Ev­ery­thing you low-key wanna know but don’t know who to ask.

Dolly - - Doctor -

This might be the first time you’ve heard about some of these drugs. Maybe some­one has of­fered you party drugs, or maybe some­one you know has been badly af­fected by drugs. No mat­ter which of these cat­e­gories you fall in to, it’s im­por­tant to be ed­u­cated about what drugs look like and what hap­pens to peo­ple when they take them, as well as the long-term ef­fects of be­ing a user.

MAR­I­JUANA

STREET NAMES: 420, bud, dope, grass, hash, joint, pot, weed. WHAT IT IS: Mar­i­juana comes from hemp plants. It con­tains high amounts of THC (delta-9tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol), the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent of mar­i­juana. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: It comes in the form of dried leaves, buds, flow­ers and seeds, all finely chopped. HOW IT’S TAKEN: Mar­i­juana is smoked us­ing a bong or rolled in a joint. WHAT IT DOES: It is a de­pres­sant, which means it slows down re­ac­tion times and the abil­ity to con­cen­trate. The ef­fects of mar­i­juana in­clude eupho­ria, laugh­ter, ex­cite­ment, para­noia, anx­i­ety, dizzi­ness, red eyes, di­lated pupils, dry mouth, in­creased heart rate and hunger. The ef­fects last from about 10 min­utes to four hours. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: Reg­u­lar use of cannabis may even­tu­ally cause mem­ory loss, learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, mood swings, reg­u­lar colds or flu, re­duced sex drive, dif­fi­culty hav­ing chil­dren (low fer­til­ity in both fe­males and males) and the need to use more to get the same ef­fect.

ECSTASY

STREET NAMES: Caps, E, eck­ies, MD, MDMA, molly, pills, pingers. WHAT IT IS: It con­tains the drug MDMA. How­ever, many pills sold as ecstasy only have a small amount of MDMA or none at all; other drugs and ‘fillers’ like house­hold clean­ing prod­ucts are of­ten used in­stead. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: Ecstasy pills come in dif­fer­ent colours and sizes and are of­ten im­printed with a pic­ture or sym­bol. It can also come in the form of capsules, pow­der or crys­tal/rock. HOW IT’S TAKEN: Swal­lowed or snorted. WHAT IT DOES: ’Cos it’s a stim­u­lant, it makes the user feel buzzed and gives them a sense of eupho­ria. It of­ten causes de­hy­dra­tion and even over-hy­dra­tion from too much wa­ter in­take. It can also cause the user to feel sick, anx­ious and para­noid while in­creas­ing their breath­ing and heart rate. A com­mon way to know if some­one has taken ecstasy is to see whether they’re clench­ing their jaw and grind­ing their teeth, and also if they’re sweat­ing ex­ces­sively. Ecstasy starts to take ef­fect about 20 min­utes to an hour af­ter it’s taken, and the ‘high’ can last for about six hours, de­pend­ing on the level of MDMA in­side the hit. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: When some­one takes ecstasy, they will usu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence a ‘come­down’ once the MDMA starts to wear off. This can cause the user to be­come ex­hausted, anx­ious, ir­ri­ta­ble and de­pressed. Tak­ing ecstasy can also lead to long-term ef­fects such as re­duced en­ergy lev­els, low im­mu­nity and dam­age to some parts of the brain. It is of­ten mixed with so many other drugs and chem­i­cals that users can have se­ri­ous re­ac­tions, re­sult­ing in hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and even death.

CO­CAINE

STREET NAMES: Blow, bump, C, coke, line, snow. WHAT IT IS: Co­caine is a stim­u­lant that orig­i­nates from the leaves of the coca bush that grows in South Amer­ica. There are three types of co­caine: co­caine hy­drochlo­ride (a white crys­talline pow­der with a bit­ter, numb­ing taste), free­base (white pow­der) and crack (crys­tals rang­ing in colour from white to a pink or yel­low hue). All forms of co­caine can be ‘cut’ with other sub­stances, such as lac­tose, to di­lute it be­fore it’s sold. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: A white pow­dery sub­stance. HOW IT’S TAKEN: Snorted or in­jected.

WHAT IT DOES: Co­caine can make the user ex­tremely talk­a­tive, en­er­getic and alert, but it can also make peo­ple ag­gres­sive and vi­o­lent, and can cause panic at­tacks and pain. When a user comes down from co­caine, they can ex­pe­ri­ence de­pres­sion, mood swings, ten­sion and anx­i­ety. The ef­fects of the drug can last any­where from a few min­utes to an hour or so, de­pend­ing on its strength. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: If a user were to over­dose on co­caine, they could ex­pe­ri­ence nausea, vom­it­ing, seizures, kid­ney fail­ure, strokes, heart prob­lems, brain bleed­ing and even death.

