Health and Wellness

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Other Drug Use

Numerous health risks have been identified with substance abuse (use of illicit drugs and excessive use of alcohol). Abusers can lose resistance to disease, develop heart problems, contract infections, or become malnourished, physically exhausted, and even die.

Reality is often distorted, reactions may be slower, and the risk of accidents can increase. Extended substance abuse can cause coma, respiratory arrest, and convulsions. Injected drugs increase the risk for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS. Body systems are affected. The liver, lungs, and heart are damaged.

For women, there is an increase in birth defects associated with use during pregnancy.
The Student Services office located in the College Welcome Center (CWC) has more in-depth information on the inherent health risks related to substance abuse.

  • adapted from U.S. Department of Justice-publication Drugs of Abuse (website September 2009)

 

Dependence

 

Drugs

CSA Schedules

Trade or Other Names

Medical Uses

Physical

Psycho-logical

Tolerance

Duration (Hours)

Usual Method

Possible Effects

Effects of Overdose

Withdrawal Syndrome

Narcotics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroin

Substance I

Diamorphine, Horse, Smack, Black tar, Chiva, Negra (black tar)

None in U.S., Analgesic, Antitussive

High

High

Yes

3-4

Injected, snorted, smoked

Euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, nausea

Slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, possible death

Watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, cramps, nausea, chills and sweating

Morphine

Substance II

MS-Contin, Roxanol, Oramorph SR, MSIR

Analgesic

High

High

Yes

3-12

Oral, injected

Hydrocodone

Substance II, Product III, V

Hydrocodone w/ Acetaminophen, Vicodin, Vicoprofen, Tussionex, Lortab

Analgesic, Antitussive

High

High

Yes

3-6

Oral

Hydro-morphone

Substance II

Dilaudid

Analgesic

High

High

Yes

3-4

Oral, injected

Oxycodone

Substance II

Roxicet, Oxycodone w/ Acetaminophen, OxyContin, Endocet, Percocet, Percodan

Analgesic

High

High

Yes

3-12

Oral

Codeine

Substance II, Products III, V

Acetaminophen, Guaifenesin or Promethazine w/Codeine, Fiorinal, Fioricet or Tylenol w/Codeine

Analgesic, Antitussive

Moderate

Moderate

Yes

3-4

Oral, injected

Other Narcotics

Substance II, III, IV

Fentanyl, Demerol, Methadone, Darvon, Stadol, Talwin, Paregoric, Buprenex

Analgesic, Antidiarrheal, Antitussive

High-Low

High-Low

Yes

Variable

Oral, injected, snorted, smoked

Depressants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid

Substance I, Product III

GHB, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Sodium Oxybate, Xyrem®

None in U.S., Anesthetic

Moderate

Moderate

Yes

3-6

Oral

Slurred speech, disorientation, drunken behavior without odor of alcohol, impaired memory of events, interacts with alcohol

Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, possible death

Anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions, possible death

Benzodiazepines

Substance IV

Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, Restoril, Rohypnol (Roofies, R-2), Klonopin

Antianxiety, Sedative, Anticonvulsant, Hypnotic, Muscle Relaxant

Moderate

Moderate

Yes

1-8

Oral, injected

Other Depressants

Substance I, II, III, IV

Ambien, Sonata, Meprobamate, Chloral Hydrate, Barbiturates, Methaqualone (Quaalude)

Antianxiety, Sedative, Hypnotic

Moderate

Moderate

Yes

2-6

Oral

Stimulants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocaine

Substance II

Coke, Flake, Snow, Crack, Coca, Blanca, Perico, Nieve, Soda

Local anesthetic

Possible

High

Yes

1-2

Snorted, smoked, injected

Increased alertness, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate & blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite

Agitation, increased body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death

Apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression, disorientation

Amphetamine/
Meth-amphetamine

Substance II

Crank, Ice, Cristal, Krystal Meth, Speed, Adderall, Dexedrine, Desoxyn

Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, weight control

Possible

High

Yes

2-4

Oral, injected, smoked

Methylphenidate

Substance II

Ritalin (Illy's), Concerta, Focalin, Metadate

Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder

Possible

High

Yes

2-4

Oral, injected, snorted, smoked

Other Stimulants

Substance III, IV

Adipex P, Ionamin, Prelu-2, Didrex, Provigil

Vaso-constriction

Possible

Moderate

Yes

2-4

Oral

Hallucinogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MDMA and Analogs

Substance I

(Ecstasy, XTC, Adam), MDA (Love Drug), MDEA (Eve), MBDB

None

None

Moderate

Yes

4-6

Oral, snorted, smoked

 Heightened senses, teeth grinding and dehydration

Increased body temperature, electrolyte imbalance, cardiac arrest

Muscle aches, drowsiness, depression, acne

LSD

Substance I

 Acid, Microdot, Sunshine, Boomers

None

None

 Unknown

Yes

8-12

Oral

Illusions and hallucinations, altered perception of time and distance

(LSD) Longer, more intense "trip" episodes

 None

Phencyclidine and Analogs

Substance I, II, III

PCP, Angel Dust, Hog, Loveboat, Ketamine (Special K), PCE, PCPy, TCP

Anesthetic (Ketamine)

Possible

High

Yes

1-12

Smoked, oral, injected, snorted

Unable to direct movement, feel pain, or remember

Drug seeking behavior
*Not regulated

Other Hallucinogens

Substance I

Psilocybe mushrooms, Mescaline, Peyote Cactus, Ayahausca, DMT, Dextro-methorphan* (DXM)

None

None

None

Possible

4-8

Oral

Cannabis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marijuana

Substance I

Pot, Grass, Sinsemilla, Blunts, Mota, Yerba, Grifa

None

Unknown

Moderate

Yes

2-4

Smoked, oral

Euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite, disorientation

Fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis

Occasional reports of insomnia, hyperactivity, decreased appetite

Tetrahydro-cannabinol

Substance I, Product III

THC, Marinol

Antinauseant, Appetite stimulant

Yes

Moderate

Yes

2-4

Smoked, oral

Hashish and Hashish Oil

Substance I

Hash, Hash oil

None

Unknown

Moderate

Yes

2-4

Smoked, oral

Anabolic Steroids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testosterone

Substance III

Depo Testosterone, Sustanon, Sten, Cypt

Hypogonadism

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

14-28 days

Injected

Virilization, edema, testicular atrophy, gyneco-mastia, acne, aggressive behavior

Unknown

Possible depression

Other Anabolic Steroids

Substance III

Parabolan, Winstrol, Equipose, Anadrol, Dianabol, Primabolin-Depo, D-Ball

Anemia, Breast cancer

Unknown

Yes

Unknown

Variable

Oral, injected

Inhalants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amyl and Butyl Nitrite

 

Pearls, Poppers, Rush, Locker Room

Angina (Amyl)

Unknown

Unknown

No

1

Inhaled

Flushing, hypotension, headache

Methemo-globinemia

Agitation

Nitrous Oxide

 

Laughing gas, balloons, Whippets

Anesthetic

Unknown

Low

No

0.5

Inhaled

Impaired memory, slurred speech, drunken behavior, slow onset vitamin deficiency, organ damage

Vomiting, respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, possible death

Trembling, anxiety, insomnia, vitamin deficiency, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions

Other Inhalants

 

Adhesives, spray paint, hair spray, dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, lighter fluid

None

Unknown

High

No

0.5-2

Inhaled

Alcohol

 

Beer, wine, liquor

None

High

High

Yes

1-3

Oral

 

Tobacco/Nicotine

Brief
Description:

Through the use of tobacco, nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs and the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases in the U.S., and about 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Cigarettes and chew tobacco are illegal substances in most U.S. states for those under 18; a handful of states have raised the age to 19.

Effects:

Nicotine is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker's risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Pregnant smokers have a higher risk of miscarriage or low birthweight babies. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children.

Statistics
and Trends:

In 2008, nearly 71 million Americans age 12 and older had used a tobacco product at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Web Site). The NIDA-funded 2008 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 6.8% of 8th graders, 12.3% of 10th graders, and 20.4% of 12th graders had used cigarettes and 3.5% of 8th graders, 5.0% of 10th graders, and 6.5% of 12th graders had used smokeless tobacco at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. And while rates of smoking have continued to decline to historically low levels the overall rate of smoking by Americans remains unacceptably high. Source: Monitoring the Future (University of Michigan Web Site)