Synthetic and herbal drugs, legal and illegal
Also known simply as designer drugs, synthetic drugs or herbal drugs. They are psychoactive substances (drugs) that in Ireland can be found in stores specializing in drug-related products (establishments that sell rolling papers, pipes, etc.), as well as sex shops and tattoo studios. They can also be purchased online. They are sold as an alternative to other drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines or heroin.
As far as we know, there are several hundred drugs of this type. These include:
Some are herbal, meaning they come from a plant. Others are synthetic, or in other words, they are made by man from chemical substances. Many are a mix of herbal and synthetic products.
These drugs are psychoactive substances, meaning they alter how you think, feel, and behave. Its effect on mental health is unpredictable and there is a high risk of addiction.
Not suitable for human consumption
Many of these drugs are labeled “not for human consumption”, so those who sell and supply them can circumvent the law and avoid responsibility for any negative consequences or risks. Some of them are used legitimately in industry and animal care.
None of these substances have been tested in humans. We know nothing about the medium and long-term effects that its consumption can cause. Some, and even all of them, could have dangerous side effects.
- Some make you feel confused and embarrassed, making you more likely to have an accident or put yourself in dangerous situations.
- They can cause anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia and even psychotic illnesses.
- Many are stimulants that prevent you from sleeping and subsequently make you feel exhausted and depressed.
- These drugs have harmful effects on mental health. Often, those who have taken them say they are “brained out of their minds” after consuming them.
- They can be toxic to humans. Even “natural” or “herbal” substances can cause health problems, such as kidney failure, coma, or in some cases death.
Colloquial names include pot, chocolate, hashish, weed, cost, shit.
Cannabis is a natural plant that is used in three main ways. The most common type is called resin, which comes in solid dark-colored blocks or chunks. The least common are the leaves and stems of the plant, called herb or maria. The third type, cannabis oil, is barely seen in Ireland.
Cannabis is usually rolled with tobacco into a ‘joint’ or ‘spliff’ and smoked, but it can also be cooked and eaten.
Effects – Getting high on cannabis makes you feel relaxed, talkative and happy. There are people who feel that time goes slower and also speak of a greater appreciation of colors, sounds and flavors. You may feel an excessive appetite or fierce hunger called ‘the munchies’ in English.
Side effects – Cannabis can affect memory and concentration and can leave you tired and unmotivated. If you are not used to cannabis or take a stronger type than you are used to, you may feel anxious, panicked, or confused. Or have delusions or hallucinations.
Risks – Many people consider cannabis a fairly safe drug. However, research shows that long-term users may have difficulty controlling their drug use and may become addicted. Smoking cannabis increases the risk of heart disease and cancers, such as lung cancer, and can affect fertility. In people who have underlying mental health problems, cannabis can trigger schizophrenia. In Ireland it is the second most common drug found in the systems of drunk drivers, after alcohol.
Colloquial names include: eve, adam, XTC, mitsubishis, supermans.
Ecstasy is usually made in clandestine laboratories in some European countries. It is usually sold in pills that have various logos or designs drawn on them. Sometimes ecstasy pills can contain other drugs and substances.
Effects – Ecstasy can make you feel more alert and in tune with your environment. You feel happy and calm, with a sense of affection towards other people. The sounds, colors and emotions are more intense. You have more energy, allowing you to dance for longer periods of time.
Side effects – Your body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate increase. Other physical effects include muscle aches, nausea, jaw stiffness, and teeth grinding. You may experience profuse sweating, tremors, and palpitations. You may feel dehydrated, confused, and tired.
Risks – Most legal drugs are tested on animals first, but ecstasy users are guinea pigs. Research shows that heavy weekend consumers experience a mid-week ‘crash’, leaving them very tired and depressed, often for days. It will be years before we know the long-term effects, but some users may be at risk of developing mental health problems later in life. Deaths from ecstasy are quite rare, but may be due to heatstroke, heart attack or asthma attacks.
Among the colloquial names are horse, donkey, horse, snow white.
Heroin is made from morphine, one of the drugs that comes from the opium poppy. It is consumed by injecting or smoking, which is called ‘hunting the dragon’.
Effects – Injecting heroin produces a quick burst of excitement followed by a dream-like feeling of peace. You feel loving, relaxed and sleepy. Pain, aggression and libido are reduced.
Side effects – Side effects of heroin and other opiates (such as morphine and methadone) include constipation and weakened breathing. However, most of the dangers of heroin come from overdosing or injecting the drug.
Risks – What is sold on the street, such as heroin, often contains other substances, such as sugar, flour, talcum powder and other drugs. These substances may seem harmless, but they can cause enormous injuries to the body, such as blood clots, abscesses, and gangrene, if injected. AIDS and hepatitis B and C can be spread by sharing needles. Using heroin frequently can be addictive, especially if the drug is injected.