SPEED

(POW­DERED METHAM­PHETAMINE) STREET NAMES: Gas, go-ee, gogo, up­pers. WHAT IT IS: Speed is part of the am­phet­a­mine fam­ily. It has a high risk of ad­dic­tion and there are many mental and phys­i­cal is­sues as­so­ci­ated with it. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: An off-white/yel­low­ish pow­der or crys­tallised sub­stance. HOW IT’S TAKEN: In­gested, snorted, smoked, in­jected. WHAT IT DOES: Speed gives the user an ex­treme eu­phoric feel­ing and height­ens their sense of alert­ness and en­ergy. In higher doses it can cause the heart rate and breath­ing to be­come er­ratic and can lead to con­fu­sion, panic at­tacks and ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour. The po­ten­tial for ad­dic­tion to speed is high, as the user of­ten can­not han­dle the ‘come­down’ and may con­tinue to chase that eu­phoric feel­ing. The ef­fects of speed can last any­where from a few hours to a few days, de­pend­ing on the strength. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: Long-term use can re­sult in delu­sions, chronic sleep prob­lems, de­creased mem­ory and con­cen­tra­tion, mood swings, de­pres­sion and strokes. High amounts and fre­quent use can cause what is known as ‘speed psy­chosis’, which re­sem­bles the ef­fects of schizophre­nia.

LSD

(LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE) STREET NAMES: Acid, kool-aid, tabs, trips. WHAT IT IS: LSD is a syn­thetic chem­i­cal made from a sub­stance found in er­got, a fun­gus that in­fects rye grains. It is a hal­lu­cino­genic (aka psy­che­delic) drug. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: In its purest state, LSD is a translu­cent white pow­der. How­ever, when it’s sold as a party drug, it comes on lit­tle squares of blot­ting pa­per or gela­tine that has been dipped or soaked in LSD. It can also be sold in tablet or cap­sule form. HOW IT’S TAKEN: Nor­mally it’s swal­lowed, but it can also be sniffed, in­jected or smoked. WHAT IT DOES: An LSD ex­pe­ri­ence, of­ten called a ‘trip’, usu­ally lasts be­tween four and 12 hours, de­pend­ing on the strength. As LSD is a hal­lu­cino­genic drug, it can cause a per­son to see and hear things that aren’t ac­tu­ally there (hal­lu­ci­na­tions). THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: LSD can be un­pre­dictable. It can af­fect the user’s mood, per­son­al­ity and mental ca­pac­ity. Some­times a ‘bad trip’ may be ex­pe­ri­enced, which in­volves a dis­turb­ing hal­lu­ci­na­tion. This can lead to panic and risky be­hav­iour, such as run­ning across a road or at­tempt­ing self-harm. Peo­ple who reg­u­larly use LSD may even­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence flash­backs, which are hal­lu­ci­na­tions that oc­cur weeks, months or even years af­ter the drug was last taken. This can be dis­turb­ing, es­pe­cially when the hal­lu­ci­na­tion is fright­en­ing.

CRYS­TAL METHAM­PHETAMINE

STREET NAMES: Crys­tal meth, ice, glass, tina, crank. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: Clear crys­tals, sim­i­lar to small pieces of glass. WHAT IT IS: A stim­u­lant from the same sub­stance fam­ily as speed. HOW IT’S TAKEN: It can be smoked, in­jected, snorted or in­gested. WHAT IT DOES: Ice af­fects the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem and takes ef­fect al­most im­me­di­ately, de­pend­ing on how it’s taken. It gives the user a feel­ing of plea­sure and clar­ity as well as a sense of eupho­ria ’cos it in­creases the pro­duc­tion and re­lease of high lev­els of dopamine in the brain. When a user is com­ing down from ice, they can ex­pe­ri­ence ag­gres­sion, vi­o­lent out­bursts, de­pres­sion and poor con­cen­tra­tion – and they of­ten crave more of the drug to pull them out of this state. The ef­fects of ice can last for about six hours, but it might be hard to sleep for a few days af­ter us­ing it. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: Long-term side ef­fects in­clude de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, den­tal prob­lems, heart and kid­ney is­sues and rest­less sleep. There’s also a high chance the user will be­come de­pen­dent and suf­fer from ‘ice psy­chosis’, a con­di­tion that con­sists of para­noia, delu­sions, hal­lu­ci­na­tions and some­times vi­o­lent be­hav­iour.

HEROIN

STREET NAMES: Dope, gear, H, junk, smack. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: Heroin comes in three dif­fer­ent forms: clear white pow­der, off-white gran­ules or rocks, and tiny pieces of brown­ish rocks. WHAT IT IS: It’s a de­pres­sant that be­longs to the ‘opi­oid’ group of drugs, which come from the opium poppy. HOW IT’S TAKEN: In­jected, smoked or snorted. WHAT IT DOES: Heroin causes the user to feel buzzed with a sense of plea­sure, but it also causes con­fu­sion, slurred speech, tiny pupils, drowsi­ness and clum­si­ness. The ef­fects can last be­tween three and five hours. THE DAM­AG­ING EF­FECTS: Long-term use of heroin can cause de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety as well as dam­age to the user’s heart, lungs, liver, brain and veins. It’s a high-de­pen­dency drug that users be­come eas­ily ad­dicted to, and when some­one is com­ing down from heroin they can ex­pe­ri­ence crav­ings, de­pres­sion, body cramps and pain. An over­dose can lead to slow breath­ing, blue lips and fin­ger­tips, faint­ing, vom­it­ing, flu-like symp­toms and death.

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