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Drug Pictures

Drug pictures help parents, care givers and loved ones know what different drugs of abuse look like. Would you know the difference between harmless allergy medication and dangerous stimulants or sedatives? This drug pictures page contains photo galleries of the most commonly abused illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Drug Pictures: Cocaine

Not all cocaine looks the same. It comes in several different shapes and forms and is packaged differently according to the quantity being shipped or sold. Cocaine benzoylmethylecgonine (INN) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic. Specifically, it is a serotonin.norepinephrine.dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which mediates functionality of these neurotransmitters as an exogenous catecholamine transporter ligand. Because of the way it affects the mesolimbic reward pathway, cocaine is addictive.

Drug Pictures: Ecstasy (MDMA)

Because ecstasy tablets are manufactured illegally, they are found in many different colors and stamped with varying logos. MDMA is criminalized in most countries under a United Nations (U.N.) agreement, and its possession, manufacture, or sale may result in criminal prosecution, although some limited exceptions exist for scientific and medical research. MDMA is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world and is taken in a variety of contexts far removed from its roots in psychotherapeutic settings. It is commonly associated with dance parties (or "raves") and electronic dance music.

Drug Pictures: Heroin

The problem with identifying heroin by sight is that it looks like many household products. Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. The white crystalline form is commonly the hydrochloride salt diacetylmorphine hydrochloride, though often adulterated thus dulling the sheen and consistency from that to a matte white powder, which heroin freebase typically is. 90% of heroin is said to be produced in Afghanistan.

Drug Pictures: Marijuana

Marijuana appears differently depending on its stage of development, ranging from the growing plant to the rolled-up joint. Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal psychoactive drug in the world. Extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa, or more often, Cannabis indica, cannabis comes in two forms: marijuana or grass, the dried leaves and female flower heads; and hashish, compressed blocks of resin. Its main active ingredient is is delta-9-THC or just THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Drug Pictures: Methamphetamine

Most methamphetamine is homemade in illegal laboratories and appears in powder or crystallized form, but it can also come in pills. Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of drugs. It increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem, and increase libido. Methamphetamine has high potential for abuse and addiction by activating the psychological reward system via triggering a cascading release of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. Methamphetamine is FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD and exogenous obesity, marketed in the USA and Canada under the trademark name Desoxyn.

Drug Pictures: Sedatives and Depressants

Dozens of different sleeping pills and tranquilizers are on the market that can be abused and become addictive. Barbiturates are drugs that produce a wide spectrum of central nervous system depression ranging from mild sedation to coma. Derivatives of barbituric acid, barbiturates are also effective as sedatives, hypnotics, anesthetics, and anticonvulsants. They, however, possess great physical and psychological addiction potential, as barbiturates do give users feelings of relaxed contentment and euphoria. Depressants are chemicals that work on the central nervous system and depress its activity. Because of their sedative, hypnotic and tranquilizing effects, they are commonly referred to as "downers". Alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines belong to this category.

Drug Pictures: Antidepressants

Antidepressants are medications commonly prescribed by psychiatrists and other physicians for alleviating major depression or dysthymia. While their effectiveness and adverse effects are still the subject of many studies and competing claims, sales of antidepressants remain strong. Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro are some of the top-selling antidepressant brands in the market today.

Drug Pictures: Stimulants and Amphetamines

From medications used to lose weight to those which treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, stimulants are a popular drug of abuse. Stimulants are substances that temporarily stimulate the central nervous system. Often referred to as "uppers", stimulants elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness.

Drug Pictures: Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are substances that produce subjective changes in perception, thought, and feeling. Most of the psychological effects that hallucinogens have on a user are normally associated only with dreams, schizophrenia, or religious exaltation.

Drug Pictures: Inhalants

Inhalants are gases, aerosols, or solvents which are breathed in and absorbed through the lungs for an intoxicating effect.

Drug Pictures: Steroids

Steroids are a class of drugs used for the treatment of a wide range of conditions. Increasing muscle and bone mass, supporting reproduction, treating inflammation and asthma, and regulation of metabolism and immune function are some of the effects of steroids.

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