Information On Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Signs And Symptoms Of Use

The first step to recovery is the acknowledgement of the addiction, not just by the addict, but by those in the addict’s support network. Friends, family, and confidants working together effectively is crucial.

In order to properly recognize drug use in your loved ones, it is critical that you are educated on the signs and symptoms of the abuse of various drugs. It’s important to keep in mind that it is our natural inclination to not see what is right in front of us when it is uncomfortable or scary, but this is a normal emotion that most people experience. Having an academic understanding of how drugs observably effect people can alleviate some of that difficulty.

Here is a comprehensive list of drugs, and a broad list of symptoms that you should be aware off. For more detailed information on each drug and its effects on the human body, please click the read more link in each section.



Cocaine is a fine, white, crystal powder most often snorted through the nose, but also rubbed directly onto the gums. There are actually valid medical applications to the drug, such as being used as a local anesthetic for surgeries, but it is an illegal substance. It’s often blended with innocuous substances to increase profit, including talcum powder and cornstarch. It is also mixed with amphetamines. Some of the common symptoms associated with cocaine use are:

  • extreme happiness & energy
  • enhanced mental acuity
  • hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
  • irritability
  • paranoia & distrust of others
Devil’s Breath (Scopolamine)

Scopolamine, commonly known as Devil’s Breath, is a unique and powerful drug derived from the flower of the borrachero tree. It’s often used not as a recreational drug, but as a way of incapacitating unsuspecting victims. Devil’s Breath, which is odorless and tasteless, is often utilized as a part of a scheme to rob or abduct, and can be administered by blowing the dust into the face of the target or added to a drink.

Victims remain lucid, but lose control of their actions and become highly obedient, and remain in a zombie-like state. In this submissive state, there are anecdotal accounts of victims becoming complicit in their own robbery, as they lack free will.

Symptoms of being under the influence of Devil’s Breath include:

  • High levels of obedience and lack of free will
  • Extreme dry mouth
  • Blurry Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
Ecstasy (MDMA)

MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, is a synthetic drug known for it’s combination of stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. MDMA is most often consumed in tablet form. It’s frequently consumed in conjunction with alcohol in nightlife environments.

Physiological effects of MDMA include:

  • extreme energy
  • euphoria
  • elevated emotional state and feelings of closeness
  • distorted sensory perception
  • altered perception of time
  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • muscle cramps
  • sweating

Heroin is an opioid drug that is actually a derivative form of Morphine. It’s among the most addictive substances, and is most often injected – it can also be snorted or smoked. Upon consumption, Heroin rapidly enters the brain and reverts back to Morphine, binding to opioid receptors, particularly those associated with pain and pleasure.

Common symptoms of Heroin use include:

  • cotton mouth
  • flushed skin
  • sensations of heaviness in hands and feet
  • impaired cognitive functioning
  • the “nod” – vacillating between consciousness and a semi-conscious dreamlike state
Krocodil (Desomorphine, Permonid, Russian Magic, or The Zombie Drug)

Desomorphine, known on the street as Krocodil or “The Zombie Drug”, is an extremely powerful and fast-acting drug, with effects comparable to opioids. The drug was initially developed and produced in Switzerland as a brand name drug, Permonid, for fast relief of severe pain. The drug is a derivative of morphine. The name Krocodil is derived from the scaly appearance that users’ skin takes on around the injection site.

In addition the drug’s powerful effects, part of what causes the drug to be so dangerous is the process by which it is produced in the modern day. Krocodil is “cooked”, rather than produced in a pharmaceutical-setting. Consistent with drugs that are often produced in this setting, there is little effort made to reduce toxins and various byproducts produced by the synthesis of the substance.

One notable aspect of Krocodil is its brutal withdrawal period. While heroin withdrawal generally lasts for a week, Krocodil can last upwards of a month, and is accompanied by the typical opioid withdrawal symptoms: depression, sickness, nausea, diarrhea, and extreme muscle cramps.

Common and extreme effects of Krocodil include:

  • Skin Infections
  • Gangrene
  • Dermal Necrosis (Skin Death) Resulting In Need for Limb Amputation
  • Intense Flu-Like Symptoms (Diarrhea, Tremors, Profuse Sweating, Vomiting)

Also known as Meth, Crystal Meth, Crystal, and Ice – Methamphetamine is a severely addictive stimulant drug, and structurally similar to amphetamine. One reason the drug is so addictive is the manor in which it effects the body – users experience an intense euphoria as the drug rapidly enters the brain, and then just as quickly as the feeling sets in, it dissipates, leaving its users with an intense crash.

It’s currently consumed orally, smoked, snorted or first dissolved in water and then injected.

Common symptoms of Methamphetamine use include:

  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • insomnia
  • mood disturbances, including aggression
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • auditory and visual hallucinations
PCP (Angel Dust)

PCP, also known as Angel Dust, is a synthetic chemical that was produced in the 1950’s and applied in the medical field for its anesthetic properties. However, its use was discontinued because of its adverse side effects. Patients began experiencing hallucinations and became extremely violent. However, even after its discontinuation, people continued to produce and distribute the substance illicitly, and still do so until this day.

PCP is sold in white powder, liquid, or tablet form. It’s commonly laced and smoked with Marijuana.

Common symptoms of PCP use include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • A Sense of Invincibility
  • Numbness
  • Hallucinations
  • Sedation
  • Paralysis or Immobility
  • Rapid Eye Movements