- Drug Information
- Prescriptions (Opioids) and Over-the-Counter Medications
- Party Drugs
- Methamphetamine/"Crystal Meth”
- Cocaine and “Crack”
- Solvents, Glue and Other Inhalants
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“Medicine is not candy.”
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“Even a little too much medicine can hurt you.”
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“Never use someone else’s medicine.”
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“We keep medicine in a safe place.”
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“We use medicine only when we really need it. If I get a headache, I try rest, using a cold cloth or getting fresh air to get rid of it.”
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">“Only I may give you medicine. If I’m not with you, I’ll tell you who is allowed to give you medicine.”
Cannabis is the third most popular drug used by youth. Marijuana (or "weed" or "pot"), hashish and hash oil are all from the cannabis plant. THC (delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol) is the active ingredient in cannabis that changes the mood and distorts the perceptions of the user. Levels of THC found in cannabis have more than doubled in the last twenty years; THC is more concentrated in hash and hash oil. As with any illicit drug, the exact strength of and additives to the drug can vary widely.
Methods of Use:
Marijuana comes from the dried buds, leaves, stems and seeds of the plant and somewhat resembles the herb oregano. It is smoked in pipes or in hand-rolled cigarettes, called "joints" or filled into hollowed-out cigars called "blunts". It is sometimes cooked in foods or baked goods.
Hashish is a dried, caked resinous substance, found as soft or hard chunks which range in color from "blonde" to black. It is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked in pipes or joints.
Hash oil is an oily extract, usually stored in small glass containers called vials.
Cannabis Paraphernalia (Equipment and Accessories):
Small smoking pipes, often ornate, made of metal, wood, stone or plastic
Rolling papers which can be plain, colored, decorated or flavored
Water pipes, called "bongs", that are made with hollow cylinders or round bulbs or bubbles or a combination of the two
Homemade smoking and water pipes made from pop cans or bottles
Small "baggies" or sealable plastic bags for holding the dried leaves
Short-term Effects of Using Cannabis:
the person will get a "high" feeling, often becoming more relaxed and talkative, less concerned about what he does or says
the person's pulse rate, heart beat and blood pressure will rise; his eyes may get red
after a while, the person will become quiet and sleepy
if the person is drinking or using other drugs as well as cannabis, he or she may not be able to think clearly and his or her behaviour may change in ways that are not consistent with the effects of cannabis use alone
short-term memory, concentration and ability to think clearly will be impaired
the person may become anxious, confused, restless, excited; he may start seeing things and become anxious or panicky
Cannabis and Teens:
frequent marijuana use beginning in the teen years has been linked to lower IQ scores in adults
with repeated use there is an increased risk of mental health problems, such as psychosis, depression and anxiety
youth who are depressed or anxious are also more likely to use marijuana to deal with their symptoms
nearly 12% of teenage drivers report driving after smoking marijuana – doubling their risk of a crash
Young people have reported the non-medical use of prescription and over-the counter medicines for many years. Prescription drugs include stimulants and tranquillizers/sedatives such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan. Prescription pain relievers (used without a prescription) were the fourth most commonly used drug by Ontario students in 2011.
Prescription Pain Relievers (Opioids)
Of particular concern are the class of drugs known as "opioids" – the pain relievers like Percodan, Percocet, Tylenol #3, codeine and Demerol that are available with a prescription. The misuse of these drugs is a growing problem in Canada. Youth report that they are using prescription pain killers for non-medical purposes. The majority of them get them from home. One drug that has received increased attention is "OxyContin" which was the trademark name for a prescription time-released pain medication. The pill contains a large amount of its painkiller ingredient (oxycodone) and was effective to take when used as prescribed because it slowly released the active ingredient. However when the pill was crushed or chewed all the ingredients were released at once and the effects were very harmful. While OxyContin itself has been replaced by the manufacturer with a safer, tamper resistant alternative (OxyNeo), a generic form of slow-release oxycodone has been produced and there are concerns about abuse of these products.
