Truth About Drugs - Friends of Narconcon



Addiction–a state characterized by compulsive engagement despite known adverse consequences. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) characterizes Addiction as:·   Inability to consistently Abstain;·   Impairment in Behavioral control;

·   Craving; or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences;

·   Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships; and

·   A dysfunctional Emotional response.

Stimuli–something that causes a reaction in a living thing—can be chemical or behavioral.
Addictive drug–a drug that is both rewarding and reinforcing.
Addictive behavior–a behavior that is both rewarding and reinforcing, e.g. eating disorders.
Tolerance–repeated administration at a given dose brings about a lessened response. Stated another way, it takes a higher dose of the drug to achieve the same level of response achieved initially.
Sensitization–when repeated exposures result in a greater reaction to a given stimuli (and usually also to similar stimuli).
Physical dependence–physical adaptations by the body to repeated exposures where suddenly stopping exposure to that stimuli brings about withdrawal symptoms (e.g. for drugs, fatigue, chills, delirium tremens and the physical aspects of cravings).
Psychological dependence–emotional–motivational considerations regarding “I need…” that have withdrawal symptoms (e.g. anxiety) and contribute to cravings.
Rewarding stimuli–stimuli the individual believes helps them in some way; provides pleasure or alleviates a pain or problem (“punisher stimuli” that could weaken a corresponding behavior).
Reinforcing stimuli–stimuli that tend to strengthen certain behaviors. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience. Positive reinforcement provides a consequence an individual finds rewarding.
Withdrawal–a pattern of unpleasant physical and mental effects that result when you stop exposure to the stimuli.

Alcohol: The world’s most popular drug, alcohol is produced through the fermentation of fruits, vegetables and grains and is legal for adults in most countries.

Alkaloid: A family of some 5000 chemicals found primarily in plants and some fungi (some are also made by animals) that have a characteristic carbon-ring structure that contains nitrogen. The role of alkaloids for living organisms that produce them is still unclear. The prevailing theory is that they bring about protection from being eaten by insects and chordates (animals, including mammals / humans that have a dorsal nerve or spinal cord) as they commonly cause digestive nausea, diarrhea, and liver problems, they can disrupt nervous system function, and eating some plant alkaloids causes birth defects. Many of the plant alkaloids such as nicotine, strychnine, and caffeine prevent the growth of nearby plants. However, other alkaloids are used as hormones and neurotransmitters in animals. Because of their many diverse biological activities, many alkaloids and alkaloid derivatives are exploited for medical use including morphine, cocaine, and quinine, and some illicit drugs including the hallucinogen LSD are derived from alkaloids.

Amphetamines (speed): A group of synthetic psychoactive drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants and that include amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine and that are currently prescribed for narcolepsy (a disorder of drowsiness), obesity, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both methylphenidate and amphetamine have been in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act since 1971 and there is controversy as to whether the benefits outweigh these drugs’ harmful side effects. Prolonged or high dose use of amphetamines can cause a number of health problems including vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition, mental illness, toxic psychosis, cardiac problems, convulsions, coma and death.

In the school setting, requirements that parents (not their children) drop off all medications to their school nurse has somewhat helped curtail sharing of amphetamines prescribed to children.

Amyl Nitrite: This drug is a yellowish, volatile, inflammable liquid with a fruity odor called “snappers” or “poppers”, as they come in glass capsules that are broken. It is sometimes prescribed for heart problems as it dilates the coronary arteries allowing more oxygen to reach the heart; however other vasodilators such as nitroglycerin are more common. “Poppers” are often used in an effort to enhance sexual climax.

Angel Dust: (slang) phencyclidine, an anesthetic drug used as an animal tranquilizer, also widely used in several forms as an illicit hallucinogen. Also called PCP.

Agent Orange: A powerful herbicide and defoliant used by US armed forces during the Vietnam War to defoliate jungles (1965-70) and that was contaminated with dioxin, a toxic and environmentally persistent chemical known to cause serious health problems, including cancer, genetic damage and birth defects in offspring of those exposed. The name Agent Orange came from the color of the identifying stripe on the drums in which it was stored.

