Illegal drug traffic -- the lives it ruins and the lives it takes -- is a serious concern for every American. Drug misuse or abuse is found in every sector of society. It occurs increasingly in affluent suburbs as well as in slums. It is becoming common place in schools, colleges, and also in industry. It is a particular problem among young people.
Drug laws are designed to help control the problem; they do not eliminate or prevent it. Education is needed, too. Before there can be effective control, there must be widespread understanding among laymen of the possible tragic effects of drug misuse on mind and body.
Here you will find definitions of drugs that are most commonly misused, describes their uses, abuses, and effects, and lists the common symptoms they produce. In these times, it is particularly important that responsible people throughout the community -- especially parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, and employers -- know such basic facts about the drug problem that they can be alert for the signs of possible drug misuse, and thus know when to seek expert help for the victims.
Although alcohol is still the most widely used -- and misused -- of all drugs, the stress in this bulletin is directed toward several of the other drugs which are becoming an increasing cause for concern.
Common Signs of Drug Misuse
Indications of Possible Misuse
Commonly Misused Drugs
Common Signs of Drug Misuse
- Changes in attendance at work or school.
- Change from normal capabilities (work habits, efficiency, etc.)
- Poor physical appearance, including inattention to dress and personal hygiene.
- Wearing sunglasses constantly at inappropriate times (indoors or at night, for instance) not only to hide dilated or constricted pupils but also to compensate for the eye's inability to adjust to sunlight. Marijuana causes blood shot eyes.
- Unusual effort made to cover arms in order to hide needle marks.
- Association with known drug users.
- Stealing items which can be readily sold for cash (to support a drug habit).
Indications of Possible Misuse
- DEPRESSANTS e.g., Quaalude, Doriden (Barbiturates)
- Behavior like that of alcohol intoxication, but without the odor of alcohol on breath.
- Staggering, stumbling, or apparent drunkenness without odor or use of alcohol.
- Falling asleep while at work.
- Slurred speech.
- Pupils dilated.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- STIMULANTS (Amphetamines)
- The user may be excessively active, irritable, argumentative, or nervous.
- Excitation, euphoria, and talkativeness.
- Pupils dilated.
- Long periods without eating or sleeping.
- Increased blood pressure or pulse rates.
- Scars ("tracks") on the arms or on the backs of hands, caused by injecting drugs.
- Pupils constricted and fixed; possibly dilated during withdrawal.
- Scratches self frequently.
- Loss of appetite. Frequently eats candy, cookies, and drinks sweet liquids.
- May have sniffles, red, watering eyes and a cough which disappears when he gets a "fix." During withdrawal the addict may be nauseated and vomiting. Flushed skin, frequent yawning, and muscular twitching are common. These symptoms also appear when the addict gets a "fix."
- Users often leave syringes, bent spoons, cotton, needles, metal bottle caps, medicine droppers, and glassine bags in locker or desk drawers.
- The user is lethargic, drowsy, and may go on the "nod" (i.e., an alternating cycle of dozing and awakening).
- Anyone dissolving tablets for injection runs a great risk and danger of lung impairment due to deposits of talcum (part of the tablet) obstructing or occluding the lung through the blood stream.
- In the early stages of marijuana usage, the person may appear animated with rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter. In later stages, he may be sleepy.
- Pupils may be dilated and the eyes blood shot.
- May have distortion of perception and hallucinations.
The marijuana user is difficult to recognize unless he is actually under the influence of the drug, and even then, he may be able to work reasonably well. The drug may distort his depth and time perception, making driving or the operation of machinery hazardous. Long continued use of marijuana has been associated with mental deterioration.
- Behavior and mood vary widely. The user may sit or recline quietly in a trance-like state or may appear fearful or even terrified.
- In some cases, dilated pupils.
- Increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar.
- May experience nausea, chills, flushes, irregular breathing, sweating, and trembling of hands.
- There may be changes in sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and time.
