What are the types of drugs?

Drugs can be categorized into groups based on the effects that they have on the user. Check out the chart below for a quick overview! If you would like to learn more, visit drugabuse.gov to see a variety of drugs covered in depth.

Some drugs are used more heavily in college student populations and rural towns.
Click through the boxes below to take a closer look at some drugs that may impact our community.

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Nicotine
  • 'Magic' Mushrooms
  • Adderall
  • Heroin

Alcohol

Overview: Alcohol is a type of depressant that slows down the brain and results in an impaired cognitive state.

Health Effects: Short term effects of alcohol usage may include hangover and alcohol poisoning, as well as falls & accidents, conflict, lowered inhibitions, and risky behaviors. Long term, excessive use can lead to development of chronic disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, or stroke.

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive - if going out, designate a driver
  • Consider alternating alcoholic drinks with water
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs

University Policy: S&T is a dry campus. For more information on S&T policies, click here.

Specific Resources:

BASICS: A brief alcohol screening and intervention for college students. The goal of BASICS at Missouri S&T is to motivate students to reduce risky behaviors associated with alcohol consumption. BASICS will provide you with a structured opportunity to assess your own risk, identify potential changes that could work for you, and help you to reduce your risk for developing future problems. BASICS is not an abstinence-only program. To schedule a consultation, contact Student Well-Being at wellbeing@mst.edu or 573-341-4211.

Miners4Recovery: Miners4Recovery will provide you with support for disengaging from addictive behaviors and exploring ideas for change to avoid consequences related to drugs and alcohol. To join or learn more, email Lynne Davidson at davidsonlg@mst.edu.

Cannabis

Overview: Cannabis is often described as a depressant with stimulant and hallucinogenic qualities. Two well-known compounds found in cannabis are THC and CBD.

Health Effects: Short term effects may include altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty problem solving, and impaired memory. Long term effects may include breathing issues, increased heart rate, impacts on brain development, and Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (causes the user to cycle severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration).

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • If using edibles, go low and slow with dosing
  • CBD can interact with some medications
  • Setting is important! Ensure you are in a safe space for the duration of your high
  • Stay hydrated

University Policy: Cannabis in any form is prohibited on S&T’s campus. For more on the policies, click here.

Specific Resources:

CASICS: A brief cannabis intervention and screening for college students. The goal of CASICS at Missouri S&T is to motivate students to reduce risky behaviors associated with marijuana use. CASICS will provide you with a structured opportunity to assess your own risk, identify potential changes that could work for you, and help you to reduce your risk for developing future problems. To schedule a consultation, contact Student Well-Being at wellbeing@mst.edu or 573-341-4211.

Miners4Recovery: Miners4Recovery will provide you with support for disengaging from addictive behaviors and exploring ideas for change to avoid consequences related to drugs and alcohol. To join or learn more, email Lynne Davidson at davidsonlg@mst.edu.

Nicotine

Overview: Nicotine is a type of stimulant that commonly comes in the form of cigarettes, vape juice, chewing tobacco, and cigars.

Health Effects: Short term effects may include lingering smoke smell, increased heart rate, coughing, and shortness of breath. Long term effects may include addiction, lung disease, heart disease, cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Secondhand smoke impacts those around you - consider smoking in a well-ventilated area
  • Ensure cigarette butts are fully put out and not still burning when finished

University Policy: S&T has been a tobacco-free campus since 2016. For more on the policies, click here.

Specific Resources:

Nicotine Cessation: Student Well-Being offers a one-on-one nicotine-cessation program for students, faculty, and staff who are thinking about or are ready to quit. These sessions may include:

  • Free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, or lozenges)
  • One-on-one coaching and goal assessment
  • A participant workbook
  • A personalized quit plan
  • Peer support

During the initial 60 minute consultation, we will review your current use, any quit attempts in the past, and what will work best for you as you work towards quitting nicotine use. To meet with a quit coach, e-mail us at wellbeing@mst.edu or call 573-341-4211.

External Resources

  • Smokefree.gov is a website with tailored quit smoking resources.
    • Smoke Free also offers SmokefreeTXT - a text service to help with your quit plan
      Join by texting QUIT to 47848
  • The American Heart Association has a website with dedicated quit smoking resources.
  • The American Lung Association has a website with quit-smoking tips.
    • They also have a quit helpline you can reach at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)
  • The Truth Initiative has a text-to-quit program known as "This is Quitting".
    • They will provide you with 3-5 text messages per day to support you in your journey.
      Join by texting DITCHVAPE to 88709
  • Quit smoking phone apps include the NCI QuitPal by the National Cancer Institute, MyQuit Coach by LiveStrong, and QuitStart by the CDC.

