اطلاعات دارویی

اطلاعات دارویی

اطلاعات دارویی فارسی

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

اطلاعات دارویی انگلیسی

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

A-Z of drugs

ACID (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
Alcohol
Amphetamines
Anabolic Steroids
Anoretics
Antihistamines
Barbituates
Benzodiazepines
Buprenorphine
Caffeine
Cannabis
Cocaine
Codeine
Crack
Dexamphetamine Sulphate
Dextromoramide
Dextropropoxyphene
Diethylpropion
Dihydrocodeine
Dipipanone
Dope
Downers
Ecstacy
Fly Agaric
Glues
Gooeys
Hallucinogens
Hash/Hashish
Heroin
Hypnotics
Isopropyl Alcohol
Junk
Ketamine
LPG
LSD
Magic Mushrooms
Marijuana
MDMA
Mescaline
Methadone
Methylamphetamine
Morphine
Nicotine
Nitrates
Opiates & Opioid
Pethidine
Poppers
Pot
Psilocybin
Resin
Rubbing Alcohol
Smack
Solvents
Speed
Steroids (anabolic)
Tobacco
Uppers
Valium
Wake Ups
Whizbang
XTC
Yundi
Zoom

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ACID
(Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
LSD is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens in Australia. It was first developed in the 1940s in Switzerland and explored as a treatment for some mental illnesses.

Slang Names
Acid; LSD-impregnated paper squares: trips, tabs, blotters
(There are hundreds of different printed designs on the paper, and each has its own name eg. Superman, Bart Simpson)

Forms and Appearance
LSD can be absorbed into any suitable substance and therefore can be sold in many forms. Pieces of blotting paper, sugar cubes, microdots and small square flakes of gelatin have all been used.

The most popular form today is absorbent sheets of paper. These are divided into squares and impregnated with LSD. The sheets are then printed with a small motif, hence many of slang terms used. The designs may consist of patterns, symbols, cartoon characters or pictures of current events.

Methods of Use
LSD is normally taken orally.

Effects of Use
Immediate

  • Seeing things in a distorted way or seeing things that don't exist (hallucinations)
  • The person usually knows that what they are seeing is not real
  • Intense sensory experiences (e.g. brighter colours, sharper sounds)
  • Mixing of senses (e.g. colours are heard or sounds seen)
  • Distorted sense of time ( e.g. minutes can be as slow as hours)
  • Distorted sense of space
  • Distorted body image. The person feels they are floating or being pulled down by gravity
  • Boundary between the self and surroundings becomes blurred
  • Changed and intense thoughts
  • Swings in emotions
  • Accidents and occasional suicides during or after taking LSD have occurred


Long Term
The most disturbing long-term effect is the potential for 'flashback' experiences. A 'flashback' is a spontaneous and unpredictable recurrence of the drug experience. It can occur days, weeks and even years after the drug was last taken. It usually lasts for a minute or two and involves some kind of visual hallucination, mostly seeing shapes and patterns that don't exist. Flashbacks can be sparked off by using other drugs, stress, fatigue or physical exercise. Regular users are more likely to experience flashbacks.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance to LSD develops rapidly but goes away quickly once regular use is stopped. Cross-tolerance can also develop, i.e. using one type of hallucinogen makes you tolerant to other hallucinogens.

LSD does not produce any physical dependency. Although most users do not experience any psychological dependence, some feel unable to enjoy their lives without the drug.

Withdrawal
There are no physical withdrawal effects from LSD, and most users will not suffer any psychological effects.

Overdose
Fatal overdose with LSD is not thought to be possible.



ALCOHOL
(Ethyl alcohol, beverage alcohol, ethanol)
Alcohol is a depressant because it slows down parts of the brain and the nervous system.

Slang Names
Booze, grog

Forms and Appearance
Ethyl alcohol is a clear liquid. The colour and appearance of commercial alcohol depends on what is combined with it, as an additive, or to dilute it.

Medical and Other Uses
In the past, alcohol was used as an anaesthetic. However, the high doses needed were dangerous. Some doctors recommend the occasional use of alcohol, (e.g. a small sherry), as a mild sedative and to help induce sleep, particularly for elderly patients. Small amounts of alcohol can also improve appetite and digestion.

Combination Products
Combining alcohol with other drugs can be dangerous. Mixing over-the-counter or prescribed medications with alcohol can reduce their effectiveness. Mixing alcohol with minor tranquillisers or marijuana can affect judgment and co-ordination and even cause breathing failure.

Methods of Use
Alcohol is almost always taken orally.

Safe Drinking Guidelines
A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. For light beer this is equal to one schooner; for full strength beer, this is equal to one middie; for wine this is equal to one small glass which is 100 mls; for fortified wines, such as port or sherry, this is equal to one 60 ml glass; for spirits this is one nip which is 30 mls.

As a general guide, one can of ordinary beer contains about one and a half standard drinks. One bottle of wine contains seven standard drinks. One 750 ml bottle of port or sherry contains 11 standard drinks. One 750 ml bottle of spirits contains 24 standard drinks.

Home measures of alcohol tend to be larger and can make counting standard drinks difficult.

Safe drinking guidelines are based on standard drinks. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend the following guidelines for low risk drinking: women should have no more than 2 standard drinks per day, that is 20 grams of alcohol. Men should have no more than 4 standard drinks per day, that is 40 grams of alcohol.

A harmful level of drinking for women is more than 4 standard drinks per day; for men, it is more than 6 standard drinks per day.

The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is called the blood alcohol concentration or BAC. Blood alcohol concentration is determined by how much alcohol a person drinks and over what period of time.

The legal BAC in NSW and Queensland for driving a car or riding a motor bike is .05. Drivers on P and L plates in NSW must not exceed a BAC of .02 (zero in Queensland). Drivers of heavy vehicles and public passenger vehicles such as buses and dangerous goods vehicles must maintain a BAC of .02 in NSW (zero in Qld).

In order to stay safely below .05 drivers are advised to limit their drinking. Men should drink no more than 2 standard drinks in the first hour and no more than 1 standard drink every hour after that. Women should drink no more than 1 standard drink in the first hour and no more than 1 standard drink every hour after that. To stay under .02 it is best to avoid drinking altogether as just 1 standard drink could be enough to put you over the limit.

Some people’s blood alcohol concentration will be higher after drinking the same amount of alcohol as other people. There are a number of reasons for this including: drinking on an empty stomach, the person is of small build; the person may be overweight and in poor health.

A healthy liver can only get rid of 1 standard drink an hour. So after a heavy night of drinking a person may feel OK but they may still be over the .05 driving limit.

Effects of Use
The effects of alcohol depend on:

  • the amount drunk
  • the person’s experience with alcohol
  • their expectations
  • the mood they are in
  • whether they’ve eaten
  • whether they’ve taken other drugs.


Alcohol passes straight into the blood stream from the small intestine and stomach.

Immediate effects include feeling relaxed and less inhibited, followed by reduced concentration, slurred speech and blurred vision. Alcohol also affects coordination and judgement and can also causes aggressive behaviour.

One unpleasant effect of heavy drinking is a hangover. Symptoms include headache, nausea, shakiness and possibly vomiting. Alcohol is broken down by the liver, but even a healthy liver can only get rid of about one standard drink an hour. Therefore, sobering up takes time. Black coffee, cold showers, exercise, or vomiting does not speed up the work of the liver. Vomiting only removes the alcohol in the stomach that has not had time to be absorbed into the bloodstream. At most, the last drink will be eliminated. Taking a shower or drinking black coffee may help someone to feel more awake, but it will not reduce their blood alcohol content.

Anyone who regularly drinks a lot of alcohol will probably experience some physical, emotional or social problems. Physical problems include liver damage, heart and blood disorders, stomach inflammation and brain damage. Impotence and menstrual irregularity can also occur. Emotional problems can include depression or relationship and family problems. Poor work performance, financial difficulties and legal problems may be some of the social problems experienced at times.

Alcohol is also involved in many suicides and accidental deaths every year.

Alcohol and Pregnancy
Alcohol used during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby. It has been linked with higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. The most serious outcome is foetal alcohol syndrome. Women who give birth to foetal alcohol syndrome babies average at least six drinks a day during their pregnancies. The effects of foetal alcohol syndrome range from mild to severe: Lower birth weight, smaller heads and flattened facial features are common. Central nervous system damage can result in intellectual disabilities, poor coordination and movement skills. Birthmarks, heart defects, curvature of the spine and cleft palate can also occur. When the baby is born it may withdraw from alcohol. Tremors, irritability, fits and a bloated stomach are all withdrawal symptoms. The baby is at greater risk of harm during the first 3 months of pregnancy as the major organs and limbs are starting to form during that time. Women who are trying to become pregnant should think about cutting down or not drinking alcohol, even before the pregnancy is confirmed.