It is unlikely that a person who uses LSD, for instance, would do so at work, since a controlled environment, often involving a friend to provide care and supervision of the user, is generally desired.
- GLUE OR HYDROCARBON (Gasoline) SNIFFING
- Odor of substance inhaled on breath and clothes.
- Excessive nasal secretion and watering of the eyes.
- Poor muscular control (staggering) within five minutes of exposure.
- Drowsiness or unconsciousness.
- Presence of plastic or paper bags or rags containing dry plastic cement.
- Slurred speech.
- Bad breath.
COMMONLY MISUSED DRUGS
A class of drugs which induces sleep or stupor and relieves pain. This classification includes opiates and their derivatives.
- OPIUM (Papaver Somniferum)
DESCRIPTION: The dried, coagulated milk of an unripe opium poppy.
IDENTIFICATION: A dark brown, coagulated, plastic-like substance.
METHODS OF USE: Opium may be smoked through a long-stemmed pipe. It has for the most part been replaced by its more powerful derivatives, morphine and heroin.
SLANG TERMS: Opium, OP, Pen Yan, Hop, Tar, and Black Stuff
DESCRIPTION: Medically, the preferred drug for the relief of pain. Morphine is widely used by addicts, particularly when heroin is difficult to obtain. It is derived from crude opium. Tolerance builds rapidly.
Identification: An odorless, light brown or white crystalline powder. Morphine may appear on the market as tablets, capsules, or in powder form.
METHODS OF USE: Morphine is either injected as a liquid, or taken by mouth. It acts on the central nervous system as an analgesic or pain killer. Traces of morphine detectable by laboratory techniques remain in the body for 6-18 hours.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Much like those of the more commonly misused drug, heroin.
SLANG TERMS: White Stuff, Hard Stuff, M, Morpho, Unkie, and Miss Emma.
- HEROIN (Diacetylmorphine)
DESCRIPTION: Heroin is much more potent than morphine and is a derivative of morphine. The intense euphoria or "high" produced by the drug has made heroin the most popular narcotic among addicts. Heroin is similar to all narcotic drugs in that tolerance to its effects rapidly develops. As a result, the user must take larger quantities. An individual may begin with a dose of two to eight milligrams but addicts may use as much as 450 milligrams per day as tolerance is acquired.
IDENTIFICATION: Most often found as an odor-less, white, off-white, or light brown powder.
METHODS OF USE: The most common administration is intravenous (mainlining). A drug user's "work kit" is used to convert heroin into a solution. The kit generally contains matches, a teaspoon with a bent handle or small metal bottle cap, medicine dropper, hypodermic needle, and a piece of cotton. The powder is put into a spoon, mixed with water and heated to form a solution. The solution is then injected into the blood stream, generally into the arm. The addict may use his belt as a tourniquet to make a vein stand out. Heroin is also taken by mouth. When injected under the skin, the term "skin popping" is used. The effect is slower and less intense.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: (See Narcotics Section) Detectable in body (urine) within 10 hours.
SLANG TERMS: H, Junk, Harry, Joy Powder, Horse, White Stuff, Snow, Sugar, Smack
- CODEINE (Methylmorphine)
DESCRIPTION: A derivative of morphine, it is commonly available in cough preparations. Some of these cough preparations containing codeine have been available without prescription and they have been subject to abuse. Codeine is less addictive than morphine or heroin and less potent in terms of inducing euphoria. Withdrawal symptoms, when they occur, are less severe than with the more potent drugs. Codeine may be used for the maintenance of addition or as a temporary replacement for morphine or heroin.
IDENTIFICATION: A white crystalline powder or tablet added to various liquids (cough syrup).
METHODS OF USE: Most often taken internally by swallowing the liquid. On occasion, addicts will boil cough syrup to reduce the solution to a higher concentration of codeine.