'Magic' Mushrooms

Overview: Psilocybin sometimes known as “magic mushrooms” are mushrooms with hallucinogenic properties or synthetically produced. It may be eaten dried, taken in capsules with ground powder, or made into tea.

Health Effects: Short term health effects may include sensory changes, unusual thoughts & speech, and excitation. User’s experiences may be directly linked to their setting at the time of their usage. Long term effects may include disorganized thinking, persistent hallucinations, mood disturbances, visual interruptions, and paranoia.

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Do not eat any mushroom that you are not completely sure of its identification; psilocybin species, like psilocybe cubensis, look similar to some poisonous mushrooms
    • Signs of mushroom poisoning include stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Start low and slow with dosage
    • Signs of an overdose include dizziness, numbness of the lips, tongue, or mouth, shivering or sweating, nausea, and intense anxiety
  • Avoid using when you are upset
  • If experiencing a ‘bad trip’, avoid flashing lights and visuals and find a calm space

University Policy: Possession, use, and sale are illegal. For more information, please click here.

Specific Resources:

Poision Control is availible 24/7 if you believe you have ingested a toxic mushroom by calling (800) 222-1222

Miners4Recovery: Miners4Recovery will provide you with support for disengaging from addictive behaviors and exploring ideas for change to avoid consequences related to drugs and alcohol. To join or learn more, email Lynne Davidson at davidsonlg@mst.edu.

Adderall

Overview: Adderall is a prescription stimulant often prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy. People may use this drug to pull all-nighters and stay awake for prolonged periods.

Health Effects: Short term effects may include dehydration, restlessness, blurred vision, and irregular heartbeat. Long term health effects may include excessive fatigue, high blood pressure, seizures, brain damage, and sudden cardiac arrest.

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Stay hydrated
  • If you are using back-to-back, consider replacing a re-dose with caffeine
  • Take time to rest after your usage
  • Lock-up your medications

University Policy: Adderall and similar drugs can be legally perscribed by a medical professional. However, use without a perscription and misuse of a persciption violates university policy. For more information, please click here.

Specific Resources:

Deterra Bags: A drug deactivation system available free through Student Well-Being. One bag can neutralize up to 15 pills, 2oz of liquid, or 2 nicotine patches.

Miners4Recovery: Miners4Recovery will provide you with support for disengaging from addictive behaviors and exploring ideas for change to avoid consequences related to drugs and alcohol. To join or learn more, email Lynne Davidson at davidsonlg@mst.edu.

Heroin

Overview: Heroin is an opioid made from morphine and can be injected, snorted, or smoked.

Health Effects: Short term effects include dry mouth, nausea & vomiting, severe itching, and clouded mental functioning. Long term effects may include insomnia, collapsed veins for intravenous users, infection of the heart lining & values, liver & kidney disease, damage to the nasal tissue for those who snort the drug, and sexual dysfunction.

Safety Tips:

The safest thing to do is not to use this drug. However, if you choose to use, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Do not mix opioids of any kind with depressants - this may lead to respiratory depression
  • If using intravenously, do not share needles and properly dispose of needles
  • Naloxone or Narcan, the drug used to combat an overdose, can be purchased at any Missouri pharmacy for eligible individuals (MO standing order).
  • Signs of an overdose include slow breathing, small pupils, unresponsiveness, and blueish skin.

University Policy: Possession, use, and sale are illegal. For more information please click here.

Specific Resources:

Miners4Recovery: Miners4Recovery will provide you with support for disengaging from addictive behaviors and exploring ideas for change to avoid consequences related to drugs and alcohol. To join or learn more, email Lynne Davidson at davidsonlg@mst.edu.

MoNetwork: Based in St. Louis, offers hepatitis & HIV testing, naloxone distribution, overdose education, safe sex items, and syringe services.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Mayo Clinic defines withdrawl as:

"Physical and mental symptoms that occur after stopping or reducing intake of a drug.
The characteristics of withdrawal depend on what drug is being discontinued.
Symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, sweating, vomiting, depression, seizures, and hallucinations.
Treatment includes supportive care, as well as medications to address symptoms and prevent complications."

Harm reduction is a way to reduce the harm to the individual using drugs and those around them. In this webpage, we provide harm reduction in the form of safety tips for those who chose to use drugs that are both legal and illegal.

Person centered langauge, when applied to drugs, is away of speaking about someone who uses drugs or has a substance use disorder by focusing on their personhood and not labeling by their use to drugs. If you are interested in learning more about more inclusive language, consider checking out the Addictionary.

There is not a magic answer to this question, but huge way to support someone experiencing problems related to substance use is letting them know that they are cared for and that there are resources availible to support them.