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Click on the topics below to read about other drugs of abuse

 

Bath Salts                      Cocaine                      Ecstasy                      Inhalants   

K2 / Spice                 LSD                 Methamphetamine                 Mushrooms

 

 

Bath Salts

What are bath salts?

Bath Salts are synthetic, concentrated versions of the stimulant chemical in Khat, (the fresh young leaves of the Catha edulis shrub, which act as a stimulant when consumed). Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone and methylone are the chemicals most often found in Bath Salts.

Bath Salts are sold commercially under a number of different “brand” names, and as different products, such as plant feeder or insect repellent. Brand names include: Bliss, Blue Silk, Cloud Nine, Drone, Energy-1, Ivory Wave, Lunar Wave, Meow Meow, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Red Dove, Snow Leopard, Stardust, Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, and White Lightning. The substances are not actually “bath salts,” though they are labeled that they are “not for human consumption,” that is in fact their intended use.

The sale and use of Bath Salts was banned in Ohio on October 17th, 2011.

 

What does it look like?

Bath Salt products are sold in powder form in small plastic or foil packages of 200 and 500 milligrams under various brand names. Mephedrone is a fine white, off-white or slightly yellow-colored powder. It can also be found in tablet and capsule form. MDPV is a fine white or off-white powder.

 

How is it used?

Bath Salts are usually ingested by sniffing/snorting. They can also be taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected into veins.

 

What are the short term effects?

Short-term effects include very severe paranoia that can sometimes cause users to harm themselves or others. Effects reported to Poison Control Centers include suicidal thoughts, agitation, combative/violent behavior, confusion, hallucinations/psychosis, increased heart rate, hypertension, chest pain, death or serious injury. The speed of onset is 15 minutes, the length of the high from these drugs is 4-6 hours, however some of the psychological effects, including suicidal thoughts, have been reported to last even after the high has worn off.

 

What are the long term effects?

Bath Salts have only become popular recently, and so the long term effects are still unknown.

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Cocaine

Video: The Truth About Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a potent brain stimulant and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. There are two forms of cocaine: powdered cocaine and crack. The powdered form can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack is cocaine that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapors smoked. Cocaine has no approved medical use today because of its high potential for abuse and addiction.

 

What does it look like?

Cocaine is found in two main forms: cocaine is a white crystalline powder and “crack” is cocaine that has been processed with ammonia or baking soda and water into a freebase cocaine — chips, chunks or rocks.

 

How is it used?

Cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack can be smoked. 

 

What are the short-term effects?

Short-term effects of cocaine/crack include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. Duration of cocaine’s immediate euphoric effects, which include energy, reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on how it is used. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. However, the faster the absorption, the shorter the high lasts.  The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking crack cocaine may last 5 to 10 minutes. Cocaine’s effects are short lived, and once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a “coke crash” that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue.

 

What are the long-term effects?

High doses of cocaine and/or prolonged use can trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine can produce a particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users. When addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they often become depressed. Prolonged cocaine snorting can result in ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose.

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Ecstasy

Video: The Truth About Ecstacy

What is Ecstasy?

MDMA, or Ecstasy, is a synthetic drug with amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. It is classified as a stimulant.

 

What does it look like?

Ecstasy is manufactured into tablets in a variety of colors and are typically branded with a symbol or lettering.

 

How is it used?

Taken in pill form, users sometimes take Ecstasy at “raves,” clubs and other parties to keep energy up and for mood enhancement.

 

What are the short-term effects?

Users report that Ecstasy produces intensely pleasurable effects — including an enhanced sense of self-confidence and energy. Effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance and empathy. Users say they experience feelings of closeness with others and a desire to touch others. Other effects can include involuntary teeth clenching, a loss of inhibitions, transfixion on sights and sounds, nausea, blurred vision, chills and/or sweating. Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as seizures, are also possible. The stimulant effects of the drug enable users to dance for extended periods, which when combined with the hot crowded conditions usually found at raves, can lead to severe dehydration and hyperthermia or dramatic increases in body temperature. This can lead to muscle breakdown and kidney, liver and cardiovascular failure. Cardiovascular failure has been reported in some of the Ecstasy-related fatalities. After the drug has worn off, effects can include sleep problems, anxiety and depression.

 

What are the long-term effects?

Repeated use of Ecstasy ultimately may damage the cells that produce serotonin, which has an important role in the regulation of mood, appetite, pain, learning and memory. Research also suggests that Ecstasy use can disrupt or interfere with memory.

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Inhalants

Video: The Truth About Inhalants

What are Inhalants?

Inhalants are ordinary household products that are inhaled or sniffed by children to get high. There are hundreds of household products on the market today that can be misused as inhalants.

 

What do they look like?

Examples of products which might be abused to get high include model airplane glue, nail polish remover, cleaning fluids, hair spray, gasoline, the propellant in aerosol whipped cream and pressurized air canisters, spray paint, fabric protector, air conditioner fluid (freon), cooking spray and correction fluid.

 

How are they used?

These products are sniffed, snorted, bagged (fumes inhaled from a plastic bag), or huffed (inhalant-soaked rag, sock, or roll of toilet paper is held closely to face or stuffed in the mouth) to achieve a high. Inhalants are also sniffed directly from the container.

 

What are the short-term effects?