Medical research is still investigating if safe drinking levels exist for pregnant women. Until results are more conclusive, the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that women not drink any alcohol when pregnant.

Tolerance and Dependence
People who drink regularly can develop tolerance. This means they need to drink larger amounts of alcohol to get the same effects as before. This happens because the liver develops the ability to break the alcohol down more quickly. The brain also becomes less sensitive to the effects of small amounts of alcohol.
Cross-tolerance can also develop between alcohol and many other sedative/hypnotic drugs. That is, once a person is tolerant to the desired effects of alcohol, they will also be tolerant to the same effects produced by most other sedative/hypnotic drugs.

Regular drinkers can also become dependent on alcohol. They have a strong desire to continue to drink because alcohol has become important in their daily lives.

Withdrawal
If alcohol is unavailable, people may panic or feel anxious. Withdrawal occurs when a dependent person stops using alcohol or severely cuts down the amount they drink. Symptoms include sweating, tremors, vomiting, convulsions and hallucinations.

Overdose
Severe overdose may result in stupor or coma, with cold and clammy skin, low body temperature, depressed breathing, and increased heart rate. Death from suicides and accidents most typically result from overdose combinations of alcohol and sedatives.


AMPHETAMINES
(Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine)
Amphetamines are a stimulant because they speed up the functions of the central nervous system.

Slang Names
Speed, gooey, bennies, black beauties, copilots, crystal, dexies, eye openers, lid poppers, meth, pep pills, uppers, wake-ups, buzz, whiz, amphet, sulph.

Forms and Appearance
In powder form, legal preparations are white, odourless, crystalline powders with a bitter taste. Illegal preparations include fine to coarse powders, crystals and 'chunks'.

The most common colours are off-white, yellow and pink. Tablets and capsules have various colours, sizes and shapes. Illegally produced amphetamines often have a strong, unpleasant smell which may be 'fishy' or ammonia-like.

Medical and Other Uses
Amphetamines have been used to treat:

  • narcolepsy (uncontrolled episodes of sleep)
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • sedation caused by drugs prescribed for epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • abnormally low blood pressure associated with anaesthesia
  • obesity due to improper diet
  • psychic depression.


Combination Products
Street combinations include: 'goofballs' (amphetamines and barbiturates); 'speedballs' (methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin); and 'zoom' (cocaine, heroin and amphetamines). LSD is sometimes combined with amphetamines, but usually the buyer is not aware of the presence of the other drug when buying.

Methods of Use
The powder form is commonly taken orally, by dissolving in a drink, licking off a finger, or, more rarely, by rubbing the powder into the gums. It is also dissolved in water and injected (the preferred method of the chronic, high-dose abuser). It can be sniffed up the nose or mixed with cannabis or tobacco for smoking, or smoked straight off tin foil.

Effects of Use
The effects of speed depend on:

  • amount taken
  • person’s experience with the drug
  • their expectations
  • mood they are in
  • way in which the drug is taken


Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. Small doses of speed can produce a feeling of well-being, and more self confidence and energy. It can also reduce appetite and make a person more alert. However, even a small amount can increase breathing and heart rate, and cause heart palpitations and anxiety or nervousness.

Higher doses can make the above effects more intense. In addition, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heart beat may occur. Some people may become hostile and aggressive.

Using speed over a long period of time can cause health problems. These include: malnutrition from loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhoea ; reduced resistance to infection; increased blood pressure which increases risk of stroke; emotional disturbances and periods of psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use.
Psychological dependence develops quickly in most regular users. Chronic high-dose use results in physical dependence.

Withdrawal
There are no physical symptoms from abruptly discontinuing regular use. Rather, the prominent symptoms are extreme fatigue, followed by prolonged but disturbed sleep. Other symptoms include mental agitation, depression, irritability, panic and feelings of being unable to cope.

Overdose
Fatal overdose is possible. This could occur at low doses with inexperienced users. Speed poisoning or overdose can cause brain hemorrhage, heart attack, high fever, coma and occasionally death. Most deaths, however, are due to accidents while under the influence of speed.


ANABOLIC STEROIDS

Forms and Appearance
Anabolic steroids are produced as capsules and tablets in a variety of colours, and as an injectable liquid.

Medical and Other Uses
Anabolic steroids imitate certain naturally occurring hormones and are used to treat some human and animal health disorders.

Methods of Use
The drugs can be taken orally as tablets or capsules. However, abusers will usually inject the liquid forms intramuscularly.

Effects of Use
Most users will have increased muscle growth and body bulk, as well as greater strength and stamina.

Adverse effects from misuse include:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • liver and kidney problems
  • liver and kidney cancers
  • hepatitis
  • sexual and menstrual dysfunction
  • growth of face and body hair in females
  • mood swings
  • aggression and irritability
  • damage to the unborn child in pregnant users


Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops with continued use. There is little evidence of physical dependence developing. However, many users become psychologically dependent because the drug has given them a body which is very important for their self-image. They feel afraid to stop using it in case that body should change.

Withdrawal
Sudden withdrawal from long-term or heavy use of anabolic steroids can be very dangerous. The user may suffer complete muscular collapse leading to an almost complete loss of strength and stamina. Some users have violent mood swings, and feel very depressed and anxious. Withdrawal should always be medically supervised.

Overdose
Steroid overdose can cause collapse, coma, convulsions and death.



ANORETICS

Ritalin
Ritalin tablets containing the drug methylphenidate. They can now be obtained only by special order and so are less frequently encountered.
Actual size of Ritalin tablet

Volital
Volital tablets are small tablets which contain 20mg of pemoline.
Actual size of Volital tablets

Pemoline
Pemoline tablets produced for export find their way onto the illicit market

Apisate
Apisate tablets contain the drug diethylpropion. They may be prescribed as part of a weight-loss program
Actual size of Apisate tablets

Tenuate Dospan
Tenuate Dospan tablets also contain the drug diethylpropion. Because of their potential for misuse, they have been brought within the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Actual size of Tenuate Dospan tablets

Duromine
Duromine contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg
Actual size of Dofuromine Capsule

Ionamin
Ionamin also contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg
Actual size of Ionamin Capsule

Teronac
Teronac contains the drug mazindol in a white tablet of 2mg strength
Actual size of Teronac tablet

Adifax
Adifax contains 15mg of the drug dexfenfluramine hydrochloride
Actual size of Adifax Capsule

Ponderax
Ponderax capsule each containing 60mg of fenfluramine hydrochloride, a drug related to amphetamine
Actual size of Ponerax Capsule



ANTIHISTAMINES
Antihistamines block the effects of histamine in the body. Histamine is released from the cells when the body has an allergic reaction, when cells are injured, or in reaction to a variety of drugs and poisons. Common antihistamines include promethazine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, tripelennamine and cimetidene.

Slang Names
None in common use.

Forms and Appearance
Most antihistamines are white, odourless, crystalline powders which have a bitter taste. Tablets and liquids vary in colour.

Medical and Other Uses
Antihistamines are used to treat allergic reactions such as hay fever; to dry the runny nose from a cold; to cause drowsiness and sedation; to prevent travel sickness and the nausea and vomiting associated with radiation therapy.

Combination products
Street drug combinations include 'blue velvet' (paregoric and the antihistamine tripelennamine) and 'T's and Blues' (pentazocine and tripelennamine). (Paregoric is a solution containing opium; pentazocine is a pain reliever.)

Methods of Use
Most antihistamines are administered orally, by tablet, capsule or liquid. However, injections may be used in the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions. The street drug combinations, (given above under 'Combination products'), are usually injected intravenously.

Effects of Use
Antihistamines taken alone produce only mild euphoria. However, it appears that some antihistamines increase the pleasurable effects of alcohol and other drugs which depress the Central Nervous System. The following effects can vary between different antihistamines:
Low doses can cause:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • poor concentration
  • mild incoordination
  • sedation
  • sometimes insomnia
  • excitation and nervousness (most commonly in children)
  • blurred vision
  • ringing in the ears
  • infrequently tremors
  • palpitations
  • headaches
  • reduced blood pressure
  • dry nose and throat
  • cough
  • dry mouth
  • stomach discomfort
  • loss of appetite
  • relief from nausea OR increased nausea and vomiting
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • frequent urination
  • heaviness and weakness in the hands
  • muscle pain
  • tightness in the chest


Higher doses intensify the effects described above. Sleep is the most likely result of a high dose, after drowsiness, lethargy and sedation.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance
The effectiveness of antihistamines tends to diminish with long-term regular use. Little is known about the effects of long-term high dose abuse.
Dependence
There is not enough evidence at the moment to say whether long-term regular use results in physical dependence. However, regular users may become psychologically dependent.