The person may feel a rush of intense pleasure (euphoria), similar to heroin
The respiratory system may be depressed resulting in breathing problems- a severe respiratory reaction can cause death
The person may experience constipation, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, sweating and weakness
Long term use can result in physical dependence and addiction
Stimulants are a class of drugs that speed up the central nervous system and cause a boost of energy and alertness. They can be used to lose weight or to keep someone awake. Effects include feelings of restlessness, a sense of being powerful, anxiety and nervousness, and aggression. They increase the heart rate and blood pressure and can result in seizures and heart failure.
ADHD drugs, also known as "study drugs" are stimulants prescribed for people (usually children and youth) with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). These drugs include Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall and Dexedrine. Used carefully for medical reasons, they can be effective in helping a child with ADHD focus better and control impulsive behavior. They can, however, be misused as recreational drugs. Users can swallow the drug or crush it and snort it. It can cause euphoria, wakefulness and suppress a person's appetite.
(also E, XTC, RAdam, Euphoria, "X", MDMA, molly, Love Doves)
Ecstasy is a recreational drug, most popular among teenagers and young adults, and is often found in environments where alcohol is not permitted. It has certain effects in common with hallucinogens and the party drugs but is related to amphetamines (a stimulant). It is produced in illegal laboratories and can often be contaminated by substances such as caffeine or ephedrine or other toxic drugs. It is usually taken by mouth in capsules or tablets, which are often stamped with a logo, making them look like candy. It may also be a powder that is sniffed. There have been deaths which have been attributed to the use of ecstasy.
in lower doses, it can cause feelings of pleasure, closeness to others, energy and confidence
there may be increased blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, nausea, jaw pain, blurred vision and vomiting
overheating and possible dehydration can occur when ecstasy use is combined with all night dancing
higher doses may produce hallucinations, paranoia, panic, anxiety and depression
the person may experience after effects such as confusion, irritability, anxiety and sleep problems
repeated use can result in confusion, irritability, depression and weight loss
(rophies, ruffies, roofies)
Rohypnol is the manufacturer's trade name for a drug that belongs to the same family of sedative drugs that includes drugs such as Valium (trade name). It is not approved for use in Canada or the USA. The person may experience lack of memory, impaired judgment, dizziness, and periods of blackout. Sedation begins in about 30 minutes, peaks within 2 hours and lasts for about 8 hours.
(Special K, baby food)
Ketamine is also a drug that is available at clubs and raves and has been reported in cases of sexual assault. It is a relative of PCP and has been used as an anesthetic in medical and veterinary practice. The drug is found in the form of capsules, powder, crystals and solutions. Effects include temporary amnesia and hallucinations which may be intense or terrifying, dizziness, numbness, and blurred vision. The person may feel sleepy, withdrawn, or confused. They may experience "disassociation", feeling as though the mind is separated from the body.
(Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X)
GHB, (gamma hydroxy butyrate) has surfaced as a drug at clubs and rave parties and also has been found in cases of sexual assault. It is an illegally manufactured drug mostly prepared as an odorless and tasteless liquid. It is quickly absorbed in the body and peaks in 20-60 minutes. At low doses, the person may feel sociable and less inhibited. With a slightly higher dose the person may experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, amnesia and vertigo. At higher doses, the person may experience loss of consciousness, seizures, depressed breathing and coma.
The term "hallucinogens" refers to a class of drugs that have the effect of changing the user's perception of reality. These drugs can make people hear or see things that aren't really there ("hallucinate"), change the way they feel time is passing, distort colors and sounds, and make people feel their minds are separated from their bodies. A person using these drugs may find these feelings pleasant and exciting or threatening and disturbing, sometimes resulting in panic and depression, injuries or even accidental deaths. Other effects include numbness, weakened muscles and nausea. The response can vary each time.
(Magic mushrooms, shrooms, shroomies)
This drug usually comes in a form of dried mushrooms which are swallowed. However, it also can come as a powder in capsules. The powder can be sniffed, smoked, injected or mixed with liquid, such as juice, and swallowed.
(acid, blotter, cid, microdot, windowpane)
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a white, odorless, crystalline powder made in illegal laboratories. The pure drug is almost invisible. It is usually taken by mouth. To be sold on the streets it is packaged in tablets, capsules, gelatin sheets or pieces of blotting paper, often with cartoon drawings on them.
Mescaline is derived from "buttons" of the peyote cactus, which are chopped or ground and sold in capsules or prepared chemically.
