

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that are often used to reduce pain. They can be made naturally from the opium poppy plant, or they can be synthesized in a lab. When prescribed by a doctor, they can manage pain by blocking pain signals between the brain and the body and are often referred to as “painkillers.” When not prescribed, they are often abused and sometimes come in the form of heroin. But, they can also be addictive and dangerous when not taken as prescribed and when used illegally. In addition to managing pain, opioids can also make people feel high, which can lead to addiction.

History of Opioids

Opioids’ origin dates back to 3400 B.C., when poppies were cultivated in lower Mesopotamia. From Hippocrates to Alexander the Great, opium was used as a sedative. It quickly made its way to Europe, and by 1806 a German chemist was able to isolate a substance from opium. That substance was named morphine, a name that was derived from Morpheus, the god of dreams.

In 1775, opioids made their way to the United States where they were made legal. By the Civil War, they were used to treat troops. Yet, before long, it was noted that many soldiers were struggling with addiction problems. However, doctors in the United States still were able to see the drug’s effectiveness in treating pain and disorders. Yet, as its use continued to increase, problems with opioids increased, as well. In 1909, Congress passed the Opium Exclusion Act, which barred the importation of opium for smoking. Many consider this legislative act to be the official beginning to the United States’ war on drugs. In 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Act placed restrictions on opioids in an attempt to limit their commercial use. As people were continually more concerned about the dependence from the drug, the production of oxycodone came about, which supposedly was less addictive yet still effective in treating pain.

In 1938, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came about and allowed drugs such as morphine and codeine to be prescribed, even though there were many concerns still of addiction. In 1950, the FDA approved a mixture of oxycodone and aspirin known as Percodan. Abuse of these opioids was reported before long and has been a concern ever since. However, increases in opioid use continued year after year. In the 1990s, when time-relapse prescription opioids hit the market, the amount of opioids prescribed skyrocketed and dangerous results quickly followed. In 2000, Purdue Pharma began to aggressively market OxyContin and they claimed that it was safe and non-addictive, which was far from the truth. This debate has not slowed down and becomes more and more heated each day. It is currently receiving much attention in the news as pharmaceutical companies like Purdue are being held liable for fraudulent claims.

This drug is not just dangerous because it is misused when not prescribed. It also has proven to be very dangerous even when prescribed as patients get hooked, need more, and are in a vicious cycle to manage their pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “from 1999–2019, nearly 500,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids.” This is an alarming statistic, which shows a grave crisis.

How Opioids Work

Opioids work by interacting with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. The opioids then block certain pain messages that are sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. When opioids attach to these opioid receptors, they release signals that affect your perception of pain while also boosting your feelings of pleasure. They are often very effective with eliminating or minimizing pain; however, they can be very addictive. If used to manage acute, chronic pain, the risk for addiction can be quite high. 

There are many Generic Names for opioids to familiarize yourself with, including:

FENTANYL: a synthetic opioid analgesic (sometimes referred to as synthetic heroin), which is similar to morphine but is considerably more potent. This Schedule II prescription drug is prescribed to those experiencing severe pain, those who are post-surgery, or for those whose bodies are intolerant to other pain killers. There are many non-pharmaceutical versions of fentanyl on the market, which often are laced with heroin or cocaine. 

Fentanyl has its own list of street and slang names including: 

  • Apache
  • Cash
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Dancefever
  • Great Bear
  • Jackpot
  • Tango

Other generic names include: Methadone Hydrochloride, Oxymorphone Hydrochloride and Morphine Sulfate.

Additionally, there are dozens and dozens of prescription names and combination prescription names that you should be aware of. The list is very extensive, but some of the most common, more recognizable ones include:

  • Norco
  • OxyContin (most widely abused)
  • Oxycet
  • Percocet
  • Tylenol with codeine
  • Vicodin
  • Percodan
  • Roxicodone

3. Benzodiazepines

Street Names of Benzodiazepines

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a prescription sedative, which slow down the messages that travel between the brain and body and are often prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. They are sometimes used to treat alcohol withdrawal and epilepsy, as well. Sometimes referred to as “benzos,” these sedatives calm a person by raising the brain’s inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. 