Overdose
Very high doses in children can be as few as 15-20 tablets of most over-the-counter antihistamines.
The effects of these doses can be extremely severe, including:

  • flushing
  • fixed and dilated pupils
  • agitation
  • muscle uncoordination
  • hallucinations
  • very high fever
  • convulsions


These symptoms may be followed by coma, profound cardiovascular and respiratory depression, and sometimes death.

The effects of a non-fatal overdose on adults can include:

  • confusion
  • toxic psychosis with hallucinations
  • delusions and disorientation
  • tremors
  • muscle twitching
  • irregular heartbeat
  • abnormally high blood pressure
  • convulsions (rarely)

 


BARBITUATES

Slang names
Barbs, beans, black beauties, blockbusters, blue angels, brain ticklers, downers, goofballs, goofers, green dragons, nembies, nimbies, phennies, pink ladies, purple hearts, sleepers, yellow bullets, yellow jackets

Forms and appearance
Come as tablets or capsules in a variety of sizes and colours.

Medical uses
In the 1950s and 1960s barbiturates were regularly prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety and induce sleep.

Effects of use
Slow-acting barbiturates
Effects start within 1-2 hours, and last 6-24 hours. These can quickly build up in the body producing a ‘hangover’ effect.

Intermediate-acting barbiturates
Effects start within 15-30 minutes, and last 2-8 hours. They are less likely to produce a ‘hangover’ effect.

Fast-acting barbiturates
Produce complete anaesthesia almost immediately, and are used for IV injection in hospitals.

Effects of use during pregnancy are similar to those of alcohol, as the drug is carried in bloodstream to the foetus. Babies can suffer from withdrawal and impaired development due to brain damage in the womb.

Tolerance and dependence
Prolonged use causes physical and psychological dependence, and today benzodiazepines are often prescribed instead.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms are far worse than those for heroin or morphine, and some effects can last for months. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include: anxiety, inability to sleep or relax, increased temperature, trembling, increased heart rate, faintness, nausea, abdominal cramps, dizziness, hallucinations and convulsions.

Overdose
The margin of safety is very narrow, especially when combined with alcohol, and the toxic effects of the drug can result in death.

Amytal
Amytal tablets contain the barbiturate drug amylobarbitone in various strengths. The tablets shown are 30mg

Sodium Amytal
Sodium Amytal capsules contain amylobarbitone sodium. They come in two strengths. Street names include 'birds' and 'blue heavens'


Soneryl
Soneryl tablets, with 100mg of the barbiturate drug butobarbitone

Seconal Sodium
Seconal Sodium capsules, containing the drug quinalbarbitone sodium, are produced in two strengths. They are known as 'reds' or 'red devils'

Tunial
Tunial capsules are distinctive orangey red and blue capsules, with the drugs quinalbarbitone sodium and amylobarbitone in equal parts. Street names include 'rainbows' and 'reds and blues'


BENZODIAZEPINES
(Minor Tranquillisers)
Minor tranquillisers are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the central nervous system. They are depressants because they slow down physical, mental and emotional responses. Most tranquillisers are based on benzodiazepine or, more rarely, barbiturates. The most common benzodiazepine tranquillisers are diazepam, known as Valium or Ducene; oxazepam, known as Serepax; nitrazepam, known as Mogadon; tempazepam, known as Normison; flunitrazepam, known as Rohypnol; and clonazepam known as Rivotril.

Slang Names
Tranks, downers.

Forms and Appearance
Most tranquillisers are seen in capsule or tablet form in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They have a number of different brand names, which are the same drug made by different companies.

Medical and Other Uses
Minor tranquillisers are usually prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems. They can be used to treat panic disorders and muscle spasms. Minor tranquillisers only treat the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. They do not treat the cause of these symptoms. Only doctors can prescribe minor tranquillisers as they are restricted substances under the NSW Poisons Act.

Combination products
Combining minor tranquillisers with alcohol, pain killers and anti-histamines like cough, cold and allergy medications can result in unconsciousness and failure to breathe.

Methods of Use
Benzodiazepine is usually taken orally, as tablets, capsules or a liquid. Sometimes it is injected.

Effects of Use
Common short-term effects, when used as prescribed include relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia. In higher doses, the user will have feelings of euphoria and dreaminess, and will have no feelings of worry, fear, hunger or cold.
When used in higher doses, effects include lethargy, irritability, violent mood swings, aggression, nausea, loss of sexual interest, and increased appetite and weight.

The Law
Illegal use, possession or supply of minor tranquillisers carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continues use. With sleeping tablets, this can happen in 3 nights.
Dependence occurs in 4 to 6 weeks.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using minor tranquillisers or severely cuts down their dose. Symptoms can include sleeping problems; tension; muscle pain; pain attacks and depression. If someone has been regularly using minor tranquillisers for more than 2 or 3 weeks, they should not stop suddenly. They should be discontinued gradually over a period of months under the supervision of a doctor, pharmacist or health worker. Some people find that massage, relaxation techniques and stress management help during withdrawal. If possible, withdrawal should begin when there is some degree of stability in a person’s life.

Overdose
Overdose of minor tranquillisers can cause convulsions, breathing problems, coma and death.

Ativan
The blue 1mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a number of medicinal preparations produced by other manufacturers under the non-proprietary or generic title of lorazepam

Ativan
The yellow 2.5mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a sample of non-proprietary lorazepam preparations produced by other manufacturers

Non-proprietary
A sample of the medicinal preparations produced by manufacturers under the non-proprietary title oxazepam

Librium
Librium tablets and capsules of 5mg strength. Librium contains the drug chlordiazepoxide

Tenuate Dospan
Tenuate Dospan tablets also contain the drug diethylpropion. Because of their potential for misuse, they have been brought within the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act

Duromine
Duromine contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Ionamin
Ionamin also contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Teronac
Teronac contains the drug mazindol in a white tablet of 2mg strength

Adifax
Adifax contains 15mg of the drug dexfenfluramine hydrochloride

Ponderax
Ponderax capsule each containing 60mg of fenfluramine hydrochloride, a drug related to amphetamine


BUPRENORPHINE

Forms and Appearance
Buprenorphine hydrochloride in pure form is a white, crystalline powder.

Medical uses
Used for detoxification and maintenance treatment of opioid-dependent patients.

Short-term use (up to 1 mg) – has an analgesic effect, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, sweating, respiratory depression

Effects of use
Short term use (more than 1 mg) – euphoria, nausea, constipation

Long term use – produces morphine-like subjective behavioural and physiological effects

Tolerance and dependence
Low levels of physical and psychological dependence occur. Tolerance to the side effects of sedation and drowsiness may develop.

Withdrawal
Symptoms are less intense than those associated with morphine. Abrupt termination of buprenorphine may produce mild withdrawal effects lasting 8–10 days.

Overdose
Not strongly linked to death by overdose.

Temgesic tablets contain the drug buprenorphine. They come in two strengths, 200 and 400 micrograms
Actual size of Temgesic tablets



CAFFEINE
Caffeine is a drug found in coffee, tea, chocolate and cola. It is a stimulant drug because it speeds up the functions of the central nervous system.

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, caffeine is a white powder.

Medical and Other Uses
Caffeine is used, in combination with other drugs to treat migraine headaches, and also as a mild stimulant.

Combination products
Caffeine is often used as an ingredient in stimulants sold on the street, and is sometimes marketed as more powerful stimulants such as amphetamines.

Methods of Use
As a medicine, caffeine is usually given orally in tablets or capsules, or injected. Abusers sometimes inject it intravenously. Most people drink it in coffee, tea or cola drinks, or eat it in chocolate.

Guide to strengths
Substance Strength:

  • Instant coffee: 60-100mg per cup
  • fresh coffee: 80-350mg per cup
  • decaffeinated coffee: 2-4mg per cup; tea: 8-90mg per cup
  • cola drinks: 35mg per 250ml
  • cocoa and hot chocolate: 10-70mg per cup
  • chocolate bars: 20-60mg per 200g bar
  • some prescription and over the counter medicines such as NO DOZ and some cough, headache and slimming preparations: 20-100mg per dose.


Most researchers agree that there is very little health risk when less than 600mg of caffeine is consumed a day.

Many doctors recommend less than 200mg a day (approx 2-4 cups of coffee or tea) if the person is suffering anxiety or stress, or is pregnant.

Effects of Use
The immediate effects of caffeine include: increased alertness, metabolism and body temperature. Caffeine also stimulates the secretion of gastric acid and increases urination. Caffeine taken before going to bed can also delay and shorten sleep.

