Drug abuse is a very common problem in most countries so it seemed like a good topic for a list. This is a list of ten of the most abused drugs and the effects they have on people.
Heroin is an opiate processed directly from the extracts of the opium poppy. It was originally created to help cure people of addiction to morphine. Upon crossing the blood-brain barrier, which occurs soon after introduction of the drug into the bloodstream, heroin is converted into morphine, which mimics the action of endorphins, creating a sense of well-being; the characteristic euphoria has been described as an “orgasm” centered in the gut. One of the most common methods of heroin use is via intravenous injection.
For the last 4 months, my partner and I have been recreationally using heroin. H became our weekend ritual. Lighting candles, playing music, brie and wine and grapes, reading tarot and finally fucking… for hours on end, the most intense beautiful technicolor sex. Each time we did it we got closer to each other. And each time we did it, we wanted to do it again, and again. We tried saying we’d only do it once every two weeks, but that lasted 6 days. We have rules about how much we do in one night, how late we stay up and so on. So far the rules have kept us safe from addiction. Unless you consider the nagging i-don’t-wanna-go-a-weekend-or-have-sex-without-it feelings. We’ve never run out, although, once we were down to our last little bit and I left the vial open on the night stand. I was reaching for the lube when I heard the most sickening sound, the vial falling over. Turns out, I was mistaken, I had remembered to put the cap back on. But in those few seconds of uncertainty, my girl and I shot each other a look we had never seen before.. Fear.
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is both a stimulant of the central nervous system and an appetite suppressant, giving rise to what has been described as a euphoric sense of happiness and increased energy. It is most often used recreationally for this effect. Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 20 minutes to several hours, depending upon the dosage of cocaine taken, purity, and method of administration. The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage.
The cocaine arrived and we agreed to use it at a time that translated to three and a half hours after I arrived. It cost $60 for what I was told was an eighth of a gram. This seemed rather expensive, but I was assured that it was ‘high quality product.’ I took the line up my left nostril. After about ninety seconds, I felt my heartbeat increase. It was definitely kicking in. I began to worry a bit, as I could feel my heart pounding and my pulse increasing. I finally felt as if it had reached a plateau. My heartbeat became level, albeit still very high. Many people say that one feels euphoria – being invincible and/or the desire to clean the house. I did not feel either of these (and I did remember to think about these things). For me, the positive effects of cocaine came directly from knowing that I had reached a plateau and I was going to be fine. I felt invigorated, yet also very comfortable.
One of the best treatment for drug addiction is to consult with cocaine rehab centers for recovery.
Methamphetamime, popularly shortened to meth or ice, is a psychostimulant and sympathomimetic drug. Methamphetamine enters the brain and triggers a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Since it stimulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, causing euphoria and excitement, it is prone to abuse and addiction. Users may become obsessed or perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand-washing, or assembling and disassembling objects. Withdrawal is characterized by excessive sleeping, eating and depression-like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug-craving.
We first smoked meth on New Year’s Eve because we heard it was great for sex. I had to work the next day and so saved some to smoke before work in the morning. When I got home another g was waiting for me and I smoked every day but one until I finally quit three months later. For three weeks we smoked meth with little consequence, then my skin became fragile and in addition to breaking out, started to swell. I was really worried because I was constantly thirsty and drinking water, but I rarely urinated. Then my kidneys started hurting. I had lost twenty pounds in two months and my husband had lost thirty, and we’d read somewhere that rapid weight loss can cause kidney failure. I slept every three or four days for an hour or so and woke feeling rested. I was an hour late for work everyday. My husband wrecked the truck three times. One day I forgot to feed my son. Everything was either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, no in between existed anymore. We were banned from the sauna at our apartment complex because no one else could use it. Our sweat smelled so strongly of ammonia it burned the eyes, it was caustic, and it burned our skin too. My husband and I haven’t done any drugs at all for four weeks, and things are slowly going back to normal. But I still want it. I can’t sleep tonight because I want it. I wrote this in all honesty mostly to help myself, to remind myself why I don’t want it. And still I want it.