SLANG TERM: School Boy
A stimulant is a substance which increases the central nervous system reaction. The most widely known and used stimulant is caffeine which is found in coffee, tea, cola, and other beverages. Caffeine is, of course, very mild. The amphetamines, synthetic stimulants, and cocaine, a stimulant manufactured from the leaves of the coca bush, are controlled under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
DESCRIPTION: The stimulant effects of amphetamines are medically used to treat a variety of conditions including obesity, short term control of fatigue, Parkinsonsim, depressive syndromes, behavior disorders, and poisoning by central nervous system depressants. Psychological dependence is common to amphetamine misuse. Abuse of stimulant drugs brings about hyperactivity, hallucinations, and a general excitability. Continuous misuse of amphetamines may produce a psychosis resembling paranoid schizophrenia with accompanying delusions and hallucination. Amphetamines abuse can also produce high blood pressures and abnormal heart rhythm. Types of amphetamines include di-amphetamine (benzedrine), d-amphetamine (dexedrine, dextro-amphetamine).
Amphetamines may be used in a social setting although there are many solitary users. Many combine this stimulant with other drugs, including alcohol, to experiment with the effects obtained from the various combinations. Serious drug abusers most often inject amphetamines intravenously. In fact, the excitability and intense paranoia that result from amphetamine injection suggests a much greater danger of violent outbursts than would occur with a heroin addict. Amphetamine users often stay awake for days without food, undergoing hallucinations and bouts of paranoia, then lapsing into long, deep recovery sleeps. Unlike the "drifting off" effect of heroin, injected amphetamine creates a "flash" or "high" and an illusion of heightened mental power.
Methamphetamine (Speed): There has been an alarming increase in the number of "Speed" users, generally among teenagers and young adults. Methamphetamine is the most potent and hence the most dangerous of all the amphetamines. Its effects are similar to those from other drugs in this category but are far more intense.
IDENTIFICATION: Most amphetamines are legitimately manufactured in capsule or tablet form. The commonest form is as white powder in many operations.
METHODS OF USE: Amphetamines are used as tablets, capsules, and in solution for injection. Most amphetamine users begin with low doses or oral amphetamine and slowly increase their dosage to 150 to 250 milligrams daily. When the desired results are not obtained, they change to the intravenous route. The toxic does of amphetamine varies, depending upon the individual. Increased dosages are continually made in order to obtain the desired effects. Period of delectability in body fluids is 24-36 hours.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Amphetamine users tend to be very talkative and engage in compulsive but purposeless activity such as dismantling and attempting to reassemble machinery that was working properly.
SLANG TERMS: Bennies, Pep Pills, Peaches, Roses, Hearts, Cartwheels, Dexies, Oranges, Football, Coast to Coast, LA Turnabouts. The slang terms for Methamphetamine include Speed, Meth, Crystal, and Bombida.
- COCAINE (Erythroxylon Coca)
DESCRIPTION: Cocaine is an odorless, white fluffy powder. Cocaine is prohibited under the drug abuse laws. Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant and therefore it is no way similar to heroin or morphine, which are narcotics. It is a stimulant similar to the amphetamines. At one time, cocaine was widely used as a local anesthetic, but it has now been largely replaced by synthetic substitutes such as Procaine or Novocain or Xylocaine. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Law of 1970 (Public Law 91-513).
IDENTIFICATION: On the illegal market, cocaine appears generally as an odorless, white, fluffy, powder.
METHODS OF USE: Cocaine is generally sniffed and is absorbed through the mucous membrane of the nose. It can also be injected intravenously, directly in to the bloodstream. The result of either method is a strong stimulation of the central nervous system. One well-known method is to combine cocaine with heroin into a powerful injection known as a "speedball." Morphine is also used in combination with cocaine.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: The user will appear to have an euphoric feeling and be energetic. Pupils are dilated and fixed. Tremors may occur. The euphoric sensations are short lived and accompanied by periods of superiority. These are quickly replaced by feelings of anxiety and depression, sometimes accompanied by hallucinations and paranoid delusions. The user may indicate a feeling of superiority.
