Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is use of drugs that is habit-forming and not
for medical purposes. Drug abuse is done for the
purpose of changing one's mood, affect, or level of
consciousness, or to alter a body function
unnecessarily. Affect is the outward way in which a
person shows his/her feelings or emotions. Drug abuse
can result in criminal penalty for possessing an illegal
substance or for erratic behavior. Drugs abuse can
also result in physical (e.g., organ damage), mental
(e.g., addiction), and social harm (e.g., loss of friends
and family).

FEATURED BOOK: Buzzed: The Straight Facts on the Most Abused Drugs

Although some illegal drugs are known to known to have some medical purposes (e.g.,
marijuana can help improve nausea) some illegal drugs have no recognized helpful
medical uses in humans. Examples of such drugs include LSD (lysergic acid
diethylalimde) and PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride) which are types of drugs known as
hallucinogens because they cause hallucinations. A hallucination is a strong sensory
perception that one has of an object or event while awake, when no such object or event
exists. Hallucinations can be heard, seen, smelled, tasted, or felt.

The following is a list of some of the most commonly abused drugs: alcohol, marijuana,
nicotine, cocaine, PCP, LSD, opiates, benzodiazepines, ecstasy (a type of hallucinogen),
barbiturates, methaqualone, amphetamines, GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), ketamine,
and anabolic steroids.

"Where Medical Information is Easy to Understand"™
An explanation of some of the drug terms used above follows.
Opiates are drugs that contain opium (a milky substance found in
poppy seeds) that lead to sleep and pain relief. Benzodiazepines
are class of relaxing anti-anxiety medications with high addiction

Barbiturates are relaxing drugs that act by depressing breathing
rate, blood pressure, and brain functioning. Methaqualone (aka
Quaalude, Sopor and Parest) is a drug similar to barbiturates and
was highly abused in the 1960s and 1970s. Amphetamines are a
class of very potent stimulants.
GHB is a date rape drug that produces a very happy mental state, along with increased sociability and
sexuality. Ketamine (aka Special K) is a very strong anesthetic (medication used to eliminate pain) that
causes dissociations (outer body experiences). Anabolic steroids are any one of several compounds
derived from testosterone (a type of hormone found significantly more in males) used to increase body
growth or promote masculine features. Hormones are natural chemicals produced by the body and
released into the blood that have a specific effect on tissues in the body. Click the hyperlink for
information on drug rehabilitation.