Life of Becka

Confessions of a Dreamer

Prescription Drug Abuse Chart


Medications can be effective when they are used properly, but some can be addictive and dangerous when misused. This chart provides a brief look at some prescribed medications that—when used in ways other than they are prescribed—have the potential for abuse and even addiction. Fortunately, most Americans take their medications responsibly. Addiction to prescription drugs is rare. However, in 2003, approximately 15 million Americans reported using a prescription drug for nonmedical reasons at least once during the year.

What types of prescription drugs are misused or abused?

Three types of drugs are misused or abused most often:

  • Opioids—prescribed for pain relief
  • CNS depressants—barbiturates and benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems (often referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers)
  • Stimulants—prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the sleep disorder narcolepsy, or obesity.

Prescription Drug Abuse Chart

Substances:
Category and Name
Examples ofCommercial
and Street Names
DEA Schedule*/
How Administered**
Intoxication Effects/Potential Health Consequences
Depressants reduced pain and anxiety; feeling of well-being; lowered inhibitions; slowed pulse and breathing; lowered blood pressure; poor concentration/confusion, fatigue; impaired coordination, memory, judgment; respiratory depression and arrest, addiction

Also, for barbiturates—sedation, drowsiness/depression, unusual excitement, fever, irritability, poor judgment, slurred speech, dizziness

for benzodiazepines—sedation, drowsiness/dizziness

for flunitrazepam—visual and gastrointestinal disturbances, urinary retention, memory loss for the time under the drug’s effects

barbiturates Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital; barbs, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows, yellow jackets II, III, V/injected, swallowed
benzodiazepines (other than flunitrazepam) Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, Xanax; candy, downers, sleeping pills, tranks IV/swallowed
flunitrazepam***+ Rohypnol; forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roche, roofies, roofinol, rope, rophies IV/swallowed, snorted
Dissociative Anesthetics increased heart rate and blood pressure, impaired motor function/memory loss; numbness; nausea/vomiting

Also, for ketamine—at high doses, delirium, depression, respiratory depression and arrest

ketamine Ketalar SV; cat Valium, K, Special K, vitamin K III/injected, snorted, smoked
Opioids and Morphine Derivatives pain relief, euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, addiction

Also, for codeine—less analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression than morphine

codeine Empirin with Codeine, Fiorinal with Codeine, Robitussin A-C, Tylenol with Codeine;Captain Cody, Cody, schoolboy; (with glutethimide) doors & fours, loads, pancakes and syrup II, III, IV/injected, swallowed
fentanyl Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze; Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, Tango and Cash II/injected, smoked, snorted
morphine Roxanol, Duramorph;M, Miss Emma, monkey, white stuff II, III/injected, swallowed, smoked
opium laudanum, paregoric;big O, black stuff, block, gum, hop II, III, V/swallowed, smoked
other opioid pain relievers (oxycodone, meperidine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, propoxyphene) Tylox, OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet;oxy 80s, oxycotton, oxycet, hillbilly heroin, percs
Demerol, meperidine hydrochloride;demmies, pain killer
Dilaudid; juice, dillies
Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet; Darvon, Darvocet
II, III, IV/swallowed, injected, suppositories, chewed, crushed, snorted
Stimulants increased heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism; feelings of exhilaration, energy, increased mental alertness/rapid or irregular heart beat; reduced appetite, weight loss, heart failure

Also, for amphetamines—rapid breathing; hallucinations/tremor, loss of coordination; irritability, anxiousness, restlessness, delirium, panic, paranoia, impulsive behavior, aggressiveness, tolerance, addiction

for cocaine—increased temperature/chest pain, respiratory failure, nausea, abdominal pain, strokes, seizures, headaches, malnutrition

for methamphetamine—aggression, violence, psychotic behavior/memory loss, cardiac and neurological damage; impaired memory and learning, tolerance, addiction

for methylphenidate—increase or decrease in blood pressure, psychotic episodes/digestive problems, loss of appetite, weight loss

amphetamines Biphetamine, Dexedrine; bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers II/injected, swallowed, smoked, snorted
cocaine Cocaine hydrochloride;blow, bump, C, candy, Charlie, coke, crack, flake, rock, snow, toot II/injected, smoked, snorted
methamphetamine Desoxyn; chalk, crank, crystal, fire, glass, go fast, ice, meth, speed II/injected, swallowed, smoked, snorted
methylphenidate Ritalin; JIF, MPH, R-ball, Skippy, the smart drug, vitamin R II/injected, swallowed, snorted
Other Compounds no intoxication effects/hypertension, blood clotting and cholesterol changes, liver cysts and cancer, kidney cancer, hostility and aggression, acne; adolescents, premature stoppage of growth; in males, prostate cancer, reduced sperm production, shrunken testicles, breast enlargement; in females, menstrual irregularities, development of beard and other masculine characteristics
anabolic steroids Anadrol, Oxandrin, Durabolin, Depo-Testosterone, Equipoise; roids, juice III/injected, swallowed, applied to skin


* Schedule I and II drugs have a high potential for abuse. They require greater storage security and have a quota on manufacturing, among other restrictions. Schedule I drugs are available for research only and have no approved medical use; Schedule II drugs are available only by prescription (unrefillable) and require a form for ordering. Schedule III and IV drugs are available by prescription, may have five refills in 6 months, and may be ordered orally. Most Schedule V drugs are available over the counter.

** Taking drugs by injection can increase the risk of infection through needle contamination with staphylococci, HIV, hepatitis, and other organisms.

*** Associated with sexual assaults.

+ Not available by prescription in U.S.

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2009 by in Prescription Medications and tagged , , .
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