People use caffeine for a number of reasons:
• to stimulate thinking
• to keep awake
• to suppress appetite
• and to improve alertness and quicken reaction time

In large doses, caffeine can produce headaches, jitters, nervousness and even delirium. This is especially so for someone not used to taking caffeine. Drinking or eating more than 10g of caffeine can produce high blood sugar and urinary acid levels. (Note that 10g of caffeine is equivalent to 30 cups of strong freshly brewed coffee.)

Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal
Tolerance does not seem to develop. Users do not seem to need to increase the amount of coffee they drink to achieve the same effects. However, having coffee before bed is more likely to cause insomnia in people who don't usually drink coffee than in regular coffee drinkers.

People can become dependent on caffeine. If caffeine is unavailable they may panic or feel anxious. People who are dependent on caffeine may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability and a feeling of tiredness if they stop or dramatically cut down their caffeine intake.

Overdose
Deaths from overdose of caffeine are very rare. However, it is possible if large doses are taken orally or injected intravenously.


CANNABIS
Cannabis is the short name for the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana, and hashish (or hash) come from the dried leaves and flowers of this plant. The chemical in cannabis that makes the user high is Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The more THC cannabis contains, the stronger it is. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Slang Names
pot, grass, dope, mull, yundi, hooch and dagga

Forms and Appearance
Marijuana is the dried plant form. It is a coarse, tobacco-like mixture, usually greenish-brown in colour.

Hashish, or hash, is the resin of the plant, and ranges in colour from light brown to almost black. It is sold as oil or in compressed small blocks.

Medical and Other Uses
Cannabis has been used for many thousands of years in the manufacture of products such as clothing and rope, and for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Combination Products
Cannabis has been combined with other drugs such as opium and heroin.
Methods of Use
Marijuana is usually smoked in water pipes called bongs or in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Hash is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked. The concentration of THC is higher and more potent in hash than in the leaf and flower heads. Marijuana and hashish can also be cooked in foods and eaten.

Effects of Use
Immediate
The effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken; the person's experience with the drug; their expectations; the mood they are in; and the way in which the drug is taken. Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. The effects of cannabis are most intense during the first hour after taking it, although they may persist for three to five hours. The most common reaction to cannabis is to feel 'stoned, 'happy', 'bent', 'relaxed' or 'high'. Small amounts can produce a feeling of well-being and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual. It can also redden eyes, impair coordination and reduce concentration. Cannabis can affect one’s ability to drive.

Higher doses make the above effects stronger. A person’s perception of time, sound, and colour may become distorted or sharpened. Feelings of excitement, anxiety and confusion may also increase.

Long Term
Frequent or heavy smokers may experience some long-term effects. These include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy, and boredom
  • reduced memory, concentration and learning abilities
  • the increased risk of bronchitis and respiratory diseases
  • reduced sex drive
  • lowered sperm count/irregular menstrual cycles
  • the risk of psychotic behaviour - this is more likely if the person already has schizophrenia.


Driving
Cannabis affects a person's motor and coordination skills, vision and ability to judge distance and speed. This can make driving very dangerous. In Queensland, it is against the law to drive if under the effect of any drug. There are heavy fines for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Work
As stated before, cannabis affects concentration and coordination. Using drugs at work can result in loss of a job or cause an accident or injury.

Pregnancy
Health Research indicates that if used during pregnancy, the chemicals in cannabis may have an effect on the developing baby. There are reports of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature babies and low birth weights due to marijuana use. The THC in cannabis is passed on to newborn babies through a mother's milk.

The Law
In Australia, cannabis laws are different from State to State. In NSW and Queensland, it is illegal to possess, grow, manufacture, trade or use any cannabis products. If convicted of these offences a person can face heavy fines or go to jail, which means they will then have a criminal record. This can affect future work, travel and relationships.

Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and or 2 years in prison to a $500 000 fine and/or life imprisonment. The sale, supply or commercial display of any item used for administering cannabis such as bongs is also illegal.

Tolerance and Dependence
Some regular users develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. If it is unavailable they may panic or become anxious. Some heavy users of cannabis may experience physical dependence.

They may also develop tolerance which means they need more cannabis to get the same effects as before.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using cannabis or severely cuts down the amount used. During withdrawal, the person may experience sleeping problems, anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days, although sleep disturbances may last longer.

Overdose
It is not thought to be possible to overdose with cannabis.


COCAINE
Cocaine is a stimulant. It directly affects the central nervous system by speeding up the activity of certain pathways in the brain.

Slang Names
Coke, "C", Crack, Snow, Nose Candy, Blow, Toot and The Lady are the most common terms used in Australia at present.

Forms and Appearance
Cocaine is derived from the coca plant grown in South America. It is most commonly seen in Australia as a white powder with a sparkling appearance called cocaine hydrochloride. In this form, it is sniffed through the nose ('snorted') or injected.

Users sometimes chemically convert cocaine hydrochloride into free base cocaine using powerful solvents such as ether. The free base can be heated and 'smoked' (i.e. the vapour inhaled). However, the process is very risky because the solvents used are highly inflammable.

Crack cocaine is a free base preparation made by adding baking soda to a solution of cocaine hydrochloride and then heating the mixture. The residue is sold as crystals or in small lumps which are heated and the vapour inhaled.

Medical and Other Uses
Cocaine was formerly used as a local anaesthetic for eye, nose and throat surgery. However, it is now used only rarely.

Combination Products
People who sell cocaine often mix or 'cut' the powder with other substances to increase their profits. These substances can have unpleasant or harmful effects.
Cocaine has been combined with heroin (called 'dynamite', 'speedball' or 'whizbang'); cocaine plus morphine is also called 'whizbang'; a mixture of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine is called 'zoom'.

Methods of Use
As described above, cocaine is 'snorted' into the nose or injected.

Effects of Use
The effects of cocaine will vary from person to person. They will depend on: how much cocaine is taken; the way in which cocaine is taken; the person's size, weight and health; the person's experience with cocaine over a period of time; whether it is taken on its own or in combination with other drugs; and whether the person is alone or with others.

In Australia, a 1993 national survey found that about 2 percent of people had tried cocaine at some time in their lives. One percent had used cocaine in the previous 12 months.

Immediate Effects can occur rapidly after a single dose and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. They include:

  • reduced appetite
  • increased heart rate
  • agitation
  • sexual arousal
  • increased body temperature
  • enlarged pupils of the eyes
  • increased alertness and energy
  • extreme feelings of well-being
  • inability to judge risks
  • unpredictability and aggressive behaviour


Long Term

  • Restlessness
  • increased excitability
  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • weight loss
  • muscle twitching
  • heart pain
  • hallucinations
  • violent and/or aggressive behaviour
  • loss of interest in sex
  • loss of ambition and motivation
  • headaches


There are a range of other effects related to the method of taking the drug:

Snorting cocaine can lead to nosebleeds, sinusitis and tearing of the nasal wall.

Smoking free base cocaine (e.g. 'crack') can cause breathing difficulties, a chronic cough, chest pain and lung damage.

Injecting cocaine with used or dirty equipment, such as needles, increases the risk of becoming infected with HIV, hepatitis B and C, blood poisoning (septicaemia) and skin abscesses.

Long-term injection of cocaine can result in: blockage of blood vessels (caused by the substances sometimes 'cut' with cocaine) which can lead to major damage to body organs; inflamed blood vessels; and abscesses.
Tolerance and Dependence
People can develop a tolerance to the 'feeling high' effects of cocaine. They need higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effects as they used to get with smaller doses.
Some people can also become dependent on cocaine. The drug becomes central to their thoughts, emotions and activities.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms occur when a dependent person stops using cocaine or cuts down on its use.
Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • deep depression
  • suicidal feelings
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • shaking fits
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • hunger
  • long but disturbed sleep
  • irritability
  • muscle pain and a craving for the drug

Medical assistance is advised when people are withdrawing from any drug.

Overdose
The effects of an overdose of cocaine will vary from person to person. As little as 10mg (about one-tenth of the dose users commonly inhale) has been known to kill individuals who have a particularly strong reaction to cocaine.

An overdose of cocaine can produce the following effects:

  • firregular heartbeats
  • lung failure; heaster, art failure
  • burst blood vessels in the brain


Cocaine psychosis may also occur as a result of either a single high dose of cocaine or a period of taking high doses of it. The symptoms include:

  • hearing voices
  • delusions
  • suspicion and fear of persecution

 


CODEINE
(OPIATES & OPIOID)
The opiates are found in a gummy substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian poppy, Papaver somniferum. Opium is produced from this substance, and codeine and morphine are derived from opium.

