Addictive Drug Information Guide

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Health care professionals typically define an addictive drug as any substance that is taken to alter the way you feel, think or behave. Addictive drugs include alcohol and tobacco, as well as natural and manufactured substances. They are potentially dangerous to your health and wellbeing.

Descriptions and Dangers

Following are descriptions, pseudonyms, effects and dangers associated with common addictive drugs. If you think you or someone you love may have an addiction, read our guide to Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Dependency.

Sources: United Nations International Drug Control Program; National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).


Heroin

Heroin

Brief Description

An addictive drug that is processed from morphine and usually appears as a white or brown powder.

Pseudonyms

Smack, H, ska, junk, and many others.

Effects

Short-term effects include a surge of euphoria followed by alternately wakeful and drowsy states and cloudy mental functioning. Associated with fatal overdose and- particularly in users who inject the drug-infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Long-term users may develop collapsed veins, liver disease, and lung complications.

Statistics and Trends

NIDA's 2005Monitoring the Futurestudy showed that 1.5% of 10th and 12th graders had used heroin at least once. Source: NIDA Infofacts: High School and Youth Trends.


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