Common Drugs of Abuse
The common drugs of abuse and how do they workAlcohol is a legal drug. Its often abused and regular use can lead a person to addiction and considerable physical and mental health problems. The liver quickly metabolizes alcohol into its principle chemical components including carbon dioxide and sugars. Being within the family of depressant drugs alcohol includes such symptoms as slurred speech, loss of motor coordination and impaired judgment. Alcohol is drunk mainly for a loss of inhibitions and euphoria. It’s possible to detect alcohol through testing for a quite short period of time because of its rapid metabolization and elimination. In general, detectable levels of alcohol intoxication are gone in 12-18 hours. As a result all alcohol tests must be made throughout or soon after consumption.
Amphetamine: (AMP) Amphetamines are central nervous stimulants. Amphetamines use includes such symptoms as alertness, sleeplessness, increased energy, reduced appetite and generally feeling of well being. Taking large doses of amphetamines for a long period of time can effect in higher tolerance levels and dependence. Prescription diet pills (Phentermine) are the most common source for amphetamine.
Cocaine: (COC). Coca leaves are used to produce cocaine. Cocaine use includes alertness, restlessness, increased energy and an overall feeling of euphoria. Cocaine may be smoked, breathed in ("snorted") or injected. It’s a very addictive drug. The body metabolizes cocaine to the chemical compound Benzoylecgonine.
Methamphetamine: (MET or M-AMP). It’s a stimulant drug. Methamphetamine is quickly metabolized to amphetamine. It can be used in pill form or in powdered form by breathing in or injecting. Crystallized methamphetamine is breathed in by smoking and is a significantly the most powerful form of the drug. Methamphetamine use includes such symptoms as: increased heart rate, wakefulness, physical activity and reduced appetite. Methamphetamine use can be a reason of irreversible damage to the brain, producing strokes and convulsions, which can lead to death. Ecstasy is a refined and processed form of methamphetamine, a new fashionable and popular drug among teenagers.
Opiates: (OPI) Opiates are addictive narcotic drugs derived from the resin of the poppy plant. Opiates are analgesics (pain reducers) which depress the central nervous system. Moreover, they can also slow down the respiratory system. If people suffer from severe or chronic pain doctors often prescribe them opiates. Opiates are very addictive, both physically and psychologically. Some commonly used opiates are: Codeine, Darvon, Heroin, Methadone, Morphine, Opium, Percodan, Talwin, Dilaudid and Demerol. Opiates are referred to as "downers". Opiates can be produced in many forms: white powder or crystals; small white, yellow or orange pills; large colorful capsules; clear liquid and dark brown, sticky bars or balls. Heroin accounts for the majority of the illegal opiate abuse. Opiates use include following physical signals: great loss of appetite and weight, needle tracks or punctures, black and blue marks from "skin popping", scars along veins, cramps, nausea, vomiting, excessive scratching and complaint of itching, excessive sweating, constipation, raw, red nostrils from snorting, runny nose, pin-point pupils and watery eyes, reduced vision, drowsiness, euphoria, trance-like states, excessive thirst, tremors, twitching, unkempt appearance, strong body odor, irritability, chills; slight hallucinations and lethargy. Opiates reduce attention span, sensory and motor abilities, produce irrational behavior, depression, paranoia, and other psychological abnormalities.
Oxycodone (OXY) Pharmaceutical drugs Percodan, Percocet, Roxicodone, Oxycontin. Even as classified as an Opiate, the chemical structure and metabolite of Oxycodone requires a separate Opiate test with a considerably higher sensitivity detection level than that of the standard Opiate drug test. As a result, a positive test result will not only prove Oxycodone but other opiates as well. In this view the Oxycodone test is not Oxycodone specific but opiate specific being able to notice Oxycodone/opiate use at the higher sensitivity level required while the 2000 ng/ml sensitivity level of the standard opiate test would not detect Oxycodone. Oxycodone is usually prescribed in oral pill form with the analgesic buffer Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen, 4'-hydroxyacetanilide, is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic which can be produced as a white, odorless, crystalline powder, possessing a slightly bitter taste. It has the following molecular formula C8H9NO2. The molecular weight is 151.17. The Oxycodone component is 14-hydroxydihydrocodeinone, a white, odorless, crystalline powder having a saline, bitter taste. It is derived from the opium alkaloid thebaine. Its molecular formula is C18H21NO4•HCl. The molecular weight is 351.83.
Phencyclidine :( PCP) Phencyclidine hydrochloride (or PCP) is a hallucinogen. It’s as well known as "angel dust". It can be used orally, by inhalation, by "snorting" or by injection. The effects of using this drug can be unpredictable and variable. Users may demonstrate signs of euphoria, anxiety, relaxation, increased strength, time / space distortions, horror, panic or hallucination. PCP use can lead to paranoia and extreme irrational behavior. This drug was very popular some years ago but nowadays it’s a major drug of abuse.
Propoxyphene (PPX) Propoxyphene (PPX) is a narcotic analgesic complex bearing structural similarity to methadone. As an analgesic, propoxyphene can be from 50-75% as potent as oral codeine. One of the most common brand names for the drug is Darvocet™. It includes 50-100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 325-650 mg of acetaminophen. Darvocet™ achieves peak plasma concentrations from 1 to 2 hours post dose. But if overdose, propoxyphene blood concentrations can reach considerably higher levels. In humans, propoxyphene is metabolized by N-demethylation to yield norpropoxyphene. Norpropoxyphene has a longer half-life (30 to 36 hours) than parent propoxyphene (6 to 12 hours). The accumulation of norpropoxyphene seen with repeated doses may be largely responsible for resultant toxicity.
