Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism. Alcoholics cannot quit drinking or control how much they drink, even when they try to. They are physically and emotionally addicted to alcohol. They often feel like they must drink just to get by. They might drink secretly or hide the amount they drink. Alcohol controls their lives. Over time, alcoholics need to drink more before they can feel the effects of alcohol. They get grouchy or shaky or have other withdrawal symptoms when they are not able to drink or when they try to quit.

WebMD – Alcohol Abuse and Dependence – Topic Overview


Cocaine is a powerful drug that stimulates the brain. People who use it can form a strong addiction. They may have to use more and more of the drug to get high. It’s sold on the street as a fine, white powder. There are two forms of cocaine: hydrochloride salt and freebase. The salt dissolves in water. People can take it in a vein or in the nose. The freebase form can be smoked. Crack is the street name of a smokable form of cocaine.

No matter how cocaine is taken, it is dangerous. Some of the most common serious problems include

  • Heart problems, including heart attacks
  • Respiratory effects, including respiratory failure
  • Nervous system problems, including strokes
  • Digestive problems

Medline Plus – Cocaine


Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant drug. It can be smoked, injected, inhaled or taken by mouth. It has many street names, such as speed, meth, and chalk. Methamphetamine hydrochloride, the crystal form inhaled by smoking, is referred to as ice, crystal, glass and tina.

Methamphetamine affects the brain and can create feelings of pleasure, increase energy and elevate mood. Abusers may become addicted quickly, needing higher doses more often. Adverse health effects include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and a variety of psychological problems. Long-term effects may include severe mental disorders, memory loss and severe dental problems.

Medline Plus – Methamphetamine


Opioid analgesics suppress your perception of pain and calm your emotional response to pain by reducing the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system and the brain’s reaction to those pain signals.

Opioids are available in pills, liquids, or suckers to take by mouth, and in shot, skin patch, and suppository form.


  • Generic Name / Brand Name
  • buprenorphine – Buprenex
  • butorphanol – Stadol
  • codeine – Tylenol with codeine
  • fentanyl – Duragesic
  • hydrocodone – Vicodin
  • hydromorphone – Dilaudid
  • methadone – Dolophine
  • morphine – Astramorph
  • oxycodone – OxyContin
  • propoxyphene – Darvon

WebMD – Opioid analgesics for chronic pain


Since 1964, 28 Surgeon General’s reports on smoking and health have concluded that tobacco use is the single most avoidable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. In 1988, the Surgeon General concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco, are addictive and that nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. Nicotine provides an almost immediate “kick” because it causes a discharge of epinephrine from the adrenal cortex. This stimulates the central nervous system and endocrine glands, which causes a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is then followed by depression and fatigue, leading the user to seek more nicotine.

Nicotine is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs, and it does not matter whether the tobacco smoke is from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Nicotine also is absorbed readily when tobacco is chewed. With regular use of tobacco, levels of nicotine accumulate in the body during the day and persist overnight. Thus, daily smokers or chewers are exposed to the effects of nicotine for 24 hours each day. Adolescents who chew tobacco are more likely than nonusers to eventually become cigarette smokers.

NIDA InfoFacts: Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products