Health & Wellness Promotion

Alcohol & Other Drug Education
Drug Glossary

In addition to alcohol, other drugs pose a threat to students' health and success while in college. Drugs come in a variety of forms, including illegal street drugs, prescription medication, and other controlled substances. The manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of controlled substances is regulated by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which established classifications (called "Schedules") for substances based on their legitimate medical use and potential for abuse.

The following drug glossaries provide extensive information on dozens of abused substances. Looking for information on a particular drug? Visit the pages below and sort alphabetically by common street names or identify pills by their features.

Pill Identifier by Drugs.com
Identify drugs by pill numbers, markings, and appearance. A searchable database which includes more than 24,000 Rx/OTC medications. Also available as an iOS app.

Drugs of Abuse - DrugAbuse.gov
Learn the facts about the most commonly abused drugs. Each drug page includes a brief overview, street and clinical names, the effects of the drug on the brain and body, statistics and trends, and relevant publications and articles written by National Institute on Drug Abuse researchers and scientists.

Drug Glossary - JustThinkTwice.com
Alphabetical listing of drug names, including street names, with images and facts.

Drug Facts - AboveTheInfluence.com
Alphabetical listing of drug names, including street names, with images and facts. Includes risks, long-term effects, and printable summary PDF documents for each substance.


Controlled Substance Schedules - Download a list of Controlled Substances  by CSA Schedule

Schedule Description Examples
Schedule I Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. Heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy")
Schedule II Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Methadone, Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), morphine, opium, codeine, amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®)
Schedule III Substances in this schedule have a potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or II and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Ketamine, anabolic steroids, products containing less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin®)
Schedule IV Substances in this schedule have a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III. Alprazolam (Xanax®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam (Versed®), temazepam (Restoril®)
Schedule V Substances in this schedule have a low potential for abuse relative to substances listed in Schedule IV and consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC®, Phenergan with Codeine®)

College Drug Alerts

The following are issues that have recently received increased attention at colleges nationwide. This section serves as a brief alert and summary sheet for faculty, staff, students, parents, and any interested parties. This page is intended to give a very brief abstract of current issues, and is updated as new college drug trends emerge.

Marijuana: Decreased Perceived Harmfulness & Decreased Perceived Peer Disapproval

  • National trends for more prevalent marijuana use partially explained by a decrease in the perception of personal and societal risk, and a decrease in perceived peer disapproval for marijuana use.
  • Youth perception of harm and perception of peer disapproval seemed to peak around 1992 (Bachman, Johnson, & O'Malley, 1998).
  • These changes in perceptions may be explained by more frequent marijuana use in the media, the use of marijuana as medication, the less severe legal consequences for marijuana possession compared to other controlled substances, and the increased visibility of recreational use and legal recreational use in some states.
  • Regardless of state laws, campuses are still required to follow the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and have policies and educational interventions for marijuana use.

Synthetic Marijuana (Spice, K2, Salvia, etc.)

  • Synthetic drugs sprayed on plant material and then smoked.
  • Used to be available in smoke shops and online. Marketed as "fake weed" or imitation marijuana.
  • Short term effects include loss of control, lack of pain response, increased agitation, pale skin, seizures, vomiting, profuse sweating, uncontrolled / spastic body movements, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations.
  • Banned nationwide in July 2012
  • Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act banned 15 specific synthetic compounds and gave the DEA power to temporarily classify novel compounds as Schedule I controlled substances until they can be reviewed - an attempt to stay ahead of the creation of new compounds not explicitly named in the legislation.

Bath Salts and Other Synthetic Drugs

  • Synthetic drugs that used to be available online and in smoke shops. Marketed as "computer cleaner," "bath salts," or "plant food."
  • These are now classified as Schedule I controlled substances under the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act (part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act).
  • Bath salts are usually ingested by sniffing/snorting. They can also be taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected into veins.
  • Short-term effects include very severe paranoia that can sometimes cause users to harm themselves or others.

Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Many students perceive prescription drugs to be safe since they are prescribed for medical purposes.
  • Can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, delirium, panic, psychosis, impaired thinking and memory, confusion, depression, altered vision, slurred speech, stuttering, vertigo, tremors, respiratory depression, stroke, and heart failure.
  • Among college students, stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin) are the most frequently abused prescription medications.
  • Taking Adderall without a prescription has the same legal consequences as abusing cocaine, amphetamines, or OxyContin (Schedule II controlled substances). 
  • 1 in 5 Indiana teenagers has admitted to abusing prescription drugs (BitterPill.IN.gov)


Additional information and reports on trends specific to Indiana can be found through the IU Center for Health Policy website and the Campus AOD Statistics section of this site.