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THE DANGERS OF RECREATIONAL DRUGS

Humans have been experimenting with body and mind altering substances since the beginning of time. Many indigenous tribes still use them today in their rituals. However, potions and drugs extracted from plants are far less dangerous than the far more powerful synthetic chemical versions which are available today.

Some people are able to withstand the effects of drugs and come through virtually unscathed whilst others can be damaged for life. Unfortunately peer pressure can often cause someone to persevere with drug taking even when they are suffering serious side effects. Ignoring these warnings can be dangerous and even fatal.

It is natural for young people to want to experiment with life experiences and drugs are often part of this stage of growing up. Unfortunately, recreational drugs have become much stronger over the years and, as the brain and bones are still developing well into the 20’s, it is a potentially hazardous psychiatric and physical risk to take any powerful chemical drug before the age of 25-30 and even then it is a dice with danger and can prove fatal for some.

Any drug that is taken without moderation can have a lasting, and often irreversible, adverse effect. Psychiatric problems caused by some drugs can affect everyday life and become permanent and addiction to any drug is usually devastating and life limiting. Dopamine cells die off over a person's lifetime, and severe damage is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease causing a loss of control over movement and eventual paralysis. Heavy cocaine, ecstasy or MDMA use can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease after as little as 10 years.

Banning drugs outright and punishing users, dealers and manufacturers with prison sentences has been the world’s government’s answer to this concern but it has not been a successful solution.  It is far too easy for young people to obtain virtually any drug they want especially with the increase in communication via the internet and mobile phones.

Education and strict regulation would work far better but changing a regime that has outlawed many recreational drugs for so many years is a huge undertaking. However, it must be done because the result of illegal drugs for millions of people is a devastated life caused by:

  • Physical or mentally irreversible damage caused by taking unregulated drugs

  • Being targeted by drug trafficking gangs and used and abused and unable to escape

  • Being incarcerated in prison for their addiction which is, in fact, an illness not a crime

The hypocrisy of allowing, and even condoning, the use of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine laden drinks or sugar but not other, often far less harmful substances, does not make for a credible system of law and this confuses everyone especially the young and naive. It has even become comically acceptable to see people drunk and out of control when it could not be farther from a joke if one considers the damage being done to that person’s body and mind.

Naivety, ignorance and poverty should not be punishable either. Many people turn to drugs when their lives are unbearably harsh. When lack of money and education causes boredom or discomfort drugs can be a cheap alternative escape. Tackling the root cause by providing education, opportunity, hobbies, sports, jobs and adequate healthcare would eliminate the need for most young people to turn to drug taking. The abolition of Community Centres for youths in the UK has led to displacement and made the resulting unsupervised young an easy target for drug dealers.

Alcohol can also fuel drug taking. Because it has become acceptable and even considered ‘cool’ by young adults to drink themselves into oblivion, a culture has developed that includes regularly losing control on ‘binges’ lasting entire weekends and sometimes much longer. Cheap package holidays abroad also provide a perfect way for teenagers and young adults to indulge in this. They are constantly putting themselves in very serious danger by taking drugs obtained from strangers and having unprotected sex whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Young people should be educated about the damage they are doing to themselves especially in the long term and advised on alternatives to alcohol and drug binges. Unfortunately holiday companies and bars and clubs are not regulated properly and encourage indulgence for profit no matter what the cost is to these young people’s lives.

Not knowing what has been added to a drug is dangerous. Drug dealers try to increase profits by adding cheap toxic contaminants which can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys or brain and causing permanent damage to these vital organs.

Alternative options to doing drugs

 

 

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  • Take up a sport or hobby.

  • Do some voluntary work for a local charity.

  • Do some fundraising for a chosen charity like running a marathon or cycling.

  • Travel and find work doing anything anywhere in the world. Once the first step is taken it will lead to more opportunities.

  • Avoid people that do drugs or binge drink.

  • Stop and think how detrimental and upsetting it is to family and friends.

  • Remember that when illegal drugs are purchased it perpetuates criminal activities and even terrorism.

