Prescription drugs abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. (Mayo Clinic)  According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category after alcohol and marijuana. According to NACADA some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include the following:

  • Opioids-pain relievers such as OxyContin and Vicodin
  • Central nervous system depressants, for example, Valium
  • Stimulants for example Concerta and Amphetamine
  • Over the counter drugs such as cough and cold medications are abused by some people through taking high doses to get high.
  • Street names vary depending on the particular type of drug.

 

Opioids and morphine derivates

 

DRUGBRAND NAMESSTREET NAMES
Codeine

Emperin with Codeine

Fiorional with Codeine

Robitusin A-C

Tylenol with Codeine

Cody

School boy

Captain Cody

Doors

Loads

Pancakes and Syrup

 

Fentanyl

Actiq

Duragesic

Sublimaze

Apache

China girl

Dance Fever

China white

Tango and cash

TNT

Jackpot

Murder 8

Goodfella

Friend

 

Morphine

Roxanol

Duramorph

White stuff

Monkey

M

Miss Emma

 

Oxycodone HCL

Oxycontin

Percocet

Percodan

Oxy 80

O.C

Oxycet

Hillbilly heroin

Percs

Perks

 

Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen Vicodin

Vike

Watson-387

 

Meperidine

Demerol

Dilaudid

Demmies

Pain killer

Juice

Dillies

 

Buprenorphine Suboxone Bupe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depressants

DRUG BRAND NAMES STREET NAMES
Benzodiazepines

Xanax

Valium

Halcion

Librium

Ativan

Klonopin

 

Downers

Sleeping pills

Tranks

Benzos

Candy

Barbiturates

Amytal

Nembutal

Seconal

Barbs

Reds

Red birds

Phennies

Tooies

Yellows

Yellow jackets

Stimulants

These are also known as "uppers" they increase energy and alertness

DRUG BRAND NAMES STREET NAME
Amphetamine

Biphetamine

Dexedrine

Adderall

Bennies

Black Beauties

Crosses

Hearts

Speed

LA turnaround

Truck drivers

 

Other commonly Abused drugs
DRUG BRAND NAMES STREET NAMES
Ketamine Ketalar SV

K

Cat valium

Special K

Vitamin K

 

Flunitrazepam Rohypnol

Roofies

La Rocha

Rophies

Mexican valium

R-2

Forget-me-pill

 

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

Coricidin

Robitussin

Contac

CCC

Triple C

Skittles

Vitamin D

Poor Man's PCP

Robo

 

Effects
Opioids

Short-term 

  • Relaxation
  • Indifference to emotional or physical pain
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow breathing
  • Can also cause death

 

Long-term 

  • Addiction
  • Long and physically painful withdrawal
  • In combination with alcohol and other drugs can lead to death from respiratory failure
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Early symptoms occur within first 24 hours of drug withdrawal
  • Muscle aches
  • Yawning often
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to sleep
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Eyes tearing up
  • Runny nose

 

Symptoms that appear later on past 24 hours

  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal cramping 
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Goose bumps on skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils and possible blurred vision

 

Depressants

Short-term

  • Slow normal brain functioning
  • Drowsy feeling
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulty or inability to urinate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Visual disturbances

 

Long-term

  • Addiction
  • Painful withdrawal
  • Can cause seizures and death
  • Tolerance to drug
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleeping problems

 

Withdrawal symptoms

  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions

 

Stimulants

Short-term

  • Alertness
  • Focus
  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • High body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate

 

Long-term

  • Addiction
  • Paranoia
  • Long-term insomnia
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

 

Withdrawal symptoms

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite

 

Ketamine abuse

Ketamine is a drug that is mostly injected but can also be smoked or alternatively taken in pill form. It is considered a dissociative aesthetic meaning it distorts the user’s perspective of sound and sight as a result producing feelings of detachment from oneself and the environment.

 

 

Short-term effects

  • It produces an immediate high that lasts for about an hour. The individual’s senses, judgment, and coordination may be impaired for 24 hours. However, it is easy to overdose due to its high potency meaning that a small amount produces a large effect. The user feels an intense feeling of relaxation. Some users feel like they are floating and others go to an extent of describing it as an out of body experience. Others experience hallucinations.
  • Much higher doses cause extreme effects whereby users describe a feeling of being fully separated from their bodies similar to near death experiences. This situation is described as being in the K-hole.
  • The user can become nauseated leading to vomiting. This is very dangerous especially if the user is in a state of dissociation from reality putting them at risk of choking on their own vomit.                                             
  • Impaired motor functioning
  • Amnesia
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Death from overdose
  • State of delirium
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Excessive salivation
  • Blurred double vision
  • Altered hearing
  • •Due to its ability to alter muscle movement a person is likely to be a victim of crime. It is commonly used as a date rape drug.

