Substance abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent among the youth of this generation.
Recreational drug use is illegal in most countries, yet some of these drugs are easily accessible.
But why are they so much in demand?
For some, it’s the thrill, the rush while others aim to escape a deeper emotional pain by numbing themselves with tranquilizers and narcotics, amongst others.
Here are the 5 most commonly abused drugs by today’s youth.
It is also known as Mary Jane, kush, pot, cannabis, blaze, ganja, etc.
The psychoactive component of marijuana – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – is thought to have evolved as a botanical self-defense chemical, and is present in a subset of the hemp family of plants.
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug and is probably the most easily accessible.
Side effects include red eyes, increased hunger, dry mouth, paranoia, memory loss and lack of ability to focus, hallucinations, etc.
Popularly known as ‘Ref and Roche’, Rohypnol is most often used as a ‘date rape’ drug; it renders the victim unable to resist.
Rohypnol is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. Users either crush the pills and snort the powder; sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it; dissolve it in a drink or inject it.
The effects include loss of muscle control, confusion, drowsiness, and amnesia.
Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever used in treating mild to severe pain.
Tramadol can stop or slow your breathing and can also cause seizures. Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses.
Side effects include itching, drowsiness, constipation, vomiting, and anxiety.
Tramadol is also used as treatment for premature ejaculation during sexual intercourse but may have other negative effects like erectile dysfunction.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription cough and cold medicines contain active ingredients that are psychoactive (mind-altering) at higher-than-recommended dosages and are frequently abused for this purpose.
Known as “codeine” or “lean”, young people often mix it with a soda for flavor and is usually taken with alcohol or marijuana for an extra punch.
A variation of “purple drank” is promethazine-codeine cough syrup mixed with alcohol.
A person on lean may present a sedated appearance.
As opposed to powder, crack is a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked. It offers a short but intense high to smokers. It comes in solid blocks or crystals varying in color from yellow to pale rose or white. Crack is heated and smoked.
It is so named because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated. Crack is riskier and more potent that regular powder cocaine.
Mentally, the crack user becomes paranoid, defensive and confused.
Despite the false sense of power and control when high, as soon as the high is over, the person is likely to be depressed, isolated and secretive.
He/she may also suffer hallucinations.