SLANG TERMS: Coke, Snow, Happy Dust, C, Flake, Speedballs, Snowbirds, Cecil, Stardust, Bernice Gold Dust.
Depressants affect the central nervous system. They are used to induce sleep or act as a mild sedative or tranquilizer. Other depressants such Quaalude and Doriden have the same effect.
DESCRIPTION: A barbiturate is a sedative and a hypnotic and it exerts a powerful depressant or calming action on the central nervous system. The medical uses for barbiturates are varied and extensive: nervous tension (to calm people suffering from anxiety), hypertension ( to reduce blood pressure), insomnia (to induce sleep), epilepsy (to prevent convulsions). Barbiturates are also used for a variety of other physical and psychological ailments. Barbiturates, like heroin, create a physical and psychological dependence. The dangers of barbiturates lie in the withdrawal syndromes which include a lack of muscular coordination similar to epileptic seizures. Respiratory failure can also occur with withdrawal. As a result, barbiturate addicts must be withdrawn under close medical supervision. Convulsions can occur up to the 16th day of withdrawal. High doses of barbiturates among chronic users may create a feeling of elation, tranquility, and well being. There are three different classifications of barbiturates. They are:
1. Those where the effect is slow in starting but of long duration, such as Phenobarbital.
2. Those where the effect is intermediate in terms of starting time and duration. These include butabarbital and amobarbital.
3. The short acting, fast starters which include secobarbital and pentobarbital.
IDENTIFICATION: Barbiturates are most often manufactured in capsule or tablet form. The slang names for the barbiturates come from the color and shape of the capsule or tablet. Often a shortening of the trade name is used.
METHODS OF USE: Barbiturates can be taken by mouth, intravenously or rectally. Daily doses, over a long period of time, of 0.4 grams have been claimed to produce a significant degree of dependence. Barbiturates depress the individual's mental and physical functions. The abuser is slow in speech, slow in action and very erratic in his judgment. On withdrawal, a long-term barbiturate user experiences similar reactions to the hard core narcotic addict because his body develops a tolerance and suffers severely.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: (See Depressants)
SLANG TERMS: Goof Balls, Goofers, Barbs.
1. Pentobarbital sodium -- Yellow Jackets, Yellows, Nimbys
2. Amobarbital sodium -- Blues, Blue Heaven, Blue Birds, Blue Devils
3. Secobarbital sodium -- Reds, Red Birds, Red Devils, Seccy, Pink
4. Amobarbital and Secobarbital -- Tuinal, Tuies, Rainbow, Double Trouble
5. Quaalude, Doriden and others
DESCRIPTION: Like barbiturates, alcohol, and various sedative hypnotics, chloral hydrate causes habituation, tolerance, and addiction. However, addiction to chloral hydrate is less frequent than addiction to barbiturates due to its irritant effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Chloral hydrate addicts will suffer from extreme stomach disturbances, and drug users tend to find other drugs more attractive.
IDENTIFICATION: Chloral hydrate is usually found in soft gelatin capsules.
METHODS OF USE: Chloral hydrate can be taken orally or rectally Large doses are required to sustain the dependence, and withdrawal symptoms resemble a form of delirium. When mixed with alcohol, it is called a "Mickey Finn."
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Resembles acute barbiturate intoxication. There is gastric irritation and possibly vomiting. Pinpoint pupils. Overdose produces breathing difficulties and dangerously low blood pressure.
SLANG TERMS: Mickey Finn, Mickey, Peter, Knockout Drops.
- MARIJUANA (or Cannabis sativa)
DESCRIPTION: Marijuana is a plant which belongs to the hemp family. It can grow to heights of 12 to 20 feet. The active principle, tetrahydrocannabinol, is obtained from the amber colored resin of the flowering tops and leaves of the plant. The plant can grow in almost any climate and in most soil conditions, but seems to flourish best in semi-tropical areas. At one time marijuana was used to relieve pain and promote sleep, but unpredictable effects led to its abandonment.