Other drugs, such as heroin, are processed from morphine or codeine. Opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine and methadone, are called opioids.

Forms and Appearance
Opium appears either as dark brown chunks or in powder form, and is generally eaten or smoked. Heroin usually appears as a white or brownish powder, which is dissolved in water for injection. Most street preparations of heroin contain only a small percentage of the drug, as they are diluted with sugar, quinine, or other drugs and substances. Other opiate analgesics appear in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, syrups, elixirs, solutions, and suppositories.

Medical and Other Uses
Opiates and their synthetic counterparts (opioids) are used in modern medicine to relieve acute pain suffered as a result of disease, surgery, or injury; in the treatment of some forms of acute heart failure; and in the control of moderate to severe coughs or diarrhoea. They are not the desired treatment for the relief of chronic pain, because their long-term and repeated use can result in drug dependence and side effects (such as constipation and mood swings). They are, however, of particular value in control of pain in the later stages of terminal illness, where the possibility of dependence is not a significant issue.

A small proportion of people for whom the drugs have been medically prescribed become dependent; they are referred to as 'medical addicts'. Even use of non-prescription codeine products, if continued inappropriately, may get out of control. Medical advice should be sought, since withdrawal symptoms may result from abruptly stopping use after physical dependence has been established. Because members of the medical and allied health professions have ready access to the drugs, some become dependent.

The Federal Narcotic Control Act regulates the possession and distribution of all opiates and opioids. The act permits individual physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians, as well as hospitals, to keep supplies of certain drugs. Members of the general public must obtain these drugs from such authorised sources. Although the act also permits the prescribing of methadone in the treatment of heroin dependence, permission is given only to specially licensed physicians, and use is governed by specific guidelines.

Opiates have been used both medically and non-medically for centuries. A tincture of opium called laudanum has been widely used since the 16th century as a remedy for 'nerves' or to stop coughing and diarrhoea.

By the early 19th century, morphine had been extracted in a pure form suitable for solution. With the introduction of the hypodermic needle in the mid-19th century, injection of the solution became the common method of administration.

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) was introduced in 1898 and was heralded as a remedy for morphine addiction. Although heroin proved to be a more potent painkiller (analgesic) and cough suppressant than morphine, it was also more likely to produce dependence.

Of the 20 alkaloids contained in opium, only codeine and morphine are still in widespread clinical use today. In this century, many synthetic drugs (opioids) have been developed with essentially the same effects as the natural opium alkaloids. These opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine (Demerol) and methadone, were first developed to provide an analgesic that would not produce drug dependence. Unfortunately, all opiates and opioids, while effective as analgesics, can also produce dependence. Modern research has led, however, to the development of other families of drugs. The narcotic antagonists (e.g. naloxone hydrochloride) - one of these groups - are used not as painkillers but to reverse the effects of opiate overdose.

(Note that where a drug name is capitalized, it is a registered trade name of the manufacturer.)

Another group of drugs has both morphine-like and naloxone-like properties (e.g. pentazocine, or Talwin) and these are sometimes used for pain relief because they are less likely to be abused and to cause addiction. Nevertheless, abuse of pentazocine in combination with the antihistamine tripelennamine (Pyribenzamine) was widely reported in the 1980s, particularly in several large cities in the United States. This combination became known on the street as "Ts and blues." The reformulation of Talwin, however, with the narcotic antagonist naloxone has reportedly reduced the incidence of Ts and blues use.

Methods of Use
Street users usually inject opiate solutions under the skin ('skin popping') or directly into a vein or muscle, but the drugs may also be 'snorted' into the nose or taken orally or rectally.

Effects of Use
The effects of any drug depend on several factors:
the amount taken at one time; the user's past drug experience; the manner in which the drug is taken; and the circumstances under which the drug is taken (the place, the user's psychological and emotional stability, the presence of other people, simultaneous use of alcohol or other drugs, etc.).

Immediate
These appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours or days. Opiates and opioids briefly stimulate the higher centres of the brain but then depress activity of the central nervous system. Immediately after injection into a vein, the user feels a surge of pleasure or a 'rush'. This gives way to a state of gratification - hunger, pain, and sexual urges rarely intrude.

The dose required to produce these effects may at first cause restlessness, nausea, and vomiting. With moderately high doses, however, the body feels warm, the extremities heavy, and the mouth dry. Soon, the user goes 'on the nod', an alternately wakeful and drowsy state during which the world is forgotten.

As the dose is increased, breathing becomes gradually slower. With very large doses, the user cannot be roused; the pupils contract to pinpoints; the skin is cold, moist, and bluish; and profound respiratory depression resulting in death may occur.

Long Term
These appear after repeated use over a long period. Chronic opiate users may develop endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining and valves as a result of non-sterile injection techniques.

Drug users who share needles are also at a high risk of acquiring AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and HIV infection (human immunodeficiency virus). Non-sterile injection techniques can also cause abscesses, cellulitis, liver disease, and even brain damage. Among users with a long history of subcutaneous injection, tetanus is common. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result from the unhealthy lifestyle of the user, as well as from the depressant effect of opiates on respiration.

Pregnancy
Women dependent on opiates and opioids are likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Among their most common medical problems are anaemia, cardiac disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and hepatitis. They also have an abnormally high rate of spontaneous abortion, breech delivery, caesarean section, and premature birth. Withdrawal from the drugs has also been linked to a high incidence of stillbirths.

Infants born to heroin-dependent mothers are smaller than average and frequently show evidence of acute infection. Most exhibit withdrawal symptoms of varying degrees and duration. The death rate among these infants is higher than normal.

The Law
If tried by summary conviction, a first offence for opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment. For subsequent offences, the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment. If tried by indictment, opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

Importing, exporting, trafficking, and possession for the purposes of trafficking are all indictable offences and carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Cultivation of opium is also an indictable offence and carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

It is illegal to obtain a prescription for opiates, opioids or any other 'narcotic' from health care professionals without notifying them that you have obtained a similar prescription through another practitioner within the last 30 days.

Tolerance and Dependence
With regular use, tolerance develops to many of the desired effects of the drugs. This means the user must use more of the drug to achieve the same intensity of effect.

Long-term users may also become psychologically and physically dependent.
Psychological dependence exists when a drug is so central to a person's thoughts, emotions, and activities that the need to continue its use becomes a craving or compulsion. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use of the drug is reduced or stopped abruptly. Some users take heroin on an occasional basis, thus avoiding physical dependence.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal may occur in regular users as early as a few hours after the last administration. It produces:

  • yawning
  • uneasiness
  • tears
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal cramps
  • goose bumps
  • runny nose

These symptoms are accompanied by a craving for the drug. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after a week. Some bodily functions, however, do not return to normal levels for as long as six months. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health has occasionally been fatal. Opiate and opioid withdrawal, however, is much less dangerous to life than alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal.

Overdose
Overdose is a particular risk on the street, where the amount of drug contained in a 'hit' cannot be accurately gauged.


CRACK
(COCAINE)
Crack is a Cocaine free base preparation made by adding baking soda to a solution of cocaine hydrochloride and then heating the mixture. The residue is sold as crystals or in small lumps which are heated and the vapour inhaled. Cocaine is a stimulant. It directly affects the central nervous system by speeding up the activity of certain pathways in the brain.

Slang Names
Coke, "C", Crack, Snow, Nose Candy, Blow, Toot and The Lady are the most common terms used in Australia at present.

Forms and Appearance
Cocaine is derived from the coca plant grown in South America. It is most commonly seen in Australia as a white powder with a sparkling appearance called cocaine hydrochloride. In this form, it is sniffed through the nose ('snorted') or injected. Users sometimes chemically convert cocaine hydrochloride into free base cocaine using powerful solvents such as ether. The free base can be heated and 'smoked' (i.e. the vapour inhaled). However, the process is very risky because the solvents used are highly inflammable.

Crack cocaine is a free base preparation made by adding baking soda to a solution of cocaine hydrochloride and then heating the mixture. The residue is sold as crystals or in small lumps which are heated and the vapour inhaled.

Medical and Other Uses
Cocaine was formerly used as a local anaesthetic for eye, nose and throat surgery. However, it is now used only rarely.

Combination Products
People who sell cocaine often mix or 'cut' the powder with other substances to increase their profits. These substances can have unpleasant or harmful effects.

Cocaine has been combined with heroin (called 'dynamite', 'speedball' or 'whizbang'); cocaine plus morphine is also called 'whizbang'; a mixture of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine is called 'zoom'.

Methods of Use
As described above, cocaine is 'snorted' into the nose or injected.