Antibiotics: Medications that inhibit the growth of bacteria and are used extensively in treating bacterial diseases.

Antihistamines: These drugs block the effects of the immune system hormone histamine thereby temporarily relieving sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and itching of the nose and throat.

Baby Hawaiian Wood Rose: The seeds of this plant, commonly found in dried plant arrangements, have a lysergic acid derivative named ergine. The extract is illegal and classified as a schedule III depressant by the DEA. The substance also has hallucinogenic/psychedelic properties and usually causes nausea and vomiting.

Barbiturates: A family of drugs prescribed to slow the nervous system, thereby calming nervousness and inducing sleep, and are derived from barbituric acid.

Belladona: A poisonous hallucinogen found in the Atropa Belladona plant, also known as “devils herb” or “deadly nightshade”.

Benzodiazepine: Benzodiazepines are a family of medications prescribed for short-term relief (2-4 weeks maximum) of insomnia or anxiety where it is severe, disabling or causing unacceptable distress, as well as seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. Some benzodiazepines have very long—200 hour—half-lives (the rate of clearance from the body—specifically, the amount of time to clear half the amount) and due to that have high side effect profiles. Even short-term use can cause memory problems, depression, Irritability and loss of muscle coordination. Chronic use of benzodiazepines, leads to the development of tolerance where a higher dose is required to achieve the same sensations. They are quickly addictive and involve a difficult withdrawal that has to be monitored for seizures. The first of the large benzodiazepine drug family was discovered by accident in 1957 by a lab working on synthetic chemical dyes. Librium was followed by diazepam (Valium) and many others over the next decades include Xanax.

Booster Session: from “booster”: A person or thing that supports, assists, or increases power or effectiveness. Booster sessions are refresher sessions of the main content of formerly conducted interventions (i.e. school-based prevention programs)

Caffeine: The stimulant drug found in coffee, chocolate, some herbs and their teas.

Cocaine: The chemical benzoylmethylecgonine is found in the oil of the coca plant leaf which, when extracted. Is then chemically changed to a water-soluble powder form called “cocaine hydrochloride” then cut with various other powders and sold on the street as cocaine. A bitter, crystalline chemical, cocaine is a strong stimulant, local anesthetic and a highly-addictive, illegal drug. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality or agitation along with the short-term intense feeling of happiness that drug users value. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, elevated body temperature, sweating, and large pupils. Traditionally, cocaine was a “rich man’s drug” and was snorted (technically insufflation) or injected. Another derivative (see crack cocaine) is now sold at prices low enough that even low income adolescents and adults can afford to buy it. In all forms, the desired mental effects are very short, and drug tolerance increases quickly. Thus the “habit” and expense also become quite large often very quickly. The production, distribution and sale of all cocaine products is restricted (and illegal in most contexts) in most countries.

Codeine: A derivative of the opium poppy, codeine is classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Less powerful than morphine or heroin, codeine is sometimes prescribed to relieve chronic coughing and pain.

Controlled Substance: The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classifies drugs according to risk of abuse or harm. Substances are placed in their respective schedules based on whether they have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, their relative abuse potential, and likelihood of causing dependence when abused. A Schedule 1 Controlled Substance has been determined to have a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, a high potential for abuse, and are banned from medical practice in the US as there are available options with less harmful drug profiles. A Schedule 2 Controlled Substance has been determined to have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, but for which there is no better medical option.

Cough Syrup: Whether over-the-counter (usually with dextromethorphan) or prescription (often with codeine) heroin addicts sometimes use cough syrup as a heroin substitute to avoid withdrawal symptoms. A 2008 study found that one in 10 American teenagers has abused products with DXM to get high. These products also contain acetominophen and other compounds that, at high levels and mixtures cause additional health problems including liver damage (Banken and Foster 2008).

“Crack” Cocaine: An alternate processing of coca plant oil, the “base” form as opposed to the “salt” form (see cocaine) is often made from lower-quality starting material and becomes smokable cocaine. It is called “crack” because it snaps and cracks when heated and smoked. The difference between “freebase” which is also smoked and “crack” cocaine is processing that makes unnecessary the equipment and explosive chemicals associated with freebasing. Smoking or vaporizing base cocaine produces an immediate effect or “rush” that can be very powerful (and quickly addicting) followed by several hours of elevated heart rate and other stimulatory effects. The initial euphoric sensation is very brief, prompting the user to smoke more immediately—even though the other physical effects have not subsided and become more pronounced. Crack is most often packaged in vials or plastic bags and sold in small quantities, usually 300-500mg or enough for two to three inhalations.