Taking large doses of vitamin C rich fruit juices with plenty of bottled mineral water can help to counteract the affects of many drugs especially hallucinogens. Cleansing and detoxifying the liver is necessary when drugs are taken regularly to protect it against damage from any dirty chemicals that may have been cut with the drug. See Cleanse and Detoxify.

Drugs and Parkinson's disease

Unfortunately their are many commonly prescribed medications and recreational drugs which can cause drug induced Parkinsonism which has all the same symptoms as Parkinson's Disease. Any drug that blocks the action of dopamine (referred to as a dopamine antagonist) is likely to cause parkinsonism.

 

Recreational drugs especially 'legal highs' are often made with synthetic chemicals like desmethylprodine MPPP and MPTP. A breakdown product of these chemicals is capable of producing severe and permanent damage to the dopamine-containing cells in the basal ganglia of the brain which causes permanent Parkinsonism.

 

Toxicity due to substances such as carbon monoxide, carbon disulfide, manganese, paraquat, mercury, hexane, rotenone and toluene as well as inhalant abuse can also cause permanent damage and lead to Parkinson's disease.

 

Drugs and their dangers

ADDERALL (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)

This is used medically to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

DANGERS OF ADDERALL

Can seriously affect those suffering with glaucoma, severe anxiety or agitation or who have a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome.

Using this drug improperly can cause death or serious side effects for the heart and it is highly addictive.

Adderall must not be taken if a MAO inhibitor has been within the previous 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline and tranylcypromine.

Antacids medications taken at the same time could increase side affects and dangers.

Adderall could cause premature birth, low birth weight or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the drug during pregnancy. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby and cause development and growth retardation.

Common adderall side effects

  • agitation

  • anxiety

  • dizziness

  • dry mouth

  • feeling nervous

  • headache

  • loss of appetite

  • mood changes

  • nausea

  • stomach pain;

  • sleep problems (insomnia)

  • tinnitus

  • weakness

More serious adderall side effects

  • fast, pounding or uneven heartbeats

  • pain or burning during urination

  • talking more than usual

  • feelings of extreme happiness or sadness

  • numbness, tingling, or strange sensations under the skin

  • numbness

  • pain

  • cold feeling

  • tremors

  • hallucinations

  • unusual behaviour

  • motor tics (muscle twitches)

  • unexplained wounds or skin colour changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in fingers or toes

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, buzzing in the ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure)

CAUTION: Immediate medical attention is required if there is an allergic reaction to adderall causing any of the following:

  • hives

  • difficult breathing

  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

ALPHA-METHYLTRIPTAMINE (AMT)

AMT can cause strong distortions, delusions and hallucinations and many other effects similar to those of LSD, psilocybin and MDMA and can last up to 24 hours depending upon dosage.

DANGERS OF AMT

The muscle tensions induced by AMT can lead to rhabdomyolysis which can very quickly lead to kidney failure.

AMT use can also lead to psychiatric disturbances, paranoia and schizophrenia which may become permanent.

Side effects of AMT

  • anxiety

  • convulsions

  • headaches

  • jaw tightness

  • muscle tension

  • nausea

  • pupil dilation

  • restlessness

  • tachycardia

  • teeth grinding

  • vomiting

AMT in conjunction with some anti depressant medications can cause serotonin syndrome. The initial symptoms of which are easily confused with normal AMT effects and side effects. Overdose can be fatal if serotonin shock is induced and not recognised and dealt with both quickly and effectively.

AMYL NITRATE

Inhaling amyl nitrate causes brief intoxication. Effects can include excitability, giddiness, lowering of inhibitions and heightened sensual awareness which is why it is often used during sexual intercourse. Because the effects last less than a minute, this leads to taking more hits.

DANGERS OF AMYL NITRATE

Constant inhalation of amyl nitrate can lead to slurred speech, lack of coordination, an unsteady gait, inflamed nose, nosebleeds, sores or a rash around the nose and mouth and red, glassy and watery eyes.

Adverse side effects of amyl nitrate

  • concentration problems

  • confusion

  • delirium

  • disorientation

  • dizziness

  • hallucinations

  • fatigue

  • fright

  • pounding headache

  • memory problems

  • nausea

  • panic

  • vomiting

These psychological reactions can cause risky or violent behaviour and might even lead to coma and death.