Methadone is used as a replacement drug to treat heroin dependence. It comes in the form of a green liquid, which is drunk once a day to avoid feeling heroin withdrawal. The most serious risk of methadone is death from overdose.
Colloquial names include coca, snow, farlopa.
Cocaine is a white powder that is made from the leaves of coca, a plant that grows mainly in South America. It is usually consumed by inhaling the powder through the nose. Crack is not a different drug, but rather a more addictive form of cocaine. Crack, also called ‘rock’, ‘stone’ or ‘freebase’ is usually smoked. Cocaine is sometimes injected or eaten.
Effects – Cocaine is a powerful stimulant. It makes you feel more alert and active while reducing your hunger and thirst. Its effects can last up to 20 minutes after each dose. Smoking crack cocaine offers a shorter, but more intense high.
Side effects – Because of its powerful effects, cocaine users often want to take more. Large doses can make you feel fatigued, anxious and depressed, as well as aggressive at times.
Risks – Snorting cocaine can cause permanent damage to the inside of the nose. Cocaine use can damage the heart and lungs; large doses can cause death from heart attacks or blood clots. Taking cocaine with alcohol increases the risk of heart attack and death. Eating cocaine can damage intestinal tissue. The depression that follows the high can be serious and lead to suicide attempts. With heavy or long-term use, the excitement caused by cocaine can turn into restlessness, loss of sleep, and weight loss. There are people who develop a paranoid psychosis and can become violent. The strong withdrawal syndrome from cocaine, especially crack, can make you want to take the drug all at once and you can lose control of the degree of drug consumption.
Among the colloquial names are speed, espid, anfeta.
Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs; Some of them were used in the past as diet pills. They usually come in a greyish-white powder and are sold in wrapped paper packets, called ‘papelin’. They are usually swallowed, but can also be injected or snorted. A type known as ‘ice’ or ‘crystal’ can be smoked.
Effects – Depend on how the drug is taken. A small dose by mouth makes you feel more alert and active. Larger doses injected or smoked give the sensation of a burst of pleasure. Some speed users consume excessive amounts and feel hyperactive and talkative.
Side effects – As with other stimulant drugs, a crisis is experienced after the high caused by the drug. High doses of amphetamines can cause panic, paranoia and hallucinations. With long-term use, you can develop an illness known as ‘amphetamine psychosis’, with symptoms similar to schizophrenia. Paranoia can cause you to become violent if you believe you are being threatened or persecuted.
Risks – Amphetamine psychosis may continue after stopping use of the drug. If you become aggressive or violent, you may find yourself in dangerous situations. The risks of injecting the drug are the same as those of other substances, such as heroin.
The colloquial name is ‘glue sniffing’.
Solvents include products found in most homes, such as glues, paint thinner, nail varnish, light fuels, and aerosols, such as deodorants. They can be inhaled with a damp cloth, with the sleeve of your coat or directly from the can. The sprays are applied directly to the mouth. The abuse of solvents is common especially among adolescents. For most teens it’s a fad, but it can cause huge problems at school and at home.
Effects – Inhaling solvents can produce a high or high feeling similar to being drunk. The effects usually wear off after half an hour. You may appear drunk, slur your words, stagger, laugh, and lose control; then you may feel sleepy
Side effects – Your judgment may be affected and you may become aggressive. It is also common to suffer hallucinations, vomiting and fainting. After taking it, you have a hangover, with a headache and difficulty concentrating.
Risks – Death from solvent abuse is rare, but can occur for a variety of reasons; for example the first time the inhalation is performed. You are more prone to accidents under the influence of solvents. You can also choke or suffocate due to the action of the solvent inspired by the lungs, your vomiting, or the materials you use to inhale. Many solvents can cause heart failure.
LSD usually comes in small pills known as ‘lentils’ or ‘tripis’, in squares of paper or cardboard. Tripods usually have drawings or logos. And they are ingested.
Effects – LSD is a hallucinogenic drug. About an hour after taking the dose, it causes a trip in which your surroundings seem different and colors, sounds, and objects seem unreal or abnormal. During the trip you can have visions and hear voices; Time seems to slow down or speed up. The effects can last about 12 hours.
Side Effects – It is difficult to predict what type of trip you will experience. During a bad trip, you may feel terrified, feel like you are losing control, going crazy, or dying. A bad trip is likely to be experienced if one is already feeling anxious or depressed before taking the drug.
Risks – A bad trip can translate into mental illness in some people. Good trips are also dangerous, for example if you think you can fly or walk on water. Images may also return, in which you find yourself on the journey again for a short period of time, for weeks and months after having experienced it. These images can be distressing. Magic mushrooms are hallucinogens that grow in the wild. They can be eaten raw or cooked or served as tea. The effects of magic mushrooms are similar to a short, easy LSD trip. Just like with LSD, if you have bad trips, they can be terrifying. There is also the risk that you can make a mistake and eat poisonous mushrooms by mistake, thinking they are magic.
Real source of this article : Drugs.ie