They are known to be addictive and have withdrawal symptoms and also can be very dangerous if used with alcohol or other drugs. Common brand names of benzodiazepines include Valium, Klonopin, Halcion, and Xanax. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), 16 percent of the overdose deaths in 2019 that involved opioids also involved benzodiazepines. 

History of Benzodiazepines

The first ever benzodiazepine was synthesized in 1955 by a Swiss chemist who was working on developing tranquilizers. Called Librium, this compound was shown to relax muscles and act as an anticonvulsant. By 1963, it was marketed under the brand name of Valium and was touted as being completely safe. The drug gained quick popularity and later in the 1970s became the most prescribed drug in the world. It was not until billions of doses were consumed around the world that people started understanding the addictive nature of the drug. 

In 1975, Klonopin hit the market and soon thereafter came Ativan, two drugs that were marketed as being different from Valium and supposedly had less risks. Yet it did not take long for people to fear their effects and addictive nature. By 1979, Senator Ted Kenny led a hearing in the Senate on the grave dangers of benzodiazepines. Somehow Valium became the focus of people’s concerns, while drugs like Klonopin and Xanax were heralded as safe. 

For decades, the popularity of benzodiazepines continued to grow, and by 2008, more than one in 20 Americans had filled a benzodiazepine prescription (according to the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition). Currently, the debate soars as drug companies are being held accountable for apparently knowing the dangers of this drug yet keeping consumers in the dark.  

Benzodiazepines are a Schedule IV drug that is only available legally through a prescription, so many users creatively get prescriptions from multiple doctors and/or get their pills illegally. Abuse of benzodiazepines is particularly high among heroin and cocaine users. According to the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, “there are now 94 million prescriptions for various benzodiazepines in the U.S. alone – nearly one prescription for every three citizens.” That fact is startling yet the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions continues to rise even as the debate over benzodiazepine’s dangers continues to infiltrate the news. 

How Benzodiazepines Work

Benzodiazepines work by impacting the chemical messengers in our brain and slowing down the central nervous system. By enhancing the effect of neurotransmitters known as gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the messages between brain cells then have either a calming or stimulating effect. Benzodiazepines are usually swallowed, although some people crush them up and snort them or inject them to get high. They affect everyone differently but can cause depression, headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, nausea, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. Using benzodiazepines for recreational purposes can be very dangerous and can cause many life-threatening problems.

4. Heroin

Street Names of Heroin

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal and highly-addictive opioid drug that is made from morphine, a natural substance that comes from opium poppy plants. Heroin is often a white or brown powder. There is also a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. People most often inject heroin, but it can also be snorted or smoked. Because the drug is most often injected, it comes with a great risk of serious viral infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C. 

By entering the brain and binding to opioid receptors, heroin quickly impacts feelings of pain and pleasure while also impacting one’s heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. There are prescription drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin that have effects very similar to heroin. Heroin is a Schedule I drug, meaning it is completely illegal. Because of its illegality and highly addictive nature, the slang names for heroin are constantly changing in an effort to keep drug enforcement and parents in the dark. 

History of Heroin

Heroin, originally called diacetylmorphine, was first reported at a hospital in 1874 in London when research was being done to determine the constitution of alkaloids. There was not much initial interest until years later when a German scientist prepared diacetylmorphine by heating it and isolating compounds. As favorable physiological results were initially reported, the production of the compound began on a larger scale in 1898. It was initially marketed in Germany under the name Heroin, and later, heroin became a synonym for the drug. Immediately, the drug was accepted as many hoped it would be a remedy for certain diseases. Also rather immediately, the underground world realized that heroin was different from other drugs and that it was considerably more powerful than morphine. 

Originally hailed as a wonder drug, heroin (diacetylmorphine) was initially received by the medical profession with great enthusiasm. As doctors became aware of its dangers, however, they stopped prescribing the drug. Although, because of its addictive nature, it was not and still is not easy to control. 