Prolonged use of amyl nitrate can lead to permanent damage to the brain, bones, heart, kidneys and liver. It may also cause permanent hearing loss, as well as chronic tremors and slurred speech. Continued use can also result in chronic memory loss, emotional instability, mental disturbance and ongoing hallucinations.

"Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome" can cause death by suffocation after even just one inhalation of amyl nitrate. This is a reaction that can happen to anyone no matter what their level of fitness is or their age or size. 

Amyl nitrate must never be taken in conjunction with Viagra the drug for erectile dysfunction. The combination can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, resulting in fainting, stroke or heart attack.

BOLTUSHKA (phenylpropanolamine, potassium permanganate)

This is a homemade amphetamine-type stimulant made from ingredients found in pharmacies and on the black market.

Most users inject boltushka five to six times a day. The initial "rush" of euphoria (known as prihod) lasts 15-20 minutes; it is followed by a short period of heightened energy and activity, lasting no longer than two hours.

Many users follow a pattern of injecting boltushka for two or three days, going without sleep and food, then rest for a day and go back to injecting the drug. Not surprisingly, such intense use can lead to death within a year or less.

DANGERS OF BOLTUSHKA

Not knowing the exact ingredients is a serious risk to the health. The affects are similar to amphetamine on energy and appetite and include a binging pattern of use and shaking and other neurological damage.

Long term use will affect the users bone density and cause damage to and loss of teeth.

The biggest danger is blood borne diseases being contracted from shared needles as this drug needs to be injected intravenously to take effect; drinking it will only cause bloating and nausea.

CANNABIS (danga, dope, ganja, hashish, marijuana, pot, skunk, weed)

Cannabis is one of the least dangerous of recreational drugs and cannabis oil can even provide the only possible respite for suffers of painful arthritis and other inflammation pain and multiple sclerosis and is proven to reduce seizures (epilepsy) in children. It is still not clear why cannabis was made illegal and not alcohol which causes far worse ill health and dangers. But illegal it is and this has led to thousands being incarcerated and becoming involved with criminal drug trafficking gangs and also caused many to try harder drugs as they are sold by the same dealers that sell cannabis.

DANGERS OF CANNABIS

Unfortunately, it has been tampered with over the years and now has far stronger effects leading to more serious adverse reactions. It is also now far more addictive.

Side effects of cannabis

  • anxiety

  • apathy

  • lack of co-ordination

  • increased heart rate

  • high blood pressure

  • increased appetite for sweet foods (munchies)

  • infertility

  • low sperm count and reduced sperm motility

  • panic attacks

  • paranoia attacks

  • suppressed ovulation in women

  • suspicious thoughts

  • time distortion

Some people think cannabis is harmless because it’s a plant, just like tobacco, but cannabis contains chemicals which, with long-term or heavy use, can cause lung disease and cancer. The risk is greater because cannabis is often mixed with tobacco and smoked without a filter. It can also make asthma worse and can cause wheezing and coughing in people without asthma.

It can cause paranoia in the short term, but in those with a pre-existing psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, it can contribute to relapse.

Smoking cannabis frequently during pregnancy may increase the risk of the retarded growth in the baby.

Regular, heavy use of cannabis makes it difficult to learn and concentrate and some people begin to feel tired all the time and can't seem to get motivated.

Some users buy strong cannabis (known as skunk) to get ‘a bigger high’. Unpleasant reactions can be more powerful and it is possible that using stronger cannabis repeatedly could increase the risk of harmful effects such as dependence or developing mental health problems.

CAPTAGON (Fenethylline hydrochloride)

Captagon is the brand or common name of a drug that was patented in 1962 and was prescribed mainly for depression and narcolepsy which is a rare, long-term brain disorder that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times. However, it was banned in most countries, in 1986, due to its addictive and damaging effects. This drug has since been reported, by some of the world's media, to be fuelling the extremist militants and their recruits in Syria as huge hauls of the tablets have been found being smuggled in and out of Syria and other places associated with the extremists. It is has even been said that there are other nations who are manufacturing and supplying this drug to help fuel this conflict. It may just be rumour and conspiracy theories but the effects of the drug could explain the incomprehensible behaviour of these suicidal extremists.

