Health Risks of Substance Abuse

The following information about drugs of abuse and their health risks is from Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide published by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Visit the DEA website to learn more.

Drug Name Effects Penalties
Alcohol (Beer, wine, liquor, malt liquor) High blood pressure


Heart disease


Liver disease

Digestive problems

Cancer of breast, mouth, throat, liver, and colon


Depression and Anxiety

Texas law defines penalties for anyone convicted of the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances. Read about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Cocaine/Crack (Blow, bump, C, Candy, Charlie, flake, rock, snow) Severe consequences impacting heart, respiratory, nervous and digestive system

Addiction and fatal

Penalties for violations are based on the classification of the drug or other substance and/or sometimes specified by drug name, i.e., marijuana. A substance doesn’t have to be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a substance for criminal prosecution.
Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Opium, Codeine, Vicodin) Increased risk of choking

Low blood pressure

Potential for breathing to stop and/or coma



Addiction and fatal overdose

Penalties may include fines up to $10 million and/or up to life in prison.
Sedatives and Anti-anxiety (Valium, Quaalude, reds, phennies) Memory problems


Low blood pressure

Slowed breathing; leading to coma or death

Amphetamines (Benzedrine, Dexedrine, speed, crystal, crank) Various harmful and long lasting effects to the brain and vital organs


Heart problems


See more on federal drug trafficking penalties.
Hallucinogens (PCP, LSD Peyote, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, mescaline, psilocybin) Unpredictable effects

Possible visual auditory, and tactile hallucinations

Flashbacks and perception disorders

Marijuana & Hashish (Blunt, dope, ganja, pot, reefer, skunk, weed, joint) Short-term memory impairment

Decreased coordination

Increased heart rate and risk of psychosis to those who are vulnerable

Misdemeanor convictions for workplace and campus drug violations can result in a fine, community service, or incarceration of up to a year.

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