Chronic and recurrent brain disease characterized by search and compulsive consumption (drugs, new technologies or compulsive shopping, strenuous physical exercise…) despite its harmful consequences. It’s considered a brain’s disease because its structure and functioning are affected.

Alcohol and types of collective consumption

  1. The previous one: it is about buying cheap alcohol in stores, supermarkets, gas stations … and consuming it, generally in a group, at home on the street, in the parking lot or in spaces before accessing the disco, musical bar or equivalent.
  2. The botellón (street drinking): ESTUDES (spanish studie among drugs and students) informs us that 62% of the students from 14 to 18 years old have made botellón in the last year. The percentage is similar in boys and girls. This practice increases with age: four out of 10 young people of 14 and 8 of every 10 of 18 years have made botellón in the last year. Those who make this consumption also consume, in greater percentage, other substances such as cannabis or cocaine.
  3. Binge Drinking: it is about consuming 5 or more drinks in about 2 hours. This is a pattern of consumption similar to that of drunkenness. Half of 17-year-olds have binge drinking with increasing age. The percentage of women is higher than in men, at 14 and 15 years.
  4. Neknomination: it is, through social networks, to place bets, nominating 3 friends so that they repeat the feat of drinking a drink an alcoholic drink. Those who overcome the bet can nominate 3 friends each. This phenomenon, which emerged in Australia, has become a viral phenomenon and is currently quite popular among young Spaniards.
  5. LIVR (Liver): from the USA a network has been completed that has as its only requirement, in the case of wanting to be part of it, the degree of alcohol intoxication of the candidate. The participant has a breathalyzer connected to the mobile that serves to determine if it has enough blood alcohol level to access the virtual space. Once admitted, jokes, risky actions, random telephone calls, etc. can be made. You can upload pictures and / or texts that will be deleted the next morning. The network also offers a map of nearby locations where there are drunken concentrations.
  6. Drunken games: such as roulette or the goose game, among others, duly adapted to the circumstances of the specific group. These are games that facilitate intensive consumption, fast, in groups, and in leisure contexts. These games are very popular among teenagers and young people.


In the middle of the 20th century, it was possible, for the first time, to isolate the fundamental active principle of hemp: the Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, a compound of non-alkaloid nature). The plant also has around 60 recognized active components.

THC generates depressant and psychodisleptic effects on the CNS, but in addition to its pharmacological properties, other conditioning variables also coexist with the effects of its consumption:

  • The quantity consumed (dosage).
  • The quality of cannabis derivatives (degree of purity), which gives rise to different concentrations of excipients, active principle (cannabinoles) and adulterants.
  • The route of administration: although the most used route is the respiratory one (smoked), they are also used orally (in the form of infusions, marijuana cakes or hashish).

Frequency of consumption: a distinction should be made between experimental, occasional, circumstantial, habitual and addictive consumption. The mechanisms of tolerance and dependence will be developed and intensified also depending on the type of consumption frequencies.


The product that usually reaches the consumer is cocaine hydrochloride. Its wealth is variable, but it is usually high, between 45 and 65% in most of the Spanish provinces. It is presented as a powder and is mainly administered by inhalation, although the pulmonary (smoked) and intravenous routes are also frequent.

Among the effects derived from cocaine use are: inhibition of the reuptake of catecholamines and serotonin, which increases the concentrations of these neurotransmitters. It also inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline, which gives rise to toxic effects associated with sympathetic hyperactivity (hypertension, cardiotoxicity, etc.), and enhances central dopaminergic responses, the latter being the most relevant mechanism in the development of its addictive potential.

Drugs consumption (types)

  • Use consumption: generically applied when it is a punctual consumption, sporadic and of small quantity.
  • Abuse consumption: refers to high doses, usually self-administered at specific frequencies of time and contexts (for example, weekends or holidays) or in certain consumer circumstances (pregnancy, illness …).
  • Start-up consumption: refers to the first or first substances consumed or to the substance reason for the demand for care.
  • Climbing consumption (scale): refers to the change or evolution, and not necessarily to abandonment, that the consumer experiences from the initial consumption of those substances closer (legal, social) to other types of substances.
  • Public consumption: refers to the consumption of legal and / or illegal drugs in both authorized and non-authorized spaces. In the case of these can lead to administrative or legal conflicts (for example, administrative penalties for consumption on public roads).
  • Private consumption: refers to the consumption of legal and / or illegal drugs carried out in private premises with different levels of regularization.
  • Consumption alone: ??refers to individual consumption in public or private spaces.
  • Group consumption: refers to the consumption of two or more components in public or private spaces, and can become massive.
  • Gender consumption: Generally refers to the most prevalent types of substances consumed by sex.
  • Cultural / social consumption: traditionally related to certain substances, their uses and customs by a specific human group or society.
  • Illegal consumption: related to substances whose free sale is prohibited and penalized.
  • Recreational consumption: although it is usually related to the consumption of substances that are apparently less harmful, it is also often used to describe other variables of the group context, even mass, which is carried out in leisure spaces identified as free time or entertainment.
  • Standardized consumption: this is a social consumption between tolerated, accepted and, sometimes, legally regulated, produced publicly and privately in everyday spaces.
  • Problematic consumption: refers to high-risk consumers due to the type of drugs, routes of administration, frequency of consumption, polydrug use, associated psychiatric disorder, dual disorders…
  • Addictive consumption: a psychological and, in some cases, a physical mechanism by which a predisposition to repeat the use of a psychoactive substance in a higher proportion is obtained. Loss of freedom of decision to administer a substance.
  • Compulsive consumption: Generally used as a synonym for addictive consumption, although it can be applied to describe, in a given context, the high frequency in self-administration of a substance (s).
  • Acute consumption: it is used generically associated to the effect of a certain substance consumed, to the quantity and purity self-administered, and to the individual characteristics of the consumer.
  • Acute consumption: is usually the prelude to an overdose or induced coma.
  • Substitution consumption: refers generically to the substance (s) required, self-administered or prescribed as equivalents of drugs to which abusive, problematic or dependent consumption has developed.
  • Risk consumption: it is usually related to the type of substance, the frequency of its administration, the route of administration, the individual characteristics of the consumer (weight, age, pregnancy, illness, psychiatric disorder …), but also by context where the consumption is carried out (in the driving of motor vehicles, in the practice of risk sports, etc.).
  • Chronic consumption: prolonged consumption over time, which generically involves biopsychosocial or even legal disorders, depending on the substance consumed, frequency and route of administration.


