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  •  Ethanol – the principal psychoactive constituent in alcoholic beverages, with depressant effects on the central nervous system.


  • Amphetamine – a stimulant (psychostimulant) drug that produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decrease fatigue and appetite. Used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, typically prescribed as Adderall or dextroamphetamine. It has also been used historically as a treatment for obesity. It is a performance enhancer and cognitive enhancer. Commonly used as a recreational drug it can lead to many side effects including but not limited to irritability, obsessive behaviors and paranoia.


  • Psychoactive drugs that result in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties. Commonly used for anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and premedication for medical or dental procedures. In general, benzodiazepines are accepted as safe and effective in the short term but long-term use is questionable due to side effects, tolerance and physical dependence. Although they are less toxic than barbiturates they are often used in combination with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol and opiates, resulting in toxicity and fatal overdose increases.


  • Narcotic originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with sleep-inducing properties. In the US it has become associated with opioids, commonly morphine and heroin and their derivatives, such as hydrocodone. When used in legal context, a narcotic drug is simply one that is prohibited or one used in violation of government regulation. From a pharmacologic standpoint it is not a useful term, as is evidenced by the fact that spirit and wine are classified differently due their intoxicating power. Statutory classification of a drug as a narcotic often increases the penalties for violation of drug control statutes.


  • Any drug that resembles morphine or other opiates in its pharmacological effects. Opioids are among the world’s oldest drugs due to pain treatment. Opioids decrease perception of pain, decrease reaction to pain and increase pain tolerance. Opioids also have the ability to cause cough suppression. Opioids can produce a feeling of euphoria, leading to recreational usage. The main side effects are constipation, respiratory depression, addiction and withdrawal syndrome with abrupt discontinuation.



  • Buprenorphine – a semi-synthetic opioid that is used to treat opioid addiction, to control moderate acute pain in nonopioid-tolerant individuals and to control moderate pain. The brand names include Subutex and Suboxone in the US. Buprenorphine is somewhat sleep-inducing, and may be of particular help when pain leads to sleeplessness. Buprenorphine has both advantages and disadvantages to Methadone as a treatment for detoxification, short and long term treatment. Abuse is usually by insufflation (snorting a crushed tablet).


Other Definitions

  • Metabolite – the compound that a parent drug transforms into after it enters the body.

  • Creatinine – an amino-acid contained in muscle tissue and is found in the urine, detects dilution.

  • pH – used to detect additions of acidic or alkaline adulterants.

  • Specific Gravity – density of a sample, used to measure dilution.