It has been documented through time that drugs have played a tremendous
role in our society. In the “early days,” it was perfectly
legal for someone to possess and use drugs such as marijuana
(cannabis), heroin (opiates) and other dangerous substances, with
little or no government control.
It was not until society recognized that these same drugs that
possessed some medicinal value also possessed a strong potential to
cause users to abuse them, and were deemed an overall hazard to the
well-being of our communities.
As a result of exhaustive research, and with the backing of medical
communities and government, we have enacted laws to protect our
citizens from these dangerous substances and their destructive nature.
Drug abuse and abusers follow no set pattern. Drug abuse
plays on human weakness and shows no mercy to its victims and their
families. It does not matter what social, economic, or ethnic
class you are in – drug abuse can infect anyone.
Following is some information on the commonly abused drugs and their
effects on our everyday lives. There is also a resource list.
A psychological and/or physical need to take a drug on a regular basis
to experience drug’s effect and to avoid the discomfort of its absence.
Psychological and/or physical dependence of a drug, resulting from the
use of that drug on a periodic or continuous basis.
The body’s resistance to the effects of the drug. As a
person’s tolerance to a drug increases with continued use, the user
needs progressively higher doses to obtain the desired effects.
Known as hemp, marijuana .
Tall, leafy plant with odd number of divided leaves. Grows
all over the world. Female flower contains most of the
color, spatial perception distortions, dreamy euphoria, excitement,
laughter, increased appetite. Panic attacks.
Paranoia. May be anti-epileptic, treatment for nausea and
other side effects of chemotherapy and AIDS drugs. Treatment
for glaucoma, asthma. Possible treatment for anorexia nervosa.
a central nervous system stimulant and anesthetic. It is
found in the leaves of the Erthroxylum coca plant native to S.
America. One can chew the leaves to produce a mild
stimulation. Outside S. America, it can be found in powder
cocaine or freebase (chemically purified cocaine. Also known
as the lady, girl, white, uptown, coke.
alertness, wakefulness, elevates the mood, induces a high degree of
euphoria, decreases fatigue, improves thinking, increase concentration,
increases energy, increased irritability, insomnia,
restlessness. In large doses, possible psychosis with
confused and disorganized behavior, irritability, fear, paranoia,
hallucinations, may become extremely antisocial and
aggressive. Increases heart rate, blood pressure, body
temperature, pulse and respiration. Decreased sleep and
appetite, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, death.
form of cocaine base, named because of the sound it makes when
heated. In a solution, after heated, it is dried and forms
crack cocaine that is cut into “rocks.” Not all crack on the
streets is pure.
intense effects than other cocaine, but short-lived. Once the
drug leaves the brain, the used experiences a “coke crash” that
includes depression, irritability, fatigue, increase risk of abnormal
heart rhythms, high blood pressure, stroke and death. Long
term effects include coughing of black phlegm, wheezing, lung trauma
and bleeding, hoarseness, parched lips, tongue and throat from inhaling
hot fumes, mental deterioration, psychosis, suicidal thoughts social
withdrawal, and violent behavior.
|Reported but not confirmed
is an amphetamine derivative. Can be extracted from an
essential oil of the sassafras tree. Known as Ecstasy, X,
XTC, E, M, truck driver, beans, rolls.
produce euphoric sense of well being, feeling of connectedness with
empathy for other people, enhanced sense of pleasure and
self-confidence, increased energy. Favorite on the club and
“rave” circuits. In overdoses, can experience confusion,
disorientation, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, anxiety,
panic attacks, depression, insomnia, perceptual disorders and
hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis. May change the way
the brain produces and distributes neuro-transmitters leading to
long-term depression and possible other mental illness.
|Reported but not confirmed
Clear liquid, although also in powder form which is rarely
seen. Colorless, odorless, nearly tasteless. Is a
solvent, found in floor cleaning products, nail polish, and super glue
the respiratory system and reduces the amount of oxygen the brain
receives which could lead to unconsciousness and loss of
memory. Reduces social inhibitions, increases
libido. Feelings of sedation. Vomiting, drowsiness,
dizziness, vertigo, seizures. Loss of consciousness,
irregular and depressed respiration, tremors or coma. Deaths
Derived from the dried “milk” of opium poppy which contains morphine
and codeine which are used as painkillers. Known as smack,
junk, skag, shit, H, brown, horse, dope, boy. White powder
with a bitter taste. In powder form. Varies in
color from white to dark brown. Black Tar is made
predominately in Mexico. Heroin is illegal in the United
Euphoric, drowsy, warm and content feeling. Relieves stress and
discomfort by a relaxed detachment from pain, desires and
activity. Depresses activity of nervous system like coughing,
breathing and heart rate. Causes widening of the blood
vessels which gives a feeling of warmth, reduces bowel activity causing
constipation. Overdoes can result in
unconsciousness, coma and death. Overdose is greatly
increased if alcohol or tranquilizers are used.