The CDC reports that many studies have suggested that approximately 80 percent of heroin users first had become addicted to prescription opioids. Also, according to the CDC, 28 percent of the opioid overdose deaths in 2019 involved heroin. 

How Heroin Works

Benzodiazepines work by impacting the chemical messengers in our brain and slowing down the central nervous system. By enhancing the effect of neurotransmitters known as gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the messages between brain cells then have either a calming or stimulating effect. Benzodiazepines are usually swallowed, although some people crush them up and snort them or inject them to get high. They affect everyone differently but can cause depression, headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, nausea, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. Using benzodiazepines for recreational purposes can be very dangerous and can cause many life-threatening problems.

  • Desomorphine (semi-synthetic opioid) 
    street name is Krokodil (Russian name for what drug does to skin – crocodile skin)
  • Carfentanil (derivative of Fentanyl yet 100 times more powerful)
    street names are Drop Dead and Serial Killer
  • Dilaudid (prescription pain killer)
    street names are Dillies, Hydro, M2s, and Hospital Heroin

Hallucinogen Drugs

1. LSD

Street Names of LSD

What is LSD?

Alcohol is a sedative hypnotic drug, which acts to depress the central nervous system at higher dosages. At a lower dose, it can initially act as a stimulant; however, larger amounts at a time lead to drowsiness and even potentially coma or death. Alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) is the ingredient in spirits, wine, and beer that is formed when yeast ferments. It is one of the world’s most-used drugs and has a great impact on overall health. As a matter of fact, alcohol use disorder is the most common type of substance use disorder in our nation.

History of LSD

LSD was first synthesized by a Swiss scientist in 1938 who was working with a chemical found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.Yet it was not until 1943 when (according to History.com) the hallucinogenic effects of the drug were discovered when a scientist accidentally ingested a small amount and then perceived “extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.” Just days later, it was reported that the scientist took a larger dose of the drug and then rode his bicycle home from work. While he was riding, he is reported to have had the world’s first intentional acid trip.
LSD made its way to the States and was part of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program in the ‘50s and ‘60s that was known to be a “mind control program.” During this study, volunteers and some unknowing subjects were tested with LSD and other substances as it was believed that these drugs could possibly be a psychological weapon. In the 1970s these studies became known and the controversy led to many lawsuits and investigations.
There was, however, this counterculture that had acid parties and continued to experiment with the drug and use it as an anchor of their music, partying, and social life. LSD became symbolic of the 1960s counterculture, and it was not until 1968 when the U.S. government outlawed LSD as it began to receive a lot of negative publicity. There were reports that users were ending up in mental institutions or thinking they could fly and then jumping out of windows. As people learned of these horrible possible effects, they also learned more about the flashbacks and bad trips that were occurring.

With all of that information, LSD experienced a quick decline in popularity. The drug, however, never did fully disappear, and it actually experienced a resurgence in the ‘90s when it began to gain popularity once again as part of the “rave” scene. Today, while not a very popular drug, it is still used and is most often used by people in their late teens and early twenties.

How LSD Works

LSD alters the state of one’s mind by binding to specific brain cell receptors and altering the way in which the brain responds to serotonin (the neurotransmitter, which regulates mood, perception, and emotion). The brain receptors influenced by LSD involve the regulation of serotonin, which impacts our mood, sensory perception, hunger, motor control, sexual behavior, and body temperature. It causes one’s sense of reality to be distorted and for hallucinations to occur. LSD users call these hallucinogenic experiences “trips.” Of the hallucinogens, LSD is considered to be a fairly strong one. How LSD works is still a bit of a mystery and its effects are difficult to predict. 

The most common form of LSD is small drops of solution dried onto pieces of blotting paper, gelatin sheets, or sugar cubes. The drug is then released into the body when swallowed. Other forms of LSD can be consumed as a liquid, swallowed in a tablet or capsule form, smoked, sniffed, or injected. These mind-altering experiences are often referred to as an “acid trip,” which could last anywhere up to 12 hours. 