Effects of Use
The effects of cocaine will vary from person to person. They will depend on: how much cocaine is taken; the way in which cocaine is taken; the person's size, weight and health; the person's experience with cocaine over a period of time; whether it is taken on its own or in combination with other drugs; and whether the person is alone or with others.

In Australia, a 1993 national survey found that about 2 percent of people had tried cocaine at some time in their lives. One percent had used cocaine in the previous 12 months.

Immediate Effects can occur rapidly after a single dose and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. They include:

  • reduced appetite
  • increased heart rate
  • agitation
  • sexual arousal
  • increased body temperature
  • enlarged pupils of the eyes
  • increased alertness and energy
  • extreme feelings of well-being
  • inability to judge risks
  • unpredictability and aggressive behaviour


Long Term:

  • restlessness
  • increased excitability
  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • weight loss
  • muscle twitching
  • heart pain
  • hallucinations
  • violent and/or aggressive behaviour
  • loss of interest in sex
  • loss of ambition and motivation
  • headaches


There are a range of other effects related to the method of taking the drug:

Snorting cocaine can lead to nosebleeds, sinusitis and tearing of the nasal wall.

Smoking free base cocaine (e.g. 'crack') can cause breathing difficulties, a chronic cough, chest pain and lung damage.

Injecting cocaine with used or dirty equipment, such as needles, increases the risk of becoming infected with HIV, hepatitis B and C, blood poisoning (septicaemia) and skin abscesses.

Long-term injection of cocaine can result in: blockage of blood vessels (caused by the substances sometimes 'cut' with cocaine) which can lead to major damage to body organs; inflamed blood vessels; and abscesses.
Tolerance and Dependence
People can develop a tolerance to the 'feeling high' effects of cocaine. They need higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effects as they used to get with smaller doses.
Some people can also become dependent on cocaine. The drug becomes central to their thoughts, emotions and activities.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms occur when a dependent person stops using cocaine or cuts down on its use. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • deep depression
  • suicidal feelings
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • shaking fits
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • hunger
  • long but disturbed sleep
  • irritability
  • muscle pain and a craving for the drug

Medical assistance is advised when people are withdrawing from any drug.

Overdose
The effects of an overdose of cocaine will vary from person to person. As little as 10mg (about one-tenth of the dose users commonly inhale) has been known to kill individuals who have a particularly strong reaction to cocaine.

An overdose of cocaine can produce the following effects:

  • faster, irregular heartbeats
  • lung failure; heart failure
  • burst blood vessels in the brain


Cocaine psychosis may also occur as a result of either a single high dose of cocaine or a period of taking high doses of it. The symptoms include

  • hearing voices
  • delusions
  • suspicion and fear of persecution

 


DEXAMPHETAMINE SULPHATE
Dexedrine tablets - pharmaceutically produced tablets which contain the drug dexamphetamine, a powerful stimulant


DEXTROMORAMIDE
Palfium tablets contain the drug dextromoramide. They are made in two strengths, 5mg (white) and 10mg (peach-coloured)
Palfium ampoules, with dextromoramide in injectable form


DEXTROPROPOXYPHENE
The Distalgesic tablet marked 'DG' is shown the the left of a selection of co-proxamol tablets produced by the other manufacturers. Although they all contain the controlled drug dextropropoxyphene, because of the low concentration of the drug, it is not an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act to possess them
Actual size of Distalgesic tablet.


DIETHYLPROPION
Diethylpropion is a central nervous system stimulant which produces effects similar to amphetamines, but less intense.

Slang Names
None in common use; however, most stimulant drugs are referred to on the street as 'uppers'.

Forms and Appearance
Diethylpropion powder is white and crystalline. As a diet pill, it comes in capsule form.

Medical and Other Uses
Diethylpropion was originally believed to be a 'safe' diet pill. However, it has been found to have many of the same problems as amphetamines. It is now used only for a few weeks in weight reduction programs supervised by a doctor.

Methods of Use
It is given orally for medical use, as a capsule. However, there have been reports of injection by abusers.

Effects of Use
Short-term use of low doses can cause:

  • euphoria
  • feelings of well-being
  • often increased alertness
  • loss of feelings of tiredness


However, it can also cause

  • over-stimulation
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • headache
  • psychotic episodes (rarely)
  • heart palpitations
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • chest pain and irregular heartbeat
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhoea and constipation
  • allergic reactions
  • sexual and menstrual problems


Long-term, high dose use can cause a state similar to amphetamine psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance to the effects of the drug develops fairly quickly (within a few weeks), and long-term use can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Withdrawal
If diethylpropion is stopped suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may include: extreme fatigue, ravenous appetite, depression, agitation, and feelings of distress or panic.

Overdose
Severe overdose can lead to convulsions, coma and circulatory collapse. However, deaths from diethylpropion are very rare.


DIHYDROCODEINE
A DF 118 tablet is shown to the left of a selection of similar non-propietary preparations produced by other manufacturers. They all contain the controlled drug dihydrocodeine, but because of the low concentration in the preparations, it is not an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act to possess them.

A selection of the compound preparation co-dydramol containing dihydrocodeine tartrate and paracetamol


DIPIPANONE
Diconal, a distinctive pink-coloured tablet containing the drug dipipanone which was widely misused until the prescribing restrictions were tightened up. It was often dissolved in water and injected.


DOPE
(CANNABIS)
Cannabis is the short name for the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana, and hashish (or hash) come from the dried leaves and flowers of this plant. The chemical in cannabis that makes the user high is Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The more THC cannabis contains, the stronger it is. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Slang Names
pot, grass, dope, mull, yundi, hooch and dagga

Forms and Appearance
Marijuana is the dried plant form. It is a coarse, tobacco-like mixture, usually greenish-brown in colour.

Hashish, or hash, is the resin of the plant, and ranges in colour from light brown to almost black. It is sold as oil or in compressed small blocks.

Medical and Other Uses
Cannabis has been used for many thousands of years in the manufacture of products such as clothing and rope, and for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Combination Products
Cannabis has been combined with other drugs such as opium and heroin.
Methods of Use
Marijuana is usually smoked in water pipes called bongs or in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Hash is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked. The concentration of THC is higher and more potent in hash than in the leaf and flower heads. Marijuana and hashish can also be cooked in foods and eaten.

Effects of Use
Immediate
The effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken; the person's experience with the drug; their expectations; the mood they are in; and the way in which the drug is taken. Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. The effects of cannabis are most intense during the first hour after taking it, although they may persist for three to five hours. The most common reaction to cannabis is to feel 'stoned, 'happy', 'bent', 'relaxed' or 'high'. Small amounts can produce a feeling of well-being and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual. It can also redden eyes, impair coordination and reduce concentration. Cannabis can affect one’s ability to drive.

Higher doses make the above effects stronger. A person’s perception of time, sound, and colour may become distorted or sharpened. Feelings of excitement, anxiety and confusion may also increase.

Long Term
Frequent or heavy smokers may experience some long-term effects. These include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy, and boredom
  • reduced memory, concentration and learning abilities;
  • the increased risk of bronchitis and respiratory diseases
  • reduced sex drive
  • lowered sperm count/irregular menstrual cycles
  • the risk of psychotic behaviour - this is more likely if the person already has schizophrenia.


Driving
Cannabis affects a person's motor and coordination skills, vision and ability to judge distance and speed. This can make driving very dangerous. In Queensland, it is against the law to drive if under the effect of any drug. There are heavy fines for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Work
As stated before, cannabis affects concentration and coordination. Using drugs at work can result in loss of a job or cause an accident or injury.

Health Research indicates that if used during pregnancy, the chemicals in cannabis may have an effect on the developing baby. There are reports of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature babies and low birth weights due to marijuana use. The THC in cannabis is passed on to newborn babies through a mother's milk.

The Law
In Australia, cannabis laws are different from State to State. In NSW and Queensland, it is illegal to possess, grow, manufacture, trade or use any cannabis products. If convicted of these offences a person can face heavy fines or go to jail, which means they will then have a criminal record. This can affect future work, travel and relationships.

Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and or 2 years in prison to a $500 000 fine and/or life imprisonment. The sale, supply or commercial display of any item used for administering cannabis such as bongs is also illegal.

Tolerance and Dependence
Some regular users develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. If it is unavailable they may panic or become anxious. Some heavy users of cannabis may experience physical dependence.

They may also develop tolerance which means they need more cannabis to get the same effects as before.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using cannabis or severely cuts down the amount used. During withdrawal, the person may experience sleeping problems, anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days, although sleep disturbances may last longer.

Overdose
It is not thought to be possible to overdose with cannabis.


