Heroin is an opiate processed directly from the extracts of the opium poppy. It was originally created to help cure people of addiction to morphine. Upon crossing the blood-brain barrier, which occurs soon after introduction of the drug into the bloodstream, heroin is converted into morphine, which mimics the action of endorphins, creating a sense of well-being; the characteristic euphoria has been described as an “orgasm” centered in the gut. One of the most common methods of heroin use is via intravenous injection.
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is both a stimulant of the central nervous system and an appetite suppressant, giving rise to what has been described as a euphoric sense of happiness and increased energy. It is most often used recreationally for this effect. Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 20 minutes to several hours, depending upon the dosage of cocaine taken, purity, and method of administration. The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage.
Methamphetamime, popularly shortened to meth or ice, is a psychostimulant and sympathomimetic drug. Methamphetamine enters the brain and triggers a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Since it stimulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, causing euphoria and excitement, it is prone to abuse and addiction. Users may become obsessed or perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand-washing, or assembling and disassembling objects. Withdrawal is characterized by excessive sleeping, eating and depression-like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug-craving.
4. Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine, often nicknamed “crack”, is believed to have been created and made popular during the early 1980s . Because of the dangers for manufacturers of using ether to produce pure freebase cocaine, producers began to omit the step of removing the freebase precipitate from the ammonia mixture. Typically, filtration processes are also omitted. Baking soda is now most often used as a base rather than ammonia for reasons of lowered odor and toxicity; however, any weak base can be used to make crack cocaine. When commonly “cooked” the ratio is 1:1 to 2:3 parts cocaine/bicarbonate.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the tryptamine family. Arguably the most regarded of all psychedelics, it is considered mainly as a recreational drug, an entheogen, and a tool in use to supplement various types of exercises for transcendence including in meditation, psychonautics, and illegal psychedelic psychotherapy whether self administered or not. LSD’s psychological effects (colloquially called a “trip”) vary greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. They also vary from one trip to another, and even as time passes during a single trip. An LSD trip can have long term psychoemotional effects; some users cite the LSD experience as causing significant changes in their personality and life perspective. Widely different effects emerge based on what Leary called set and setting; the “set” being the general mindset of the user, and the “setting” being the physical and social environment in which the drug’s effects are experienced.
Ecstasy (MDMA) is a semisynthetic psychedelic entactogen of the phenethylamine family that is much less visual with more stimulant like effects than most all other common “trip” producing psychedelics. It is considered mainly a recreational drug that’s often used with sex and associated with club drugs, as an entheogen, and a tool in use to supplement various types of practices for transcendence including in meditation, psychonautics, and illicit psychedelic psychotherapy whether self administered or not. The primary effects of MDMA include an increased awareness of the senses, feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love,happiness, heightened self-awareness, feeling of mental clarity and an increased appreciation of music and movement. Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making physical contact with others more pleasurable. Other side effects, such as jaw clenching and elevated pulse, are common.
Opium is a resinous narcotic formed from the latex released by lacerating (or “scoring”) the immature seed pods of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). It contains up to 16% morphine, an opiate alkaloid, which is most frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. Opium has gradually been superseded by a variety of purified, semi-synthetic, and synthetic opioids with progressively stronger effect, and by other general anesthesia. This process began in 1817, when Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner reported the isolation of pure morphine from opium after at least thirteen years of research and a nearly disastrous trial on himself and three boys.
Cannabis, known as marijuana in its herbal form, is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. Humans have been consuming cannabis since prehistory, although in the 20th century there was a rise in its use for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. It is estimated that about four percent of the world’s adult population use cannabis annually. It has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed, usually by smoking or ingestion. The minimum amount of THC required to have a perceptible psychoactive effect is about 10 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. The state of intoxication due to cannabis consumption is colloquially known as a “high”; it is the state where mental and physical facilities are noticeably altered due to the consumption of cannabis. Each user experiences a different high, and the nature of it may vary upon factors such as potency, dose, chemical composition, method of consumption and set and setting.
9. Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms (also called psilocybian mushrooms) are fungi that contain the psychedelic substances psilocybin and psilocin, and occasionally other psychoactive tryptamines. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common being magic mushrooms or ’shrooms. When psilocybin is ingested, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects. The intoxicating effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms typically last anywhere from 3 to 7 hours depending on dosage, preparation method and personal metabolism. The experience is typically inwardly oriented, with strong visual and auditory components. Visions and revelations may be experienced, and the effect can range from exhilarating to distressing. There can be also a total absence of effects, even with large doses.
PCP (Phencyclidine) is a dissociative drug formerly used as an anesthetic agent, exhibiting hallucinogenic and neurotoxic effects. It is commonly known as Angel Dust, but is also known as Wet, Sherm, Sherman Hemsley, Rocket Fuel, Ashy Larry, Shermans Tank, Wack, Halk Hogan, Ozone, HannaH, Hog, Manitoba Shlimbo, and Embalming Fluid, among other names. Although the primary psychoactive effects of the drug only last hours, total elimination from the body is prolonged, typically extending over weeks. PCP is consumed in a recreational manner by drug users, mainly in the United States, where the demand is met by illegal production. It comes in both powder and liquid forms (PCP base dissolved most often in ether), but typically it is sprayed onto leafy material such as marijuana, mint, oregano, parsley or Ginger Leaves, and smoked. PCP has potent effects on the nervous system altering perceptual functions (hallucinations, delusional ideas, delirium or confused thinking), motor functions (unsteady gait, loss of coordination, and disrupted eye movement or nystagmus), and autonomic nervous system regulation (rapid heart rate, altered temperature regulation). The drug has been known to alter mood states in an unpredictable fashion causing some individuals to become detached and others to become animated.