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  Home : Humanities Institute, the Drugs ... Home
 
Plan, Drugs and Treatment
  1. What Makes Drugs Illegal?
  2. Illegal Drugs

     

  3. Marijuana / Cannabis
  4. Other Dangerous Substances

     

  5. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
 
 
  1- What Makes Drugs Illegal?
 Drugs Illegal ...
Drugs are illegal if the government has included them in their laws on controlled substances.
Why Are Illegal Drugs Dangerous?


When people talk about the "drug problem," they usually mean illegal drugs. Drugs can affect people’s emotions and how they feel, affect your relationships, and make you more or less inhibited.  It’s not safe for anyone to take illegal drugs because they do affect your body and can cause death.
 
 
  2- Illegal Drugs
  GHB
Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, is a compound that was initially used by body builders to stimulate muscle growth. In recent years it has become popular as a recreational drug among club kids and partygoers.

This “designer” drug is often used in combination with other drugs, such as Ecstasy. GHB is synthesized from a chemical used to clean electrical circuit boards, and is available in clear liquid, white powder, tablet and capsule form.

GHB is odorless and nearly tasteless. Users report that it induces a state of relaxation. The effects can be felt within 5 to 20 minutes after ingestion and the high can last up to four hours.
 
 
  Rohypnol (Roofies)
Date Rape Drugs (Rohypnol, GHB)

Rohypnol® (roofies) and GHB are central nervous system depressants. Both drugs emerged in the early 1990’s as “drug-assisted assault” drugs. In the news, these drugs are more commonly known as “rophies,” “roofies,” “roach,” “rope,” and the “date rape” drug “drug rape” or “acquaintance rape” drugs.

People may unknowingly be given the drug which, when mixed with alcohol, can incapacitate and prevent a victim from resisting sexual assault. Also, Rohypnol® may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.

 
 
  Ketamine Hydrochloride
Ketamine hydrochloride, or “Special K,” is a powerful hallucinogen widely used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians. Users sometimes call the high caused by Special K, “K hole,” and describe profound hallucinations that include visual distortions and a lost sense of time, sense, and identity. The high can last from a half-hour to 2 hours. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that overt effects can last an hour but the drug can still affect the body for up to 24 hours.

Use of Special K can result in profound physical and mental problems including delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function and potentially fatal respiratory problems.

 
 
  Ecstasy
MDMA, called  “Ecstasy”, “Molly”, “XTC” or “Adam” on the street,  is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. Its chemical structure is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which are known to cause brain damage.

Beliefs about MDMA are reminiscent of similar claims made about LSD in the 1950s and 1960s, which proved to be untrue. According to its proponents, MDMA can make people trust each other and can break down barriers between therapists and patients, lovers, and family members.

 
 
  Heroin
Years ago, thoughts of using a needle kept many potential heroin users at bay. Not anymore. Today’s heroin is so pure, users can smoke it or snort it, causing more kids under 18 to use it. Kids who snort or smoke heroin face the same high risk of overdose and death that haunts intravenous users. Yet according to the annual Monitoring the Future national poll, more than 40% of high school seniors do not believe that there is a great risk in trying heroin.

Recent studies suggest a shift from injecting to snorting or smoking heroin because of increased purity and the misconception that these forms of use will not lead to addiction

 
 
  Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. Individuals who have tried cocaine have described the experience as a powerful high that gave them a feeling of supremacy. However, once someone starts taking cocaine, one cannot predict or control the extent to which he or she will continue to use the drug.

The major ways of taking cocaine are sniffing or snorting, injecting, and smoking (including free-base and crack cocaine). Health risks exist regardless of whether cocaine is inhaled (snorted), injected, or smoked. However, it appears that compulsive cocaine use may develop even more rapidly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted. Smoking allows extremely high doses of cocaine to reach the brain very quickly and results in an intense and immediate high. The injecting drug user is also at risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV infection/AIDS if needles or other injection equipment are shared.

 
 
  Meth (Methamphetamine)
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of methamphetamine are greater. Both drugs have some medical uses, primarily in the treatment of obesity, but their therapeutic use is limited.

Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” and “glass.”

 
 
  Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine or “freebase” are smokeable forms of cocaine which look like crystals or rocks. These forms of cocaine are made by chemically changing cocaine powder.

Also known as: angie, blow, C, Charlie, coke, crack, flake, freebase, hard, Henry, nose candy, rock, snow, stardust Crack cocaine, often nicknamed “crack”, is believed to have been created and made popular during the early 1980s . Because of the dangers for manufacturers of using ether to produce pure freebase cocaine, producers began to omit the step of removing the freebase precipitate from the ammonia mixture. Typically, filtration processes are also omitted. Baking soda is now most often used as a base rather than ammonia for reasons of lowered odor and toxicity; however, any weak base can be used to make crack cocaine. When commonly “cooked” the ratio is 1:1 to 2:3 parts cocaine/bicarbonate.