PCP comes in the form of a white or colored crystal or powder or tablet. It is usually mixed with tobacco or marijuana and smoked. Effects can last as long as two weeks. Users can become violent.
(Magic mint, SallyD, salvia)
This is a form of sage from the mint family. Despite being restricted from being sold in stores, it is available for purchase online or in drug paraphernalia or "head shops". The leaves are chewed or made into a juice or dried and smoked. The effects of this drug include hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, loss of consciousness and memory, and lack of physical coordination. Very little is known about the long term effects of this drug.
(Stinkweed, locoweed, Angel's Trumpet, Datura)
This is a legal, but poisonous plant that grows wild and in many gardens in southern Canada. Users can eat the seeds, brew the leaves as a tea, or smoke the dried leaves to experience the hallucinogenic and euphoric effects. The plant, however, has caused poisoning and even death in animals and humans.
(speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, glass, tina, jib, crank)
While the use of crystal meth is not on the rise among the mainstream high school population, there may be concern about how much it is used among certain populations, such as street youth, or within particular communities.
it causes feelings of an intense sensation of pleasure; when smoked or injected there is a brief "rush" or "flash" although the drug stays in the body for up to 12 hours
it causes increased heart rate, blood pressure and can cause damage to blood vessels in the brain and convulsions
the person may experience loos of appetite, become anxious, aggressive or confused
long-term effects include; possible irreversible damage to brain cell-endings, associated with thinking, memory and movement, insomnia, anorexia, paranoia, bizarre violent behavior and skin sores.
("C", coke, flake, snow, stardust, blow, nose candy)
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that comes from the coca bush that grows in South America. The leaves are soaked, mashed and filtered to create a paste that is treated with chemicals. It ends up as a powder that has other powders added to it.
"Crack" or "rock" is cocaine which is chemically changed so it can be smoked and inhaled into the lungs. Crack cocaine is particularly addictive and very dangerous. People are attracted to it because smoking provides a much quicker and more intense "high" than sniffing or "snorting" cocaine into the nostrils. The immediate, intense euphoria of smoking crack cocaine wears off more quickly than when the drug is sniffed. Then the user becomes anxious, irritable and deeply depressed and craves another dose to relieve the depression. Cocaine can be snorted into the nose as a powder or injected by needle. It can be smoked in the form of crack or rock.
the person's appetite will decrease
the person will be more alert and have more energy and will not get tired easily
the person's heart rate, blood pressure breathing will speed up and there is a risk of burst blood vessels or heart failure
the person's pupils will be enlarged and their appetite decreased
the person may act bizarre or be violent; they may experience paranoid psychosis, like feeling a sensation of having something crawling under their skin.
(smack, "H", skag, junk)
the person may feel a surge of intense pleasure ("euphoria")
the person may feel a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth and heaviness in their limbs
the person then may experience a drowsy state and clouded mental functioning
After repeated and long term use, the person my develop collapsed veins (from injections) or a nasal soreness (from snorting) The person may develop heart valve infections or liver disease
The most common are the "anabolic steroids" which are a chemically made form of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Young people, particularly males, use steroids to help them perform better in athletics, increase their muscle size, and change their appearance.
the person may become aggressive, edgy, impatient and paranoid
the person may experience mood swings
the person may experience headaches, nosebleeds, stomach aches, acne, increased blood pressure and heart beat
females may become more masculine looking, including body hair; some have been unable to bear children
males may experience breast development, decrease in the size of their testicles and sperm count
long and heavy use of steroids can cause irreversible liver damage and hardening of the arteries that may end in a heart attack or stroke
long and heavy use of steroids can cause uncontrollable violent anger called 'roid rage'
the person may experience a euphoric feeling, light-headedness, exhilaration and vivid fantasies
the person may experience nausea, drooling, sneezing and coughing, poor muscular control
the person may experience thirst, weight loss, nosebleeds, fatigue
the person may experience feelings of hostility and feelings of persecution
"Sudden sniffing death" can follow strenuous exercise or undue stress after the person has inhaled deeply, caused by heart failure. Death by suffocation has occurred after users have become unconscious with a plastic bag over nose and mouth.
with some substances such as leaded gasoline there are signs of brain damage