Presently medical authorities are finding limited use of nabilone a synthetic cannaboid in the treatment of patients who become nauseous as a result of chemotherapy exposure. By and large this synthetic is not considered to be medicine, but rather a crude drug to be used where more sophisticated medical treatment does not bring about adequate patient response. Marijuana is a hallucinogen possessing both the elements of stimulation and depression.
IDENTIFICATION: Marijuana usually looks like green tobacco and often contains seeds and stems. Because of its coarseness, cigarettes are made with a heavy grade of tobacco paper. These "joints" are usually hand rolled and closed on both ends because of the loose fill and the dryness of the weed. This will generally cause it to be shorter than the regular length cigarette of tobacco. When burning, marijuana has a distinctive odor similar to burning rope or alfalfa. The odor will hang in the air and for a short time is noticeable on the user's breath and clothing.
METHODS OF USE: The most popular method of abusing marijuana is by smoking it through a cigarette or pipe. Often, tobacco is mixed with marijuana to act as a binder and make it burn more slowly. Another method of smoking marijuana is known as "steamboating." The marijuana is smoked through a cardboard tube. One method involves extracting and separating the marijuana resins and taking them orally with tea or mixed in a cookie. The resin can also be extracted by boiling the plant.
Marijuana cigarettes are often used in a group situation - a person inhales the smoke, then passes the cigarette on to the other members of the group. After smoking one cigarette, another is lighted and passed around. The users try to hold the smoke in their lungs as long as possible to get the most effect from the drug. Exhaled smoke is often inhaled again using a method employed only by the experienced smokers. The burned remnant of the "joint" is known as a "roach." These are often saved and smoked.
The effects of smoking marijuana are often similar in many respects to those of alcohol. The marijuana user will speak freely, daydream, and appear in a state of semi-sedation. However, the overall effect of the drug is predictable largely by the user's personality and the presence of others in the room who are having similar sensations. After five or ten minutes, many users have a feeling of restlessness and anxiety. Speech becomes rapid, time appears to pass slowly, distance may appear shortened, memory deteriorates, and concentration becomes difficult. Large amounts of marijuana may produce hallucinations after 20 to 25 minutes. The total effects of a marijuana "trip" can last from three to five hours.
The after-effects of marijuana are visually minimal. Physical addiction is absent, but use of marijuana may result in psychological dependence. There appears to be no withdrawal symptoms. The dangers from the use of marijuana have recently been greatly enhanced by the large scale introduction of hashish (a concentrated resin from the marijuana plant).
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: See Marijuana
SLANG TERMS: Pot, Tea, Grass, Weed, Stuff, Rope, Hay, Joints, Reefer, Hemp, Mary Jane, Hashish, Texas Tea, Acapulco Gold, A Stick, Goof Butt, Jive, Sweet Lunch, Stinkweed, Bhang, Ganja.
Phencyclidine, developed in the 1950's is now licitly manufactured as a veterinary anesthetic under the trade name of Sernlan. Since 1967 it has also been produced in clandestine laboratories, frequently in dangerously contaminated forms. The prevailing patterns of street level abuse are by oral ingestion of tablets or capsules, containing the drug in powder form both alone and in combination with other drugs after it has been sprinkled on parsley, marijuana, or some form of tobacco. It is sometimes sold to unsuspecting consumers as LSD, THC, or mescaline. Reported experiences under the influence of phencyclidine are mainly nondescript or unpleasant. In low doses the experience usually proceeds three successive stages: changes in body image, sometimes accompanied by feelings of depersonalization; perceptual distortions, infrequently evidenced as visual or auditory hallucinations; and feeling of apathy or estrangement. The experience often includes drowsiness, inability to verbalize, and feelings of emptiness or "nothingness." Reports of difficulty in thinking, poor concentration, and preoccupation with death are common. Many users have reacted to its use with an acute psychotic episode. Common signs of phencyclidine user include flushing and profuse sweating. Analgesia, involuntary eye movements, muscular incoordination, double vision, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting may also be present.
- LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide)
DESCRIPTION: LSD is a powerful synthetic chemical developed in Switzerland in 1938. Its perception-altering properties were accidentally discovered in 1943. LSD is synthesized from substance obtained from ergot, a fungus that grows as a rust on rye. LSD has been used experimentally to treat patients with severe psychosis; however, such use has created many more adverse than beneficial effects. Its medical use is extremely limited and is not accepted for medical treatment at present. Recent studies have indicated that LSD may cause chromosomal damage resulting in congenital birth defects.
LSD can produce a feeling of complete detachment from reality and can cause actions that lead to serious injury or even death to users. An LSD user can also become dangerous to others.
IDENTIFICATION: LSD commonly appears as a white powder or tablet and also as a clear, colorless, odorless liquid. It is impossible to identify visually and its presence can only be substantiated by qualitative and quantitative analytical tests.
METHODS OF USE: LSD is generally taken by mouth. Practically any substance such as a tablet, sugar cube, cookie, paper, etc., can be a source. When LSD was first introduced into the illicit market it was commonly added to a sugar cube. On rare occasions, LSD is injected directly into the blood stream. The effect of LSD changes the levels of certain chemicals found in the brain, including serotonin, which produces changes in the brain's electrical activity. This may result in hallucinations, the intensification and distortion of sensory perception, panic, violence, suicide, or a loss of sanity. Hallucinations may recur (with the same intensity) any time up to two years after the original "trip."
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: (See Other Hallucinogens)
SLANG TERMS: LSD, Acid, Cubes, Sugar, 25, The Big D, The Cube, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
DESCRIPTION: Morning glory seeds contain lysergic acid amide, an alkaloidal derivative about one tenth as potent as LSD. Their current use for hallucinogenic effect is only several years old, but evidence of their previous use can be traced back hundreds of years to the time when they were used extensively by Mexican Indians. The danger of all hallucinogens, including morning glory seeds, is that medical science does not know all the effects of the hallucinogen on the mind and body. The user is taking a great risk.
IDENTIFICATION: Only certain varieties of morning glory seeds are hallucinogenic. The seed can be distinguished from the round, non-hallucinogenic morning glory seeds by its triangular shape.
METHODS OF USE: The seeds can be prepared as a tea or extractions can be made to obtain the desired hallucinogenic effect. The seeds are also chewed. Vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea may accompany the use of morning glory seeds.
SLANG TERMS: Seeds, Glory Seeds, Pearly Gates.
DESCRIPTION: Mescaline is obtained from the peyote cactus. Hallucinogenic effects of a full dosage may last up to 12 hours. Peyote is the "button" that grows on the peyote cactus. Peyote has been used by Indians in religious ceremonies. No valid medical use is known.
IDENTIFICATION: The peyote button is dried and ground into a powder, dark brown in color. It is often put into gelatin capsules.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS: Similar to those of LSD but usually a more intense stimulation of visual sensation.
METHODS OF USE: Mescaline (peyote) is always taken by mouth, although a few cases of injection have been reported. Because of its bitter taste, peyote is usually taken with tea, coffee or soda.
SLANG TERMS: Peyote, Plants, Buttons.
- PSILOCYBIN (Psilocybe Mexicana)
Psilocybin is extracted from a Mexican mushroom. It has been used by primitive societies seeking supernatural powers and communion. Its effects are indistinguishable from those of mescaline and LSD. A dose of 20 to 60 mg will give hallucinogenic effects which last up to six hours.
This is a new concoction that is reportedly being sold by narcotic peddlers. Marijuana is cooked with acetone to obtain oil of cannabis. This oil is then added to hashish to form a tar-like material. This is then rolled into small pellets and smoked. It is reported that "smash" is being manufactured in Mexico.