THC (marijuana): (THC) Tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) is an active component in marijuana. Marijuana is a hallucinogen. It is usually ingested by smoking, but it may also be eaten. Marijuana may damage learning and coordination abilities. Teenagers and young adults often choose Marijuana. The hallucinogenic effect of Marijuana may be following : irrational behavior, disorientation, and paranoia. As a matter of fact, for many days after smoking low concentrations of THC keeps on in urine at a detectable concentration. Marijuana is the most ordinary spare time drug of abuse.
Barbiturates: (BAR). Barbiturates produce a state of intoxication that is extremely related to alcohol intoxication and they classified usually as depressants. Barbiturates use includes the following symptoms: slurred speech, loss of motor coordination and impaired judgment. Individuals can rapidly develop tolerance, physical dependence and psychological dependence on barbiturates depending on the dose, frequency, and duration of use. Barbiturate abusers have a preference the short-acting and intermediate-acting barbiturates pentobarbital (Nembutal), secobarbital (Seconal) and amobarbital (Amytal). Other short-and intermediate-acting barbiturates are butalbital (Fiorinal, Fioricet), butabarbital (Butisol), talbutal (Lotusate) and aprobarbital (Alurate). After oral administration, the beginning of action is from 15 to 40 minutes and the effects last up to 6 hours.
Benzodiazepines: (BZO). This drug is classified as depressants. Benzodiazepines are usually used therapeutically to create sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms and to prevent seizures. As a general rule, benzodiazepines act as hypnotics if take in high doses, as anxiolytics in moderate doses and as sedatives in low doses. Similar to the barbiturates, benzodiazepines differ from one another in how quick they take effect and how long the effects last. Shorter acting benzodiazepines, used to deal with insomnia, include estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), quazepam (Doral), temazepam (Restoril) and triazolam (Halcion). Benzodiazepines with longer durations of action include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), halazepam (Paxipam), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax) and prazepam (Centrax). Abuse of Benzodiazepines occurs primarily because of the "high" which imitates alcohol intoxication. Just about 50 percent of people who start treatment for narcotic or cocaine addiction also report abusing benzodiazepines.
Methadone: (MTD). Even though chemically not like morphine or heroin, methadone makes many of the same effects. Methadone is mainly used nowadays for the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone are longer-lasting than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours, thus it can be taken only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs. Paradoxically, methadone, used to control narcotic addiction, is an often abused narcotic, often encountered on the illegal market. And as a matter of fact, methadone has been associated with a great number of overdose deaths.
MDMA (Ecstasy): (MDMA) Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) is a fashionable drug which was first synthesized in 1913 by a German drug company for the treatment of fatness. If take Ecstasy regularly, people suffer from report adverse effects, such as increased muscle tension and sweating. MDMA is not obviously a stimulant, though it has, like amphetamine drugs, a capacity to increase blood pressure and heart rate. Moreover, MDMA produce some perceptual changes in the form of increased sensitivity to light, difficulty in focusing, and blurred vision in some users. Its mechanism of action is thought to be via release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. MDMA may also release dopamine, even though the universal opinion is that this is a secondary effect of the drug. A clenching of the jaws is the most pervasive effect of MDMA, occurring in almost all people who have taken a sensible dose of the drug. MDMA’s symptomatic and biological responses are analogous to those produced by methamphetamine.
Nicotine: (COT) is unquestionably the most addictive drug in use these days. A great number of experts and healthcare professionals agree with this statement. Tobacco products are the main source of nicotine. If you smoke or chew Tobacco, it results in the absorption of nicotine through the lung and buccal/nasal epithelium, after which nicotine is metabolized into 20 metabolites excreted in urine including the primary metabolite Cotinine which is the main marker for nicotine tests and tobacco use screening. Smoking has been proved as causal factor to throat and lung cancer. Besides, smoking leads to other major health problems as well as heart disease. Chewing tobacco or use of "snuff", the refined powder version of tobacco has been found to add to the growth of oral cancers and tumors including other major diseases of the mouth and oral tissues.
Tricyclic antidepressants, (TCA). Generic and brand names of the tricyclic antidepressants include Adapin, Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Asendin, Desipramine, Doxepin, Elavil, Imipramine, Ludiomil, Maprotiline, Norpramin, Nortriptyline, Pamelor, Pertofrane, Protriptyline, Sinequan, Surmontil, Tofranil, and Vivactil. Since the 1950s Tricyclic antidepressants have been recommended for depression and compulsive disorders. TCAs were the main choice of physicians for the enormous majority of people with major depressive disorders until recently. Paradoxically TCAs are often used for symptomatic treatment of drug addiction and withdrawal and in particular, alcoholism. Tricyclic antidepressants raise the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain with the help of slowing the rate of reuptake, or re-absorption, by nerve cells. Usually TCAs are taken over an unlimited period as results from the drugs are gradual. TCAs can be fatal if taken at high doses owing to the possibility of causing serious cardiac complications. Abuse of TCAs can be the result of fear of relapse rather than any psycho-pharmacological effect. Since the drugs have clearly defined euphoric psychological and stimulatory physiological action in cases of constant usage,on the other hand the potential for TCA abuse is well established. Any comprehensive drug screening program should include a TCA panel.