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About Drugs

All drug use affects the brain and the body.

How the brain and body are impacted differs depending upon the type of drug used, the amount used and the frequency of use.

Different types of drugs impact the brain and body in different ways depending upon the type of drug used and the frequency of use. Learn more about drug types below.

Prescription Drugs and Cold Medicine

What does it do?

Misuse of prescription medications and cold medicines occur when an individual takes a prescription medication or cold medicine other than the way it was prescribed or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor. This also includes when a person takes a prescription medication that was not prescribed the medication. Commonly abused prescriptions drugs are opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants used for anxiety and sleep disorders, and stimulants used for ADHD and narcolepsy.


Commonly abused central nervous system (CNS) depressants include benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine sleep medications, and barbiturates. Slang terms used to describe commonly abused CNS depressants are Z-Bars, Bricks, Benzos (Xanax).

Commonly abused stimulants are dextroamphetamine (DXM), methylphenidate and amphetamines. DXM is commonly used in cough suppressants and expectorants.


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Additional Resources on Drugs