Captagon is chemically related to natural neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline). When a person takes Captagon, their metabolism breaks the drug down to the stimulant amphetamine and theophylline, a molecule that naturally occurs in small amounts in tea, and both have cardiac and neurological stimulating properties. Users of Captagon gain false courage and  strength and lose their fear and inhibitions and are able to stay awake and alert for far longer than is normal and healthy. This drug-induced feeling of wellbeing, the numbness and lack of any pain confuses users into believing they are indestructible. The hallucinogenic effect, often caused by sleep deprivation and even more so when captagon is mixed with hashish, which is often the case, adds to the users false belief and illusions that they are capable of super human powers.

DANGERS OF CAPTAGON

Captagon is highly addictive and its captivating and euphoric effect can be used to trick and control users into believing they have a special destiny and immensely powerful abilities and hence may explain why terrorists can commit suicide without any thought for those they take with them. If they are regular users of this drug they would not feel their own pain or that of others which may also explain why they can commit acts of atrocity, such as beheadings, whilst laughing. The normal defence mechanisms which prevent self-destruction and the normal feelings of compassion for others are lost under the influence of captagon

Long-term amphetamine users suffer from extreme depression with suicidal tendencies. The sleep deprivation and malnutrition caused by using Captagon leads to blood vessel, heart, kidney and liver damage, brittle bones, impotency, skin disorders, tooth decay and serious psychological issues.

COCAINE 

Cocaine, when snorted by nose, provides an initial euphoric state of heightened awareness which dissipates rapidly leaving the user wanting another hit very soon after the previous one but the effect gets less each time.

Neurons, or nerve cells, release a pleasure signalling chemical called dopamine which interacts with cocaine. Dopamine levels and levels of a protein called VMAT2 are much lower in cocaine users and especially low in those who are depressed. Therefore the specific neurons cocaine interacts with are adversely disturbed by the drug's effects.

Pleasurable feelings or sensations are triggered by the release of dopamine in the brain which helps to drive humans to eat, feel emotions and reproduce and is also the reason that a drug high is experienced. The dopamine system is involved in the urge to repeat pleasurable experiences, which explains addicts' cravings.

The first time someone takes cocaine, it blocks the process which sends dopamine back to its home cells after it has triggered the pleasurable sensation. The chemical then builds up in the junction between the cells, sending the pleasure signals over and over again, creating the "high" cocaine users feel.

DANGERS OF COCAINE

  • Repeated cocaine use damages and even kills, the very brain cells that trigger the "high" users yearn for by actually destroying key cells in the brain's pleasure centre leading to increased use to try to obtain this illusive high.

  • The long-term effects of cocaine use could also explain users' decreased motivation, stunted emotions and difficulty with stopping use of the drug leading to weight gain and apathy.

  • It can cause nose bleeds and irreversibly rot the delicate tissues within the nasal passages and the gums and cause the heart to increase in size leading to heart attacks. 

  • It can crystallise and remain in the lungs and lead to chronic pulmonary disorder and respiratory problems like asthma.

  • Sharing snorting straws has been linked to hepatitis and other contagious blood borne infections.

Cocaine is always cut with substances that resemble the powder like appearance such as baby laxative, glucose and even harmful cleaning products so that the cocaine dealers can make a larger profit. This can take place a few times with each dealer that the drug passes through before the cocaine is purchased by the end user. This can lead to a lethal concoction which, over time, can severely damage the body and even lead to Parkinson's disease due to the damage done to nerves and brain cells.

Smoking or injecting cocaine, which is far stronger, has far worse ill effects and is highly addictive.

CROCODILE

This highly dangerous drug is made from drain un-blocker, bleach and petrol. It causes the skin to peal off and becomes scaly like a crocodile hence the name.

DANGERS OF CROCODILE

Addicts usually last up to only 2 or 3 years if very strong and healthy. Death is slow and painful with sores and abscesses as it slowly rots human flesh and bone.

ECSTASY

Ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) has an energising effect, remove inhibitions and cause distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from physical experiences. The effect generally lasts from three to four hours.

