Drug Abuse Reduction Taskforce

Commonly Abused Drugs

Heroin / Fentanyl Compounds

Heroin is a type of opioid drug that is partly manmade and partly natural. It is made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance that occurs naturally in the resin of the opium poppy plant. Heroin’s color and look depend on how it is made and what else it may be mixed with. It can be white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance called “black tar heroin.” Fentanyl and it's compounds are being added to heroin to make it stronger. This has caused the epidemic that we are currently experiencing.

Marijuana

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa—the hemp plant. The mixture can be green, brown, or gray. Stronger forms of the drug include sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah), hashish (“hash” for short), and hash oil. Of the more than 500 chemicals in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is responsible for many of the drug’s psychotropic (mind-altering) effects.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine—known as “meth”—is a very addictive stimulant drug. Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert—but they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Cocaine

  • Powder cocaine is a white powder (which scientists call a hydrochloride salt). Street dealers often mix cocaine with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. 

  • Crack is a form of cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal that people smoke. The term “crack” refers to the cracking sound the rocks make when they are heated. To make crack, the powder cocaine is mixed with ammonia or baking soda and water and then heated to produce the crystal.