Sunny’s Story

A drug prevention book written by a mother who lost her son to a drug overdose from the viewpoint of the family beagle, Sunny. It's a great learning tool for kids, parents, teachers, and others.

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Educational Programs & Curriculum

Learn more about Courage to Speak® substance use prevention education programs for Elementary, Middle, and High School students.

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Drug Facts and Dangers of Abuse

Please be aware that each of these drug facts include the symptoms and dangers of abuse.

FACT: All of these drugs can lead to addiction.

FACT: All of these drugs can lead to a premature and unnecessary death.

Tobacco & Nicotine

Street Names: (Cigarettes) smokes, cigs, butts (Smokeless Tobacco) chew, dip, spit tobacco, snus, snuff (Hookahs, Bidis)

Risks: Harms immune system and nearly every organ in your body

Long-Term Effects: Cancer, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, infant related death due to mothers smoking during pregnancy


Street Names: Drink, booze, brew, hooch, moonshine

Risks: Can damage the part of the brain that controls coordination, memory, judgment and decision-making. Alcohol-related deaths: car accidents, homicides, suicides and other accidents.

Long-Term Effects: Damages brain, stomach, liver, kidneys and muscles


Street Names: Blunt, dope, ganja, grass, herb, joint, bud, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, green, trees, smoke, sinsemilla, skunk, weed, hash, tea, chronic, 420

Risks: Structural and functional deficits on the brain that could cause weakened verbal and communication skills, lowered learning capabilities and shortened attention span

Long-Term Effects: Affects the brain, lungs, higher risk for cancer than tobacco and is a gateway to harder drug use


Street Names: Arnolds, gym candy, juice, pumpers, roids, stackers, weight trainers

Risks: Males: shrunken testicles, difficulty or painful urination, breast development, “roid rage” and hair loss. Females: stops menstrual cycle, excessive body and facial hair, male-pattern baldness and decreased breast size

Long-Term Effects: Stunted height, high blood pressure, blood clotting, bad cholesterol and heart failure


Street Names: Laughing gas, poppers, snappers, whippets

Risks: Slows down the body, numbness, unconsciousness, heart failure, suffocation, convulsions, seizures, coma and instant death

Long-Term Effects: Brain, nerve, heart, lung and liver damage, permanently affect thinking, movement, vision and hearing

Bath Salts

Risks: Rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pains and agitation

Long-Term Effects: Still unknown, but seems to have similarities to methamphetamines so depression, anxiety, stroke, heart attack and sudden death are all possible


Street Names: Blow, bump, C, candy, Charlie, coke, snow, crack

Risks: Increases heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature which can let to seizures, cardiac arrest and death

Long-Term Effects: If snorted, can damage nasal septum and eventually cause nose to collapse. In all forms causes aggression, paranoia, anxiety, depression, agitation, manic behavior, cardiac arrest, seizures and respiratory failure


Street Names: Meth, ice, crank, chalk, crystal, fire, glass, go fast, speed, Tina, T

Risks: Rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and elevated body temperature. In high doses can cause stroke, heart attack and organ failure due to overheating

Long-Term Effects: Weight loss, loss of teeth, development of scabs and open sore on skin and face, anxiety, violent behavior, psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions


Street Names: Smack, horse, brown sugar, dope, H, junk, skag, skunk, white horse, China white, Mexican black tar

Risks: Blood clots, infection, overdose and death

Long-Term Effects: Infections of the heart lining and valves, liver disease, and lung disease. If sharing needles there’s high risk to get hepatitis and HIV/AIDS


Laxatives, Diuretics & Diet Pills

Risks: Hair loss, insomnia, menstrual cycle disturbances, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, vomiting, blurred vision and anxiety

Long-Term Effects: Affects the central nervous system, increased heart rate, heart attack and stroke


Street Names: Robotripping, robo, tussin, triple C, dex, skittles, velvet, drank

Risks: Distorts vision, dizziness, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, vomiting, loss of coordination and distorted judgment

Long-Term Effects: Overdose and death



Examples: Oxycodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet

Street Names: Captain Cody, Cody, school boy, doors & fours, loads, pancakes & syrup, oxy, oxycotton, oxycet, hillbilly heroin, percs

