Common Substances

An important note about Co-Occurring Disorder and Polysubstance Use to keep in mind:

Co-Occurring Disorder is a common co-existing diagnosis of both a mental health condition, often referred to as a Mental Illness (MI), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Approximately 50% of adults diagnosed with SUD also have at least one co-existing mental health condition. This is considered a dual diagnosis. Often treating a co-occurring disorder will require an integrated treatment approach to treat all aspects of the person. There are specialized programs aimed at treating complex features of co-occurring disorders.

Polysubstance Use is the intentional mixing of substances. Polysubstance use has serious consequences and is especially harmful for individuals with co-occurring disorders as it can increase the risk of physical and mental health issues and contributes to overdose and death.


Opioids refer to synthetic or man-made substances and opiates refer to substances derived from nature. Opioids and opiates both bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Opioids/opiates come in both legal and illegal forms. Prescription opioids are medications that are used to treat chronic or acute pain.

Prescription opioids are considered Schedule 2 controlled drugs, meaning they have a high misuse or addiction potential. Selling or sharing your medication is illegal. Selling your prescription is usually considered a felony, even if the prescription is medically valid. Giving, trading, or selling medication is known as medication diversion and can come with profound consequences.

Illegal opioids are substances that are manufactured and/or distributed against the law. It is important to note that any prescribed medication has the potential to be considered illegal if not used as directed by a physician.

Opioids/opiates have a strong potential for overdose. Overdose is the consumption of too much substance that becomes toxic to the body. Overdose can lead to sudden death. Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, can reverse the effects of an opioid/opiate overdose and reduce the risk that an overdose will end in a fatality.

All opioids/opiates, including prescribed, have the potential to cause Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery of Substance Use Disorder, contact AskPETRA.

  • Buprenorphine (Legal when prescribed)
  • Butorphanol (Legal when prescribed)
  • Codeine (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Captain Cody, Cody, Schoolboy
  • Codeine Sulfate (Legal when prescribed)
  • Fentanyl (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Apache, China Girl, Jackpot, Murder 8
  • Heroin Slang: Brown Sugar, China White, Dope, Tar, H
  • Hydrocodone Bitartrate (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Hydro, Narco, Vickies, Vike
  • Hydromorphone (Legal when prescribed) Slang: D, Dillies, Dust, Smack
  • Levorphanol Tartrate (Legal when prescribed)
  • Meperidine Hydrochloride (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Demmies, Painkiller
  • Methadone (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Amidone, Fizzies, Wafer
  • Morphine (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Dreamer, Emsel, First Fine, God’s Drug
  • Oxycodone (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Hillbilly Heroin, Kicker, O.C, Oxy
  • Oxymorphone Slang: Biscuits, Blue Heaven, Blues, Mrs. O

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Euphoria, which is a feeling of intense happiness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Confusion or clouded mental functioning
  • Unconsciousness

Long-term Effects:

  • Immunosuppression, which can leave a person more susceptible to infections
  • Cardiovascular complications, including low blood pressure, pulmonary edema, fainting, and an irregular heartbeat
  • Bowel dysfunction, including constipation
  • Cancer development or the promotion of cancer growth
  • Development of Substance Use Disorder

Stimulants come in both legal and illegal forms. Prescription stimulants are medications that are used to treat conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy— uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep. These medications are prescribed to increase alertness, attention, and energy.

When used properly, as directed by a physician, stimulants can be a helpful tool for managing conditions that impact our lives. Prescription stimulants are considered Schedule 2 controlled drugs, meaning they have a high misuse or addiction potential. Selling or sharing your medication is illegal. Selling your prescription is usually considered a felony, even if the prescription is medically valid. Giving, trading, or selling medication is known as medication diversion and can come with profound consequences.

Illegal stimulants are substances that are manufactured and distributed against the law. It is important to note that any prescribed medication has the potential to be considered illegal if not used as directed by a physician.

All stimulants, including prescribed, have the potential to cause Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery of Stimulant Use Disorder, contact AskPETRA.