Cutting Agents: Compounds used to dilute a drug thereby increasing the profit for the seller including cheaper drugs with similar physical effects as well as, more recently, combinations of drugs with the new blend designed to appeal to the consumer. Various powders used to dilute cocaine, heroin and other drugs include lactose “milk sugar” is an example, others include mannitol, flour and powdered milk to ground drywall and other common, easily obtainable substances.

Defoliant: A chemical used to cause plants to lose their leaves. For example, the various Agent Orange, Agent Purple, etc., that were used to deprive enemy troops or guerrilla forces of concealment during the Vietnamese War.

Delirium Tremens (DT’s): From Latin and means literally “trembling delirium” DT’s are a violent delirium (temporary stat of extreme mental excitement, anxiety and frightening hallucinations) and tremors (shaking, shivering, irregular heart rate) that are a severe form of withdrawal when stopping abruptly from excessive drinking of alcohol or strong addiction to tranquilizer drugs of the barbiturate or benzodiazepine classes (DT’s have been reported after just one month of very excessive drinking).

Demerol: A synthetically produced narcotic that acts like morphine or heroin.

Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM): Introduced in the U.S. in the 1950s, DXM is the most commonly used cough suppressant in the U.S., in nearly half the over-the-counter drugs for cough, cold, and flu including generic store brands whether cough syrups, capsules, lozenges, tablets, and gelcaps. DXM is also sold on the internet. According to some studies, half of all teen poison control center cases involve DXM (Forrester 2011, Wilson, Ferguson et al. 2011). At high doses, dextromethorphan can cause serious nervous system shut-down and coma, impaired vision, slurred speech, impaired mental function and memory loss, sweating and fever, rapid breathing, irregular heart rate, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations.

Diazepam: see Valium

Dilaudid: A semi-synthetic opiate much like morphine.

Drug:Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree to which they are taken determines the effect. A small amount gives a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one. This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount. Caffeine is a drug. So coffee is an example. 100 cups of coffee would probably kill a person. Ten cups would probably put him to sleep.” by L. Ron Hubbard in Clear Body Clear Mind.

Ecstasy (Molly, E, pills, Ex, pingers, E n C, eccy, MDMA, XTC, eggs, disco biscuits…): Ecstasy tablets are supposedly made up of the primary ingredient methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), but as the ingredients required to make synthetic drugs are becoming more difficult to obtain, the formulation of pills marketed as ecstasy can vary greatly. They are more likely to contain methamphetamine (speed) combined with a synthetic hallucinogen or para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA).

The stimulant side of ecstasy speeds up the central nervous system and also affects appetite, energy level, heart rate, high blood pressure, high body temperature, tremors, nausea and osmotic balance. At the same time the hallucinogenic effects can affect perception, causing things to appear distorted or imagined. Because the initial euphoric effect is typically short—and a tolerance can develop as well—many recreational users will take more pills to get the “high” back. The stimulant effects, however, persist longer and will increase with additional drug taking creating a serious risk of hyponatraemia (low electrolyte), hyperpyrexia (an abnormally high fever) and consequent organ shut down, coma or even death.

A variety called “Herbal Ecstasy” is currently sold legally in drug paraphernalia shops and contains a plant extract called “ephedra” or variants of it and is not MDMA.

Ephedra: An evergreen shrub-like plant native to Central Asia and Mongolia contains the chemical ephedrine, a powerful nervous system and heart stimulant. For more than 5,000 years, the ephedra herb was used in China and India to treat colds, fever, flu, headaches, asthma, wheezing, and nasal congestion. More recently, ephedrine was chemically extracted from the ephedra plant and formulated in over-the-counter decongestants, diuretics, weight loss supplements, used for increased energy, and for enhanced athletic performance. These products were labeled as herbal or dietary supplements.

