Drug Definitions

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In general usage, alcohol refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). This sense underlies the term alcoholism (addiction to alcohol). Other forms of alcohol are usually described with a clarifying adjective, as in isopropyl alcohol or by the suffix -ol, as in isopropanol.

As a drug, common alcohol (ethanol) is known to have a depressing effect that decreases the responses of the central nervous system.

Marijuana CannabisMarijuana Rehab
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant that includes one or more species. The plant is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions just north of the Himalayas in India. It is also known as hemp, although this term usually refers to cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried flowers (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively referred to as hash oil.

Its use in this regard is documented more extensively in the article cannabis (drug).

Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system and an appetite suppressant, creating what has been described as a euphoric sense of happiness and increased energy. Though most often used recreationally for this effect, cocaine is also a topical anesthetic that was used in eye and throat surgery in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cocaine is an addictive substance, and its possession, cultivation, and distribution is illegal for non-medicinal / non-government sanctioned purposes in virtually all of the world.

Cocaine in its purest form is an off-white or pink chunky product. Cocaine appearing in powder form is a salt, typically cocaine hydrochloride (CAS 53-21-4). Cocaine is frequently adulterated or “cut” with various powdery fillers to increase its surface area; the substances most commonly used in this process are baking soda, sugars, such as lactose, inositol, and mannitol, and local anesthetics, such as lidocaine. Adulterated cocaine is often a white or off-white powder.

The color of “crack” cocaine depends upon several factors including the origin of the cocaine used, the method of preparation — with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate, and the presence of impurities, but will generally range from a light brown to a pale brown. Its texture will also depend on the factors which affect color, but will range from a crumbly texture, which is usually the lighter variety, to hard, almost crystalline nature, which is usually the darker variety.

crack cocaineCrack Cocaine
Because of the dangers of using ether to produce pure freebase cocaine, cocaine producers began to omit the step of removing the freebase cocaine precipitate from the ammonia mixture. Typically, filtration processes are also omitted. The end result of this process is that the cut, in addition to the ammonium salt (NH4Cl), remains in the freebase cocaine after the mixture is evaporated. The “rock” which is thus formed also contains a small amount of water.

When the rock is heated this water boils, making a crackling sound (hence the name “crack”). Baking soda is now most often used as a base rather than ammonia for reasons of lowered stench and toxicity; however, any weak base can be used to make crack cocaine. Strong bases, such as sodium hydroxide, tend to hydrolyze some of the cocaine into harmless, intoxicated ecgonine.

Crack is unique because it offers a strong cocaine experience in small, low-priced packages. In the United States, crack cocaine is often sold in small, inexpensive dosage units frequently known as “nickels” or “nickel rocks” (referring to the price of $5.00), and also “dimes” or “dime rocks” ($10.00) and sometimes as “twenties” or “solids”, and “forties”. The quantity provided by such a purchase varies depending upon many factors, such as local availability, which is affected by geographic location. A twenty may yield a quarter gram or half gram on average, yielding 30 minutes to an hour of effect if hits are taken every few minutes. After the $20 or $40 mark, crack and powder cocaine are sold in grams or fractions of ounces. Many inner-city addicts with a regular dealer will “work a corner”, taking money from anyone who wants crack, making a buy from the dealer, then delivering part of the product while keeping some for themselves.

Although consisting of the same active drug as powder cocaine, crack cocaine in the United States is seen as a drug primarily by and for the inner city poor (the stereotypical "crack head" is a poor, urban, usually homeless person of color). While insufflated powder cocaine has an associated glamour attributed to its popularity among mostly middle and upper class whites (as well as musicians and entertainers), crack is perceived as a skid row drug of squalor and desperation. In many jurisdictions in the US, possession or sale of crack cocaine carries a harsher penalty than an equivalent amount of powder cocaine.

