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