Ephedra can have serious medical and physical side effects and can be addictive. Between 1995 and 1997, the FDA received more than 900 reports of ephedra toxicity including 37 cases of stroke, heart attack, and sudden death. In 2004, the FDA banned the U.S. sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra.

Ergot: The fungus Claviceps Purpurea grows on wheat and rye plants and is often referred to as “wheat rust”. LSD is made from the ergot fungus.

Fatty Tissues: “Tissue” in biology refers to a collection of similar cells from the same origin that together carry out a specific function. Organs are combinations of different tissues to have a specific function. “Fatty Tissue”—technically called adipose tissue—is a special type of connective-tissue that can store and also make fat. Fatty tissue, or adipose, has several different forms with functions including hormone synthesis for immune function, appetite control, and insulin regulation (Galic, Oakhill et al. 2010, Smitka and Maresova 2015); adipose insulates the body and can create body heat, stores fat for use as future energy, and pads inner organs as physical protection. Chemicals that dissolve in fat have been found to concentrate at high levels in adipose tissue (Yu, Laseter et al. 2011).

Freebasing / Freebase cocaine / Freebase heroin: In chemistry, the term “freebasing” means converting an ionic form of a chemical into its free base. Thus, cocaine is “freed” from cocaine-HCl by treatment (usually with ether) and then heated to produce vapors for inhalation. See also “crack”cocaine. Freebasing refers to smoking the free base cocaine (or crack cocaine) or heroin. Freebasing became popular in the United States during the 1980s, mainly because of the fear of diseases spread by the sharing of hypodermic needles. However, freebased drugs are not stable and must be made at the time of use requiring special equipment and chemicals.

Friends of Narconon: Originally established in the early 1980’s by volunteers and celebrities to provide kids with drug free role models through promotion of anti-drug messages using live events such as Celebrity Softball Games, Friends of Narconon became licensed as a Narconon organization in 1995. Its mission is to bring drug education to the youth of the world through video, materials and ongoing activities. As a 501(c)3 social betterment non-profit, Friends of Narconon is run by volunteers comprised of parents and professionals in many fields. Friends of Narconon produces the Narconon Truth About Drugs Video Series and runs a membership campaign designed to help members get the word out to the youth of society. Their general website is:

GHB (cherry meth, liquid X, scoop, a “date rape drug”: the chemical, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a naturally occurring biological compound sometimes used in a medical settings as a general anesthetic or to treat certain medical conditions. As a central nervous system depressant, GHB produces a hypnotic or semi-conscious state or even an artificial sleep although it produces a stimulant effect at lower doses due to its action on the GHB receptor. Under many street names, such as After several high-profile cases of GHB as a date rape drug as well as a series of deaths, GHB became classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

Half-life: The rate of breakdown or clearance of a chemical. The time required for any specified property (e.g., the concentration of a substance in the body) to decrease by half.

Hashish: A drug made from the resin contained in the flowering tops of C. Sativa (marijuana), chewed or smoked for its intoxicating and euphoric effects.

Hashish Oil: The extracted oil of the marijuana plant and is usually dark and sticky.

Heroin: A white, crystalline, narcotic powder, derived from morphine—a compound extracted from the opium poppy. As long ago as 3400 B.C., the opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia then spread to Egypt and Greece. Alexander the Great introduced it to Persia; from there it was traded to China, Europe and ultimately the US. Originally prized and associated with “mystic” qualities. That opium was “magical” was discarded by the famed “Father of Medicine” Hippocrates who noted its effectiveness as a painkiller and in blood clotting. Smoking opium and drinking tinctures continued in both medicinal and recreational uses. By the 1830’s nearly 90 percent of Chinese adults were addicted to opium resulting in a Chinese ban and criminalization.

In 1803, Friedrich Sertuerner of Germany discovered the active ingredient of the opium poppy: morphine. This discovery was considered a milestone, that opium had been “tamed.” In 1843, Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburgh discovered the technique injecting morphine with a syringe—faster acting than ingestion, then the typical administration route for morphine. The reliable and long-lasting effects as a pain-killer are still valued and morphine is often used for extreme pain in hospitals and for end-of-life care. Morphine is extremely addictive and a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the US.

