Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana including “pot,” “herb,” “weed,” “boom,” “Mary Jane,” “gangster,” and “chronic.” It is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or in a pipe or bong.
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine has been labeled the drug of the 1980s and ’90s, because of its extensive popularity and use during this period. However, cocaine is not a new drug. In fact, it is one of the oldest known drugs.
When we think of drugs, most of us think of marijuana, heroin and crack cocaine. But some of the most lethal drugs are simpler and easier to obtain.
We can find them in the drawers of our desks, stashed in our cabinets, and lined up on our grocery store shelves. Things like paint, magic markers, white out, lighter fluid, hair sprays, vegetable cooking sprays and air fresheners. Things that are cheap and easy to obtain, and at the same time, when inhaled can prove fatal.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the major drugs making up the hallucinogen class. LSD was discovered in 1938 and is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.
MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive drug with both stimulant (amphetamine-like) and hallucinogenic (LSD-like) properties. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam,
XTC, hug, beans, and love drug. Its
chemical structure (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, “MDMA”)
is similar to methamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and mescaline – other synthetic drugs known to cause brain damage.
Rohypnol and GHB
Rohypnol, the trade name for flunitrazepam, has been a concern for the last few years because of its abuse as a “date rape” drug. People may unknowingly be given the drug which, when mixed with alcohol, can incapacitate a victim and prevent them from resisting sexual assault.
GHB (gamma- hydroxybutyrate) has been abused in the U.S. since about 1990 for euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (body building) effects. As with Rohypnol and clonazepam, GHB has been associated with sexual assault in cities throughout the country.
Across the country, teens and young adults enjoy all-night dance parties known as “raves” and increasingly encounter more than just music. Dangerous substances known collectively as club drugs-including Ecstasy, GHB, and Rohypnol-are gaining popularity. These drugs aren’t “fun drugs.”
Although users may think these substances are harmless, research has shown that club drugs can produce a range of unwanted effects, including hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia, and, in some cases, death. When used with alcohol, these drugs can be even more harmful.
As a powerful stimulant, methamphetamine, even in small doses, can increase wakefulness and physical activity and decrease appetite. A brief, intense sensation, or rush, is reported by those who smoke or inject methamphetamine. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.