|Highly addictive. Mild withdrawal
symptoms are similar to the flu – often users don’t realize their
“sickness” is withdrawal. Once addicted, the withdrawal is
grueling, peaks between 48-72 hours after the last dose. The
intense part of withdrawal lasts for 3-5 days, effects can last for
months. Symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea,
cramping, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with goose bumps, kicking
movements, severe shaking. Cravings and depression may occur
during withdrawal. Treatment includes physical
detoxification, then residential or 12-step programs.
most widely known and most commonly used hallucinogen in U.S.
Known as Acid, Cid, Trips, L, Doses, Vitamin L, Paper. In
base form, is a liquid but when it reaches the street, it can be in a
variety of forms on blotter paper, or as pills, gelatin shapes (known
as window pane), liquid, and sugar cubes.
trip lasts from 6-12 hours, depending on the dose, with the peak of the
trip about 2 hours after taking the drug. Vague feeling of
anticipation, increased energy, undefined feeling that something is
different. As effects gain strength, a general change in
sensory perception occurs: non-specific mental and physical
stimulation, pupil dilation, closed and open eye patterning and
hallucinations, changed thought patterns, feelings of insight,
confusion, extreme mental clarity, paranoia, quickly changing
||Moderate to Severe
as speed, meth, crystal, crank, ice. Stimulates central
nervous system. Produces alertness elation. Longer
lasting effects than cocaine. Often confused with other drugs
that have similar symptoms including amphetamine, ephedrine, caffeine.
hyper-excitability, extreme nervousness, accelerated heartbeat,
sweating, dizziness, restlessness, insomnia, tooth grinding, incessant
talking. Elevated blood pressure, heart rate, increased
nervous activity, hypothermia, convulsions. Possible
death. Can develop an amphetamine psychosis which is similar
to paranoid schizophrenia. May have hallucinations,
delusions, extreme paranoia.
of most frequently used hallucinogens after LSD. Almost all
are small, brown or tan. Known as Mushrooms, Magic Mushrooms,
Mushies, Shrooms, Sillies, Boomers Caps, or Fungus.
to LSD but less intense and of shorter duration. Feelings of
being out of one’s body (ego loss), colorful hallucinations, distortion
in spatial perception, time and color shift. May experience
lightheadedness, numbness of tongue, lips or mouth, shivering or
sweating, nausea and/or vomiting, anxiety. Bad trips can
||Oxycodone hydrochloride (C18 H21 NO4 - HCl MW 351.83) is the
chemical structural formula for OxyContin, manufactured by Purdue
Pharma, L.P. Tablets are an opioid analgesic, and a Schedule II
controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine.
OxyContin tablets are supplied in 10mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg tablet
strengths for oral administration. The tablet strengths indicate the
amount of oxycodone per tablet as hydrochloride salt.
OxyContin is a trade name for the drug oxycodone hydrochloride, or
oxycodone HCL. Street names for Oxycodone include Oxy, O.C., Hillbilly
heroin, Oxycotton and Killer.
Oxycodone is a white, odorless crystalline powder derived from the
opium alkaloid, thebaine. Inactive ingredients include ammonio
methacrylate copolymer, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose,
magnesium stearate, povidone, red iron oxide (20 mg strength tablet
only), stearyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, triacetin, yellow iron
oxide (40 mg strength tablet only) , yellow iron oxide with
FD&C blue No. 2 (80 mg strength tablet only).
tablets are a controlled-release oral formulation of oxycodone
hydrochloride indicated for the management of chronic, and moderate to
severe pain when a continuous around-the-clock analgesic is needed.