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) was first derived from the morphine alkaloid found in opium in the late 1800’s. It is roughly 2-3 times more potent and was initially considered a highly effective medication without the morphine side effects or addictive qualities. It was quickly prescribed for coughs, chest pains, and the discomfort of tuberculosis—one of the leading causes of death at that time. As it was thought not to be addictive, heroin was prescribed as a substitute or step-down drug to end morphine addiction and despite many medical professionals reporting serious withdrawal symptoms.

The word “Heroin” is derived from the Greek word hero allegedly because of the feelings of power and euphoria which it stimulates.

Honey Oil: The same as hashish oil except it is clear and looks much like honey.

Ice (crystal meth, shabu, crystal, glass, shard, p, ox blood, whiz, gooey): A smokable form of methamphetamine which is a man-made stimulant drug. Methamphetamine was first synthesised from ephedrine in 1918. Ice is a crystalline version that is typically smoked causing the drug effect to occur more quickly.

Ice Breaker: Something used to ease the initial tension, restraint, or awkwardness of a meeting or social gathering, such as a classroom.

Inhalants: Any number of substances are made with solvents that produce strong intoxicating vapors. Paint, paint thinner, modeling glue, gas liquid white out, magic markers, and many common items are made with chemicals that vaporize easily, are very dangerous and are often used by younger children.

Jimsonweed: The plant Datura Stramonium, also called “locoweed” contains powerful and poisonous hallucinogens atropine, scopolamine and hyscocyamine.

Ketamine (Special K, Horse Trank): Ketamine—chemically similar to phencyclidine (PCP)—was first developed in the 1960’s as a fast-acting anesthetic to resolve the problems associated with Phencyclidine (PCP) but due to serious PCP-like side effects of hallucinations, delirium, and mania, ketamine was approved only for veterinary use. Ketamine affects everyone differently. “Going into the K Hole”—as drug-abusers call it—causes a loss of muscle functions with hallucinations causing a person to see, hear, smell, feel or taste things that aren’t really there or are different from how they are in reality. But ketamine quickly develops a tolerance where more drugs are needed to produce the same effect and withdrawal is difficult marked by cold sweats, chills, irregular heartbeat, cravings & nightmares. Ketamine use causes memory loss, confusion and clumsiness and may eventually cause “ketamine bladder syndrome”, a painful condition needing medical care. Symptoms include difficulty holding in urine (incontinence) and bladder ulcers. Timothy Leary, American psychologist and writer known for advocating psychedelic drugs including LSD also promoted Ketamine towards the end of his life. The US Drug Enforcement Agency; classifies ketamine as a Schedule III agent.

Librium: Trademark name for Chlordiazepoxide, a prescription tranquilizer in the benzodiazepine family. Schedule II Controlled Substance in the US and prescribed only very short term to suppress anxiety symptoms. Considered unsafe for longer-term use due to accumulations in the body, especially among the elderly.

Lipophilic: tending to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats rather than water. Refers to the ability of a chemical to dissolve in fats, oils, lipids, and certain solvents such as hexane or toluene.

LSD: Short for d-lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug, producing a temporary schizophrenic psychotic state at extremely small doses: 200 to 400 micrograms or less. It is well known for producing long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression as well as “flashbacks”—an unpredictable recurrence of the hallucinations, including bad trips weeks months or even years in the future. First synthesized from the fungus ergot in 1938 by Albert Hofmann of the Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland, LSD is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance sold under more than 80 street names including acid, blotter, cid, doses, dots and trips, as well as names that reflect the designs on the sheets of blotter paper (for example, “purple dragon”).

Marijuana: Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana including “pot,” “herb,” “weed,” “boom,” “Mary Jane,” “gangster,” and “chronic.” It is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or in a pipe or bong. In recent years, it has appeared in blunts—cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and re-filled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug or drugs, such as crack and PCP. Of the 88 and growing cannabinols in the marijuana plant, the one that produces the euphoric effect is Delta-1-tetrahydrocannobinal-THC. There are also more than 500 other compounds in the plant, similar to those found in cigarette tobacco, known to cause liver problems, lung disease and cancer.

