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Different drugs and their effects

Cannabis: Comes in two forms, hashish, a brown paste formed by crushing the cannabis resin; and marijuana, which is the bud of the plant. It is normally smoked although it can be eaten as well. Effects include muscle relaxation, higher levels of sensations, feeling hungry, drop in blood pressure, drop ability to concentrate, red-eye, paranoia, easy laughter, and bronchitis among others.

Cocaine: Crystallized, white compound with a bitter taste. Sold in powder form, it is snorted, smoked or injected intravenously. Cocaine produces feelings of strength, euphoria, increased heart rate, increased desire to drink and smoke, and dilated pupils. In high levels of cocaine consumption the user shows aggressive and paranoid attitudes.

Heroin: Available as a brown powder and consumed through intravenous injection, smoking or inhalation. Heroin’s effects are: high addiction levels, euphoria and the sensation of relief from pain, feelings of calmness and wellbeing, apathy toward sex and impossibility of reaching orgasm. There is a high risk of STD transmission if sharing needles.

Ecstasy, pills, MDMA: Available as colored pills with different markings.  MDMA comes in a crystalline powder. Effects last around 4 to 6 hours on average amount of consumption, and give the sensation of intense happiness, and of having a good time.  Under the influence, sexual relations may be difficult at first, but later cause pleasurable feelings. The effects of ecstasy are loss of sleep and appetite, raised body temperature, dry-mouth, pupil dilation, among others. The ¨hangover¨ from pills is depressive and produces feelings of low self esteem.

Alcohol: Liquid obtained through a process of yeast fermentation. It is a legal drug and there are different levels of alcohol content. The effects of alcohol vary depending on the amount consumed, age, and weight. With a moderate dose you feel more self-assured, euphoric, laugh easily and your reflexes slow down. Medium to high doses cause, somnolence (sleepiness), difficulty walking, dizziness, vomiting and nausea. An overdose produces loss of consciousness and motor control, and can even produce cardiac arrest.

Amphetamines, Speed: Sold as a white powder, or raw and scentless. The effects of Speed are loss of appetite, lack of feelings of fatigue or sleepiness, higher capacity to concentrate. Continued consumption takes its toll on the heart, liver, lungs and nervous system.

LSD and acid: Come in liquid drops or in small colored tabs. Effects are unpredictable, depending on the dose and the person taking it. It modifies your state of consciousness, and produces hallucinations, or seeing colors and movement where there are none. Prolonged use can produce paranoia, dementia and other mental disorders.

Poppers: Stimulant that widens the blood vessels of the nervous system. Poppers are clear odorless liquids inhaled from a bottle. They take effect very quickly, several seconds after inhaling, producing a sensation of euphoria and accentuated sociability.  Effects disappear after a short time, when the ¨crash¨ sets in, characterized by fatigue and depression. Consumption of poppers can result in:  abnormally accelerated heartbeat, nausea, headaches and vomiting.

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