DOWNERS
(BENZODIAZEPINES)
Minor tranquillisers are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the central nervous system. They are depressants because they slow down physical, mental and emotional responses. Most tranquillisers are based on benzodiazepine or, more rarely, barbiturates. The most common benzodiazepine tranquillisers are diazepam, known as Valium or Ducene; oxazepam, known as Serepax; nitrazepam, known as Mogadon; tempazepam, known as Normison; flunitrazepam, known as Rohypnol; and clonazepam known as Rivotril.

Slang Names
Tranks, downers.

Forms and Appearance
Most tranquillisers are seen in capsule or tablet form in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They have a number of different brand names, which are the same drug made by different companies.

Medical and Other Uses
Minor tranquillisers are usually prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems. They can be used to treat panic disorders and muscle spasms. Minor tranquillisers only treat the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. They do not treat the cause of these symptoms. Only doctors can prescribe minor tranquillisers as they are restricted substances under the NSW Poisons Act.

Combination products
Combining minor tranquillisers with alcohol, pain killers and anti-histamines like cough, cold and allergy medications can result in unconsciousness and failure to breathe.

Methods of Use
Benzodiazepine is usually taken orally, as tablets, capsules or a liquid. Sometimes it is injected.

Effects of Use
Common short-term effects, when used as prescribed include relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia. In higher doses, the user will have feelings of euphoria and dreaminess, and will have no feelings of worry, fear, hunger or cold.
When used in higher doses, effects include lethargy, irritability, violent mood swings, aggression, nausea, loss of sexual interest, and increased appetite and weight.

The Law
Illegal use, possession or supply of minor tranquillisers carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continues use. With sleeping tablets, this can happen in 3 nights.
Dependence occurs in 4 to 6 weeks.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using minor tranquillisers or severely cuts down their dose. Symptoms can include sleeping problems; tension; muscle pain; pain attacks and depression. If someone has been regularly using minor tranquillisers for more than 2 or 3 weeks, they should not stop suddenly. They should be discontinued gradually over a period of months under the supervision of a doctor, pharmacist or health worker. Some people find that massage, relaxation techniques and stress management help during withdrawal. If possible, withdrawal should begin when there is some degree of stability in a person’s life.

Overdose
Overdose of minor tranquillisers can cause convulsions, breathing problems, coma and death.

Ativan
The blue 1mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a number of medicinal preparations produced by other manufacturers under the non-proprietary or generic title of lorazepam

Ativan
The yellow 2.5mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a sample of non-proprietary lorazepam preparations produced by other manufacturers

Non-proprietary
A sample of the medicinal preparations produced by manufacturers under the non-proprietary title oxazepam

Librium
Librium tablets and capsules of 5mg strength. Librium contains the drug chlordiazepoxide

Tenuate Dospan
Tenuate Dospan tablets also contain the drug diethylpropion. Because of their potential for misuse, they have been brought within the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act

Duromine
Duromine contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Ionamin
Ionamin also contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Teronac
Teronac contains the drug mazindol in a white tablet of 2mg strength

Adifax
Adifax contains 15mg of the drug dexfenfluramine hydrochloride

Ponderax
Ponderax capsule each containing 60mg of fenfluramine hydrochloride, a drug related to amphetamine


ECSTACY
Ecstasy is classified as an hallucinogen. It is the common term for MDMA or Methylenedioxymethamphtemine and is similar in chemical structure to amphetamines and some hallucinogens.

Slang Names
E's, Eckies, XTC and MDMA are the most common terms used in Australia at present.

Forms and Appearance
Ecstasy is usually sold as small tablets which come in a variety of colours and sizes. It can also come in a white powder form.

Methods of Use
Ecstasy is usually taken orally as tablets or capsules. In its powder form, it is sometimes inhaled through the nose ('snorted'). There have also been reports of people injecting themselves with ecstasy.

Effects of Use
Generally ecstasy is used to dance all night at 'Rave Parties' as it gives the user feelings of energy and freedom from hunger. It is also taken to experience its hallucinogenic effects and for a variety of other reasons.

In a 1993 national survey, three per cent of Australians said they had taken ecstasy at some time in their lives, and one percent said they had used it within the last 12 months.

Effects can begin within an hour of taking ecstasy. Most effects last up to six hours, but some may persist for up to 32 hours.
These include:

  • a strong feeling of wellbeing
  • increased confidence
  • feelings of closeness with other people
  • increased blood pressure
  • jaw clenching
  • grinding teeth
  • increased pulse rate
  • increased body temperature
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • paranoid thoughts (for example, fear of persecution or feelings of superiority)
  • sweating
  • dehydration


Increasing doses can produce:

  • hallucinations
  • blurred vision
  • sensations of floating
  • irrational behaviour
  • convulsions (fits)
  • vomiting


'hangover effect' including:

  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • muscle aches
  • difficulty in concentrating - particularly on the day after taking the drug.


Long Term Effects
Most drugs, if used at particularly high doses, over a long period of time are likely to cause some health problems. Little is known about the long-term effects of ecstasy. There is some evidence to suggest that long- term use may cause damage to the brain, heart and liver.

Studies here in Australia and in the US have found that few people seem to use ecstasy for long periods. This is probably because the unpleasant effects of the drug increase as people take more of the drug more often.

The Law
In Australia it is illegal to sell, manufacture, possess or use ecstasy.

Tolerance and Dependence
Research suggests that people do develop a tolerance to the pleasurable effects of ecstasy. It also appears that the positive effects diminish while the negative effects increase with increasing use of the drug. People report needing to take more of the drug to experience the same positive effects, but this also increases the unpleasant effects.

There is little evidence of any physical dependence on ecstasy. However, many users develop a low-level psychological dependence with long-term use. Some people begin to feel that it is impossible to have a really good time without it.

Withdrawal
Most ecstasy users have no physical problems when they stop using the drug. However, many regular and heavy users will go through a period of feeling anxious and depressed.

Overdose
Poisoning or overdose can and does occur. This results in very high blood pressure, fast heartbeat and a very high body temperature.

Some people have had severe reactions to ecstasy and there have been deaths related to its use in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Many of these were associated with overheating and dehydration.

Ecstasy is regarded as a dangerous substance for people with medical conditions such as heart or respiratory problems, and for people with depression or any other psychological disorders.

High doses of ecstasy can produce severe hallucinations. People sometimes behave irrationally when they are experiencing hallucinations and can be dangerous to themselves or others.
Ecstasy tablets are difficult to identify because of the variation in shape, size and colour. The most well known have the impression of a bird on the face of the tablet and are known as 'Doves'

Ecstasy capsules are not so common. They may additionally contain amphetamine and LSD. The red and black capsules are more familiar and have been named 'Dennis the Menace'


FLY AGARIC
(PSILOCYBIN)
These hallucinogenic mushrooms have similar properties to LSD and mescaline.

Slang Names
"Magic Mushroom" is the most common terms used in Australia.

Forms and Appearance
There are several varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms which differ in appearance. They include the 'liberty cap' and the 'fly agaric'.

Methods of Use
They are either eaten raw, cooked, made into a drink or dried for later consumption. It takes about 30 mushrooms to produce an effect comparable to a mild LSD dose.

Effects of Use
The effects of magic mushrooms vary a great deal. The effects depend on
the amount of active ingredient in each mushroom (which is impossible to know exactly); the mood or 'mind set' of the user before use; and the age of the user.
These effects include:

  • feelings of euphoria
  • high spirits and well being
  • bouts of laughing and giggling
  • visual and auditory hallucinations


Adverse effects can include nausea and dizziness; and mental problems which are brought to the surface. However, the main danger is in consuming a poisonous type of mushroom by mistake.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops quickly with long-term use, but there is little evidence of any physical or psychological dependence developing.

Withdrawal
There are very few withdrawal effects when the drug is stopped.

Overdose
Overdose of real magic mushrooms is rare because of the very large amounts the user would need to consume.

'Magic mushrooms' that have been picked and dried. The mushrooms contain the drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Up to 30 may be required for an hallucinogenic experience

These tablets, which have the smell and appearance of proprietary yeast tablets, were illicitly made from virtually 100 per cent dried mushroom material. Each tablet is approximately 10mm in diameter by 5mm wide and weights up to 4 to 5 grams.


GLUES
(SOLVENTS)
Solvent-based glues that are abused include those commonly used for gluing laminates, vinyl floor tiles, wood and plastic. They include the model glues used in constructing plastic model aeroplanes, boats etc. The glue can be inhaled ('sniffed') directly from the container; from a plastic bag placed over the user's mouth and nose; or from the fume-filled air in a confined space.

Forms and Appearance
There is a huge range of solvent products which can be abused, and they are found in almost every home.

