Abstract: Cell death and reactive oxygen species production have been suggested to be involved in neurodegeneration induced by the drugs of abuse. In this study we analyze the toxicity of the following drugs of abuse: heroin, morphine, d-amphetamine, and cocaine in undifferentiated PC12 cells, used as dopaminergic neuronal models. Our data show that opioid drugs (heroin and morphine) are more toxic than stimulant drugs (d-amphetamine and cocaine). Toxic effects induced by heroin are associated with a decrease in intracellular dopamine, an increase in DOPAC levels, and the formation of ROS, whereas toxic effects induced by amphetamine are associated with a decrease in intracellular dopamine and in ATP/ADP levels. In contrast with cocaine, both amphetamine and heroin induced features of apoptosis. The data suggest that the death of cultured PC12 cells induced by the drugs of abuse is correlated with a decrease in intracellular dopamine levels, which can be associated with an increased dopamine turnover and oxidative cell injury.