 
 
  PCP – Angel Dust
Commercial and Street Names for PCP: Phencyclidine, Angel dust, elephant, hog, rocket fuel (killer weed, supergrass: PCP mixed with marijuana).

Description of PCP

PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. Available in tablets, capsules, liquids, crystals, pastes, and coloured powders. Frequently passed off as LSD or other drugs. Snorted, smoked, or eaten. When smoked, PCP is often used with a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, tobacco or marijuana. PCP may be used unknowingly since it is often used as an additive in other drugs.

 
 
  LSD
LSD, aka “acid,” is odorless, colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste and is usually taken by mouth. Often LSD is added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small, decorated squares, with each square representing one dose.

Health Hazards

Physical Psychological short-term effects. The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user’s personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

 
 
  Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen that occurs naturally in certain species of mushrooms. Hallucinogens alter a person’s perceptions such as seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not really there. It may be sold on the street as dried whole mushrooms or as a brown powdered material. The active component is sometimes made in illegal labs and sold on the street as a white powder or tablets, or capsules.

The mushrooms are often eaten raw or cooked. They may be steeped in hot water to make a mushroom “tea” or mixed with fruit juice to make “fungus delight.” Less often they may be sniffed, snorted, or injected.

 
 
 
 3- Marijuana / Cannabis
  Marijuana
What It Is:  is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. It is made from the shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant. It looks like green, brown, or gray dried parsley.

Marijuana is a mind-altering drug and is considered a hallucinogen if taken in large amounts.

Sometimes Called:
weed, grass, pot, chronic, joint, blunt, herb, cannabis, hashish, Mary Jane

 
 
 
  4- Other Dangerous Substances
  Inhalants
Inhalants are common products found right in the home and are among the most popular and deadly substances kids abuse. Inhalant abuse can result in death from the very first use. According to the annual Monitoring the Future national poll, approximately one in six children will use inhalants by eighth grade. The same report notes that inhalants are most popular with younger teens. Teens use inhalants by sniffing or “snorting” fumes from containers; spraying aerosols directly into the mouth or nose; bagging, by inhaling a substance inside a paper or plastic bag; huffing from an inhalant-soaked rag; or inhaling from balloons filled with nitrous oxide
 
 
  Spice
“Spice” refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as “safe,” legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others—and labeled “not for human consumption”—these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects.
 
 
  Salvia
Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb common to southern Mexico and Central and South America. The main active ingredient in Salvia, salvinorin A, is a potent activator of kappa opioid receptors in the brain.1,2 These receptors differ from those activated by the more commonly known opioids, such as heroin and morphine.

Traditionally, S. divinorum has been ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of S. divinorum can also be smoked as a joint, consumed in water pipes, or vaporized and inhaled. Although Salvia currently is not a drug regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, several States and countries have passed legislation to regulate its use.3The Drug Enforcement Agency has listed Salvia as a drug of concern and is considering classifying it as a Schedule I drug, like LSD or marijuana

 
 
  Bath salts

Emerging and Dangerous Products

Bath Salts, sold in small packets with names like “Blue Wave,”
“Cloud Nine,” and “White Lady,” are the newest — and scariest — designer drug.

“Bath Salts”, the newest fad to hit the shelves (virtual and real), is the latest addition to a growing list of items that young people can obtain to get high. The synthetic powder is sold legally online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of names, such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Red Dove,” “Blue Silk,” “Zoom,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” “Scarface,” and “Hurricane Charlie.” Because these products are relatively new to the drug abuse scene, our knowledge about their precise chemical composition and short- and long-term effects is limited, yet the information we do have is worrisome and warrants a proactive stance to understand and minimize any potential dangers to the health of the public.

 
 
  Anabolic Steroids
“Steroids” refers to the class of drugs used to treat a wide variety of conditions, from supporting reproduction (e.g., estrogen) and regulation of metabolism and immune function, to increasing muscle and bone mass and treating inflammation and asthma (e.g., cortisone).

“Anabolic” steroids are the class of steroids used to increase muscle and bone mass. These drugs are manufactured in a laboratory to imitate the male sex hormone, testosterone. Despite the fact that there are various types of steroids, teens tend to abuse the “anabolic” muscle-building kind

 
 
 
 
 
  5- Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
    Drug Addiction Treatment
Successful treatment has several steps:
  • detoxification (the process by which the body rids itself of a drug)
  • behavioral counseling
  • medication (for opioid, tobacco, or alcohol addiction)
  • evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options can be crucial to success. Treatment should include both medical and mental health services as needed. Follow-up care may include community- or family-based recovery support systems.

Drug Addiction Treatment
 
 
 
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