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What types of drugs might my teen be using?

Drugs fall into a number of categories, but they all share one common factor, they are addictive, and they cause damage. The different categories of drugs are shown below, together with examples from each category, and where possible, some of the street names given to them. This is an overview, for more information; see the detailed pages for each drug.

Hallucinogenic Drugs - very popular in the 1960’s and a revival of use amongst teens in recent years. Types:

Effects: “Seeing Sounds”, “Hearing Colors”, paranoid hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, acute anxiety, depression, “spiritual encounters”

Club drugs - the kinds of drugs popular at nightclubs, raves and concerts, see "Clubs drugs, the dangers of ecstasy" for more information. Types:

Effects: Taken to relax, often in combination with other drugs, for extra energy and a high, to reduce inhibitions, often have amnesiac effect, hallucinations, sweating, palpitations, raised blood pressure, anxiety. See, "Advice to protect your teen against date rape drugs".

COCAINE - The major ways of taking cocaine are sniffing or snorting, injecting, and smoking (including free-base and crack cocaine). Some names are Aunt, Aunt Nora, Bernie, Big C, Fast White Lady. The main issue with cocaine is the cheapness of crack cocaine, and its easy availability, but it is also often cut with other dangerous chemicals. It is also known often as the middle class drug, as used by professionals to give them an “edge” in stressful work environments. See also, “Why has cocaine become a drug that teenagers now take more often?”

Effects: paranoia, aggression, depression

HEROIN - used to be injected only, which put many drug users off using it, nowadays, is so pure, can be smoked or inhaled, so increasingly being used by under 18’s. Often heroin is called, smack, stag, H, junk, Black pearl, brown sugar and a number of specialist names depending on where sourced.

Effects: incredible euphoria, high, rush, followed by disorientation, depression as a come down. In the top two of drugs causing drug related deaths across all of the USA.

MARIJUANA - smoked, inhaled, eaten in cakes. The third world’s most lucrative agricultural export! Known as grass, weed, green, ganja, giggle, pot, smoke, there is a whole culture associated with marijuana, and several industries. What needs to be remembered is that this is not the peace and love weed smoked back in the 1960’s, this is a potent drug, and for some people lethal. See, “What you need to know about teenagers and marijuana use.”

Effect euphoria, relaxation, “happy drug”, followed by severe anxiety, depression and in many teenagers, schizophrenic tendencies.

For other, less obvious drugs; see

"Drugs in your cupboard, what your teen could be using under your nose"

"Anabolic steroids and the teenage athlete"

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