When used properly, OxyContin can provide pain relief for up to 12
hours. OxyContin is not intended as a prn analgesic. (Not to be taken
OxyContin tablets are only to be administered by swallowing the tablets
whole, a number of other dangerous
and potentially fatal means of administration are often employed by
those seeking to increase the euphoria, by bypassing the time-release
control mechanism. According to many experts, this hazardous and
abusive means of ingestion creates a euphoric rush similar to heroin.
These potentially lethal ingestion practices include snorting,
crushing, chewing, or injecting the dissolved product. This results in
an uncontrolled delivery of the opioid and poses significant risks to
the abuser that could result in overdose and death.
works by stimulating certain opioid receptors located throughout the
central nervous system, in the brain and along the spinal cord. When
the oxycodone binds to the opioid receptors, a variety of physiologic
responses can occur, including pain relief, relaxation, slowed
breathing, and euphoria.
side effects of opioid therapy include constipation, somnolence,
nausea, vomiting, pruritus, (itching) headache, dry mouth, sweating and
common but potentially hazardous effects include respiratory
depression, altered mental state and postural hypotension. Elderly
patients are particularly susceptible to respiratory depression,
particularly when oxycodone is used in conjunction with other CNS
depressant medications. Oxycodone can cause severe hypotension and is
risky for individuals whose ability to maintain blood pressure has been
effects are typical opioid side effects. Such effects are dose
dependent, related to a patient's level of opioid tolerance, and
specific to an individual's host factors.
should only be used with extreme caution in the following conditions:
acute alcoholism; Addison's Disease; CNS depression or coma; delirium
tremens; debilitated patients; kyphosocoliosis associated with
respiratory depression; myxedema or hypothyroidism; prostatic
hypertrophy or urethral stricture; severe impairment or hepatic,
pulmonary or renal function; and toxic psychosis.
usage may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course in patients with
acute abdominal conditions.
may aggravate convulsive disorders, and all opioids may induce or
use of oxycodone with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs will
have an additive effect, causing central nervous system depression.
is abused much like other legal or illicit opioid agonists. This
medication has become widely sought by drug abusers and people with a
history of addiction.
over dosage presents with respiratory depression, somnolence leading to
stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin,
constricted pupils, bradycardia (unusually slow heart action),
hypotension and death. Oxycodone over dosage requires immediate medical
withdrawal is often characterized by over-activity
of the physiologic functions that were suppressed
by the drug and/or depression of the functions
that were stimulated by the drug. Opioids often
cause sleepiness, calmness, and constipation,
so opioid withdrawal often includes insomnia,
anxiety, and diarrhea. Other withdrawal symptoms
include restlessness, sweating, chills, yawning,
muscle pain, teariness, and runny nose. Other
symptoms include: irritability, joint pain,
backache, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia,
nausea, anorexia, vomiting, and increased blood
pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate.|
is the brand name for the popular painkiller,
hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen.
Hydrocodone bitartrate is an opioid analgesic
and antitussive, occurring as fine, white
crystals or, as a crystalline powder.|
is a phenathrene-derivate opiate agonist, effective
both as an antitussive (anti-cough) agent, and
as an opiate, an effective analgesic for mild
to moderate pain. Five mg of hydrocodone is
equivalent to 30 mg of codeine when administered
orally. 15 mg (1/4 gr) of hydrocodone is considered
equivalent to 10 mg (1/6 gr) of morphine. Hydrocodone
is considered to be like morphine in all respects. |
combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone
is available in tablet or capsule form, as well
as liquid, to be taken by mouth. Generally,
it is taken every 4-6 hours as needed (PRN).
The usual dose of Vicodin is 1 or 2 tablets,
up to a maximum of 8 tablets per day. The usual
dose of Vicodin HP® is 1 tablet, up to a maximum
of 6 tablets per day. For Vicodin ES®, the usual
dose is 1 tablet, up to a maximum of 5 tablets
per day. Vicodin can be habit forming or addictive,
and it is imperative that patients take the
medication precisely as prescribed by their
Do not increase the amount or frequency without
your doctor's approval. Do not take this drug
for any reason other than the one prescribed.
is a semi synthetic narcotic analgesic and antitussive
with multiple actions qualitatively similar
to those of codeine. Most of these involve the
central nervous system and smooth muscle. The
precise mechanism of action of hydrocodone and
other opiates is not known, although it is believed
to relate to the existence of opiate receptors
in the central nervous system. In addition to
analgesia, narcotics may produce euphoria; drowsiness;
lethargy; relaxation; difficulty in concentrating;
decreased physical activity in some users and
increased physical activity in others; mild
anxiety or fear, and pupillary constriction. |
may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate
machinery, or perform any other potentially
dangerous activities until you know how this
drug affects you.|
such as Vicodin may interfere with the diagnosis
and treatment of abdominal conditions.
