Commonly Used Illegal Drugs - Methamphetamine

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Methamphetamine

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive, synthetic stimulant.

Developed in the early 1900s, methamphetamine gained popularity during World War II as a way to keep soldiers awake.  After the war, use became prevalent among college students, truck drivers, athletes, and homemakers who used the drug for its ability to create increased alertness, energy, and confidence; and suppress appetite.

Today, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the world.

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Commonly Used Drugs - Cocaine

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca bush.

When processed, cocaine is available in two forms, hydrochloride salt and freebase.  Hydrochloride salt is the powdered form of cocaine, it can be snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.  Freebase is the base form of cocaine, it’s sold as solid rock crystal and is “cooked” using heat and inhaled or “smoked”.

Crack cocaine is derivative of cocaine made by cooking hydrochloride salt with water and baking soda. It is also smoked, typically through a pipe. Continue reading “OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine”

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Heroin Use

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Heroin

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a natural substance derived from the seedpod of the opium poppy.

In its purest form, heroin is fine, white powder.  As the drug is “cut” with other substances its colour and consistency can change.  Street heroin can range from a white powder to a beige or brown grainy substance to a dark black tar.  The purity of heroin varies significantly from batch to batch and depending on which additives are used to cut the drug, this will determine its potency and risk. Continue reading “OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Heroin”

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Commonly Used Club Drugs

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Club Drugs

Club drugs are a group of psychoactive drugs that take their name from their popularity at nightclubs, concerts, bars, and all-night dance parties. Club drugs are also commonly called designer drugs, as most are synthesized in a lab.

Generally used by teens and young adults, the majority of club drug use is limited to specific places, events, and activities where the drugs are thought to improve the overall experience or solicit a certain response.

The most common club drugs are Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol.  All of these drugs act on the body’s central nervous system to produce a sense of euphoria, reduced inhibitions, heighten emotional and sensory feelings, and hallucinogenic effects.  But not all club drugs are the same.

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Commonly Used Hallucinogenic Drugs

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens, also known as psychedelics, are drugs that alter the user’s perception, thoughts and feelings leading to a significant distortion of their reality.  Hallucinogens can be found in some plants and mushrooms or be synthesized in a lab.  Although the specific mechanics of how hallucinogens work remains unclear, research suggests that their effect can be attributed to the disruption of communication between neurotransmitter systems in the brain and the spinal cord.

The history of hallucinogenic drug use goes back centuries.  Originally used by indigenous people worldwide for medical purposes and religious and supernatural rituals, the drug’s popularity exploded in the 1950s and 60s, when they were promoted for their therapeutic, mind and consciousness-expanding effects.  An opinion that was soon discredited after numerous “bad trips” were reported.

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