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What drugs are abused by teenagers?

Virtually every drug that is abused by adults is also abused by adolescents. In addition to alcohol, common categories of drugs of abuse include the following:

  • Tobacco products (for example, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco)
  • Cannabinoids (for example, marijuana, hashish), sometimes called "pot, weed, Mary Jane, or herb" and is smoked in a "joint," "blunt," "bong," "backwood," or pipe
  • Cold medications (for example, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine [Sudafed], diphenhydramine [Benadryl]
  • Inhalants (for example, gasoline, ammonia), the use of which is often referred to as "huffing"
  • Depressants (for example, barbiturates, benzodiazepines), sometimes called "reds, yellows, yellow jackets, downers or roofies"
  • Stimulants (for example, amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine), sometimes called "bennies, black beauties, speed, uppers, blow, crack, rock, toot, crank, crystal, or skippy"
  • Narcotics (for example, morphine, heroin, codeine, oxycodone [Oxycontin], hydrocodone/acetaminophen [Vicodin], sometimes called cody, schoolboy, dope, Tango and Cash, or monkey"
  • Hallucinogens (for example LSD, "mushrooms"), sometimes called "acid, yellow sunshines, buttons, or shrooms"
  • Dissociative anesthetics (for example, phencyclidine/PCP, ketamine), sometimes called "lovely, boat, Love Boat, angel dust, K, vitamin K, or cat" and whose use is often referred to as "getting wet"
  • Club drugs (for example, Ecstasy), sometimes called "X"
  • Others (for example, anabolic steroids), sometimes called "juice or roids"
Return to Teen Drug Abuse

See what others are saying

Comment from: WaltSob, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

I'm a 19 y.o. man, and I've tried every drug that nature can offer to us, including lots of rc's, tested but not all of them approved. I've been in rehab for 3 weeks, and that's all. I love it so much that i can't imagine livin' without all our lovely drugs.

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Comment from: BKE, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

The first drug I've ever tried was pot. I tried it when I was twelve years old. I tried it because my best friend who I've always wanted to be just like was doing it. At 14 years old, I became a binge drinker. I drank as often as I could because I was hurting in life and partying felt like a way to get away from all of my problems. One night, I was drinking with 'friends'. They were a lot older then me, then someone pulled out rips of cocaine. They asked me if I wanted one, and i thought to myself oh one can't hurt. After the one line, I felt AMAZING, like I've never felt before. A couple weeks after that, I ended up doing ecstacy, and on that exact night one of my really close friends ended up getting raped because I was too out out of it to take care of her as she was beyond drunk.. I am 18 now and I've done pot, cocaine, ecstacsy (mdma), mushrooms, prescription pills, meth I smoke cigarettes, and I am a every weekend drinker. My words of advice to any young people out there who may be caught up with the wrong crowd are: Ok, pot really isn't all that bad, neither with drinking. As long as you do it all responsibly. I chose the wrong path in life and I've done nothing but loose SEVERAL of my good friendships that I've had. When someone offers you anything more than pot, Please NEVER say yes. I know you'll think, "oh ill just do it one time" but you won't! trust me on that!! every single person that i have known who's done any of these drugs hasn't done it just one time. It's not worth it. I get rumors made up about me all the time because of the life style I chose. I used to be such a smart kid but because of all the choices I've made I'm in the alt school falling behind and i may not graduate on time. I know you probably hear things like this all the time, and think its not going to happen to me, if you make the choices like I did, things like this will happen. I've been through it all. All im saying is drugs CAN take over your life, and its not worth it!

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