These trips can be either pleasurable or terrifying, depending on if users experience what they refer to as a “good trip” or a “bad trip.” The kind of trip is unknown as it depends on how much a person takes and how his or her brain responds to the drug. A “bad trip” can include symptoms including panic, delusions, and paranoia. It also can involve rapid mood swings. 

Some users report having flashbacks days or weeks after having taken LSD. Flashbacks are when parts of the trip return even though the user has not taken the drug at that time of the flashback. In addition to flashbacks after the effects of LSD wear off, other negative long-term effects can continue. Some of these possible effects include anxiety and depression. While the drug is not considered to be addictive, people can build up tolerance to it (which often fades within days). 

2. Peyote

Street Names of Peyote

What is Peyote?

Peyote is a cactus that is native to Texas and Mexico. It contains a psychoactive chemical in it called mescaline, which causes it to have a hallucinogenic effect. Mescaline is found in the crown of the plant in an area known as “mescal buttons.” These buttons are dried and then consumed to get the hallucinogenic effects. Both mescaline and peyote are classified as Schedule I substances. 

Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Aztec word peyotl, which describes the part of the cactus that resembles a caterpillar cocoon. It has been used by Native Americans in Mexico for thousands of years as a part of religious and spiritual ceremonies, but today, many people use the plant recreationally, as well. 

History of Peyote

Peyote was first used amongst indiginous people in the Southwestern U.S. and in northern Mexico where they often used the drug in various Native American rituals.  The rituals varied from tribe to tribe and may have included chanting, meditation, and other ceremonies. Part of the ritual included “the hunt” for peyote, which involved traveling on foot, sometimes even up to 200 miles for the plant. 

The DEA has restricted peyote and listed it as a Schedule I drug; however, some organizations (like the Native American Church) still use peyote in certain religious ceremonies. As a matter of fact, more than 40 tribes in North America and Western Canada still use peyote today in sacred religious ceremonies.

Peyote may have some health benefits, but studies have not yet been conclusive. Plus, peyote and mescaline are both known to carry risks as users have experienced side effects. As a matter of fact, some long-term negative effects have been reported even after just one use. Yet, even with the risks of flashbacks and long-term negative effects, peyote (like many other hallucinogens) are still widely used today. While research on peyote use is limited, it does fall into the data for hallucinogens in general. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) conducted a survey on hallucinogens in 2018 that showed that hallucinogen use has continually risen since 2002. 

How Peyote Works

The mescaline in the peyote produces psychedelic effects by interacting with receptors in the brain. These receptors impact how the body uses serotonin and likely account for the “trip” experience that users have. There are different ways that people consume peyote: by eating dried crowns of the peyote cactus, by taking capsules with peyote, or by boiling the cactus for tea. Additionally, synthetic forms of mescaline exist in the form of capsules. The plants vary in potency, so dosages are hard to quantify. The body does absorb mescaline soon after it is ingested, so effects can begin in less than an hour. While the body breaks down the mescaline, the effects wear off usually sometime between one hour and 12 hours.

3. MDMA

Street Names of MDMA

What is MDMA?

MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that acts as a hallucinogen and stimulant. Its chemical structure is similar to that of methamphetamine and mescaline. It produces an energizing effect, distortions in perception, enhanced enjoyment from sensory experiences, and a feeling of connectedness. Often referred to as ecstasy or molly, MDMA is a psychoactive drug derived from safrole oil. It is usually taken orally, whether in pressed pill form, powder, or crystal, and it is also sometimes snorted.

History of MDMA

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by the drug company Merck, possibly to be used as an appetite suppressant. Its psychoactive effects were not discovered until more than 60 years later. In 1976, a new synthesis method was created, and its effects proved to increase empathy and reduce fear. At that time, it was initially used in psychotherapy practices and recreationally by college students and young adults. By 1985, the government classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug, along with drugs such as LSD and heroin. 