Drug manufacturers often mix them with other drugs such as:

  • Ephedrine (a stimulant)

  • Dextromethorphan (DXM, a cough suppressant that has PCP like effects at high doses)

  • Ketamine (an anaesthetic used mostly by veterinarians that also has PCP like effects

  • Caffeine

  • Cocaine

  • Methamphetamine

Combining or using drugs with ecstasy and MDMA, including marijuana and alcohol, is dangerous and will put users at higher physical and psychological risk and even be fatal.

DANGERS OF ECSTASY AND MDMA

The chemical structure is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which are known to cause brain damage.

They can cause the following psychological problems:

  • confusion

  • depression

  • sleep problems

  • craving more MDMA

  • severe anxiety and panic attacks

  • paranoia

  • psychotic episodes

The physical side effects that can occur can last for weeks such as:

  • muscle tension

  • involuntary teeth clenching

  • nausea

  • blurred vision

  • rapid eye movement

  • faintness

  • chills or sweating

MDMA and ecstasy are very dangerous for those individuals with circulatory or heart disease, because it increases the heart rate and blood pressure.

For those users who develop an acne like rash, an increase risk of liver damage and other serious side effects may result if they continue to use these drugs.

HEROIN

Morphine, the active ingredient in all opiates, such as heroin, has a chemical structure similar to endorphins, a class of chemicals present in the brain. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals naturally manufactured in the brain when the body experiences pain or stress. They are called the natural opiates of the body.  

Endorphins flood the space between nerve cells and usually inhibit neurons from firing, thus creating an analgesic effect. On a lower level they can excite neurons as well. When endorphins do their work, the organism feels good, high or euphoric and gains relief from pain [analgesia]. Logically, endorphin levels go up when a person exercises, goes into labour or is stressed out.

Like an evil twin, the morphine molecule locks onto the endorphin receptor sites on nerve endings in the brain and begins the succession of events that leads to euphoria or analgesia.

This imposter is more powerful than the body's own endorphins because the organism can actually control how much of the feel good chemical hits the brain. Since we are all pleasure-seeking organisms, the motivation to self-administer such a drug is easy to understand. The result, of course, is addiction.

When that drug is taken away, neurons that have long been inhibited start pumping out neurotransmitters again. This imbalance of chemicals in the brain interacts with the nervous system to produce the classic opiate withdrawal symptoms: nausea, muscle spasms, cramps, anxiety, fever and diarrhoea. The use of codeine, opium or morphine can relieve the withdrawal symptoms of heroin.

About eight to twelve hours after the last heroin use, an addict's eyes begin to tear and he/she starts to experience flu-like symptoms: sneezing, weakness, depression, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The symptoms increase in severity over two to three days. Within a week to 10 days the illness is over. The phrase 'cold turkey' probably comes from the appearance of goose bumps all over the body, which resembles a plucked turkey. Muscle spasms in the legs produce kicking movements and this may be the derivation of the expression 'kick the habit.'

DANGERS OF HEROIN

Because heroin suppresses the central nervous system, the user experiences a foggy mental function. Users will also begin to breathe at a slower rate and their breathing can reach a point of respiratory failure.

Repeated and chronic heroin users who share equipment or fail to use a sterile technique increase the risk of contracting blood borne infections especially hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

They also run the risk of infection of the heart lining and valves and pulmonary complications and kidney disease normally due to lack of a sterile technique.

Many suffer from skin infections and abscesses, especially among chronic injectors who suffer scarred or collapsed veins. Constipation and gastrointestinal cramping are also common among users.

Heroin is often mixed with sugar, starch, quinine and strychnine or other poisons by dealers trying to increase profits, adding other potential dangers. Because of the unknown strength and actual contents of the heroin they are taking, users are at a great risk of overdose and death.

IBOGAINE

Ibogaine is a hallucinogenic drug used in tribal ceremonies in central Africa and derived from the bark and root of the iboga tree. It has been discovered that it can also help addicts lose their cravings for certain drugs such as cocaine, alcohol and heroin.

It affects the brain in two ways. The first is metabolic where it creates a protein that blocks receptors in the brain that trigger cravings, instantly stopping the symptoms of withdrawal and bringing people back to their pre-addiction stage. Normally, this process can take months.

Its second effect seems to inspire a dream-like state that is intensely introspective, allowing addicts to address issues in their life that they use alcohol or drugs to suppress.

