Commonly Abused Drugs

Commonly Abused Drugs

In order to help your teen, it is important to get to know commonly abused drugs. They may be illegal in nature and obtained on the streets. However, it may surprise you to learn that your teen’s addiction to drugs or alcohol actually began in school or even your own home.


Aside from marijuana, alcohol remains one of the most common drugs of abuse. Given its easy access and social acceptance, many kids find this easy to obtain.


Cocaine can be smoked, injected or snorted.


The United States has seen a significant increase in the use of heroin. Minnesota continues to be a hub for large amounts of heroin and several of our youth are now using it. Heroin is being injected and smoked. For most youth they start using heroin after they have been using opiate based painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Tylenol 3, and codeine.


Huffing or inhaling chemicals can also be dangerous. Some common inhalants include, nitrous oxide (commonly known as “whip its.”) Other chemicals, air duster (electronics air cleaners) and household cleaning supplies can be huffed.


New forms of marijuana have been made given the increase in medical marijuana in Colorado and other states. Many forms now come in candy bars, gummy bears, cookies, suckers, and drops. There are also additional forms of marijuana called wax and “shatter” which looks like amber colored glass. Although society has demonstrated a welcoming attitude toward marijuana, it is still a concern for youth, demonstrating memory problems, lower grades, IQ decline, and with prolonged use, lasting psychosis.


Most methamphetamine is smoked, however, Minnesota has seen an increase in meth use as well, which is also being injected.
commonly abused drugs

Pain Killers

Most pain killers come in tablet form, however some can be received in liquid form. Some of these include cough syrup with codeine. This is sometimes known as “Lean”. Also some pain medication can be found in patches. Pain pills can also be smoked on tin foil with a straw.

Prescription Drugs

Anti-anxiety drugs (Benzodiazepines): Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan. Some of these drugs are snorted, can also be smoked and are sometimes mixed with alcohol. One of the most dangerous mixes, it will stop / reduce heart rate rapidly. Leading to death.

Other prescription drugs include Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta. Each of these are usually prescribed for attention deficit disorder. Most kids are able to get their hands on these substances by peers at school.

Synthetic Drugs

2ce; 2ci, 25i Nbome “N-Bomb”, Ecstasy/ Molly, LSD (acid). Most of these substances are taken orally by tablet.