MDMA: see Ecstasy

Mescaline: The primary hallucinogenic chemical found in the Peyote cactus. Despite name similarities, mescaline is not found in the mescal cactus from which tequila is acquired; nor is it the hallucinogen found in the highly toxic “mescal bean” of the evergreen shrub named Sophora secundiflora.

Methadone: Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid (a synthetic opiate) that was originally synthesised by the German pharmaceutical company Axis during the second world war. It was first marketed as ‘Dolophine’ (to honour Adolph Hitler) and used to treat severe pain. Although still occasionally used for pain relief, today methadone is primarily used in the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone are longer-lasting than those of morphine-based drugs, up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day for heroin detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone is addictive. Withdrawal from methadone is more challenging that heroin.

Methamphetamine: Is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” In its smoked form it is often referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” and “glass.” Originally used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers, like other amphetamines, it causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and initially a sense of well-being. This state can include high agitation that in some individuals can lead to aggressive, even violent behavior. Methamphetamine affects last 6 to 8 hours followed by a rebound depression. At higher doses and with longer-term use, methamphetamine causes brain damage, can bring about psychosis, destroys nerve cells, causes brain hemorrhaging and can also lead to a form of muscle wasting called rhabdomyolysis marked by muscle tissue breakdown products darkening the urine. Dry mouth, cravings for sugary beverages, drug-induced teeth grinding, and other aspects of using meth contribute to gum disease and loss of teeth—called “meth mouth.”

Tolerance and addiction develop rapidly and the methamphetamine withdrawal syndrome can be difficult including a protracted withdrawal phase than can last months to years after drug use stops.

Although the chemicals used to make meth are neurotoxic, can cause explosions, and leave residues wherever methamphetamine is made contaminating the walls, carpet, furniture etc. thereby exposing household members and children to toxic chemicals, the ingredients are easily acquired and clandestine meth labs have proliferated.

Methylphenidate: see Ritalin.

MMDA/MDA: Both are Schedule 1 Controlled Substances in the US. In the amphetamine / hallucinogenic drugs and similar chemically to Ecstasy

Morning Glory Seeds: Like the Hawaiian Baby Wood Rose, it contains a lysergic acid derivative that is hallucinogenic.

Morphine: One of the main narcotic alkaloids in latex from the opium plant, morphine is a powerful narcotic that is used medically for severe pain. Heroin is derived from morphine. Morphine is named after the Greek god Morpheus, the god of sleep. See also Heroin, opium.

Narcotic: Of or having the power to produce narcosis, a stat of stupor or greatly reduced activity produced by a drug.

Nicotine: One of hundreds of chemicals in the tobacco plant (not to mention those added by cigarette manufacturers), nicotine is a mild stimulate that is strongly addicting. It is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae or belladonna) family of flowering plants. Commercially made from the leaves of Nicotiana tabacum, nicotine is also found in small amounts in other plants and common nightshade vegetables including eggplant. Smoking cigarettes is linked with cancer. The chemicals in cigarette smoke as well as nicotine alone are major risk factors for the newborn, increasing sickness and even deaths during pregnancy and beyond. Nicotine itself directly disrupts the way the fetus develops.

Opioid: a synthetic opiate.

Opium / Opiate: The latex, or milky fluid containing a mixture of proteins, starches, sugars, oils, alkaloids and other chemicals, found in the opium poppy. Morphine, codeine, and thebaine are the main narcotic alkaloids in the opium latex.

Drug stories abound where addicted persons try to blame positive drug tests on eating poppy seeds or the curious eat poppy seeds to produce a drug effect. The amount of narcotic in culinary poppy seeds is extremely low and drug test detection is sufficiently precise (the levels are set sufficiently high to be above the amount that could be explained by food as well as detecting compounds found only in the drug and not food) that these are just legends.

Oxycodone (brand names Roxicodone®, Oxycontin®, Oxecta®): Due to high addictive properties, all formulations of this synthetic opiate are classified as Schedule II controlled substances. Also found in Percocet and Percodan, oxycodone is a legal narcotic that is available by prescription to treat severe pain. OxyContin is a time-release medication that acts to relieve pain over a 12-24-hour period. Unfortunately, people who take oxycodone medications every day, even as prescribed, may become physically dependent on the drug, and may suffer withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking it. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, and involuntary leg movements. Therefore when oxycontin is used medically, properly trained physicians monitor each patient for signs of dependence or addiction and taper patients off the drug where dependence has occurred and when the underlying cause of the pain has been resolved.

