Street Names:

"Pot," "Grass," "Weed," "Mary Jane," "Acapulco Gold," "Bud," "Dope," "Hydro," and "Reefer"

"...most parents are amazed at the extent of marijuana use by their son or daughter. In almost every case, parents thought that their student only used occasionally. Almost always, student use of marijuana was much greater than parents thought or were willing to admit." Marijuana - An Educator's Perspective (Click for the complete story.)

Chemical Composition:

Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. It contains over 400 different chemicals from which over 60 are identified as cannabinoids, chemicals specific to the cannabis plant. One of the cannabinoids, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is considered the major psychoactive ingredient.

Marijuana smoke contains toxic chemicals: carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, phenol, creosol and naphthalene.

Tobacco-like marijuana is made from the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant.

Read more: Marijuana


Street Names:

"Speed," "Ice," "Chalk," "Meth," "Crystal," "Crank," "Fire," and "Glass"

"Use of methamphetamine frequently causes a drastic increase in violence, causing users to commit spousal abuse, child abuse, physical assaults or homicide. In Arizona, a man high on methamphetamine decapitated his 14-year-old son and then tossed the dismembered head onto a New Mexico highway-because he thought the boy was a demon. A former meth addict quoted in the Phoenix Gazette said, 'You don't really care about the things you're doing. You don't care if you hurt somebody. You don't care if you take somebody's life.'" Attorney General Dan Lungren, The Coastal Post, April 1998

Chemical Composition:

Methamphetamine (meth) is a synthetic stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine. The central nervous system effects of Methamphetamine are greater than amphetamine.

Methamphetamine is produced in clandestine labs using common materials. Cooking it can be very dangerous because the chemicals used are volatile and the by-products are very toxic. Anhydrous ammonia, a farmland fertilizer, is used in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine. Anhydrous ammonia is often stored in pressurized tanks on farms. Ammonia stored under pressure is in a liquid form but converts to a gas when released into the air. In this gaseous form anhydrous ammonia can cause severe burns and is toxic if breathed, touched or swallowed.

There are other flammable volatile organic compounds used in producing meth - acids, bases, metals and inorganic salts. Additional chemicals are formed during the cooking process.

Read more: Methamphetamine


Street Names:

"Caps," "Magic mushrooms," "Shrooms"

Chemical Composition:

Psilocybin and psilocyn are natural hallucinogenic substances in the psilocybe mushroom. These mushrooms are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the U.S.

They are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.

Read more: Mushrooms

Over the counter

This is not intended to be a complete list of the over-the-counter drugs that can be used inappropriately and dangerously.

Dextromethorphan (DXM) Containing Products - Sold as a cough suppressant, such as Coricidin HPB Cold and Cough, NyQuil, Robitussin, Vick's 44, Contac Severe Cold and Flu, Dimetapp and others.

Methods of Use:

Abusers take a high dosage at one time to achieve an LSD-like high.


High dosages can causean accelerated heartbeat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, slurred speech, sedation, tremors, seizures, temporary blindness, dilated pupils, severe flushing or coma.

Read more: Over the Counter


Street Names:

"Oxy," "OC," "hillbilly heroin"

"Richard Paolino, once considered the area's top illicit supplier of the narcotic painkiller OxyContin, has been jailed since his arrest in March 2001. The former Bensalem doctor is set to be sentenced today, and he could spend the rest of his live behind bars."Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2002

Chemical Composition:

OxyContin® is a prescription time-release, 12 hour, formulation of oxycodone hydrochloride, oxycodone is used in other drugs. It is prescribed for pain management. OxyContin® is a synthetic opiate similar to morphine that is manufactured by Purdue Pharma Inc.

It is a Schedule II in the Controlled Substances Act, which is defined as having a high potential for abuse, having a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Read more: OxyContin


Street Names:

"Angel Dust," "Supergrass," "Killer Weed," "Embalming Fluid," and "Rocket Fuel"

"A ...High School student on a drug-induced rampage ran in front of a school bus yesterday afternoon, seriously injuring himself ... The 17-year-old, whose name was not released, screamed that he was going to kill himself before and after the accident ... 'He said he was on acid and then all of a sudden he went crazy'...The Arizona Daily Star, January 20, 1999

Chemical Composition:

PCP/Phencyclidine in its pure form is a white crystalline powder that dissolves in water. Most PCP is manufactured illegally in clandestine laboratories and contains contaminates causing the color to be brownish and the consistency to range from a powder to a gummy mass.

In the 1950s, researchers originally thought Phencyclidine might be used as an anesthetic, but it produced negative side effects such as confusion and delirium and was discontinued in 1965. For a while it was used as an animal anesthetic but no longer is.

Read more: PCP

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

Street Names:"Roofies," "Rophies," "Roche," "Forget-me Pill," "Circles," "Mexican Valium," "Rib," "Roach-2," "Roopies," "Rope," "Ropies," "Ruffies," "R-2," "Roaches," "Poor Man's Quaalude", and "Mind Erasers."

"All of these victims reported significant memory impairment. Most could not recall what was done to them, who participated, or how many people were present while they were unconscious. Some could remember brief, intermittent periods of awakening, during which they were unable to move or speak. They felt 'paralyzed.' One victim said, 'I came to and saw this guy on top of me about to rape me, but I couldn't move my arms or legs. Then I passed out again.'"Gail Abarbanel, Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center

Chemical Composition:

Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant. It is classified as a benzodiazepine; other benzodiazapines are Valium®, Librium®, Xanax®, and Halcion®. Benzodiazepines are used to produce sedation, sleep or muscle relaxation. Rohypnol® is 7 to 10 times more potent than Valium®.

Rohypnolhas never been approved for any medical use in the United States. In 1999, the Federal Controlled Substances Act classified it as a Schedule I Drug. It is legitimately sold in 80 counties, but it is not approved in the United States and Canada. Hoffman - LaRoche, Inc. manufactures Rohypnoloutside of the U.S.

Read more: Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)