Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish) – The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.
Hallucinogens – Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries.
Cocaine/Crack – Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions and even death.
Amphetamines – Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.
Heroin – Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.