Drugs of Abuse

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2017 Sep;40(3):501-517. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2017.05.006.


Drug abuse and its consequences remain a significant public health issue. An increasing number of individuals are present in the emergency room with life-threatening drug intoxication. It is imperative that emergency room physicians are cognizant of the signs, symptoms, and treatment to improve the chances of early recognition and treatment. As a result, the proportion of lives saved will increase significantly. In this article, we present some of the most prevalent life-threatening drugs that lead to emergency room admission. The signs, symptoms, and treatment modalities are discussed.

Keywords: Cocaine; Designer drugs; Heroin; Intoxication; Marijuana; Opioids; Overdose.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects*
  • Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Designer Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Drug Overdose / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Designer Drugs
  • Naloxone
  • Cocaine