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Illegal Drugs

There are many illegal drugs that are being abused by our society today. Drugs such as marijuana, meth, and the abuse of prescription medications are on the rise. It is important for everyone to raise their level of awareness in order to reduce the risk of drug abuse or to help someone they care for who is already suffering from drug abuse or addiction.

Illegal drugs come in different shapes, sizes, and types. Each particular drug produces unique effects on the user, this is why you may have heard the term "drug of choice". This means, the drug that the user prefers. People use illegal drugs for many reasons, boredom, to fit in, experimentation, etc. They begin to abuse drugs when they repeatedly take them to solve their problems or to make them feel "normal".

We will be highlighting the most commonly abused illegal drugs on this page.

Marijuana is by far the most widely used illegal drug. It is derived from the cannabis plant, which grows in many countries. People put it in rolling papers to make marijuana cigarettes, smoke it in bongs or pipes, or mix it in baked goods or tea and eat or drink it. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug. It is illegal to grow, sell, buy or use marijuana, hashish or hashish oil. Synthetic THC capsules are available by prescription to treat the nausea that cancer patients sometimes suffer with some forms of chemotherapy, and to treat wasting in AIDS patients. No form of the smoked drug has been approved as safe or effective for any medical use.

Cocaine and crack cocaine come from the leaves of the coca plant which grows primarily in South America. Cocaine is processed into a white powder which people snort or melt and inject. Crack is further processed into a substance that can be smoked. Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance. It is illegal to grow, process, sell or use cocaine or crack. Cocaine has limited use in medicine as an anaesthetic.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is a synthetic drug with both hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. It is chemically similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which damage the brain. Ecstasy is mainly taken in pill form but users have been known to crush and snort or inject the drug.

Opium is the dried milk of the poppy plant and contains morphine and codeine from morphine it is a short step to the production of heroin, a powder over twice as potent as morphine. Opium can be eaten, smoked and drunk. Morphine can be injected or taken orally. Heroin can be smoked in tobacco, heated on aluminium foil and inhaled, injected under the skin or into the muscle/ vein.

Meth is a powerfully addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. The drug is made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. These factors combine to make meth a drug with high potential for widespread abuse.

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