  • Adderall and Benzedrine (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Bennies, Hearts, Speed, Uppers
  • Ritalin and Concerta (methylphenidate) (Legal when prescribed) Slang: R-ball, Skippy, Smart Drug, Vitamin R
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) (Legal when prescribed)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) (Legal when prescribed)
  • Nicotine (Legal at age 21)
  • Caffeine (Legal at any age)
  • Cocaine Slang: Blow, Bump, Coke, Snow
  • Crack/Crack Cocaine Slang: Candy, Flake, Rock
  • Methamphetamine Slang: Crystal Meth/Meth, Black Beauties, Crank, Crystal, Tweak
  • Ecstasy/MDMA Slang: E, Eve, Molly, XTC, Uppers

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Rise in body temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Scattered but Increased Awareness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Disturbed Sleep patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety or panic

Long-term Effects:

  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Damage to kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Infections
  • Disorientation
  • Brain damage
  • Psychosis
  • Death

Alcohol, although legal for anyone ages 21 and up, it has wide-ranging effects on the body. There are supposed benefits, as well as complications, to consuming alcohol. Once it enters the system, it triggers immediate changes in the brain, heart, and liver, among other organs. Over time, these changes can lead to long-term health complications if a person is drinking too much. Alcohol is found in cocktails, liquors, beers, and wines.

There are recommended safe drinking guidelines to prevent people from drinking too much. These safe drinking guidelines are recommendations to reduce the risk of alcohol related harm. Safe drinking guidelines define standard drinks, frequency, and amount.

Alcohol has the potential to cause Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) as it poses risks to you and your unborn baby. NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. NAS caused by alcohol use is commonly referred to as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS and refrain from the use of alcohol.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery, contact AskPETRA.

  • Beer (Legal at age 21)
  • Wine (Legal at age 21)
  • Malt Liquor (Legal at age 21)
  • Liquor (Legal at age 21)

Slang: Booze, Juice, Hooch, Sauce

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness and unsteady gait
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Distortion of senses and perception
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lapses in memory

Long-term Effects:

Cannabis is classified as a schedule I substance and comes in multiple forms. It is made up of more than 120 components, which are known as cannabinoids. Experts still aren’t sure what each cannabinoid does, but they have a pretty good understanding of two of them, known as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. THC is responsible for the “high” that most people associate with cannabis.

CBD is a psychoactive cannabinoid, yet it’s non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning it won’t get you “high.” It’s often used to help reduce inflammation and pain. It may also ease nausea, migraine, seizures, and anxiety. Researchers are still trying to fully understand the effectiveness of CBD for medical use.

There is much research to show that cannabis can be used medicinally, and this has led to legalization and/or decriminalization in many states. It is safe to use as prescribed and when purchased through a medical dispensary.

There is not much information regarding the use of Cannabis and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) but research suggests that there is no safe amount that can be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery, contact AskPETRA.

  • Hashish Slang: Boom, Dabs, Hash
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids Slang: Fake Weed, Delta 8, Spice, Moon Rocks
  • Marijuana (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Bud, Chronic, Pot, Mary Jane, Reefer, Weed
  • Cannabis Oil (Legal when prescribed) Slang: CBD

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Impaired memory, concentration, decision-making, and thought process
  • Lower attention, impaired coordination and reaction time
  • Changes in mood and perception (users could be calm, happy, anxious, paranoid, hallucinating, etc.)
  • Increased appetite (munchies)
  • Dry mouth (later in life)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased conception
  • Poor performance of short-term episodic memory, psychomotor coordination, and awareness.

Long-term Effects:

  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Pregnancy-related risks
  • An increased risk of testicular cancer
  • Severe cyclic nausea and vomiting: While rare, the condition, known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, can develop with chronic use.
  • Adolescent brain development issues.
  • Psychiatric disorders: Several studies indicate a link between marijuana use and an increased risk of mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety in individuals who are genetically predisposed.

Sedatives are controlled substances. This means their production and sales are heavily regulated because they are highly addictive. It is important to be careful when using these medications to avoid dependency and addiction. Don’t take them unless your doctor has prescribed them to you and take them only as prescribed.

Sedatives are a type of prescription medication that slows down brain activity. They’re typically used to make a person feel more relaxed. Doctors commonly prescribe sedatives to treat conditions like anxiety and sleep disorders. Sedatives are also used as general anesthetics. They work by modifying communications in the central nervous system of the brain.