Risks: Decreased energy, inability to concentrate, nausea and vomiting. One large dose can cause difficulty breathing

Long-Term Effects: Overdose, severe withdrawl, deadly when mixed with alcohol and other drugs


Examples: Valiums, Xanax, Ambien, Lunesta

Street Names: Downers, downs, barbs, benzos, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows, yellow jackets, candy, sleeping pills, tranks, xanies

Risks: Depression, confusion, exhaustion, irritability, diminished heart beat and respiration

Long-Term Effects: Sever withdrawl symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, seizures, convulsions and death


Examples: Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Benzedrine

Street Names: Uppers, bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, truck drivers, JIF, MPH, R-ball, skippy, the smart drug, vitamin R

Risks: Excessive vomiting, tremors, sweating and anxiety. Taken in high doses with other drugs can cause irregular heartbeat, high body temperature, seizures and heart failure

Long-Term Effects: Suicidal and/or homicidal tendencies, paranoia and cardiovascular collapse.



Street Names: XTC, X, E, Adam, Eve, clarity, hug, beans, lovers’ speed, peace, uppers, Molly

Risks: Confusion, depression, severe anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, tremors, teeth clenching, muscle cramps, nausea, faintness, chills, sweating and blurred vision

Long-Term Effects: Permanent problems with memory and learning, interferes with body’s ability to regulate its temperature which can lead to hyperthermia which causes liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure.


Street Names: G, Georgia homeboy, grievous bodily harm, liquid ecstasy, soap, scoop, goop, liquid X

Risks: Vomiting, drowsiness, visual distortion, unconsciousness, seizures, slowed heart rate and death. Combined with alcohol it can lead to lung failure, coma and death

Long-Term Effects: Severe withdrawl including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, increased heart rate and blood pressure


Street Names: K, special K, vitamin K, cat valium

Risks: Delirium, inability to move or feel pain, black outs and fatal accidents

Long-Term Effects: Profound physical and mental problems, including impaired learning ability and memory, amnesia and potentially fatal respiratory problems

Rohypnol “Date-Rape Drug”

Street Names: Forget-me pill, Mexican valium, R2, roche, roofies, riach, rope, wolfies

Risks: Exhaustion, sedation, confusion, impaired coordination, impaired judgment and memory loss

Long-Term Effects: Lethal when combined with alcohol or other drugs



Street Names: Magic mushrooms, shrooms, caps, boomers

Risks: Hallucinations, mood swings, panic attacks and psychosis

Long-Term Effects: Brain can produce flashbacks (replay the experience on the drug), psychiatric illness and impaired memory have been reported


Street Names: Savlia, sheperdess’ herb, diviner’s sage, Maria pastora, magic mint, Sally-D

Risks: Hallucinations, psychosis, loss of coordination, anxiety, tremors, numbness, memory loss and nausea

Long-Term Effects: Still unknown, but can cause fatal accidents


Street Names: Acid, blotter, cubes, microdot, yellow sunshine, blue heaven, acid

Risks: Distorts visual judgment, sensations, moods and feelings. Experience terrifying thoughts, feelings of despair, fear of losing control, fear of insanity or even death. Unexpected and fatal accidents can happen.

Long-Term Effects: Flashbacks, HPPD (Hallucinogen-Induced Persisting Perceptual Disorder), psychosis and severe depression


Street Names: Cactus, cactus buttons, cactus joint, mesc, mescal, mese, mezc, moon, musk, topi

Risks: Anxiety, fear, paranoia, psychosis and high risk for dangerous and fatal accidents

Long-Term Effects: Flashbacks, psychosis and mental disorders


Street Names: Angel dust, ozone, wack, rocket fuel

Risks: Shallow breathing, flushing, profuse sweating, numbness, poor muscle coordination. At high doses causes hallucinations, seizures, coma or death

Long-Term Effects: Memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, weight loss and mood disorders

Courage to Speak Drug Prevention Education Programs for grades 4-12 and for parents are available nationwide. Click here to view all of our programs.