Street names for crack include “Devil’s dandruff”, “Devilsmoke”, “Devil drug”, "Devil's Candy", “hard”, “dope”, “work”, “smoke”, “yoda”, “yayo”, “yay”, “bones”, “yola”, "candy", “matter”, "boy", and “food”; but most commonly, it is simply called “rock”. Crack cocaine was extremely popular in the mid- and late 1980s, especially in inner cities, although its popularity declined through the 1990s. In 1998, Gary Webb's book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion linked the “crack explosion” to the CIA funding of the anti-communism Contras fighting against sandinistas in Nicaragua.

crystal meth methamphetamineCrystal Meth - Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant drug used for both medicinal and illicit purposes. Like most stimulants, methamphetamine may induce strong feelings of euphoria and can be addictive. Pure methamphetamine is prescribed by physicians in formulations such as Desoxyn. Illicit methamphetamine comes in a variety of forms. Most coveted is a colorless crystalline solid, sold on the streets as crystal meth, glass, ice, P Tina or numerous other street names.

It is also sold as less-pure crystalline powder called crank or speed, or in rock formation termed dope, raw or tweak. Yaba (Thai for "crazy medicine") is also based on methamphetamine. It has become one of the world's most significant illicit drugs.

e pills ecstasyEcstasy
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), most commonly known today by the street name ecstasy, is a synthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family whose primary effect is to stimulate the secretion of and inhibit the re-uptake of large amounts of serotonin as well as dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain, causing a general sense of openness, empathy, energy, euphoria, and well-being. Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making general physical contact with others more pleasurable.

Contrary to popular mythology it generally does not have aphrodisiac effects. Its ability to facilitate self-examination with reduced fear has proven useful in some therapeutic settings, leading to its 2001 approval by the United States FDA for testing in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Acute dehydration is a risk among users who are highly physically active and forget to drink water, as the drug may mask one's normal sense of exhaustion and thirst. Also the opposite, "water intoxication" resulting in acute hyponatremia has been reported. By far the biggest danger comes from the fact that other, more dangerous chemicals (such as PMA, DXM or methamphetamine) are either added to ecstasy tablets, or more often simply sold as ecstasy. Long-term effects in humans are largely unknown and the subject of much controversy —particularly with regard to the risks of severe long-term depression as a result of a reduction in the natural production of serotonin.

MDMA is also known by many other street names, including Adam, Beans, Biscuits, Candy, E, Eccies, Googs, Jack and Jills, MaDMAn, Mollies, Pills, Rolls, Scoobies, Smarties, Tabs, Thizz, Vitamin E, Vitamin X, X, XTC, Yaotou (in East Asia), and Yokes.

freebase cocaineFreebase Cocaine
As the name implies, “freebase” is the base form of cocaine, as opposed to the salt form of cocaine hydrochloride. Whereas cocaine hydrochloride is extremely soluble in water, cocaine base is insoluble in water and is therefore not suitable for drinking, snorting or injecting. Cocaine hydrochloride is not well-suited for smoking because the temperature at which it vaporizes is very high, and close to the temperature at which it burns.

Cocaine base vaporizes at a low temperature, which makes it suitable for inhalation.

Smoking freebase is preferred by many users because the cocaine is absorbed immediately into blood via the lungs, where it reaches the brain in about five seconds. The rush is much more intense than sniffing the same amount of cocaine nasally, but the effects do not last as long. The peak of the freebase rush is over almost as soon as the user exhales the vapor, but the high typically lasts 5–10 minutes afterwards. What makes freebase a particularly dangerous drug is that users typically don't wait that long for their next hit and will continue to smoke freebase until none is left. These effects are similar to those that can be achieved by injecting or “slamming” cocaine hydrochloride, but without the risks associated with intravenous drug use (although there are other serious risks associated with smoking freebase).

Heroin or diacetylmorphine (INN) is a semi-synthetic opioid. It is the 3,6-diacetyl derivative of morphine (hence diacetylmorphine) and is synthesised from it by acetylation. The white crystalline form is commonly the hydrochloride salt, diacetylmorphine hydrochloride. It is highly addictive when compared to other substances, although occasional use without symptoms of withdrawal has been noted.

Heroin is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs[1]. It is not legal to manufacture, possess, or sell heroin in the United States, but diamorphine (heroin) is a legal prescription drug in the United Kingdom.
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