There is not much information regarding the use of sedatives and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) but some research suggests that sedatives can be connected to premature birth and low birth weight. NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery, contact AskPETRA.

  • Antihistamines, Over The Counter
  • Barbiturates (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Barbs, Block Busters, Goof Balls, Yellow Jackets
  • Benzodiazepines (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Benzos, Candy, Downers, Tranks, Roofiess
  • HYPNOTICS:
  • Ketamine Slang: Cat Tranquilizer, Cat Valium, Jet K, K
  • Sleeping Medication (Legal when prescribed) Slang: Forget-Me Pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roche

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Slurred speech
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor coordination
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Shallow breathing
  • Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion

Long-term Effects:

Most hallucinogens are considered Schedule 1 controlled drugs, meaning they have a high misuse or addiction potential and no accepted use in medical treatment. There are a couple of hallucinogens that are scheduled differently because they have been recognized for their potential medical use.

Hallucinogens are not what many consider classically addictive because most do not experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using hallucinogens. However, hallucinogens can cause problematic issues in daily living for those that use them.

There are two main types of hallucinogens; classic hallucinogens and dissociative hallucinogens. The main difference is the effect they have on emotions. Dissociative hallucinogens cause feelings of detachment and depersonalization that classic hallucinogens don’t cause.

There is not much information regarding the use of hallucinogens and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) but always err on the side of caution when prenatal exposure occurs. NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery, contact AskPETRA.

  • Dimethyltryptamine Slang: DMT, Dimitri, Businessman’s Trip
  • Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) Slang: G, Georgia Home Boy, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X
  • Ketamine Slang: Special K, K
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) Slang: Acid, Blotters, Blue Heaven, Dots
  • Mescaline Slang: Peyote, Buttons, Cactus, Mesc
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) Slang: Angel Dust, Boat, Love Boat,  Peace Pill
  • Psilocybin Slang: Magic Mushrooms, Little Smoke, Purple Passion, Shrooms
  • Salvia Slang: Magic Mint, Maria Pastora, Sally-D, Shepherdess’s Herb

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Hallucinations and perceptual distortions (seeing, hearing, touching, or smelling things that are not real or are distorted)
  • Mood swings, anxiety, panic, paranoia, euphoria
  • Changes in sense or perception of time, feelings, and sensory experiences
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased body temperature, sweating
  • Nausea, appetite loss, numbness, weakness, tremors, muscle twitching, impaired coordination
  • Seizures, agitation, dizziness, paranoia, panic attacks

Long-term Effects:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder)
  • Insomnia
  • Unstable mood
  • Psychosis
  • Persistent confusion

Inhalants are invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapors when inhaled can induce mind altering effects. Glue, lighter fluid, cleaning fluids, and paint all produce chemical vapors that can be inhaled.

The common household products that are misused as inhalants are legally available for their intended and legitimate uses. Many state legislatures have attempted to deter youth who buy legal products to get high by placing restrictions on the sale of these products to minors. Even though some substances are not currently controlled by the Controlled Substances Act, they pose risks to individuals who abuse them. The following section describes these drugs and their associated risks.

Inhalants have the potential to cause Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) as they pose risks to you and your unborn baby. NAS is described as a group of symptoms an infant may experience when withdrawing from in-utero exposure to substances. If you are pregnant or could become pregnant, consult your physician for recommendations to decrease the risk of NAS.

For support with prevention, treatment, and recovery, contact AskPETRA.

  • All Gases, Solvents, Nitrites, and Aerosols have the potential for abuse, as well as:
  • Glue
  • Canned Whipped Cream
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Gasoline
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Paint and Paint Thinner

Slang for inhalants can include Dusters, Gluey, Huff, Whippets

Slang and street terms are constantly evolving. What is used today may be different tomorrow. Changes in street language serve to help substance users hide their use from others. Many slang terms come from the color, shape, or consistency of the drug, the effects the drug provides, abbreviated or expanded forms of the name, or the people who commonly use the drug.

Short-term Effects:

  • Mild High (lasting minutes)
  • Hallucinations
  • Sudden Sniffing Death (overdose)
  • Stumbling
  • Vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Rashes or blistered skin around the mouth

Long-term Effects:

  • Widespread Cellular Damage
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Liver and Kidney Damage
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Neuromuscular Toxicity