Unfortunately, because ibogaine was banned in the US in 1967, along with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, little research has been done towards investigating its use as a medication against addiction.

KETAMINE

Used as a horse tranquiliser this drug, which is usually snorted, can cause serious and disabling bladder problems which can lead to having the bladder surgically removed. It is an addictive dissociative anaesthetic which creates a detachment of the mind from the body and is chemically related to phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust). Ketamine cystitis (ketamine  bladder syndrome) is a common debilitating and irreversible side effect as is schizophrenia.

SIDE EFFECTS OF KETAMINE

  • Analgesia, numbness

  • Ataxia (loss of motor coordination)

  • Cardiovascular effects, including hypertension and tachycardia

  • Confusion, disorientation

  • Dissociation of mind from body

  • Distortion or loss of sensory perceptions (common)

  • Euphoria

  • Hypersalivation

  • Increase in energy

  • Increase in heart rate

  • Nausea

  • Open- and closed-eye visual hallucinations (common)

  • Out-of-body experience

  • Respiratory depression

  • Sedation

  • Shifts in perception of reality

  • Significant change in perception of time

  • Slurred speech

LEGAL HIGHS (Benzo Fury, ‘Black Mamba’, ‘K2’, ‘Spice’, ‘Mr. Smiley’, ‘Blaze’, mephedrone, 'MCAT', 'meow meow' N-Bomb etc.)

Many may now have become illegal since publication of this website. These drugs are a blend of plant and herbal materials which have been sprayed with chemicals causing extra toxicity. Some are smoked like cannabis or snorted like cocaine and have similar affects but can leave the user catatonic and listless.

Because the exact ingredients of these drugs are never known and change frequently and because cheap harmful ingredients are used to make the dealers more profit, it is obviously a great risk to take them especially as they have never been tested in proper trials. Some toxins from the chemicals used can build-up in the system rapidly and some can cause an instant allergic reaction leading to convulsions, coma, organ failure and death.

Some chemicals used can leave the user in a vegetative or paralysed state incapacitated for the rest of their lives.

LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide is manufactured from the ergot fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is sold as small tablets (“microdots”), capsules or gelatin squares (“window panes”). It is sometimes added to absorbent blotting paper, which is then divided into small squares decorated with designs or cartoon characters (“loony toons”). Occasionally it is also sold in liquid form. A “trip” from a single dose of LSD can last for around 12 hours.

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken, the person’s mood and personality and the surroundings in which the drug is used. They can also swing back and to from an exciting and pleasant high to a paranoid low. The surroundings such as lighting and sounds can also have a powerful affect on which way a trip will go.

LSD users often experience loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth and tremors. Visual and auditory changes are among the more common effects and the user can become fixated on the intensity of certain colours or sounds. Their own body becomes alien and normal functions become distorted and impossible to achieve. If the user becomes fixated on this they may become paranoid and scared and the whole trip may stay that way.

DANGERS OF LSD

Some susceptible individuals may react badly to LSD and suffer from the following:

  • Anxiety

  • Convulsions and epilepsy

  • Delusions

  • Depression

  • Despair

  • Disorientation

  • Paranoia

  • Schizophrenia

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Time distortion

As with all mind altering drugs, the user loses the ability to make sensible judgments or see common dangers. For instance they might try to step out a window to get a “closer look” at the ground.

All hallucinogenic drugs can cause paranoia and anxiety and even terror and panic and some people never recover from an LSD induced psychosis.

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

The entheogen, psilocybin, is the active ingredient of magic mushrooms. Psilocin decreases the blood flow in two critical hubs in the brain known as mPFC and PCC. This suppresses neurological traffic forcing the brain to adapt by changing the pathway through which signals are normally routed. By decreasing blood flow and neural activity in the regions most closely associated with self-awareness, ego and personality expression, psilocin is able to facilitate an unconstrained style of cognition. This unsettling experience can cause anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia in susceptible individuals.

Magic mushrooms may be sold on the street as dried whole mushrooms, or as a brown powdered material. Psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, can also be made synthetically in illegal labs and sold on the street as a white powder in tablets or capsules. Magic mushrooms are often eaten raw or cooked. They are steeped in hot water to make a mushroom "tea" or mixed with fruit juice to make a drink. Less often, the powdered mushrooms or psilocybin is snorted or injected.

