There was sensational news that Telugu film stars were drowned in LSD. The news was talk of the town, as it became known that even bigwigs were involved. Many were surprised, why film stars succumbed to drugs. Yet another time, interest in the effects of drugs grew. In this connection, let us learn about LSD and other drugs and their harmful effects.
Most popular drugs
LSD, Cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, ganja, Catamine, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, Nitrates, Poppers, Magic Mushrooms, etc.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is a drug that produces a high. It is a psychedelic drug. It is either taken directly as a tablet or kept under the tongue. It is white or transparent and odourless. Some 20 to 30 micrograms of the drug is enough to take the user on a high. LSD was prepared by Albert Hoffman, of Switzerland, in 1938, from a chemical called Ergotamine. It was used as a psychiatric drug around 1947. Later, its use was restricted as it was being used as a drug. It became popular between 1960 and 1970. It is known for its use in recreational purposes. Also, it evokes some spiritual highs. It is addictive. Later, it becomes necessary to increase its dosage. It is possible to come back to normal, once it is given up.
LSD causes the pupils to dilate and appetite to decrease. Insomnia sets in. Thirty minutes after taking the drug, you will have hallucinations and will hear strange sounds. Mouth becomes dry and body starts sweating. It all depends on the quantity of the drug that is consumed. The effects are immediate, when it is snorted or taken intravenously. The effects last for four to 12 hours. Long-term use leads to confusion, emotional imbalance, paranoia, etc. Addicts even suffer panic attacks.
It is used as anaesthesia in animals and humans and is learnt to give an ecstatic feeling. Available as a transparent, clear liquid or white powder, catamine is injected, mixed in drinks or is smoked with tobacco and marijuana. Users temporarily lose contact with their bodies and feel as if floating in the air. They live in an illusory world. They are confused or become drowsy. They have no awareness of themselves. Some have nausea as reaction to the drug. As the dosage of catamine increases, breathing slows down. Losing consciousness or death is quiet common.
At least 87 per cent of the heroin in the world, is produced in Afghanistan. It is available as white or brown powder. A kind of heroin, called black tar appears black. It is smoked, snorted or injected. It is used sometimes as a painkiller in cancer. It leads to ecstasy and bliss. Long term use can lead to suffocation and can cause death. It also leads to abortions, pneumonia, liver and kidney problems. Breathing becomes difficult when taken in heavy doses. Blood pressure is lowered. There is drowsiness and skin become cold. It will lead to coma. Its effects come down, hours after use. In some, the effects remain for two to three days and later recede. In many countries there is a ban on manufacture, use and trade of heroin.
This also is a drug which leads to ecstasy and bliss. It raises blood pressure and pulse rate. The user feels energetic. But it leads to death, when 1.2 gm are consumed orally, or 700-800 mgm are taken intravenously or smoked. It is just an estimate. It has been detected that even lesser doses lead to death. In long-term users, there is nose leaking, loss of senses of smell and taste, heart attack, paralysis, etc. It is available as white powder.
Cannabis is a plant. In India it is called ganja. Some extracts from this plant are called Marijuana. Most popular addictive substance, after alcohol and tobacco, growing, transporting or use of ganja is illegal. However, its usage is widespread. Marijuana leaves and flowers are dried and smoked. They are mixed in food stuffs or tea before consumption. Some mix it with tobacco and smoke it. This gives a feeling of relaxation and drowsiness. If it is used for a long time, it harms breathing. It might also lead to lung cancer and bronchitis.
It is popular as MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine). It leads to bliss. Some say that it is enjoyable. It makes you lose your social inhibitions, in the sense that you feel bolder among others. The effects last for six hours. It is a very popular club drug. Available as white, yellow or brown tablets or as powder ecstasy is also called 'love drug.' Moisture evaporates quickly. Heart rate and blood pressure rise, leading to heart problems. Memory is affected.
Methamphytamine or Methyl Amphytamine are the same. It is a stimulant that makes the user addictive. Doctors recommend it in some cases. It is suggested very rarely, because of mostly bad effects. It is FDA Schedule 2 stimulant. It spurs the Central Nervous System and gives a feeling of ecstasy and enthusiasm, as soon as it is taken. Instant rise in dopamine levels in the blood is the reason for this.
Doctors recommend 5mg of this in the case of those suffering from obesity problems. You become more alert. Sleep is reduced and activity increases. Appetite decreases. Aggression, irritation, anxiety, quickening of breath, increase in blood pressure and pulse rate are some of the symptoms. Heartbeat becomes erratic. Long-term use leads to increased levels of dopamine produced by the brain, affecting its functioning.
Its chemical bonding is similar to that of adrenalin. Available as white tablets, flakes or powder, it produces an ecstatic feeling. It makes the user energetic, with improved trust and courage. This feeling remains for some 12 hours. If it is used for a long time, functioning of the heart becomes erratic. It might lead to high blood pressure and heart attack.
There are 90 varieties of magic mushroom species. They have the same effect as LSD, when consumed. They are eaten raw or dried to make tea. Long-term use affects memory.
Effects last how long?
Drugs first dissolve in the blood. Later, they reach the other parts of the body. They transform in to fat and are deposited in the stomach and other organs. They remain in the intestines, hair and nails for a long time. Many drugs are fat soluble. That is they dissolve in fat. LSD, heroin and their likes are fat soluble. They do not dissolve in water. That is why once they are inhaled, smoked or ingested as tablets or chewed, they mix with the blood immediately. Some part of the drugs reaches the organs where fat is deposited. Similarly, they reach the hair follicles. That is why hair and nails of suspected drug addicts are examined. Remnants can be detected in hair for up to three months after consumption and after three to four weeks, in nails.
Categorisation of drugs
Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) of America has categorised all drugs, including those that are used for medical purpose:
Schedule 1: They have no medical purpose. They are addictives. LSD, Heroin, Ecstasy, cannabis are this type.
Schedule 2: Limited medical use. Less addictive. Cocaine, Methadone, Hydrocodone and Methamphytamine are examples.
Schedule 3: They are medium addictives, suggested for medical purpose. Vikadin, Codeine, Catamine and anabolic steroids belong to this category.
Schedule 4: Widely used for medical purposes. Dravon, Soma, Ksnox, Valium, ambien benzodiazepine etc.
Schedule 5: Used purely for medical purpose. Less addictive. Codeine 200 mg that is used for cough is this kind of drug.
Some are suggested as treatment for a number of ailments. Patients might use them as narcotics.