Today, it is still used at festivals, concerts, and clubs. While it is still a Schedule I drug and thus illegal, researchers are looking at MDMA for a possible treatment for anxiety in terminally-ill patients, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety in autistic adults. 

How MDMA Works

MDMA works as it effects brain function, serotonin levels, and the neurotransmitter systems that regulate mood, energy, appetite, sexual activity, sleep, and heart rate. By affecting serotonin, MDMA impacts one’s response to music and light, which is why it is a drug often used at concerts and “raves.” 

Studies have shown that MDMA activates the ventral striatum, a structure involved in reward expectation. When consumed in tablet or capsule form, MDMA’s effects occur on average within 45 minutes. The effects can last up to three hours, although side effects can last for days later. According to Scientific American, “it appears that MDMA works by shifting the user’s attention towards positive experiences while minimizing the impact of negative feelings.” 

This amphetamine can cause high fevers, muscle breakdown, cardiac arrest, and liver failure. So, while many users often consider MDMA to be “safe,” there are many great risks involved with taking it. 

4. DMT

Street Names of DMT

What is DMT?

N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a powerful hallucinogenic compound that is structurally related to the drug LSD and is classified as a Schedule I substance in the United States. The chemical actually develops naturally in the brain and it also develops naturally in certain plants like in the seeds of Piptadenia peregrina. When it is produced synthetically, it is a white, crystalline powder. DMT is similar in structure to psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and it is known to cause visual hallucinations. It is not a commonly-used hallucinogenic and is one that is tried most often after other hallucinogens have been experimented with and used.

History of DMT

DMT was first synthesized in 1931 by a chemist who was experimenting with various chemicals such as mescaline. Its effects were not discovered at that time, nor was its use in indigenous cultures. It wasn’t until the 1950s when curiosity over DMT arose and chemists synthesized it and studied its psychotropic effects. Sometimes called the “spirit molecule,” it was determined that DMT produces psychedelic results when used. 

In 1971, DMT became classified as a Schedule I substance. The United States government sees no medical benefit of the drug. However, it has remained part of some rituals in indigenous South American regions. While it remains illegal for most Americans, the federal government can not stop it from being used in a sacred religious context. 

How DMT Works

DMT works by blocking the action of the brain’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects overall happiness. Its effects are felt when injected, sniffed, or smoked. The hallucinatory effects, including intense euphoria and new perceptions of reality, begin about five to 30 minutes after DMT enters the body and can last up to a few hours. It affects everyone differently, but some may feel euphoria, changes in mood, increased sensitivity to sensations, increased heart rate, and intense visual hallucinations. Lingering side effects such as headaches and dizziness can last for a few days.

5. PCP

Street Names of PCP

What is PCP?

Phencyclidine (PCP) is considered to be a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it leads to a distortion of sights, sounds, colors, and self. The effects are trance-like as users explain feeling out of their own bodies and detached from reality. At low to moderate doses, users describe symptoms similar to those of alcohol, along with numbness of the hands and feet and poor coordination. High doses of the drug can mirror symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions and paranoia.

In its pure form, PCP is a white, crystalline powder; however, on the streets, it often appears as a brownish color because it is full of many contaminants. When used medically, it is in the form of a tablet or capsule, but when used recreationally, it is often smoked although some snort or inject the drug, as well.

History of PCP

PCP was used in the 1950s as an anesthetic. It was then used as a surgical anesthetic and also as an animal tranquilizer. Initially, it was widely accepted in the medical field as it appeared to be effective as an anesthetic without causing damage to patients’ hearts and lungs. Patients, however, were reported as feeling agitated, delusional, and irrational, causing the drug’s use to be mostly discontinued. It was taken off the market by 1965 due to its hallucinogenic side effects and it was only then legally used in veterinary practices. By the 1970s, it gained popularity again as a recreational, mind-altering drug. Later, Ketamine (Ketalar) was developed in place of PCP and was used instead as an anesthetic for surgery and other painful procedures.