The effects of psilocybin are generally felt within a few minutes of drinking the tea or 30 minutes after eating raw mushrooms. The effects last for about three to six hours.

Psilocybin can produce perceptual distortions (visual or auditory). Mixing of the senses can also occur giving the user the impression that they can "see" music or "hear" colours. Users may also experience hallucinations and a loss of touch with reality and distortion of time.

Drinking plenty of juice contain high vitamin C content can reduce the effects of mushrooms.

DANGERS OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS

Short-term use of psilocybin can produce many effects including:

  • Dilated pupils (causes blurred vision)

  • Dry mouth

  • Exaggerated reflexes

  • Hallucinations

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate

  • Light-headedness

  • Muscle weakness and twitching

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Numbness, particularly facial numbness (paresthesia)

  • Sweating and increased body temperature followed by chills and shivering

A user could also experience:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks

  • Brain damage

  • Confusion and disorientation

  • Convulsions

  • Loss of coordination

  • Loss of urinary control

  • Paranoia

  • Severe agitation

  • Tine distortion

NITROUS OXIDE GAS

The gas is used in dentistry and to boost the power in vehicle engines, but it can also be consumed as an inhalant. Also know as ‘whippits’, ‘laughing gas’ and ‘hippy crack’, nitrous oxide.

DANGERS OF NITROUS OXIDE

When inhaled it can lead to death as oxygen is effectively pushed out of the body by the gas.

As with many drugs, severe vitamin B deficiency can develop with heavy, regular use of nitrous oxide, which can cause serious nerve damage.

NYAOPE

Nyaope, also known as whoonga or wunga, is a highly addictive street drug that has come into widespread use in South Africa since 2010. A person can become highly addicted after using the drug only once. It is made from a combination of marijuana (or dagga as it is known), heroin and often cut with chlorine, cleaning detergents, rat poison and medications such as methaqualone (Mandrax) or HIV antiviral drugs etc.

DANGERS OF NYAOPE

Once addicted a person’s life is destroyed by the daily need for the drug and around 12 to fifteen bags will be required per day to keep the very painful withdrawals symptoms at bay. Withdrawals can cause excruciating pains in the joints and stomach and vomiting as well as severe mood swings of anger and paranoia. The user will have nutrient deficiencies due to a poor diet leading to further illness and infections.

YABA

Originally manufactured by the Nazis to help keep their troops awake for days, yaba has become increasingly popular in the Far East amongst claims that the drug is now bigger than heroin in Thailand. Yaba is a derivative of synthetic amphetamines such as speed and can be manufactured far more quickly and easily than traditional forms of amphetamine.

The drug usually comes in pill form (often red/orange, sometimes green) and with its potent mix of visuals and intense highs, drug experts predict that it may soon become popular on the UK club scene.

Although yaba is still very rare in the UK, drug experts report that the UK is being targeted by yaba producers from the 'Golden Triangle' which is the drug producing areas on the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos.

The main ingredients, which include salt, household cleaning products, distilled cold medicines and lithium from camera batteries, can be bought legally and the drug easily knocked out at home with a couple of casserole dishes and a hob.

The rewards for criminals can be huge. Around 300 of raw materials can make yaba worth more than 2,000 at British street prices. Since the equipment needed is portable, labs can be moved on a regular basis, making it more difficult for police to track them down.

Side effects of Yaba

The drug is claimed to create an intense hallucinogenic effect and can keep users awake for days on end, although users have reported that the visuals only come as a result of sleep deprivation after binge sessions.

DANGERS OF YABA

Addictive and/or habit-forming. Regular use of the drug can cause lung and kidney disease, hallucinations and paranoia.

A frequent hallucination is 'speed bugs' or crank bugs' where users believe that bugs are crawling under their skin and go insane trying to get them out.

In Thailand, the number of students entering rehab to deal with yaba addiction has risen by nearly 1,000% in the past two years. Those coming off the drug are also susceptible to severe depression and suicidal urges.


See also:

See also koolrecovery.com (A parent's guide to preventing college alcohol and drug abuse in the USA)

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