Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs - Addictive Prescription Drugs

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Name Examples of Commercial and Street Names DEA Schedule How Administered
Barbiturates Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital: barbs, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows, yellow jackets II, III, IV injected, swallowed
Benzodiazepines Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, Xanax: candy, downers, sleeping pills, tranks IV swallowed
Sleep Medications Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), Lunesta (eszopiclone): forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roche, roofies, roofinol, rope, rophies IV swallowed, snorted
Intoxication Effects - Sedation/drowsiness, reduced anxiety, feelings of well-being, lowered inhibitions, slurred speech, poor concentration, confusion, dizziness, impaired coordination and memory

Potential Health Consequences - lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, tolerance, withdrawal, addiction; increased risk of respiratory distress and death when combined with alcohol

Also, for barbiturates - euphoria, unusual excitement, fever, irritability/life-threatening withdrawal in chronic users

Opioids and Morphine Derivatives**

Name Examples of Commercial and Street Names DEA Schedule How Administered
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, V injected, swallowed
Morphine Roxanol, Duramorph: M, Miss Emma, monkey, white stuff II, III injected, swallowed, smoked
Methadone Methadose, Dolophine: fizzies, amidone, (with MDMA: chocolate chip cookies) II swallowed, injected
Fentanyl & analogs Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze: Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, Tango and Cash II injected, smoked, snorted
Other opioid pain relievers: Oxycodone HCL, Hydrocodone Bitartrate Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, Meperidine, Propoxyphene Tylox, Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet: Oxy, O.C., oxycotton, oxycet, hillbilly
heroin, percs
Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet; Vike, Watson-387
: juice, smack, D, footballs, dillies
Opana, Numporphan, Numorphone; biscuits, blue heaven, blues, Mrs. O, octagons, stop signs, O bomb
Demerol, meperidine hydrochloride: demmies, pain killer
Darvon, Darvocet
II, III, V chewed, swallowed, snorted, injected, suppositories
Intoxication Effects - Pain relief, euphoria, drowsiness, sedation, weakness, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, confusion, dry mouth, itching, sweating, clammy skin, constipation

Potential Health Consequences - slowed or arrested breathing, lowered pulse and blood pressure, tolerance, addiction, unconsciousness, coma, death; risk of death increased when combined with alcohol or other CNS depressants

Also for fentanyl - 80-100 times more potent analgesic than morphine

Also for oxycodone - muscle relaxation/twice as potent analgesic as morphine; high abuse potential

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

Also for methadone - used to treat opioid addiction and pain; significant overdose risk when used improperly

** Taking drugs by injection can increase the risk of infection through needle contamination with staphylococci, HIV, hepatitis, and other organisms. Injection is a more common practice for opioids, but risks apply to any medication taken by injection.



Name Examples of Commercial and Street Names DEA Schedule How Administered
Amphetamines Biphetamine, Dexedrine, Adderall: bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers II, III, V injected, swallowed
Methylphenidate Concerta, Ritalin: JIF, MPH, R-ball, Skippy, the smart drug, vitamin R II, III injected, swallowed, smoked

Intoxication Effects - Feelings of exhilaration, increased energy, mental alertness

Potential Health Consequences - increased heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism, reduced appetite, weight loss, nervousness, insomnia, seizures, heart attack, stroke

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

Also, for methylphenidate - increase or decrease in blood pressure, digestive problems, loss of appetite, weight loss

Other Compounds

Name Examples of Commercial and Street Names DEA Schedule How Administered
Dextromethorphan (DXM) Found in some cough and cold medicines: Robotripping, Robo, Triple C Not scheduled swallowed

Intoxication Effects - Euphoria, slurred speech

Potential Health Consequences - increased heart rate and blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, paranoia, distorted visual perceptions, impaired motor function

Facts About Prescription Drug Abuse

2010 Drug Abuse Chart
About 7 Million Americans Reported Past-Month Use of Prescription Drugs for Nonmedical Purposes in 2010

What types of prescription drugs are abused?

Three types of drugs are 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.
Drug Abuse in 12th Grade
After Marijuana, Prescription and Nonmedical use of Over-the-Counter Medication Account for
Most of the Commonly Abused Drugs

How can you help prevent prescription drug abuse?

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication, especially if you are unsure about its effects.
  • Keep your doctor informed about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications.
  • Read the information your pharmacist provides before starting to take medications.
  • Take your medication(s) as prescribed.
  • Keep all prescription medications secured at all times and properly dispose of any unused medications.

The information provided above is courtesy of

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