- THC (delta 1, tetrahydrocannabinol)
A recent discovery which may become popular as an abuse drug. THC is synthetic marijuana and is being used in medical research. The effects of possible chronic toxicity resulting from long term use of marijuana can now be accurately studied. It is a colorless, odorless liquid which produces no odor in smoke. THC can be synthesized in any desired strength. Two or three drops of THC on a tobacco cigarette produce the same effect as regular marijuana.
- BELLADONNA AND JIMSON WEED (Stramonium)
These weeds have been long used as intoxicants. In large amounts they produce hallucinations, dryness of mouth and skin, high fever, and dilated pupils.
This is a synthetic narcotic whose pharmacological actions are similar to morphine. Methadone has been used in medicine for its antitussive and analgesic properties. It has also been utilized in withdrawal management of heroin addicts and in Methadone Management programs. It is known to produce cross-tolerance to opiates an when given in lieu of heroin, it is claimed that individuals under this regime do not manifest most of the undesirable anti-social effects. Since methadone is addictive, it is also subject to abuse.
This stimulant has been used medically to treat asthma, other allergies, low blood pressure, and narcolepsy. Ephedrine is a stimulant that in moderate doses produces an effect similar to stronger amphetamines, such as increased heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure, central nervous system stimulation, increased body temperature, and appetite suppression. Initially it can cause a feeling of well being and euphoria. Ephedrines illegal use as a precursor for the clandestine production of methamphetamine, resulted in legislation to restricts its possession, sale, manufacture, or transfer except to those with a valid permit. Recent legislation has placed ephedrine in the schedule of controlled dangerous substances as a Schedule IV, which includes the over the counter products known as "Mini-Thin," "Max Alert," "Dynafed," and many others that the sole ingredient is ephedrine, or a mixture of ephedrine and caffeine. Illegal methamphetamine labs are notorious for using these over the counter products as their means of obtaining ephedrine. Since the legislation restricting ephedrine passed in 1995, illegal labs have begun to use pseudoephedrine which is not controlled.
Methcathinone is known on the streets as "CAT," or "JEFF" and is a methamphetamine analog which is inhaled like cocaine powder. Manufactured in clandestine labs from ephedrine, CAT gained popularity in the Soviet Union. Its manufacture in the United States is what used to be called "designer drug" because it is chemically designed to evade drug laws. The similarity between methacathinone and methamphetamine strongly suggested that abuse of methcathinone would lead to health and safety risks similar to those produced by amphetamine and methamphetamine. Since methcathinone has no medical use, the drug was classed as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance and is illegal in the United States. With the rise in methamphetamine use and its illegal manufacture, methcathinone labs, too, have been encountered more frequently.
Known as "ROPES" on the streets, this strong sedative-hypnotic is not approved for use in the United States. The majority of this substance that reaches the United States originates from Mexico. Recent Federal legislation has made flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance and it is illegal for use in this country. Users often mix this drug with alcohol which amplifies the effects of Rohypnol and makes it very dangerous.
Known on the streets as "GHB," this product was formally believed to be an effective anesthetic because of its demonstrated ability to produce rapid, profound sensation. It was ultimately rejected as a useful anesthetic because of its propensity to cause seizures and its evident failure to provide true analgesia during surgery. GHB found popularity among steroid users believing that it would reverse the effects of "ROID RAGE," a side effect of steroid use. GHB found its way to the club scene where it was mixed in alcohol, posing an even greater risk. GHB is normally sold in a powder that looks similar to powdered laundry detergent, but recent reports tell of it in liquid form. With the use o GHB on the rise, emergency room admissions are also on the increase with GHB overdoses arriving in a deep coma. GHB is a substance that has an unpredictable and unsafe narrow range of dosing making its recreational use potentially deadly. GHB production and possession is illegal in the state of Oklahoma.