Within seconds of inhalation, the user experiences intoxication along with other effects similar to those produced by alcohol. Alcohol-like effects may include slurred speech, an inability to coordinate movements, dizziness, confusion and delirium. Nausea and vomiting are other common side effects. In addition, users may experience lightheadedness, hallucinations, and delusions.

 

What are the long-term effects?

Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur with long-term inhalant abuse. Additional symptoms exhibited by long-term inhalant abusers include weight loss, muscle weakness, disorientation, inattentiveness, lack of coordination, irritability, and depression. After heavy use of inhalants, abusers may feel drowsy for several hours and experience a lingering headache. Because intoxication lasts only a few minutes, abusers frequently seek to prolong their high by continuing to inhale repeatedly over the course of several hours. By doing this, abusers can suffer loss of consciousness and death.

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K2 / Spice

What is K2 or Spice marijuana?

K2, or Spice, is synthetic marijuana and is composed of a mixture of herbs, spices or shredded plant material that is typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The most common names for synthetic marijuana are K2 and Spice, but it is also sold as Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Blaze, Genie, Spice, Zohai, JWH -018, -073, -250, Yucatan Fire, Skunk and Moon Rocks.

On March 1, 2011, DEA published a final order in the Federal Register temporarily recatagorizing five synthetic cannabinoids as controlled substances. As a result the use and sale of these products is now illegal.

 

What does it look like?

K2 is typically sold in small, silvery plastic bags of dried leaves and marketed as incense that can be smoked. It is said to resemble potpourri.

 

How is it used?

K2 products are usually smoked in joints or pipes, but some users make it into a tea.

 

What are the short term effects?

Short term effects include loss of control, lack of pain response, increased agitation, pale skin, seizures, vomiting, profuse sweating, uncontrolled / spastic body movements, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations. The onset of this drug is 3-5 minutes, and the duration of the high is 1-8 hours.

In addition to physical signs of use, users may experience dysphoria, severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and increased agitation.

 

What are the long term effects?

K2 and Spice have only become popular recently, and so the long term effects are still unknown.

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LSD

Video: The Truth About LSD

What is LSD?

LSD is the most common hallucinogen 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.

 

What does it look like?

LSD is usually found on “blotter” paper (paper that is perforated into small squares like postage stamps). The squares or “tabs” may be colored or have images printed on them. Liquid LSD is a clear liquid, usually in a small container, tube or flask. LSD can also be found in thin squares of gelatin.

 

How is it used?

LSD is most often taken orally, as the LSD infused paper squares are placed on the tongue. However gelatin and liquid can be put in the eyes.

 

What are the short-term effects?

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken, the user’s personality, mood, and expectations, and the surroundings in which the drug is used.  The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs.  The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another.  If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations.  The user’s sense of time and self changes.  Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds.  For some, these changes can be frightening and can cause panic.

 

What are the long-term effects?

Some LSD users experience flashbacks, recurrence of certain aspects of a person’s experience even if the user doesn’t take the drug again.  A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use.  Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered to be an addicting drug because it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior like cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, alcohol, or nicotine.

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Methamphetamine

Video: The Truth About Meth

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (Meth) is an addictive stimulant that strongly activates certain systems in the brain.

 

What does it look like?

Methamphetamine is a crystal-like powdered substance that sometimes comes in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass, which is another nickname for meth. Meth is usually white or slightly yellow, depending on the purity.

 

How is it used?

Methamphetamine can be taken orally, injected, snorted, or smoked.

 

What are its short-term effects?

Immediately after smoking or injection, the user experiences an intense sensation, called a “rush” or “flash,” that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria — a high, but not a rush. After the initial “rush,” there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. Other possible immediate effects include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions and heart attack.

 

What are its long-term effects?

Methamphetamine is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing larger amounts to get high. In some cases, users forego food and sleep and take more meth every few hours for days, ‘binging’ until they run out of the drug or become too disorganized to continue.

Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, and repetitive behavior (such as compulsively cleaning, grooming or disassembling and assembling objects). Some users experience delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin, and may obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects.

Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis (often exhibited as violent, aggressive behavior). This violent, aggressive behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Methamphetamine use can also cause strokes and death.

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Mushrooms

What are mushrooms?

Psilocybin and psilocyn are the hallucinogenic principles contained in certain mushrooms. These “magic” mushrooms are generally grown in Mexico and Central America and have been used in native rituals for thousands of years. Psilocybin is structurally similar to the brain chemical serotonin, and produces its effects by disrupting normal functioning of the serotonin system, which regulates mood.

 

What do they look like?

Dried mushrooms.

 

How are they used?

Mushrooms can be eaten, brewed and consumed as tea. 

 

What are their short-term effects?

Once ingested, mushrooms generally cause feelings of nausea before the desired mental effects appear. The high from using magic mushrooms is mild and may cause altered feelings and distorted perceptions of touch, sight, sound and taste. Other effects can include nervousness and paranoia. Effects can be different during each use due to varying potency, the amount ingested, and the user’s expectations, mood, surroundings, and frame of mind. On some trips, users experience sensations that are enjoyable. Others can include terrifying thoughts, and anxiety, fears of insanity, death, or losing control.

 

What are its long-term effects?

Some magic mushroom users experience “flashbacks”, or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which are reoccurrences of hallucinations long after ingesting the drug. The causes of these effects, which in some users occur after a single experience with the drug, are not known.

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