Today, PCP is considered to be one of the more dangerous hallucinogens and is also known to cause violent behavior. With the COVID pandemic, hospitals have noted an increase in cases of people on PCP. It is not known to be a user-friendly drug as it is difficult to accurately dose and the risk of unpleasant effects in high doses is great.

How PCP Works

PCP works by affecting the neurotransmitter systems in the brain. It inhibits the uptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine while also blocking NMDA receptors that impact our ability to feel pain and emotions. Even just a moderate amount of PCP can cause users to feel detached from their surroundings. It is an addictive drug that often leads to psychological dependency.

6. Marijuana

Street Names of Marijuana

Street Names of Synthetic Marijuana

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana refers to the greenish-grey mixture of dried leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of a cannabis plant. The cannabis plants contain more than 100 different cannabinoids, which are compounds. Some of these compounds contain tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC and others contain compounds such as cannabidiol, known as CBD. THC is the compound that is still illegal in many states and is responsible for the user feeling “high.” On the other hand, the compound CBD is known to not have impairing effects and does not cause a feeling of “high.” Marijuana can be smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, water pipes, or cigar wraps. It can also be mixed into foods and teas. A more concentrated way to consume marijuana is through resins. Another common way to consume marijauna is through vaporizers

History of Marijuana

Marijuana has a long, controversial history in the United States. As far back as the 1600s, hemp was grown like other crops. In the 17th century, it started being used for clothing, ropes, and sails. By the 18th century, medicinal uses of the plant started to be explored. And, by 1840, marijuana became widely accepted in medicine and over-the-counter products. Doctors began seeing its health benefits and used it to treat pain, for appetite stimulation, and for nausea. In 1906, the FDA required that marijuana products be appropriately labeled.

In the first part of the 20th century, states were passing laws prohibiting marijuana as fears over the drug began to grow. The media reported cases of violence and criminal activity linked to marijuana, and by 1936, all of the states had marijuana regulation laws. In 1942, doctors began to discredit the medical benefits of marijuana saying it did not have medicinal use. The Boggs Act was then passed in 1952, which criminalized marijuana and other drugs. 

Yet, in the 1960s, marijuana gained popularity among the counterculture. Artists, anti-war activists, free spirits, and hippies were known to consume the drug in a “peaceful” war, which did not involve violence. In 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug along with LSD and heroin. As marijuana’s reputation continued to twist and turn over the decades, it shifted in the ‘80s and ‘90s to being a concern again, as many thought it was a gateway drug to harder substances. 

Yet many states and people still believed that marijuana was a relatively harmless drug and was one that had many health benefits. In 2014, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Today, marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal law; however, many states have followed Colorado and have legalized it for both medicinal and recreational use. According to the CDC, marijuana is the most commonly-used drug in the United States, which is still federally illegal. An estimated 48.2 million people used marijauna in 2019.

How Marijuana Works

Marijuana works by altering brain communication through the body’s recognition of THC, a chemical structure that is similar to the brain chemical anandamide. Some cannabinoids function as neurotransmitters because they send chemical messages between nerve cells throughout the nervous system. They then affect brain areas responsible for pleasure, memory, concentration, thinking, movement, and perception. THC has the ability to alter brain functioning in areas where people form memories. Thus, use of marijuana can result in impaired thinking and reaction time. THC also activates the brain’s reward system as it stimulates neurons and provides a surge of dopamine. This can result in a euphoric high, making people feel happy or even sleepy. Other effects include slowed judgement, changes in mood, heightened senses, and impaired memory and thinking. 

The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, responsible for the majority of intoxicating effects is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This chemical is found in resin produced by leaves and buds of the cannabis plant, a plant that also contains more than 500 other chemicals related to THC. This set of chemicals is known as cannabinoids. Effects of marijuana are immediate; however, if taken in food, the effects can take 60 to 90 minutes as it needs to travel through the bloodstream. 

