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Dangerous Drugs Defined
By Cpl. Christina Lovett
MCLB Albany

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga.(July 26, 2001) — Editor's note: With the rise in drug use among service members, take time to learn affects of designer drugs.

Ecstasy or MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a stimulant that combines properties of methamphetamine or 'speed' with mind-altering or hallucinogens. Considered the most commonly used designer drug, Ecstasy can be described as a hallucinogenic stimulant. Because of many different recipes used to manufacture Ecstasy, deaths have resulted from other substances being combined during the production of Ecstasy.

picture of designer drugs
Designer drugs such as Ecstasy can be white or off-white tablets or powder. Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, is most frequently sold as a slightly salty, clear liquid in eyedrop bottles, or other small bottles, where users pay by the capful or by the teaspoon. Photo by: Cpl. Christina Lovett

Ecstasy is found primarily at night clubs, bars, and all-night rave parties. Street names for Ecstasy include E, X, XTC, rolling, clarity, essence, Adam, go, disco biscuit, crystal and hug drug. Ecstasy is sometimes packaged in capsules or generic tablets with the average dose costing anywhere from $7-$30 per pill.

Current research shows that Ecstasy destroys serotonine-producing neurons in the brain, causing long-lasting depletion of brain serotonine levels. These areas in the brain regulate aggression, mood, sexual activity, sleep, memory and sensitivity to pain.

Ecstasy can also cause heat stroke. The body's temperature is regulated by the serotonine system. Heat stroke can lead to traumatic effect on the body's muscle tissue. The muscle is dissolved and floats into the blood stream. Patients find it hard to walk because the muscles are no longer whole and strong enough.

Ecstasy is classified as a 'Schedule 1' controlled substance along with other dangerous narcotics like heroin, cocaine and LSD. They carry penalties for possession, delivery, and manufacturing of these drugs.

Rohypnol is a strong sedative about 10 times the strength of Valium. Slang terms include Roach, Roche (ro-shay), Roofies, Run-Trip-and-Fall, R-2, Mexican Valium, Ropynol, Rib and Rope. It is manufactured as small, white tablets with 'Roche' inscribed on one side with an encircled '1' or '2' indicating a 1 mg. Or 2 mg. Dose.

After taking Rohypnol, the user may feel intoxicated, then sleepy, which may last up to eight hours. Users may exhibit slurred speech, impaired judgment, and difficulty walking. It can cause deep sedation, respiratory distress, blackouts, which may last up to 24 hours, and amnesia where the user forgets events that took place while intoxicated.

In some cases, the drug can cause users to become aggressive. Overdose and death may occur, especially when mixed with other drugs like alcohol.

GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is consumed orally in capsule form or as a grainy, white to sandy-colored powder. Powdered GHB is often dissolved in liquids like water or alcoholic beverages and then consumed. It is most frequently sold as a slightly salty, clear liquid in small bottles where users pay by the capful or by the teaspoon.

Street names of GHB include Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Scoop, and Somatomax. GHB is a powerful sedative, which induces a reduced level of consciousness. Doses of GHB between 10 and 20 mg. Produce painkilling or analgesic effects plus amnesia. Doses higher than 50 mg can result in general anesthesia with respiratory depression and coma.

Most GHB is created in illegal laboratories where purity and quality cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, users are not able to tell the dosage levels in the GHB they obtain resulting in overdoses. Another cause for concern is the toxic chemicals used in the synthesis of GHB which may cause chemical burns to the esophagus, mouth, and throat. GHB produces intoxication followed by deep sedation. It can cause nausea, vomiting, delusions, depression, vertigo, visual disturbances, seizures, respiratory distress, loss of consciousness, amnesia, and coma. When combined with alcohol and other drugs, the potential for deadly overdoses escalates rapidly.

Rohypnol and GHB have been called sexual assault drugs because of their potential to cause blackouts and amnesia at high doses. In the past decade, cases of sexual assault and gang rape where victims were sedated by Rohypnol and GHB have been report it has the most common method used to drug someone has been to slip it into a drink at a bar, night club, rave or party.

There are people who use Rohypnol or GHB to not only incapacitate men and women for the purposes of sexual assault, but also to target men and women for other criminal acts such as robbery.

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamid) is a potent hallucinogen derived from lysergic acid. Commonly referred to as acid on the club scene, a 'hi' or dose can be found as tablets, capsules, liquid form, thin squares of gelatin, or absorbed on colorful paper to be licked. Although colorless and odorless, LSD has a slight bitter taste. Slang terms for LSD include acid, blotter, cid, doses, trips, hits, tabs, dope, Microdot, White Lightning, Blue Heaven, Windowpane, and Sugar Cubes.

LSD is a Schedule 1 controlled substance with severe penalties for possession and use. LSD users under the influence will have dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased heart and blood pressure rates, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, tremors, and increased perspiration.

A 'bad trip' could include terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and flashbacks after the fact. Moreover, LSD may reveal long lasting psychological problems, including schizophrenia and severe depression. Users on LSD often experience synesthesia, which is 'hearing colors' or 'seeing sounds.'

Ketamine is primarily used in veterinary medicine, and its use as a surgical anesthetic in humans is limited. On the club scene, Ketamine can be found in liquid form or as a white powder that is snorted or smoked in marijuana or tobacco products.

A combination of Ketamine and cocaine is called 'CK.' Other slang terms are Special K, Vitamin K, New Ecstasy, Psychedelic Heroin, Ketalar, Ketaject, and Super-K. Users experience profound hallucinations and visual distortions similar to the effects of PCP. A larger dose can produce a more frightening experience.

Users may experience a loss of senses, sense of time, and identity which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, recurrent flashbacks, and potentially fatal respiratory problems. red ribbon icon

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