There was a time when doing drugs was commonplace in the high society circuit in our country. But since a while now, drugs are gaining increasing popularity with the youth of our ‘aam janta’. One look at the Maximum City will tell you that drugs and the high life (or should I say thug life) go hand-in-hand. The sudden spurt of drug abuse and party raids send a chill down my spine! We have got used to living in this sorry state! Can’t we see what the ‘white stuff’ does to us and how it harms us and the people around us? Cases of suicide, rapes, and other violence against women have surged in the past couple of years. Is the youth listening? Is anybody even concerned?
The sad reality is that not many are concerned. And this is simply because we don’t know what these drugs can do. So, let me throw light upon the commonly abused party drugs in our society and the damage they can cause us:
Although the list of drugs that are abused is long, the 5 most common ones are:
Mephedrone or meow meow
Marijuana: Marijuana, a plant indigenous to Asia, is commonly consumed in three forms – Hashish, Ganja and Bhaang. Hashish, also known as hemp, hash, charas, cream, Afghan snow, Kasa, or Bombay Black, is the resin of the plant. Ganja refers to the leaves and the stem of the plant. More common terms for Ganja are cannabis, pot, grass, dope, Mary Jane, weed, blunt and herb. Hashish and Ganja are crushed and mixed with tobacco; the mixture is then rolled into a cigarette and smoked. Bhaang refers to a dark brown preparation of Marijuana leaves mixed with other herbs and spices and usually had as a drink mixed with cold milk and dry fruits.
Visible effects of Marijuana:
Extreme anxiety, fear and paranoia
Uncontrollable bouts of laughter
Lack of clear thought or behaviour
Health risks and side effects of Marijuana:
A marijuana smoker is said to risk all the dangers of smoking plus many more including brain damage, infertility and loss of memory. One marijuana cigarette is said to be equivalent to 5 tobacco cigarettes. It is a dangerous gateway drug; which means over a certain period prolonged abuse of marijuana leads to a higher tolerance to the drug, resulting in the abuser trying dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Also read: Easy Ways To Quit Smoking
LSD: LSD is another popular party drug, which is highly intoxicating even if taken in a very small amount. It is odourless, tasteless, and colourless, and is therefore sometimes used as a ‘date rape’ drug. It can induce strong hallucinations where the user sees different colours and has strange experiences. Common terms used for LSD are acid, stamp, Lucy, sunshine and microdots. It is consumed by swallowing tablets or capsules, or licking it off pieces of paper, gelatin or cellophane, postage stamps etc.
Visible effects of LSD:
Fever, high body temperature
Dilation of pupils
Increased heartbeat and blood pressure
Loss of appetite
Health risks and side effects of LSD:
The worst side effect of LSD is known as a bad trip; in which abusers develop extreme forms of paranoia and fear. Another effect called as ‘flashback’ is a sudden recurrence of one’s experience, which could trigger strange experiences even after many months of abstaining from the drug. Schizophrenia and depression are also among the side effects of LSD.
Also read: HIV V/s AIDS – What’s The Difference?
Cocaine: This is a highly addictive stimulant derived from the coca plant. It looks like a white crystalline powder. A cheaper version of cocaine, called as crack, is more addictive and dangerous than cocaine. Every a single dose is enough to trigger addiction. Cocaine abusers typically develop a tolerance to the drug, and take it in higher doses to maintain the same high. It’s also called as coke, namak, coca, flake, snow, heaven dust, crack. It is usually snorted or sometimes, dissolved in water and injected.
Visible side effects of Cocaine:
Fast speech or talkativeness
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Panic and fear
Runny or bloody nose
Restlessness, irritability, sleeplessness
Bouts of high energy followed by extreme exhaustion
Health risks and side effects of Cocaine:
An addiction of Cocaine may result in seizures, cardiac arrest, respiratory problems that can lead to death, hallucinations, severe paranoia, etc. It can also lead to getting an HIV infection and other such diseases resulting from infected needles.
Heroin/Morphine: Morphine is an extract from the poppy plant, whereas Heroin is a derivative of morphine. These drugs are highly addictive and look like a white or off-white powder in its purest form. But it could also be brown in colour due to impurities. It is also called as smack, horse, junk, H, scag, or brown sugar. Heroin is consumed by melting the powder on a tin foil and either inhaling the fumes or injecting the liquid formed. It can also be smoked.
Visible effects of Heroine:
Runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, and chills
Lack of hygiene
Calmness when high on the drug
Health risks and side effects of Heroine: The heroin addict typically rushes to the bathroom in the morning for his morning dose. Heroin abuse often causes constipation, infections, collapsed veins, HIV (due to infected needles) and in some cases in may also lead to coma or death.
Mephedrone or meow meow: This is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes. It has gained huge popularity in the Indian market due to easy availability. Its other popular names include drone, M-CAT, and the most popular meow meow. The drug is extremely cheap and peddlers sell it on websites as it is not illegal in India yet. It can be snorted or swallowed and effects start showing within 30 minutes.
Visible effects of Mephedrone:
Mental and physical exhaustion
Enhanced sense of touch
Health risks and side effects of Mephedrone: Prolonged abuse of this drug can lead to loss of appetite, muscle clenching and tremors, headache, anxiety, increased blood pressure, chest pain, increased heartbeat, difficulty in urinating, changes in body temperature and blue/cold fingers.