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.
As I held the smoke in for a ten count and exhaled, I thought I felt nothing except a little excitement that was neither bad nor pleasurable. The complete rush some writers have called a ‘whole-body orgasm’ hit me shortly after and I distinctly remember demanding ‘more’ as soon as the realization of heaven-on-earth came. Some people say that the effects of smoking crack lasts 10-15 minutes. For me, it was just a shortest instant of gratification. Everything afterwards was just a great increase in energy and confidence geared towards obtaining more of the drug.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the tryptamine family. Arguably the most regarded of all psychedelics, it is considered mainly as a recreational drug, an entheogen, and a tool in use to supplement various types of exercises for transcendence including in meditation, psychonautics, and illegal psychedelic psychotherapy whether self administered or not. LSD’s psychological effects (colloquially called a “trip”) vary greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. They also vary from one trip to another, and even as time passes during a single trip. An LSD trip can have long term psychoemotional effects; some users cite the LSD experience as causing significant changes in their personality and life perspective. Widely different effects emerge based on what Leary called set and setting; the “set” being the general mindset of the user, and the “setting” being the physical and social environment in which the drug’s effects are experienced.
About ten years ago I bought my third trip from a guy in my home town Norwich (UK) It was a ‘Strawberry’ and I was told it had been double dipped. The guy had a reputation for selling good acid so I happily gave him my cash. I took the single LSD tab in the late morning in a positive state of mind with no worries or anxieties. I began to come up on the acid towards the lunch time. It was to be the first and last time I’d ever trip alone. Outside it was a glorious sunny day but I was happy enough in my temporary sanctuary to even think about going outside. The LSD rush started blazing up my spine and racing through my guts, I felt a little uneasy with it but had enough mind to allow myself to just go with it and wait until the rush plateaued. I was having a wonderful time, watching floral Escher type patterns breathing over my skin. I vaguely recall deciding to go downstairs again for some reason then the next thing I recall was awakening on the floor of the dining room alone. The first thing I noticed was that there were blowflies buzzing around a bowl of catfood on the kitchen floor. I remember feeling perplexed as to why both flies had two bright neon after images in red and blue. Somehow I navigated myself through Norwich during the busy lunchtime shoppers and begun to head in the direction of the city’s central park ‘Chapelfield gardens’. If you could imagine for a moment being surrounded by people in a busy place where their heads had been removed and replaced by Squids and Octopus you might begin to accurately picture the scene confronting me in the park. Everyone had tentacles smothering their faces and dangling down their necks like fleshy snake beards, even the women and children were not exempt from this disfiguration. In retrospect, it was the worst day of my entire life, It was the closest I can imagine to having full blown psychosis.
Ecstasy (MDMA) is a semisynthetic psychedelic entactogen of the phenethylamine family that is much less visual with more stimulant like effects than most all other common “trip” producing psychedelics. It is considered mainly a recreational drug that’s often used with sex and associated with club drugs, as an entheogen, and a tool in use to supplement various types of practices for transcendence including in meditation, psychonautics, and illicit psychedelic psychotherapy whether self administered or not. The primary effects of MDMA include an increased awareness of the senses, feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love,happiness, heightened self-awareness, feeling of mental clarity and an increased appreciation of music and movement. Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making physical contact with others more pleasurable. Other side effects, such as jaw clenching and elevated pulse, are common.