suppresses the cough reflex; therefore, be
careful using Vicodin after an operation or
if you have a lung disease.
doses of Vicodin may produce slowed breathing;
if you are sensitive to this drug, you are
more likely to experience this effect.
slows the nervous system. Alcohol can intensify
with caution if:
have a head injury. Narcotics tend to increase
the pressure of the fluid within the skull.
you have a severe liver or kidney disorder,
an under active thyroid gland, Addison's disease
(a disease of the adrenal glands), an enlarged
prostate, or urethral stricture.
are elderly and/or in a weakened condition.
usage may obscure the diagnosis or clinical
course in patients with acute abdominal conditions.
taken with certain other drugs, the effects
of either may be increased, decreased, or
altered. It is especially important to check
with your doctor before combining Vicodin
with the following:
Valium and Librium
Tricyclic Antidepressants such as such as Elavil and Tofranil
Antihistamines such as Tavist
MAO inhibitors such as Nardil and Parnate
Major tranquilizers such as Thorazine and Haldol
Other narcotic analgesics such as Demerol
Other central nervous system depressants such as Halcion and Restoril
medication taken in excess can have serious
consequences. A severe overdose of Vicodin
can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose,
seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of a Vicodin overdose include: Blood
disorders, bluish tinge to skin, cold and
clammy skin, extreme sleepiness progressing
to a state of unresponsiveness or coma, general
feeling of bodily discomfort, heart problems,
heavy perspiration, kidney problems, limp
muscles, liver failure, low blood pressure,
nausea, slow heartbeat, troubled or slowed
breathing, and vomiting.
Advice on Prescription Medication Addiction
Know how medication
for depression, anxiety or pain could be addictive.
The people who get in trouble are those who have
no history of problems and think they're not addicted.
If drugs are abused, the body will build a tolerance
that requires an unhealthy increase in medication..
Symptoms: Prescription drug addiction is subtle
and different in every individual. There could be
a change in mood, sense of well-being, belligerence,
false feeling of confidence, heightened sensitivity
or flat emotions..
Confrontation: Find motivation
and incentives to help the abuser quit. Consider
an intervention with friends and family, get help
from trained professionals or find someone with
influence to sponsor rehabilitation. Create a loving
community of support with firmness against continued
Withdraw: During drug
dependence, the brain stops producing natural chemicals
that it was getting from the drug, so withdrawal
can be excruciating. Consult a doctor or medical
personnel to address appropriate levels of medication
and a step-by-step process.
Common Symptoms of Addiction
in mood, from a sense of well being to belligerence
or painful symptoms when substance is withdrawn
feelings of self-confidence
sensitivity to sights and sounds, including
activity levels-such as sleeping for 12-14
hours or frenzied activity lasting for hours
Common Signs of Overdosing
Intoxication: Slurred speech,
lethargic, disorientation, loss of balance,
loss of eye contact, impaired motoring skills, loss
of simple coordination.
heavy breathing, loud/deep snoring, shallow
breathing, respiratory suppression.
Unresponsive/Lifeless: foaming from
mouth/nose area, cold, stiff to touch, heavy facial/body
Call the National
Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency
at (800) 622-2255, or go online to:
How to Report Pharmaceutical Crimes
you suspect someone is selling prescription medications
or any other controlled substances (drugs) illegally
contact your local law enforcement agency to report
you suspect that someone has utilized your pharmacy
to obtain and/or attempted to obtain controlled
substances illegally, via the passing of a fraudulent
prescription note or fraudulently calling the pharmacy
posing as a physician’s office, you are required
by law to notify your local authorities. A
simple call to the investigating agency can help
to prevent the illicit distribution of controlled
substances on our streets.
is a FELONY to commit these acts, of obtaining
and/or attempt to obtain a controlled substance
by fraud and/or subterfuge.
The Houlton Police Department coordinates
efforts with other local, state, and federal agencies
to ensure that its citizens are well informed about
the dangers of drug abuse and the deadly affect
it could have on their lives.