 

Long-term effects

  • Being an anesthetic long term use leads to reduced or even total elimination of pain. This is very dangerous because the user can severely be injured without realization leading to more complications
  • Severe abdominal pain may be experienced once the drug level has reduced in the body.
  • It can cause thickening of bladder and urinary tract hindering proper elimination of urine
  • Kidney problems may occur as the drug constantly interacts with the kidneys.
  • With repeated use the user may develop tolerance to the drug
  • Addiction and physical dependence

 

Withdrawal symptoms

Majority of the symptoms are not physical in nature however below are few common symptoms

  • Depression
  • Double vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased heart beat
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Rapid breathing

 

Flunitrazepam

It’s best known as a rape date drug and has also gained popularity as a date rape drug. It is colorless and odorless and is easily slipped into the victim's drink causing them to quickly fall asleep with no memory of the incident. It is important to note that the drug has been changed in such a way that when mixed with drinks visible blue floating particles will be seen in the drink. This is a strategy to tackle the increasing number of rape crimes conducted using this drug. According to an article in the Standard Digital Media Dr. Frank Njenga, the Chairman of National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) states that Rophynol is a popular choice of drug for spiking in Kenya. He also indicates that it is mostly sold by rogue pharmacists in the country. (Olingo, 2012)

 

Short-term effects

  • Amnesia
  • Vomiting and headache
  • Memory loss
  • Commas and seizures especially in combination with amphetamines
  • Breathing and heart rate slow down to dangerous levels
  • Rapid mood swings and violent outbursts of temper
  • Sedation of the body

 

Long-term effects

  • Learning is affected
  • Tolerance towards the drug can be developed
  • High dependence on the drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Tension
  • Numbness
  • Tingling of extremities
  • Loss of identity and delirium
  • Seizures can occur a week after drug use termination

 

Dextromethorphan

When abused it takes on the qualities of a dissociative drug meaning it distorts the person’s normal state by producing feelings of detachment. It also alters sight and hearing perceptions

 

Cough medication containing dextromethorphan in gel capsule form

 

Short-term effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness
  • Muscles spasms
  • Heart attack
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination
  • Overheating
  • Itchy skin and rash
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

 

Long-term effects

Below are the likely long-term effects:

  • Depression
  • Liver problems
  • Psychosis
  • Learning  and memory problems
  • Can also cause a coma or lead to death

 

Withdrawal symptoms

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Cold flashes
  • Bone aches
  • Depression
  • Drug craving
  • Problems with thinking and memory

 

Treatment options

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research over years has shown that addiction to any drug is a brain disease that can be effectively treated. Successful treatment needs to incorporate several components including detoxification, counseling and if necessary the use of medications. Behavioral treatments are aimed at assisting the patient by teaching them strategies for surviving without the drugs, dealing with cravings and avoiding situations that lead to drug use. Medications, on the other hand, are used to suppress withdrawal symptoms and keep cravings at bay. A use of both techniques is recommended for proper and meaningful treatment.

 

For more resourceful information on prescription drug Abuse visit Drug.Rehab.com.

 

References

Prescription Drugs. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. Removed from:  https://ncadd.org/learn-about-drugs/prescription-drugs

Prescription Drug Abuse. C 2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Removed from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/basics/definition/con-20032471

Prescription Drugs. NACADA for a Drug Free Nation. Removed from: http://www.nacada.go.ke/prescription-drugs

Prescription Drugs Quick Facts. C 2015 Foundation for a Drug Free World. Retrieved from: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/quick-facts.html

Short and Long Term Effects. C 2015 Administrative Office of the Courts. Retrieved from: http://www2.courtinfo.ca.gov/stopteendui/teens/resources/substances/pharming/short-and-long-term-effects.cfm

The Effects of Ketamine Use. C 2015 DrugAbuse.com. Removed from: http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-ketamine-use/

Ketamine. (2013 October 29) Center for Substance Abuse Research. University of Maryland.  Removed from: http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/ketamine.asp

The Effects of Ketamine Abuse. Project Know 2015. Removed from: http://www.projectknow.com/research/ketamine-effects/

Rohypnol. Brown University Health Promotion. Removed from: https://brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/alcohol,_tobacco,_&_other_drugs/rohypnol.php#main

Dextromethorphan. Council on Drug Abuse c 2011. Removed from: http://www.drugabuse.ca/dextromethorphan

Opiate withdrawal. C 2015 Healthline Networks, Inc. Removed from: http://www.healthline.com/health/opiate-withdrawal#ReadThisNext8

Depressants. Foundation for a Drug Free World. Retrieved from: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/depressants.html

Prescription Drugs- Stimulants. Council on Drug Abuse c 2011. Removed from: http://www.drugabuse.ca/stimulants

Treating prescription drug addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Removed from: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/treating-prescription-drug-addiction