rapid movement of the eyeballs with the pupils
appearing normal, rapid shallow breathing, and
possible shock and coma.
Nonbarbiturate Tranquilizer Intoxication
This group of drugs exhibits the same depres-
sant (downer) action as the barbiturates. The more
commonly known drugs within this group include
Librium, Valium, Doriden, Miltown, Equanil,
and Quaalude. Although there is a possibility of
overdose and physical addiction, it is not nearly
as great as with the barbiturate drugs and requires
larger doses taken over a longer period of time.
These drugs are widely used in clinical practice
because they are considered to have a wide margin
The stimulants (uppers) directly affect the cen-
tral nervous system by increasing mental alertness
and combating drowsiness and fatigue. One group
of stimulants, called amphetamines, is legitimately
used in the treatment of conditions such as mild
depression, obesity, and narcolepsy (sleeping
The amphetamines, known as speed by the
abuser, are the most commonly abused stimulants
and include such drugs as Benzedrine, Dexedrine,
Dexamyl, Desoxyn, Methedrine, and Syndrox.
Stimulants may be abused by taking them orally
as capsules or tablets, snorting them through
the nose, or injecting them into the veins for an
immediate and more intense effect.
Physical symptoms of amphetamine abuse in-
clude hyperactivity, increased respiration, dilated
pupils, increased alertness, sweating, elevated
temperature, depressed appetite, and convulsions.
The comedown from amphetamine abuse
is so unpleasant that the temptation to take
repeated doses is overwhelming and sometimes
results in the abuser going on speed runs, which
can last up to a week. Then the abuser may sleep
several days before awaking depressed, lethargic,
and extremely hungry.
Large quantities of amphetamines are
physically addicting, and even small amounts can
result in psychological dependence. Tolerance to
high doses develops, and withdrawal symptoms
occur. During the depression state associated with
withdrawal, suicide attempts are not uncommon.
Cocaine, although classified as a narcotic, acts
as a stimulant and is commonly abused. It is
relatively ineffective when taken orally; therefore
the abuser either injects it into the vein or
snorts it through the nose. Its effect is much
shorter than that of amphetamines, and occa-
sionally the abuser may inject or snort cocaine
every few minutes in an attempt to maintain a
constant stimulation and prevent depression
experienced during withdrawal (comedown).
Overdose is very possible, often resulting in con-
vulsion and death.
The physical symptoms observed in the co-
caine abuser will be the same as those observed
in the amphetamine abuser.
The group of drugs that affect the central ner-
vous system by altering the users perception of
self and environment are commonly known as
hallucinogens. Included within this group are
lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline,
dimethoxymethylamphetamine (STP), phenicycli-
dine (PCP), and psilocybin. They appear in
several forms: crystals, powders, and liquids.
The symptoms of hallucinogenic drugs include
dilated pupils, flushed face, increased heartbeat,
and a chilled feeling. In addition, the person may
display a distorted sense of time and self, show
emotions ranging from ecstasy to horror, and ex-
perience changes in visual depth perception.
Although no known deaths have resulted from
the drugs directly, hallucinogen-intoxicated per-
sons have been known to jump from windows,
walk in front of automobiles, or injure themselves
in other ways because of the vivid but unreal
perception of their environment.
Even though no longer under the direct in-
fluence of a hallucinogenic drug, a person who
has formerly used one of the drugs may experience
a spontaneous recurrence (flashback) of some
aspect of the drug experience. The most common
type of flashback is the recurrence of perceptual
distortion, but disturbing emotion or panic have
also occurred. Flashback may be experienced by
heavy or occasional users of the hallucinogenic
drugs, and its frequency is unpredictable and its
Cannabis sativa, commonly known as mari-
juana, is widely abused and can best be classified
as a mild hallucinogen. The most common
physical appearance of marijuana is as ground
dried leaves, and the most common method of
consumption is by smoking. After a single inhaled