LSD is popular at venues that attract young people. So parties, college campuses, concerts, music festivals, raves and dance clubs may all be locales for LSD abuse.
The drug quickly causes uncontrollable alterations to a person’s perceptions. A perception of motion may result in trails appearing after the moving object. Colors, lights and time may be greatly distorted.
Some people suffer serious anxiety and terror when they can’t control their thoughts or perceptions. If the hallucinations are threatening, a person may attack others or he may try to flee. Either action can result in serious injury because the person is out of control of his perceptions of the current environment. So he may jump out a window or run into traffic.
LSD may be distributed on small squares of absorbent paper that have logos, words or cartoon characters printed on them. It may also be transported or sold as a liquid. An LSD experience is called a trip and may last for 12 hours.
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Swift emotional changes
Some people who use LSD experience a recurrence of the symptoms of LSD use day, weeks, months or even a year later. This is because some LSD is retained in the body, even after the drug seems to have been broken down and cleared from the person’s system. Flashbacks can occur without warning and may seriously disturb a person who thought they left the drug behind.
LSD is not said to be physically addictive but some people become psychologically addicted. They may feel they can’t cope with the real world and so alter their perception of it with LSD. Users of this drug do develop a tolerance, meaning that they must take a higher dosage to get the same effect.
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Perhaps the worse effect of LSD is its ability to cause psychosis, either short-term or long-term. There have been cases where a person became psychotic or schizophrenic for a period of months, and others where the person did not recover.
PCP’s full name is phencyclidine. It is synthesized in a lab. It is usually found as a white crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. It may be converted into a tablet, capsule or colored powder before sale. Many people acquire a yellowish liquid preparation called “wet” and dip a marijuana cigarette in the liquid. Wet may also be added to other dried leafy material such as oregano or mint, or a tobacco cigarette may be dipped in it.
PCP was originally used as an anesthetic for humans, but too many people became irrational, delusional and agitated from its use. It began being used as an illicit drug in the 1960s. It gained a reputation as a dangerous drug and fell out of use. As new synthetics have hit the market in the last several years, PCP and other hallucinogens have become more popular.
In addition to being a hallucinogen, PCP is a dissociative drug, meaning that it makes a person feel separated from his own thoughts, identity and body. Users also feel strong, invincible and powerful. But a user may manifest the apparency of severe mental illness, for example, he may appear schizophrenic.
Heavy users often suffer from memory loss, depression, weight loss and speech and thinking disabilities, even after they stop using the drug. PCP is addictive, meaning a person’s cravings may lead him to continue using the drug despite all these severe and dangerous symptoms.
Physical symptoms of PCP use
- Increased breathing rate with shallow breathing
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Profuse sweating
- Numb hands and feet
- Loss of coordination
At higher doses:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood pressure, heart rate and breathing drop
- Blurred vision
- Involuntary movement of eyes up and down
- Coma (especially when mixed with drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines)
Please warn your children of the immediate danger to their life that can result from using this drug! Because of the feelings of paranoia and power and the anesthetic effect of this drug, some users may become violent. Others may become suicidal. Some of the most horrific and unthinkable incidents of self-harm and murder have occurred while someone was using PCP. The anesthetic effect means a person feels no pain even after being seriously injured with broken bones or dislocated joints. They may attack a person or law enforcement officer and not quit until they are dead.
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Ecstasy (nickname for MDMA) is a popular drug at music venues. So nightclubs, bars, parties, music festivals, raves and concerts are likely to be distribution points for this drug. Ecstasy is often sold as a small colored pill, often in a blister pack labeled with images of people dancing, or it may be distributed as a liquid. It has long been known that few of the pills sold as Ecstasy are composed of pure MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The pills may actually contain ketamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, or whatever synthetic drug the pill manufacturer had on hand.
Ecstasy is referred to as an empathogen or entactogen. These terms mean that a drug causes a person to feel empathy for another person when no such feeling would logically exist. One young woman who was addicted to Ecstasy said that a man would give her Ecstasy at a nightclub and she would “fall in love” with him and be sure “he was the one.” She would have sexual relations with him and then go home and later not be able to understand why she took the drug or felt so strongly about the man. But the next night, she would be back at the club and taking the drug again.
- Greater enjoyment of dancing
- Distortions of perceptions, particularly light, music and touch
- Artificial feelings of empathy and emotional warmth
- Increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate
- Threat of dehydration
- Increased energy
- Lack of appetite
- Lack of fatigue when it would be normal
- Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- Muscle cramping
After Ecstasy’s immediate effects have worn off, some people, especially heavy users, complain of:
- Lack of appetite
- Less interest in or pleasure from sex
- Problems sleeping
- Aggressive behavior
- Difficulty focusing
- Poor memory
- Drug cravings
When a person is partying with Ecstasy, he may take more of the drug every three to six hours to keep the high going as the effects begin to wear off.
The tendency for a person to overheat after using Ecstasy can be dangerous or even fatal. Some nightclubs have cool rooms where cold water is sold, enabling a person to reduce their danger. A habitual Ecstasy user knows he has to keep his body heat under control.
Ecstasy kills by causing the body’s cooling mechanism to break down. Temperatures of 110 degrees Fahrenheit and higher have been seen when a person overdoses on MDMA. These high temperatures kill a person by causing generalized organ breakdown. Combining Ecstasy with other drugs, especially alcohol, can increase the risk of overheating as alcohol tends to dehydrate a person. In addition to overheating, an Ecstasy overdose can cause a person to faint and have seizures.
One of the common effects of Ecstasy is addiction. Some people will begin by using Ecstasy on the weekends, but after they have been using the drug for a while, find themselves deeply depressed after a few days. In fact, among some Ecstasy users, Tuesday is known as “Suicide Tuesday.” Some will struggle through this period until the weekend when they can get more Ecstasy. When a person has to get more of the drug midweek just to lift the depression, he (or she) is starting to be addicted.
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Ecstasy is an illegal drug although there are some medical uses being researched.
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