Sitting comfortably in our cosy living room, Café del Mar and similar CDs playing in the background, we began at 8 pm. I swallowed one white tablet with water. Over the next hour nothing much happened except that I found myself talking quite openly and confidently with the others, moving very easily into interesting conversations. This was a little unusual for me as I am normally quite shy and overly self-conscious in social situations and it takes me a while to loosen up. The next thing I experienced was a striking shift in my visual perception. I don’t mean a hallucination or a distortion, but a wonderful step up in the aesthetic quality. For a moment it was like being in one of those nostalgic TV ads where the world looks all gold and sepia. ‘Everything’s gone amber!’ I blurted. But then I found that my vision was becoming beautifully enhanced. It made my normal visual experience seem like cheap, fuzzy CCTV footage in comparison. Now I was seeing the world anew in sharp, lush, top-quality Technicolor! I also began to move in time to the music. The music! Oh, the music! Wow! It sounded so good, so organic! The uplifted state stayed with me and took a long time to fade — at least a couple of weeks. It had unleashed in me a rush of joy that was still accessible when I focused on it weeks later.
Opium is a resinous narcotic formed from the latex released by lacerating (or “scoring”) the immature seed pods of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). It contains up to 16% morphine, an opiate alkaloid, which is most frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. Opium has gradually been superseded by a variety of purified, semi-synthetic, and synthetic opioids with progressively stronger effect, and by other general anesthesia. This process began in 1817, when Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner reported the isolation of pure morphine from opium after at least thirteen years of research and a nearly disastrous trial on himself and three boys.
I remember that what I smoked was much easier to smoke than marijuana. There was no burning in my throat nor in my lungs. I took a very large, smooth hit. Smoking it like marijuana, I held it in for about 10 or 15 seconds and let it out. It didn’t taste like marijuana, I remember the taste being rather faint. It actually tasted and smelled like incense. I was very surprised to suddenly find myself on the floor, in the dark, with a crowd of people surrounding me. Apparently I had fainted and fallen to the ground, but I hadn’t noticed. The high itself is rather hard to describe. It was much more intense than marijuana. It felt heavy, like my whole body was being impacted… but it also felt very clear and refined at the same time. As I made my way towards the bathroom the drug began to kick in again. My steps kind of faded away and it felt like I was just floating over to the bathroom. The scary thing was though, that I was having trouble seeing. My vision was fading. Distinct figures melted into shadows and everything had a sparkle to it. All of a sudden, everything felt really good. I couldn’t stop smiling. Everything was profound in a very positive way, especially the music since it resonated everywhere. It was a very abstruse experience. I imagine that I was coming down at this point, an hour had surely past by because the band was building a climax to end their first set. I went along with the crowd and made my way outside. The fresh air was wonderful. The cool air seemed to wrap around my body. A slight breeze on the back of my neck sent chills that rapidly multiplied throughout my body.
Cannabis, known as marijuana in its herbal form, is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. Humans have been consuming cannabis since prehistory, although in the 20th century there was a rise in its use for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. It is estimated that about four percent of the world’s adult population use cannabis annually. It has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed, usually by smoking or ingestion. The minimum amount of THC required to have a perceptible psychoactive effect is about 10 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. The state of intoxication due to cannabis consumption is colloquially known as a “high”; it is the state where mental and physical facilities are noticeably altered due to the consumption of cannabis. Each user experiences a different high, and the nature of it may vary upon factors such as potency, dose, chemical composition, method of consumption and set and setting.
After taking that first hit, and not feeling the effects within a minute (holding it in for a minute, and then waiting a little bit after exhaling) I decided, well I better hit this again, harder if I can. I took just as large of a hit, and again held it in for longer than a minute. I let my brother know I was really starting to feel something now and I don’t think I liked it all. It snuck up on me really bad, and I still had no idea what to expect. I wanted him to be quiet. Laying down was not helping, so I got back up. I went back to the garage and tried to explain to everyone ‘I am totally fucked up. This is scary!’ I was rationalizing everything tremendously, but it was SO intense! And it was only getting more intense faster! I didn’t know what to expect, I was sinking within myself, accelerating downward like into the depths of my own oblivion. I was a novice, I had no idea what to expect, and the world had become out of synch, the talking of my brothers, his friend, all ridiculous and extremely annoying. I became amazingly irritable and wanted them to leave me alone or not talk in my presence. They did not understand or appreciate my fear, and they began to get loud again. I ran upstairs to my parents bed and laid down with some wistful hope that I could wait out this storm.