First listed as a dangerous drug in the 1960’s, it wasn’t until the 1995 FDA approval of Oxycontin that reports of illicit use and abuse began to increase. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reports show that the number of oxycodone emergency cases increased nearly 36 percent in a single year, from 3,369 in January to June 1999 to 5,261 in January to June 2000. In 2009, roughly 343,000 visits to the emergency room involved prescription opioid pain relievers, a rate more than double that of 5 years prior and 10x the number seen a decade previously according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which monitors emergency department (ED) visits in selected areas across the Nation.

According to studies, nearly 25 percent of those individuals enrolling in substance abuse treatment programs with an Oxycontin addiction were previously “drug naive” or non-drug using individuals who became addicted after being prescribed Oxycontin for legitimate pain. The other 75 percent listing Oxycontin addiction on treatment enrollment primarily obtained the drug from family, friends, or other illegitimate sources and usually in a progression after using other drugs of abuse(Carise, Dugosh et al. 2007).

Para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA also called 4- methoxyamphetamine 4-MA. “Dr. Death”): A synthetic amphetamine that is often sold as MDMA (Ecstasy) although it is not, or used to cut Ecstasy. PMA overdose is a serious medical emergency and may occur at only slightly above the doses used recreationally, especially if mixed with other stimulant drugs such as cocaine or MDMA.

Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust, pharmaceutically as Sernyl®): Initially developed as a human anesthetic; due to the side effects of hallucinations, delirium, and mania, its development for human medical use was discontinued in the 1960s and phencyclidine is used today only as a veterinary tranquilizer. Because PCP can be produced easily with common industrial chemicals, it is commonly used to “lace” marijuana aiming at increasing the drug effect and, potentially, making “high quality” claims about the marijuana source. Even low-level PCP use can trigger severe mood disorders, and amnesia, acute anxiety and a feeling of impending doom, paranoia and violent hostility—including self-mutilation. At high doses of PCP, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death although death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication. PCP is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Percodan: A synthetically produced narcotic that contains a mixture of aspirin and oxycodone prescribed for short-term pain relief.

“Persian” heroin: A smokable form of heroin; smoking it is often called “chasing the dragon.”

Peyote: A small, spineless cacti (Lophophora williamsii) that contains the hallucinogenic alkaloids, particularly mescaline.

Phenobarbital: A white crystalline powder used as a sedative and hypnotic.

Poision: Any substance that can impair function, cause structural damage, or otherwise injure the body. Related: toxin (from World English Dictionary) Biologically speaking, any substance, if given in large enough amounts, is poisonous and can cause death. Many substances used as medications have lethal doses at or less than one order of magnitude higher than their therapeutic dose (e.g. the pain reliever fentanyl).

Psilocybe: A family of mushrooms growing worldwide, some of the psilocybe species make hallucinogenic compoundss named “psilocybin” and “psilocin.” Thus, those species are often referred to as “magic mushrooms.”

Quaaludes (Methaqualone, “Ludes”): First synthesized in 1951 as an anti-malaria drug, methaqualone was first sold in the US in 1965 under the trade name Quaalude® for assisting with sleep. Once thought to be safer than barbiturates, it became popularized in the recreational drug scene during the 1970s and until the drug was discontinued in the United States in 1985, mainly due to its psychological addictiveness and recreational abuse.

Ritalin® (Concerta®, Methylin®, Medikinet®, Equasym XL®, Quillivant XR®, Metadate®): are all trade names for methylphenidate, Known generically as. According to federal law, Ritalin is a Schedule 2 controlled substance, in the same addictive category as amphetamine, methamphetamine and cocaine, powerful drugs bearing what the National Institute on Drug Abuse terms “a high potential for abuse.”

