Top Ten Street Drugs
Top Ten Street Drugs
Drug addiction is a major problem in the U.S. and many of the drugs used are sold on the street. The drug problem contributes to crime, the destruction of families, physical and mental disease and death. While there are many varieties of drugs being bought and sold on the streets of the U.S., these are the top ten most popular drugs currently sought after:
Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant and can be smoked or eaten. THC is the main ingredient in marijuana that causes addiction. Statistics show that 25 to 50 percent of daily marijuana smokers become addicted to the drug. Marijuana can cause damage to the heart and lungs, in addition to triggering anxiety, depression and psychotic episodes.
Sedatives, known as downers on the street, are highly addictive drugs. The adverse effects of sedatives include memory loss, paranoia, stupor, suicidal thoughts, aggression, respiratory depression and coma. When sedatives are mixed with alcohol or other drugs, they can be fatal.
Cocaine causes hyper-stimulation in the mind and body. Among the drug’s many street names are snow, beat, bazooka, C, boy and Charlie. Cocaine causes bizarre behavior, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, depression, panic, psychosis, seizures, convulsions and death from overdose.
Alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in the brain and causes physical structural damage to the brain. Adverse effects of alcoholism include arrhythmias, stroke, cardio myopathy, high blood pressure and disease of the liver, breast and pancreas. It also causes cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus.
Tobacco can be used in the form of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff. Tobacco causes serious illnesses such as cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat and esophagus. It also causes vasculitis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, heart attack, stroke and aneurism. Tobacco use is responsible for thousands of premature deaths every year.
Pain medications are highly addictive drugs that cause changes in mood, energy and concentration. These drugs stimulate and alter the sensory perceptions of light and sound and create a heightened awareness in the user. The adverse effects of these drugs include hallucinations, black-outs, loss of consciousness and death by overdose. They also cause problems with the stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
Heroin is the most powerful and addictive drug known to man. It affects the opioid receptors in the brain that control breathing, blood pressure and consciousness. Heroin causes feelings of euphoria and well-being in the user. The adverse effects of heroin abuse include collapsed veins, paralysis, memory loss, mental impairment and diseases of the heart, kidneys and liver. Some of the many street names for heroin are smack, dope, junk, H and black pearl.
Methamphetamines are highly addictive and can be smoked, taken orally, snorted or dissolved in water or alcohol, and injected. The many adverse effects of methamphetamine abuse include delusions, depression, mental impairment, mood swings, psychosis, paranoia and aggression. These drugs are toxic to the central nervous system and brain and can cause permanent damage to the body and brain.
Methadone is a synthetic narcotic that can be taken orally or injected. It affects the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. Abuse of methadone causes severe respiratory depression and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to coma and death. Some street names for methadone are chocolate chip cookies, fizzies and wafers. The withdrawal process of methadone is extremely difficult and many addicts cannot handle it without professional medical help.
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs that reduce nerve activity in the brain and spinal cord. They alter visual/spatial ability and thought processing and perception, which may become permanently damaged. The adverse effects of benzodiazepine abuse include confusion, dizziness, weakness, hostility, irritability, lack of coordination, slurred speech, breathing difficulties and coma. These drugs are a popular choice for date-rape because of their sedative effects.
Drug abuse is a growing problem in the U.S. Statistics show that people who gain knowledge and understanding about drug abuse will most often not take drugs. Teaching the triggers and reasons behind why people take drugs and offering positive, healthy alternatives also aids in fighting drug abuse. Education is key in fighting this battle.