To be very keen to consume. Intense urgency for the consumption of the substance during abstinence, an irrational desire or subjective awareness of compulsion, understood as an imperative necessity, implying a conflict between wanting to consume and abstinence.


A syndrome featuring persistent usage of the drug, difficulty in stopping and withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can be physical, psychological and social.

  • Physical dependence: state of adaptation of the organism that needs a certain level of presence of drugs to function normally.
  • Psychological dependence: state of adaptation that encourages someone to consume a new dose to experience the effects of pleasure and avoid discomfort resulting from deprivation. It is an experiential state which leads the consumer to believe that he/she will relate better with others and with himself if he/she consumes drugs.
  • Social dependence: the need to use drugs as a manifestation of belonging to a social group that provides signs of identity to the dependent person.


Any substance that, administered to a living organism, it can cause a dependency, changes in behavior and harmful health effects.

Designer drugs

Stimulants of the central nervous system that are synthesized without sanitary control. They are presented in the form of tablets. They have different shapes, colors and icons with a multitude of names that change according to fashion and illegal market criteria. The most widespread active ingredient is MDMA (3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Synthetic drugs are attributed 2 properties: the entactogen (sensation of increase of the own sensitivity, self perception) and the emphatogen (sensation of increase of the social communication).

Dual disorder

The concurrence in the same patient of two or more psychiatric disorders is known as dual diagnosis or dual disoder (DD). The term is an analogy of diagnostic comorbidity resulting from the coexistence of a mental disorder and substance use disorder (SUT).


It’s a non-volatile anesthetic agent that was synthesized in 1962. In 1965 Parke & Davis laboratories marketed Ketamine as an anesthetic with the names Ketal, Ketal and Ketine for human use and Ketase for veterinary use. Ketamine is presented as a translucent liquid and is a lipid-soluble derivative of phencyclidine (PCP). Ketamine is used clinically as a general anesthetic, is considered a leprosy anesthetic, and was often used in pediatrics and geriatrics. In the illicit market, ketamine can occur in many ways: colorless liquid, white powder (white crystals), tablets or capsules, this makes it possible to use it for several routes of administration: intravenous, intramuscular (liquid), rectal (liquid) , nasal (powder), pulmonary “smoked” (powder) and oral (liquid, tablets and capsules).

Magic mushrooms (hallucinogens)

They are usually taken ingested or mixed with some food, they are usually of natural origin but there are also synthetic ones such as Nexus or legal highs, which thanks to small chemical changes of elaboration manage to evade the normative control. Salvia (Salvia divinorum): it is a hallucinogen, of Mexican origin, with effects similar to LSD.

MDMA or extasis

Illegal drug that acts both as a stimulant as well as psychedelic, producing an invigorating effect, as well as distortions in time and perception, and deriving more pleasure from tactile experiences. Typically, MDMA (acronym for its chemical name 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is taken orally, usually in the form of a pill or capsule, and its effects last approximately 3 to 6 hours.


Is a potent stimulant of the central nervous system. Its scientific name is deoxyephedrine and belongs to the phenethylamine family. It is known colloquially as Meth, Ice, Crank. Its main effects are the sensation of energy and euphoria, with increased alertness and intellectual performance, decreased need for sleep and eating, and pupil dilation.

“Miau Miau” or Mephedrone (methylcathinone)

Pertaining to the phenylethylamines, propiophenones, with stimulant and anorexic effects.


Simultaneously or alternately consumption of different psychoactive substances.


Amphetamine sulfate (synthetic substance belonging to the phenethylamines family), mixed with diluents such as glucose, sucrose, mannitol, cellulose … (In some countries meth is known by the name of Speed, from here it may come sometimes confusion with amphetamine sulfate.) Its main effects are a feeling of well-being, increased alertness and concentration, decreased feelings of tiredness, sleep and hunger, and pupil dilation.

“Spice” or synthetic marijuana

Synthetic cannabinoids. The most used route of administration is smoked, but it is also prepared as an oral infusion.


The fundamental active principle of hemp (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol), a compound of non-alkaloid nature.


Referred to drugs, decreasing response to repeated constant doses of a drug or the need for increasing doses to maintain a constant response.

Withdrawal syndrome

Set of signs and symptoms of physical and psychical discomfort appearing when, suddenly is stopped the administration of a drug (or a practice game or compulsive shopping, abuse of new technologies, of strenuous physical exercise…) to which the person has developed dependence.

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