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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse - Facts About Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse


Cocaine can cause abnormal heartbeats, sometimes causing a deadly heart attack, seizure, or stroke.

Other substances

Other substances teens abuse include:

  • InhalantsInhalants (glues, aerosol sprays, gasoline, paints, and paint thinners). These are some of the substances most frequently abused by junior high students, because they don't cost much and are easy to get. They contain poisons that can cause brain damage or, in rare cases, even death with the first use.
  • Club drugs like ecstasy (MDMA) and date rape drugs, such as flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). The number of teens abusing these drugs is small compared with those abusing cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. But these club drugs can be dangerous, especially in overdose or when combined with alcohol or other drugs.
  • MethamphetamineMethamphetamine (commonly called meth, crank, or speed). Methamphetamine can cause seizures; stroke; serious mental problems, including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions; and long-term health problems.
  • Hallucinogens, including ketamine, LSD, and PCP (phencyclidine). Serious and lasting problems such as psychosis or hallucinogenic flashbacks can occur after a teen uses LSD.
  • Opiates, such as codeine, heroin, and morphine. Teens who use these drugs may steal, prostitute themselves, or resort to other dangerous or illegal behavior to buy drugs.
  • Prescription drugs, such as diazepam (for example, Valium), hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Vicodin), and oxycodone (OxyContin). Teens also abuse nonprescription medicines, such as cough syrups and cold pills.
  • Anabolic steroidsAnabolic steroids, which teens use to build muscle tissue and decrease body fat. Steroids can cause liver cancer and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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