U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Drugs of Abuse, 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
84 pages
This report provides factual, scientific information about the effects of the various drugs covered under the five Federal Schedules of harmful and potentially harmful drugs as authorized under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The CSA creates a closed system of distribution for controlled substances. The cornerstone of this system is the registration of all those authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to handle controlled substances. All individuals and firms that are registered are required to maintain complete and accurate inventories and records of all transactions that involve controlled substances, as well as security for the storage of controlled substances. After providing an overview of the various drug classes, the report provides information on the drugs in these classes. For each drug, the information provided is a brief statement of the nature of the drug, its origin, common street names, its appearance, how it is abused, its effects on the mind and body, its overdose effects, drugs that cause similar effects, and the drug's legal status in the United States. The drugs are presented under the following classes: narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, marijuana/cannabis, steroids, and inhalants. The narcotics covered are heroin, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, opium, and oxycodone. Information is provided on the following stimulants: amphetamines, cocaine, khat, and methamphetamine. Information on depressants covers barbiturates, benzodiazepines, GHB, and rohyphol. Hallucinogens encompass ecstasy/MDMA, ka/spice, ketamine, LSD, peyote and mescaline, and psilocybin. Marijuana/cannabis, steroids, and inhalants have no sub-categories of drugs. Although some substances are not currently controlled under the CSA, they pose risk to individuals who abuse them. Information is provided on the following "drugs of concern:" bath salts or designer cathinones (synthetic stimulants), DXM (a cough suppressor), and salvia divinorum (herb abused for its hallucinogenic effects). Resource for drug information are listed and described.