Rohypnol (roofies, roche, R-2, rib and rope—the “date rape drug”): A sleeping pill and muscle relaxant made and marketed outside the US by Roche Pharmaceuticals, rohypnol is not approved for medical use or manufactured in the United States due to its strong side effects including a partial amnesia where individuals cannot recall events while under the drug influence. Although classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance reflecting its medical use outside the US, penalties for manufacture, trafficking and use within the US are the same as Schedule I substances. Since the 1990s Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, and also as an aid for sexual assault thus its “date rape” status.

Rohypnol is a very potent benzodiazepine with general properties similar to those of Valium (diazepam) In the 60 countries worldwide where rohypnol is legal, it is used as a sedative for insomnia and as a pre-anesthetic.

Schedule I Controlled Substances: A US Drug Enforcement Agency classification that designates compounds with no currently accepted medical use in the United States due to a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision and a high potential for abuse. Drugs / Substances listed in DEA Schedule I include:

Heroin (diacetylmorphine)

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)

Marijuana (cannabis, THC)

Mescaline (Peyote)

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or “ecstasy”)

GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid)

Ecstasy (MDMA or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)



Schedule II/IIN Controlled Substances (2/2N): AUS Drug Enforcement Agency classification that designates compounds with a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. However, with medical supervision these drugs can be prescribed for certain situations.

Examples of Schedule II narcotics include: hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze®, Duragesic®).  Other Schedule II narcotics include: morphine, opium, and codeine.

Examples of Schedule IIN stimulants include: amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®).

Other Schedule II substances include: amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

Session: A single continuous course or period of lessons, study, etc., in the work of a day at school: two afternoon sessions a week.

Side effect: Any effect of a drug, chemical, or other medicine that is in addition to its intended effect. Usually an effect that is harmful or unpleasant.

Sin Semilla: Derived from Spanish (“sin semilla” = “without seeds” but is often misspelled as one word). Cannabis sativa plants are either male or female, the female plants produce a flower with a sticky residue that attracts male pollen. This residue contains higher concentrations of psychoactive cannabinoids than plant leaves or male pollen-producing flowers—a level that diminishes with pollination and seed production. Thus the label of “sensimilla” implies higher potency and no or few seeds.

STP (Serenity, Tranquillity and Peace): A synthetic hallucinogen whose chemical name is 2, 5-Dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine, STP was first synthesized by pro-psychedelic pharmacist Alexander Shulgin in 1964. Shulgin actively worked to produce drugs for psychedelic experiences and tested them on himself while employed for Dow Chemical.

STP drug effects can take hours to manifest and can last for 24 hours to several days due to long rate of breakdown and elimination from the body. STP is associated with many “bad trips” and its use is fairly rare today. STP is a Schedule I illegal drug in the US.

Street Drugs: Drugs which are sold or distributed “on the streets” or used in ways unintended by their manufacturer or doctor’s prescriptions.

Tobacco: The leaves of the tobacco plant are smoked in cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewed as chewing tobacco. Tobacco contains the drug nicotine plus a mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic; about 70 can cause cancer according to the US Centers for Disease Prevention.

Tranquilizer: Any of number of drugs or drug families that have a sedative or calming effect without inducing sleep and are taken to reduce tension or anxiety

Valium®: Trademark name for diazepam, a tranquilizer belonging to the benzodiazepine drug class that relaxes muscles and is often prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. Valium side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, spinning sensation, fatigue, constipation, ataxia (loss of balance), memory problems, restlessness or irritability, muscle weakness, nausea, drooling or dry mouth, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, skin rash, itching, or loss of interest in sex.

Vicodin®: A combination of two pain-reducing drugs, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone (an opioid pain medication).

Xanax®: Trademark for the drug alprazolam which belongs to the benzodiazepines. Used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. The Xanax label states it is not for use in individuals under 18 years of age, is known to harm unborn babies and produces withdrawal symptoms in newborns of women who continue Xanax during pregnancy. Xanax can also pass through to babies through breast milk. Xanax has a long list of side effects including increased suicidal thoughts, tremors, liver damage, seizures, reduced coordination and increased frequency of falls in the elderly—to whom it is very frequently prescribed. Xanax is highly addictive and suddenly stopping Xanax use brings about withdrawal syndrome that can include seizures.