drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.

In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.
Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior. Some drugs can cause addiction and habituation.

Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being introduced from outside the organism.[citation needed] For example, insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the body; it is called a hormone when it is synthesized by the pancreas inside the body, but if it is introduced into the body from outside, it is called a drug.[citation needed]

Many natural substances such as beers, wines, and some mushrooms, blur the line between food and recreational drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body.

Specific Drugs and Their Effect

Drug Name: Alcohol
Drug Type: Depressant
Facts for Parents: 25% of 8th graders have admitted to being intoxicated at least once.
Other Names: Beer, wine, liquor, cooler, malt liquor, booze
How Consumed: Orally
Effects:Addiction (alcoholism), dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hangovers, slurred speech, disturbed sleep, impaired motor skills, violent behavior, fetal alcohol syndrome, respiratory depression and death (high doses).

Drug Name:Amphetamines
Drug Type:Stimulant
Facts for Parents:Chronic use can induce psychosis with symptoms similar to schizophrenia.
Other Names:Speed, uppers, ups, hearts, black beauties, pep pills, capilots, bumble bees, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, footballs, biphetamine
How Consumed:Orally, injected, snorted, or smoked
Effects: Addiction, irritability, anxiety, increased blood pressure, paranoia, psychosis, depression, aggression, convulsions, dilated pupils, dizziness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, malnutrition. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases if injected.

Drug Name: Metamphetamines
Drug Type: Stimulant
Facts for Parents: Some users avoid sleep 3 to 15 days.
Other Names: Speed, meth, crank, crystal, ice, fire, croak, crypto, white cross, glass. "Ice" is the street name for the smokeable form.
How Consumed: Orally, injected, snorted, or smoked
Effects: Addiction, irritability, aggression, hypothermia, stroke, paranoia, psychosis, convulsions, heart and blood vessel toxicity, hallucinations, arrhythmia, formication (the sensation of insects creeping on or under your skin).

Drug Name: Ecstasy
Drug Type: Stimulants
Facts for Parents: Ecstasy is popular at all-night underground parties (called raves) and is the most common designer drug.
Other Names: XTC, Adam, MDMA
How Consumed: Orally
Effects:Psychiatric disturbances, including panic, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Muscle tension, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, hallucinations, fainting, chills, sleep problems, and reduced appetite

Drug Name: Ritalin
Drug Type: Stimulant
Facts for Parents: Some children buy or steal from their classmates
Other Names: Speed, west coast
How Consumed: Tablet is crushed, and the powder is snorted or injected.
Effects: Loss of appetite, fevers, convulsions, and severe headaches. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infections. Paranoia, hallucinations, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, tremors, muscle twitching.

Drug Name: Herbal Ecstasy/Ephedrine
Drug Type: Herbal Ecstasy, Cloud 9, Rave Energy, Ultimate, Xphoria, and X
Facts for Parents: The active ingredients in Herbal Ecstasy are caffeine and ephedrine.
How Consumed:Orally
Effects:Increased heart rate and blood pressure. Seizures, heart attacks, stroke, and death.

Drug Name: Designer Drugs
Drug Type: Stimulants
Facts for Parents:Changing the molecular structure of an existing drug or drugs to create a new substance creates Designer drugs.
Other Names: Synthetic heroin, goodfella
How Consumed: Injected, sniffed, or smoked.
Effects: Instant respiratory paralysis. Potency creates strong possibility for overdose, many of the same effects as heroin.

Drug Name: Cocaine
Drug Type:Stimulant
Facts for Parents: Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Heavy use may produce paranoia, hallucinations, aggression, insomnia, and depression.
Other Names: Coke, snow, nose candy, flake, blow, big C, lady, white, snowbirds.
How Consumed:Snorted or dissolved in water and injected.
Effects: Addiction, pupil dilation, elevated blood pressure and heart rate. Increased respiratory rate, seizures, heart attack, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, increased body temperature, death from overdose.

Drug Name: Crack
Drug Type:Stimulant
Facts for Parents: A cheaper form of cocaine that may be more addicting.
Other Names: Rock, freebase
Effects: Same as cocaine

Drug Name: Heroin
Drug Type: Opiates
Facts for Parents:Heroin users quickly develop a tolerance to the drug and need more and more of it to get the same effects, or even to feel well.
Other Names: Smack, horse, mud, brown, sugar, junk, black tar, big H, dope.
Effects: Addiction. Slurred speech, slow gait, constricted pupils, droopy eyelids, impaired night vision, nodding off, respiratory depression or failure, dry itching skin, and skin infections. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases if injected.

Drug Name: PCP
Drug Type: Hallucinogens
Facts for Parents:Marijuana joints can be dipped into PCP without the smoker's knowledge.
Other Names: Angel dust, ozone, rocket fuel, peace pill, elephant tranquilizer, dust.
How Consumed: Snorted, smoked, orally, or injected.
Effects: Hallucinations. Out-of-body experiences, impaired motor coordination, inability to feel physical pain, respiratory attack, disorientation, fear, panic, aggressive behavior. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases if injected. Death.

Drug Name: LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethyl amide)
Drug Type: Hallucinogen
Facts for Parents: LSD is the most common hallucinogen. LSD tabs are often decorated with colorful designs or cartoon characters.
Other Names: Acid, microdot, tabs, doses, trips, hits, sugar cubes.
How Consumed: Tabs taken orally or gelatin/liquid put in eyes.
Effects: Elevated body temperature and blood pressure, suppressed appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, chronic recurring hallucinations.

Drug Name:Mushrooms
Drug Type: Hallucinogens
Facts for Parents:Many mushroom users purchase hallucinogenic mushroom spores via mail order.
Other Names: Shrooms, caps, magic mushrooms.
How Consumed:Eaten or brewed and drunk in tea.
Effects:Increased blood pressure, sweating, nausea, hallucinations.

Drug Name: Inhalants
Facts for Parents:Hundreds of legal household products can be sniffed or huffed to get high. All inhalants can be toxic. Other Names: Laughing gas, whippets, aerosol sprays, cleaning fluids, solvents.
How Consumed: Vapors are inhaled
Effects: Headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe mood swings and violent behavior, nausea, nose bleeds; liver, lung, and kidney damage; dangerous chemical imbalances in the body, lack of coordination, fatigue, loss of appetite, decreases in heart and respiratory rates, hepatitis, or peripheral neuropathy from long-term use.

Drug Name: Marijuana
Facts for Parents: The average age of first use is 14. Can be smoked using homemade pipes and bongs made from soda cans or plastic beverage containers.
Other Names: Weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, ganja, Mary Jane, sinsemilla, herb, Aunt Mary, skunk, boom, kif, gangster, chronic, 420.
How Consumed: Smoked or eaten.
Effects: Bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, impaired or reduced comprehension, altered sense of time, reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination --such as driving a car, paranoia, intense anxiety attacks, altered cognition, making acquisition of new information difficult; impairments in learning, memory, perception, and judgment; difficulty speaking, listening effectively, thinking, retaining knowledge, problem solving.

Drug Name: Steroids
Facts for Parents: Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 % potentially harmful side effects.
Other Names: Rhoids, juice
How Consumed: Orally or injected into muscle
Effects: Liver cancer Sterility, masculine traits in women and feminine traits in men, aggression, depression, acne, mood swings.

Drug Name: Tobacco
Facts for Parents: 1 in 5 12th graders is a daily smoker. How Consumed: Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, and snuff).
Effects: Addiction, heart disease, cancer of the lung, larynx, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, kidney, and mouth. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight.