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New Mexico State University

Other Drugs

New Mexico Laws
Each state has different laws and penalties in regard to using alcohol.  In New Mexico, there are several laws that are concerned with underage drinking, drinking while intoxicated (DWI), etc. Here is a brief overview of these laws:
    • Minor In Possession of Alcohol- a minor (under 21) who buys, attempts to buy, possesses or permits himself to be served alcoholic beverages is subject to a fine, suspended license, and/or community service hours
    • Presenting or Making a False ID- using or possessing an altered, forged, or fictitious identification card is a misdemeanor; actually altering or forging an ID or driver’s license is a 4th degree felony
    • Open Container- drinking or having possession of an open container of alcohol (which includes packages of cans and bottles) while in a motor vehicle can lead to a fine, probation, and possible jail time
    • Selling or Giving Alcohol to a Minor- providing alcohol to a minor is prohibited in restaurants, homes, and other private and public locations in New Mexico
    • DWI- anyone who drives a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is subject to several fines.


Click below to read information about the following drugs:





Recreational Date Rape Drugs





Prescription Drugs







The Breakdown on Caffeine

With the many stresses of college, many students will turn to caffeine to get through the crunch time. Caffeine keeps our eyes open and gives us the buzz to stay up late, but what else does it do?

Caffeine is an alkaloid found in coffee, tea, cola nuts, mate, guarana. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, cardiac muscle, and respiratory system. Caffeine is a known diuretic and delays fatigue.

A story by suggests that consuming more than two cups of coffee a day may cause nervousness, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, sleeplessness, and irritability. It can even lead to health problems such as osteoporosis or high blood pressure. Many consumers have experienced one of the side effects of skipping the usual morning cup - a caffeine withdrawal headache.                      

Caffeine Withdrawals

According to, regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. The body responds to over intake with a dramatic drop in blood pressure, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily the brain), which leads to a headache which can last from one to five days.

Many coffee drinkers will "give in" and drink more coffee to alleviate the pain, or you can take an analgesic (pain reliever) such as aspirin, though many analgesics contain caffeine dosages.

How much caffeine is in what?

The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies depending on how the drink is made, and what it is made of. Generally, a filtered cup (250 ml) of coffee has between 125mg of caffeine. The same size serving of tea may contain 20-200 mg of caffeine. Energy drinks contain 150mg or more, and cola drinks (350ml) between 30-72mg. It's important to note that energy drinks are not required to list their caffeine content on their labels, so you might not be able to judge just how much caffeine you're getting from them.

It's not completely bad for you

According to The Buzz on Coffee, by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, "The studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of Parkinson's disease by 80%, the risk of colon cancer by 25%, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver by 80%, and cut the risk of gallstones in half. In one study, people who drank 2 cups a day of decaf coffee had half the risk of rectal cancer, compared with tea or caffeinated coffee drinkers." Still, it's good idea to use caffeine in moderation. Don't use a triple shot latte to replace a good night's sleep.   Zelman also recommends that you talk to your doctor about your caffeine intake if you experience palpitations, a rapid heartbeat or any symptoms associated with caffeine overload.

Did you know...

Caffeine was on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list of prohibited substances for many years. Athletes who tested positive for more than 12 micrograms (about 5 cups of coffee) of caffeine per milliliter of urine could be banned from the Olympic Games. The IOC removed caffeine from the banned list in 2004.



Marijuana comes from the hemp plant know as Cannabis Sativa. It is the most frequently used drug and also the second most used drug; alcohol being the first. Marijuana can be smoked or taken orally. The dried leaves, stems, seeds and flowers are most commonly smoked. It can also be then mixed into food or brewed into a tea.

In a 2007 NMSU core survey, 63% of NMSU students never smoked marijuana in the last year. According to Webmd 4% of adults have smoked pot at least once a year, 1% of adults will abuse the use of marijuana, and one out of 300 have a pot addiction. Recent government studies also showed that 30% of teenagers are smoking marijuana.

The “Hype”:
There is a “hype” surrounding the usage of marijuana and that there are expectations of how it makes you feel and what it can do for you. It is said that marijuana can “make you laugh and have fun,” “it’s an herbal chill pill and is totally natural,” and also that “marijuana is not addicting and not dangerous.” All these expectations can give us the impression that marijuana is “great.”

THC is short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which binds to the CB1 (cannibinoid) receptor in the central nervous system. There are over 400 chemicals found in marijuana cannabis plants. THC is the chemical responsible for the high that is received from smoking or taking marijuana, and is the one that affects the brain the most. THC is also one of the oldest hallucinogenic drugs. THC is used as an appetite stimulant and an antiemetic, which suppresses nausea and vomiting. The antiemetic in THC is used to control vomiting and nausea, cancer chemotherapy, and used to subside weight loss in AID’s patients. This antiemetic is also used to treat seizures, muscle spasms, and pain for people with epilepsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma. The side effects of THC are drowsiness, reduced concentration, and short term memory loss.

Effects depend on:

  1. How much you use
  2. How often and how long you’ve used
  3. Smoked or swallowed
  4. Your mood, expectations, environment
  5. Your age
  6. Pre-existing medical or psychiatric conditions
  7. Any alcohol, or other drugs taken (illicit or prescription)

Marijuana taken in low doses:

  1. It can mildly distort perceptions and senses
  2. It also enhances the way music sounds and the color of things can seem vibrant
  3. It can also enhance the way things taste, smell, and touch
  4. It can make you more aware of your body

Marijuana taken in large doses:

  1. It can intensify some effect and give unpleasant reactions to things
  2. Feeling loss of control, confusion, agitation, paranoia, and panic
  3. Pseudohallucinations – an image vivid enough to be a hallucination but recognized as unreal
  4. Hallucinations - a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reacting to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images

Physical effects:

  1. Red eyes, dry mouth & throat, irritated respiratory system (caused from smoke), bronchodilation, appetite, increased heart rate, blood pressure stability and balance decreased
  2. Drowsiness and restlessness

Marijuana taken and used with Alcohol:
When marijuana is taken and used with alcohol the effects of both drugs are increased. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana can cause decreased motor control and mental confusion, which can greatly impair your ability to drive. Marijuana also decreases the gag reflex, making it difficult for a person to rid their body of alcohol when the body needs to. In a recent study using rats, it was found that THC combined with mildly intoxicating doses of alcohol caused a widespread nerve cell death in the brain.

Long-term effects of Marijuana usage:
A continual user of marijuana can experience harmful long-term effects, one of which being respiratory problems. The respiratory problems experienced by marijuana are often the same as cigarette respiratory problems. The level of tar and carbon monoxide inhaled by marijuana smokers are 3 to 5 times higher than that of cigarette smoke. This can be caused by the deep inhaling and holding of smoke in the lungs, or the fact that marijuana smoke is unfiltered. Marijuana can also affect the memory and learning capabilities. Regular marijuana use can compromise the ability to lean and remember by impairing the ability to focus, sustain, and shift attention. Marijuana also impairs short-term memory and the ability to be motivated, accomplishing tasks after the high is over is often hard to complete. Lastly, long-term marijuana use can suppress the production of hormones that help regulate the reproductive system. For men this can mean that marijuana will decrease the sperm count and for very heavy users cause erectile dysfunction. For women heavy use may cause irregular menstrual cycles. These factors may result in a decreased ability to conceive but not entirely lead to complete infertility.


Cocaine originated from the Andes in South America and is a purified extract from the leaves of the Erythroxulum Coca bush. Cocaine is an alkaloid which means that it is a chemical compound. Cocaine has two forms; powdered which is known as “blow” or “coke.” This powdered cocaine can dissolve in water and is either snorted or injected. The other form is crack cocaine and is known as “crack” or “rock.” This crack cocaine is a made by a chemical process which is known as “freebase” and is smoked.

The 2007 CORE Survey found that 92% of NMSU students had never used cocaine in the past year and that 85% of NMSU students had never used cocaine in their lifetime.

Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulate. Cocaine blocks the reuptake of certain excitatory neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine) which causes neurons to fire excessively. In chronic cocaine consumers, the brain comes to rely on this exogenous drug to maintain the high degree of pleasure associated with the artificially elevated dopamine levels in its reward circuits. The postsynaptic membrane can even adapt so much to these high dopamine levels that it actually manufactures new receptors. The resulting increased sensitivity produces depression and cravings if cocaine consumption ceases and dopamine levels return to normal.

Cocaine users describe feelings of euphoria as being:

  1. An increased sense of energy and alertness
  2. An extremely elevated mood
  3. And a feeling of supremacy Other feelings that were tagged along can be described as:
  4. Irritability
  5. Paranoia
  6. Restlessness
  7. Anxiety

The signs of using cocaine are:

  1. Dilated pupils
  2. Excited, exuberant speech
  3. High levels of energy and activity

These effects of cocaine are dependent on whether it was smoked, snorted, or injected. The immediate effects of cocaine can often wear off within 30 minutes.

Cocaine taken and used with Alcohol:
Using cocaine with alcohol can cause a 30% increase of cocaine in the blood system. The combination of alcohol and cocaine produces what is called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene can increase the amount of dopamine that is released. It can also enhance the risk for cardiac death and enhances the length of the high. Cocaethylene also has a higher cardiovascular toxicity than cocaine by itself. Also the combined use of cocaine and chronic alcohol can lead to an increase of brain-to-plasma cocaine ratio. Tests on mice have shown that the combination of alcohol and cocaine are 50%-100% more lethal then that of cocaine alone. Cocaine and cocaethylene may disrupt the function of the limbic parts of the brain which control the heart. They also bind to  muscinaric and sigma receptors which are also molecules of the brain, which may lead to abnormal heart function, mental disorders, and delirium.

Long-term effects:
Cocaine is a powerful high that affects the brain, but as it flows through the blood, it affects the whole body. Cocaine is especially bad for the heart because it increases the heart rate and blood pressure while constricting arteries that are carrying blood to the heart. This can cause a heart attack, heart disease, and cause an abnormal heart rhythm called arrhythmia which can kill instantly. Cocaine in the brain can cause blood vessels to constrict which can cause strokes. From the brain cocaine can also cause seizures and violent behavior. Cocaine also affects the lungs and respiratory system, from snorting it damages the nose and sinuses. Smoking crack cocaine causes irritation in the lungs and possible lung damage.


Recreational use of Date Rape Drugs


GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is a depressant intoxicant and is naturally found in wine and human cells. GHB is chemically produced by combining gamma butrylactone and a strong base such as sodium hydroxide. These two substances react chemically to form GHB. It comes in both powder and liquid form, when GHB is in liquid form it is significantly harder to determine the concentration.

GHB prevents the release of dopamine in the brain. It does this by making the brain believe that it is running out of dopamine and releases prolactin instead. Prolactin is released to trigger the production of more dopamine. So, when the effects of GHB have worn off, dopamine release is returned to normal. Now as a result of prolactin triggering more dopamine, there is an overflow of dopamine released, due to the buildup that occurred. After this process is complete the body is left feeling lethargic.

How it makes you feel depends on:

  1. Body weight
  2. Other chemical interactions
  3. Individuals reaction

GHB taken in low doses:

  1. Mild relaxation
  2. Slightly decreased motor function
  3. Mild dizziness

GHB taken in medium doses:

  1. Increased relaxing effects
  2. Disequilibrium
  3. Incoherency
  4. Nausea
  5. Grogginess

GHB taken in high doses:

  1. Ill feeling
  2. Euphoria
  3. Vomiting

GHB overdose:

  1. Extreme nausea/ dizziness/ vomiting
  2. Coma characteristics

GHB poisoning:

  1. Low breathing
  2. Vomiting
  3. Non-responsive to deep pain
  4. Fixed pupils

After effects:

  1. Drowsy/ sleepy/ groggy
  2. Hangover
  3. Fuzzy head

GHB taken and used with alcohol:
Taking GHB with alcohol has dangerous and harmful effects and is known to increase each others effects more drastically. GHB causes the central nervous system to slow down which can trigger a person to stop breathing and stop the heartbeat entirely. Mixing GHB with alcohol can cause respiratory arrest and a serious possibility of death.



Ketamine is a hydrochloride that is known to be used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians. Ketamine is a synthetic chemical, dissociative anesthetic, and a hallucinogen. It is in the form of a white powder that can be snorted, injected (injected intra-muscularly), mixed in drinks, or smoke able.

Ketamine and the Brain:
Ketamine distorts the perceptions of sight and sound. It also produces a feeling of not being attached to the self or to the environment. Ketamine attaches to the glutamate receptor that produces a feeling of delirium and amnesia.

Higher doses suppress the central nervous system, reduce level of oxygen to the brain, heart, muscles, and may also cause death.

  1. Mental/body high
  2. Increased energy
  3. Euphoria
  4. Sense of calm and serenity
  5. Spiritual experiences
  6. Enhanced connection to the world


  1. Loss/distorted sensory perceptions
  2. Eye visuals
  3. Analgesia and numbness
  4. Perception loss
  5. Increased heart rate


  1. Psychological dependency
  2. Nasal discomfort upon insufflations
  3. Discomfort/pain/numbness at injection site
  4. Confusion and disorganized thinking
  5. Paranoia and egocentrism
  6. Nausea and Vomiting
  7. Frightening or untimely distortion or loss of sensory perception
  8. Susceptibility to accidents (uncoordinated changes perception of body and time)
  9. Loss of consciousness
  10. Depression of heart rate and respiration
  11. Near death experiences
  12. Compelling vision and blackouts

Effects depend on:

  1. Age and weight
  2. How much taken and how often taken
  3. How long been taking it
  4. Method used to take the drug
  5. Environment
  6. Other chemicals being taken with it

Ketamine taken and used with alcohol:
Taking ketamine with alcohol increases effects of both drugs. When taken together ketamine and alcohol cause nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Vomiting and dysphoria known as the “spins” occur. Alcohol accentuates the anesthetic of the drug. These two drugs mixed can cause the lungs and heart to stop functioning correctly which can produce the body to go into a catatonic state or comatose where no one can be woken up. In a catatonic state the body’s normal reactions like throwing up won’t work.



Rohypnol is also known as flunitazepam and is a short acting benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine is and has similar effects to valium. Rohypnol is also a sedative that depresses the central nervous system, which can happen after 20 minutes of ingestion.  Rohypnol is used to treat insomnia and is an inducing anesthesia.

Causes and Effects:

  1. Cause blurred memory, can’t remember what happened while being drugged
  2. Low blood pressure
  3. Sleepiness
  4. Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
  5. Drunk feeling that lasts from 2 to 8 hours
  6. Nausea and stomach problems
  7. Problems talking
  8. Difficulty with motor movements
  9. Loss of consciousness
  10. Confusion
  11. Disorientation
  12. Dizziness
  13. Problems seeing
  14. Blackouts

Rohypnol taken and used with alcohol:

  1. Synergistic effect; double effects of rohypnol and alcohol
  2. Producing disinheriting and amnesia
  3. Blackout
  4. Stupor
  5. Respiratory depression
  6. Death

Prescription Drugs


Hydrocodone is known as Acetaminophen and Vicodin. Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic that is used as a narcotic pain reliever. Hydroconde is analgesic and antitussive which means it is used as a cough suppressant and pain reliever. Hydrocodone binds to opiod receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Hydrocodone is known or considered to be like morphine in all respects. It is a scheduled 2 drug which means it has a high tolerance for dependency.


  1. Improvement of mood
  2. Reduction of pain
  3. Euphoria


  1. Dizziness
  2. Constipation
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. When insufflated, burning in nose and sinuses

Respiratory Depression:
Hydrocodone can produce respiratory depression meaning that there is inadequate ventilation and needs to perform needed gas exchange. Hydrocodone affects the center that controls respiratory rhythm and causes irregular and periodic breathing.

Hydrocodone taken and used with alcohol:
Using both these drugs increases:

  1. Potential coma
  2. Respiratory problems
  3. Damage to the central
  4. Euphoria feeling

Taking hydrocodone with alcohol also can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and the wall of the stomach.



Methamphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant; of the amphetamine family and is a euphoric stimulant. Methamphetamines can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected. It is also a psycho-stimulant and sympathomimetic drug, meaning that it mimics epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.


  1. Increased energy and alertness
  2. Decreased need for sleep
  3. Euphoria


  1. Excessive talking
  2. Weight loss
  3. Sweating
  4. Visual and auditory hallucinations (hearing of voices)


  1. Disturbed sleep patterns
  2. Tightened jaw muscles, grinding teeth
  3. Appetite loss (poor nutrition weight loss)
  4. Reduced enjoyment of eating
  5. Itching, welts on skin
  6. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  7. Hyperactivity
  8. Shortness of breath
  9. Irritability and moodiness
  10. Anxiousness and nervousness
  11. Aggressiveness and violent behavior
  12. Panic, suspiciousness, and paranoia
  13. Involuntary body movements
  14. Severe depression and suicidal tendencies

Habitual Use:
Using methamphetamines habitually can cause serious health conditions such as fatal kidney, liver damage, lung disorders and stoke. Habitual use can also cause possible brain damage and permanent psychological problems.

Methamphetamines taken and used with alcohol:
Taking methamphetamines with alcohol can hide the effects of alcohol. Taking both alcohol and methamphetamines makes the heart work harder and consume more oxygen. Alcohol suppresses the breakdown of amphetamines which can cause elevated levels of methamphetamines in the blood.



Xanax is also known as alphrazolam and contains benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines affect chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant used to treat anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sleeplessness, and extreme stress relief.


  1. Drowsy, dizzy, irritability
  2. Amnesia, forgetfulness and trouble concentrating
  3. Sleep problems and insomnia
  4. Muscle weakness and lack of balance
  5. Nausea, vomiting, constipation
  6. Dry mouth and sweating
  7. Slurred speech
  8. Decreased inhibitions
  9. Depressed mood
  10. Hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, hallucinations
  11. Feeling light-headed and faint
  12. Seizures (convulsions)
  13. Urinating less to not at all
  14. Muscle switching and tremors
  15. Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)

Xanax taken and used with alcohol:
Xanax and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants and both slow brain activity. Taken together can increase drowsiness, dizziness, coordination problems, and unusual behavior and memory problems. The heart rate and breathing slow, which causes someone to pass out and have difficulty breathing; also leading to death.



Adderall is an amphetamine which increases levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that causes strong physical and mental stimulation. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Less serious

  1. Headache or dizziness
  2. Sleep problems (insomnia)
  3. Dry mouth or an unpleasant taste
  4. Diarrhea or constipation
  5. Loss of appetite and weight loss


  1. Fast, pounding, and uneven heartbeats
  2. Feeling light headed/faint
  3. Increased blood pressure
  4. Severe headache
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Trouble concentrating
  7. Chest pain
  8. Numbness
  9. Seizure
  10. Tremor
  11. Restlessness
  12. Hallucinations
  13. Unusual behavior
  14. Motor tics/muscle twitches

Adderall taken and used with alcohol:
Alcohol is a central nervous system suppressant and adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. Mixing these two drugs mask the effects of alcohol. When experiencing the depressant effects of alcohol it is our bodies own way of saying “slow down” or “stop drinking.” The more alcohol that is consumed the blood alcohol level is still increasing even though the effects of alcohol aren’t felt.