Other Types of Drugs
While the vast majority of students who choose to use substances of any kind, use alcohol alone (Stanford Survey Data, 2019), it is important to be aware of other types of drugs, their effects, their risks, and the current landscape of drugs that cannot be obtained through licenced pharmacies (illicit drugs).
Each drug category below has different properties and therefore there are varying levels of risks associated with each of them. However, any drug that has been obtained from the illicit market, shares a collective risk of being laced with potent, synthetic opioids (e.g. fentanyl) that cause fatal overdoses.
In 2011 the CDC declared an opioid epidemic in relation to dramatic increases in the misuse of prescription opioids. Since then, the illicit drug market has also changed drastically with alarming rates of counterfeit prescription opioid pills laced with more potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Explore other types of drugs below.
Stimulants are a class of drug also commonly known as "uppers". They stimulate the nervous system. Common stimulants include caffeine, a widely used drug largely known to keep people alert and awake. Stimulants also include some prescription drugs that treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affect attention span, impulse control, self-discipline, and hyperactivity in the case of ADHD.
Hookah, often promoted as being safer than cigarette smoking, has no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids are manufactured substances related to the male sex hormone Testosterone. They may be prescribed by a doctor to rebuild tissues weakened by injury or disease, to assist in regaining or maintaining weight after illness, and to aid recovery from breast cancer and osteoporosis in women. Steroids are abused in an attempt to enhance athletic performance and improve physical appearance and can be taken in pill form, injected, or rubbed on the skin in the form of gels or creams.
Are you looking for further harm reduction resources? Santa Clara County offers harm reduction supplies (e.g. Naloxone, Fentanyl Testing Strips, condoms and supplies for safer sex, syringe access and disposal, etc.) and training at many locations throughout the county. Explore their website for more details.