Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cocaine, heroin amongst most popular drugs

The Time of India

New Dehli - Despite the arrival of 'designer drugs' in the market, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and psychedelics continue to be in great demand among drug users.

Following is a primer on the common drugs available:

Cocaine: It emerged under the name of 'crack' in 1980s and is prepared from the South American cocoa plant. Despite being one of the costliest narcotic substances, it continues to be easily available and is always in great demand.

It is usually snorted as white coloured powder but can be injected also. It is highly addictive and makes the user euphoric for about an hour.

Heroin: Also known as 'smack' or 'brown sugar', it is available in powder form. It is processed from morphine, which is extracted from the Asian poppy plant.

It could be either white or dark brown in colour. The former is considered to be "pure heroin", while the latter has some impurities due to the addition of sugar, starch, quinine or even powdered milk.

Brown coloured heroin is generally dissolved in water and then injected in the diluted form through a needle. White heroin is also snorted or smoked.

Marijuana: Commonly known as 'pot' or 'grass', marijuana is derived from the plant cannabis sativa. It is generally smoked but it can be cooked in certain foods and eaten also.

Marijuana has tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical that produces euphoria and mild disorientation at times.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): Commonly known as 'acid', LSD is derived from lysergic acid, which in turn is extracted from ergot - a grain fungus that grows on rye. It is colourless, odourless and tastes mildly bitter.

It is taken orally. It is produced in crystalline as well as liquid form.

Ecstasy: 'Ecstasy', like LSD is also a psychedelic and is available in tablet form. It is preferred by teenagers attending all-night dance parties. The users boast of a "cosmic experience" after consuming it.

It is easily available and much cheaper than LSD.


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