Four Categories of Street Drugs and an Example of Each

The four main categories of street drugs include cannabinoids such as marijuana, opioids such as heroin, stimulants such as cocaine, and club drugs such methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (Center on Addiction, 2017). Marijuana is a form of cannabinoids which is used through smoking or swallowing. Its common street names include weed, ganja, bud joint or grass among others. The main physical changes associated with use of marijuana include lack of coordination, bloodshot eyes, increased snacks cravings, lethargic, sleepy and fast heart rate. Marijuana use also causes behavioral changes to include secretiveness, lack of focus and confusion, misjudging time, unusual talkative, and dropping usual activities especially studies.

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Heroin is a form of opioids which can be snorted, smoked or injected. Its main street names include brown sugar, dope, skunk, white horse, junk, H, cheese, or skag among others. The signs and symptoms of using heroin include dry mouth, breath shortness, small or constricted pupils, disorientation, sudden change of action or behaviors, hyper alertness cycles followed by nodding off suddenly, and droopy appearance that seems like edges are heavy.

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Cocaine is a form of stimulant which is used through injecting, smoking or snorting. Its common street names include crack, coke, toot, snow, candy, C, rock, blow, Charlie, snow or flake among others. The signs and symptoms associated with use of cocaine include increased agitation, disinhibition, changes in focus and concentration increased movement, muscle tics or signs of involuntary movements, effusive enthusiasm, increased symptoms of cold and nose bleeding. Others include dilated pupils, social isolation, deterioration in hygiene habits, change in eating and sleeping patterns, loss of interest in things which brought joy once, burn marks on lips and hands, residue of white powder around the mouth and nose, and psychosis.

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Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a form of club drugs that is used through swallowing, injecting or snorting. Its common street names include ecstasy, molly, clarity, upper, eve, Adam, peace and lover’s speed. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with MDMA include hallucination, euphoria, decreased thirst and appetite, heightened sense of mental clarity,, heightened emotions, anxiety, depression, fatigue irritability, memory and attention issues, insomnia, mental confusion, lack of motor control, paranoia, hostility, mood swing, and panic attacks. Others include sweating, teeth clenching, empathic feelings, and chills (Center on Addiction, 2017).

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