7. Mushrooms

Street Names of Mushrooms

What are Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are psychedelics that contain the primary chemical known as psilocybin, a chemical that is responsible for the effects of mushrooms. Mushrooms that are psychedelic in variety mirror the appearance of regular mushrooms used for cooking as they are grown in a similar way. Yet, there are approximately 200 different types of mind-altering mushrooms, which contain psilocybin. When the psilocybin is taken and converted in the body to psilocin, it triggers changes in users’ perception, mood, and thought.

While there are many different varieties of mushrooms, they look most similar to poisonous mushrooms. However, they can be dried and put into capsules. If synthetically produced, they can appear as a white, crystalline powder that is processed into capsules or tablets or dissolved in water.

History of Mushrooms

For thousands of years, psychoactive mushrooms have been used by indigenous cultures and many others as they have a long history of use in ceremonies and medicines in various parts of the world. Some researchers believe that their use dates back to 9000 B.C. based on some drawings found on rock formations that suggest their use. Some of these images have researchers believing that mushrooms were used to produce visions and to communicate with gods Further, there were images found on Mayan and Aztec ruins that also suggested their early use.

Regardless of the disputed history of mushrooms, they did not experience popularity in the United States until the 1950s. In 1957, a Life magazine article featured a mushroom enthusiast who shared his journey of coming across an indigineous tribe that used the psychoactive mushrooms. He brought back a sample to a chemist who was able to synthesize the drug in a lab. Following that discovery, the next couple decades included clinical experiments with psychedelics as a treatment for diagnoses ranging from alcoholism to schizophrenia. They also became tied to the hippie counterculture.

Yet, despite its long history, the psychoactive mushrooms still became listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning they have a high potential for abuse. Today, people still argue that they should be legalized for their medicinal value as more people seem to be accepting their possible benefits. Currently, researchers around the world are analyzing their medicinal benefits as they try to determine how magic mushrooms interact with our brains and bodies.

More research on mushrooms’ effects has followed in recent years. In 2018, the FDA granted permission to look at mushrooms as treatment for depression. And, in 2019, researchers at John Hopkins evaluated psilocybin as a possible treatment for many ailments ranging from Lyme disease to Alzheimer’s disease to opioid addiction. Some people are exploring the idea of “microdosing,” in which the psilocybin chemical from mushrooms is consumed in tiny amounts. This results in users feeling a boost of mood and creativity rather than a full “trip.” The studies and the research continues today.

How Mushrooms Work

Psilocybin is the psychoactive drug that is found in “magic mushrooms.” They can be eaten, mixed with food, or brewed like tea. Sometimes, they are mixed with cannabis or tobacco and smoked. There are also vials of liquid psilocybin that are available. However they are consumed, mushrooms then make their way into the body where the psilocybin converts to psilocin. This is believed to influence the serotonin levels in the brain, which leads to altered perceptions. 

Psilocin has psychedelic properties similar to LSD and can cause hallucinations. It also can cause people to see, hear, and feel various sensations that are not actually happening. The way in which someone responds to mushrooms depends on factors including weight, age, emotional state, and history of mental health issues. 

In addition to the experience of “trips,” mushrooms are also known to cause nausea, drowsiness, paranoia, panic, and introspective experiences. One mushroom contains anywhere from 0.1 to 1.3 percent psilocybin, which is a psychotropic and thus responsible for the hallucinogen effects. While it usually takes 20 to 40 minutes for the effects of mushrooms to begin, it can take an hour or more for the mushrooms’ effects to take place. The “trips” that people experience can then last for several hours. 

Summary

The variety of drugs that are available for prescription and on the street can be overwhelming in itself. Then, you add to that exhaustive list a forever-growing and forever-changing list of street names, and it feels a bit like information overload. However, as noted in this article, it is important to stay knowledgeable and aware of these street names. Like was noted at the beginning of this article: Knowledge is power. By familiarizing yourself with the slang names of drugs, you are putting yourself in a position to better understand conversations that you may overhear.

Hopefully, this article is a good launching point to gaining understanding about various drugs and their street names. Yet, the research should be on-going as the street names often change in an effort to keep authority and loved ones in the dark. Most importantly, if you suspect that someone you care about is misusing substances, please reach out for help.

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