Psilocybin mushrooms (also called psilocybian mushrooms) are fungi that contain the psychedelic substances psilocybin and psilocin, and occasionally other psychoactive tryptamines. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common being magic mushrooms or ‘shrooms. When psilocybin is ingested, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects. The intoxicating effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms typically last anywhere from 3 to 7 hours depending on dosage, preparation method and personal metabolism. The experience is typically inwardly oriented, with strong visual and auditory components. Visions and revelations may be experienced, and the effect can range from exhilarating to distressing. There can be also a total absence of effects, even with large doses.
I had acquired about 8 grams of dried mushrooms and some liquid psilocybin equivalent to another 5 grams of powdered mushrooms. I swallowed the liquid first, on an empty stomach of course. I could feel a slight sensation after about 10-15 minutes. Then I added the powder to some water in a mug and swallowed that also. I then sat by the camp fire, listening to the wind in the trees while I contemplated what was about to happen. After about 45-50 minutes I heard a ‘voice’ calling to me. It wasn’t audible in the normal sense – it came from inside my own mind! Then I was gone – out of this world. I escaped into what I perceived to be the outer boundaries of my mind or my imagination. This placed presented itself as a natural forest with low light. Here I met the owner of the aforementioned voice – the Mushroom Goddess. She took the form of a white, strapless, ankle-length dress, standing side-on from me. For about the next two hours I dialoged with her, becoming totally bewitched by her charm, her wit, her intelligence, her knowledge, her unconditional affection for me and her seemingly infinite perspective. I have come to think of her as my other-worldly girlfriend.
PCP (Phencyclidine) is a dissociative drug formerly used as an anesthetic agent, exhibiting hallucinogenic and neurotoxic effects. It is commonly known as Angel Dust, but is also known as Wet, Sherm, Sherman Hemsley, Rocket Fuel, Ashy Larry, Shermans Tank, Wack, Halk Hogan, Ozone, HannaH, Hog, Manitoba Shlimbo, and Embalming Fluid, among other names. Although the primary psychoactive effects of the drug only last hours, total elimination from the body is prolonged, typically extending over weeks. PCP is consumed in a recreational manner by drug users, mainly in the United States, where the demand is met by illegal production. It comes in both powder and liquid forms (PCP base dissolved most often in ether), but typically it is sprayed onto leafy material such as marijuana, mint, oregano, parsley or Ginger Leaves, and smoked. PCP has potent effects on the nervous system altering perceptual functions (hallucinations, delusional ideas, delirium or confused thinking), motor functions (unsteady gait, loss of coordination, and disrupted eye movement or nystagmus), and autonomic nervous system regulation (rapid heart rate, altered temperature regulation). The drug has been known to alter mood states in an unpredictable fashion causing some individuals to become detached and others to become animated.
When I was taking the drug, I used very small amounts. The effect was incredibly pleasant and social, so much so that me and my friends all used it instead of booze for almost a year. I couldn’t dance for shit on the stuff (I’d get stumbly and actually fell on my ass on the dancefloor once) but the physical sensations and mental pictures were really fun. It is quite different from any psychedelic visuals or even Ketamine visuals…more like rolling through old film footage. To be honest, I liked it more than my experiences on Ketamine. PCP can make one nearly impervious to pain at high doses. Because of this, PCP can make things seem like a good idea that otherwise wouldn’t (leading to the stories of people leaping out of windows, etc.) I experienced very confusing physical reality when really high on it, like being unable to discern the difference between walking up stairs and down them, or standing still and walking. This could lead to very unusual behaviour.
Sources: Wikipedia. All experiences are quoted from Erowid.