They include:
Liquid petroleum gases (LPGs) - (e.g. butane, propane) - contained in aerosols

  • camping gas cylinders
  • cigarette lighter gas refills

Liquid solvents - (e.g. benzene, acetone, carbon tetrachloride)

  • fire extinguisher fluid
  • document correction fluid and thinner
  • certain types of paint and paint remover
  • nail polish and nail polish remover
  • anti-freeze
  • petrol

Solvent-based glues - (containing substances such as toluene and hexane) - used to glue laminates, vinyl floor tiles, wood and plastic. They include modelling glues used making plastic model aeroplanes etc.

Methods of Use
LPGs are sprayed directly into the mouth and inhaled deeply. Liquid solvents and solvent glues are usually poured into a plastic bag which is put over the user's mouth and nose, and inhaled ('sniffed'); or inhaled from a rag, handkerchief, the collar or cuffs, or a soft drink can.

Effects of Use
Deeply inhaling solvent fumes will cause intense intoxication in a very short time - within a matter of seconds if they are a new user.
Immediate effects include:

  • flushed face
  • slurred speech
  • balance difficulties
  • excitability, include uncontrolled laughing or tears


If the user continues to inhale, they may have auditory and visual hallucinations.
There is a very real danger of sudden death caused by over-stimulation of the heart; or asphyxiation caused by swelling of the throat tissues or inhaling vomit.

Users may also put themselves in dangerous situations while intoxicated or hallucinating, causing injury or death.

Long Term Repeated use of solvents can lead to:

  • marked personality changes such as mood swings
  • loss of short-term memory
  • difficulty concentrating
  • speech and balance problems


Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops fairly quickly with repeated use. There is little evidence of physical dependence developing, but many long-term users develop a powerful psychological dependence. They rely on the effects to cope with life, or to add excitement. Many long-term users become heavy alcohol or drug users.

Withdrawal
No physical problems occur if solvent use is stopped. However, the user may feel anxious or uncertain.

Overdose
Sudden death can occur when very low levels of solvents are inhaled. The risk is not necessarily related to the amount.



GOOEYS
(Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine)
Amphetamines are a stimulant because they speed up the functions of the central nervous system.

Slang Names
Speed, gooey, bennies, black beauties, copilots, crystal, dexies, eye openers, lid poppers, meth, pep pills, uppers, wake-ups, buzz, whiz, amphet, sulph.

Forms and Appearance
In powder form, legal preparations are white, odourless, crystalline powders with a bitter taste. Illegal preparations include fine to coarse powders, crystals and 'chunks'.

The most common colours are off-white, yellow and pink. Tablets and capsules have various colours, sizes and shapes. Illegally produced amphetamines often have a strong, unpleasant smell which may be 'fishy' or ammonia-like.

Medical and Other Uses
Amphetamines have been used to treat:

  • narcolepsy (uncontrolled episodes of sleep)
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • sedation caused by drugs prescribed for epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • abnormally low blood pressure associated with anaesthesia
  • obesity due to improper diet
  • psychic depression.


Combination Products
Street combinations include: 'goofballs' (amphetamines and barbiturates); 'speedballs' (methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin); and 'zoom' (cocaine, heroin and amphetamines). LSD is sometimes combined with amphetamines, but usually the buyer is not aware of the presence of the other drug when buying.

Methods of Use
The powder form is commonly taken orally, by dissolving in a drink, licking off a finger, or, more rarely, by rubbing the powder into the gums. It is also dissolved in water and injected (the preferred method of the chronic, high-dose abuser). It can be sniffed up the nose or mixed with cannabis or tobacco for smoking, or smoked straight off tin foil.

Effects of Use
The effects of speed depend on:

  • amount taken
  • person’s experience with the drug
  • their expectations
  • mood they are in
  • way in which the drug is taken

Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. Small doses of speed can produce a feeling of well-being, and more self confidence and energy. It can also reduce appetite and make a person more alert. However, even a small amount can increase breathing and heart rate, and cause heart palpitations and anxiety or nervousness.

Higher doses can make the above effects more intense. In addition, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heart beat may occur. Some people may become hostile and aggressive.

Using speed over a long period of time can cause health problems. These include: malnutrition from loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhoea ; reduced resistance to infection; increased blood pressure which increases risk of stroke; emotional disturbances and periods of psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use.
Psychological dependence develops quickly in most regular users. Chronic high-dose use results in physical dependence.

Withdrawal
There are no physical symptoms from abruptly discontinuing regular use. Rather, the prominent symptoms are extreme fatigue, followed by prolonged but disturbed sleep. Other symptoms include mental agitation, depression, irritability, panic and feelings of being unable to cope.

Overdose
Fatal overdose is possible. This could occur at low doses with inexperienced users. Speed poisoning or overdose can cause brain haemorrhage, heart attack, high fever, coma and occasionally death. Most deaths, however, are due to accidents while under the influence of speed.


HALLUCINOGENS
Hallucinogens, also known as 'psychedelic' drugs, change the way a person perceives the world. They work directly on the brain and affect all the senses, producing illusions or hallucinations - that is seeing or hearing things that do not exist.

There are many different types of hallucinogens and some occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. Others are manufactured in laboratories.

Hallucinogens discussed in detail under alphabetical headings are: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide); Psilocybin or 'Magic Mushrooms'; Ketamine; and Ecstasy.

Other hallucinogenic drugs include Mescaline, Morning Glory, Nutmeg, STP, DMT and PCP (Phencyclidine). These are not substances of significant abuse in Australia at present.

Effects
The effects of hallucinogens will vary from person to person and depend on things such as:

  • how much of the drug is taken and the way it is taken
  • the person's size, weight and health
  • the person's mood
  • the person's experience with hallucinogens or similar drugs over a period of time
  • whether the hallucinogens are taken with other drugs
  • whether the person taking the hallucinogens is alone or with other people, at home or at a party

 


HASH/HASHISH
(CANNABIS)
Cannabis is the short name for the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana, and hashish (or hash) come from the dried leaves and flowers of this plant. The chemical in cannabis that makes the user high is Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The more THC cannabis contains, the stronger it is. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Slang Names
pot, grass, dope, mull, yundi, hooch and dagga

Forms and Appearance
Marijuana is the dried plant form. It is a coarse, tobacco-like mixture, usually greenish-brown in colour.

Hashish, or hash, is the resin of the plant, and ranges in colour from light brown to almost black. It is sold as oil or in compressed small blocks.

Medical and Other Uses
Cannabis has been used for many thousands of years in the manufacture of products such as clothing and rope, and for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Combination Products
Cannabis has been combined with other drugs such as opium and heroin.
Methods of Use
Marijuana is usually smoked in water pipes called bongs or in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Hash is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked. The concentration of THC is higher and more potent in hash than in the leaf and flower heads. Marijuana and hashish can also be cooked in foods and eaten.

Effects of Use
Immediate
The effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken; the person's experience with the drug; their expectations; the mood they are in; and the way in which the drug is taken. Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. The effects of cannabis are most intense during the first hour after taking it, although they may persist for three to five hours. The most common reaction to cannabis is to feel 'stoned, 'happy', 'bent', 'relaxed' or 'high'. Small amounts can produce a feeling of well-being and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual. It can also redden eyes, impair coordination and reduce concentration. Cannabis can affect one’s ability to drive.

Higher doses make the above effects stronger. A person’s perception of time, sound, and colour may become distorted or sharpened. Feelings of excitement, anxiety and confusion may also increase.

Long Term
Frequent or heavy smokers may experience some long-term effects. These include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy, and boredom
  • reduced memory, concentration and learning abilities;
  • the increased risk of bronchitis and respiratory diseases
  • reduced sex drive
  • lowered sperm count/irregular menstrual cycles
  • the risk of psychotic behaviour - this is more likely if the person already has schizophrenia.


Driving
Cannabis affects a person's motor and coordination skills, vision and ability to judge distance and speed. This can make driving very dangerous. In Queensland, it is against the law to drive if under the effect of any drug. There are heavy fines for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Work
As stated before, cannabis affects concentration and coordination. Using drugs at work can result in loss of a job or cause an accident or injury.

Pregnancy
Health Research indicates that if used during pregnancy, the chemicals in cannabis may have an effect on the developing baby. There are reports of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature babies and low birth weights due to marijuana use. The THC in cannabis is passed on to newborn babies through a mother's milk.

The Law
In Australia, cannabis laws are different from State to State. In NSW and Queensland, it is illegal to possess, grow, manufacture, trade or use any cannabis products. If convicted of these offences a person can face heavy fines or go to jail, which means they will then have a criminal record. This can affect future work, travel and relationships.

Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and or 2 years in prison to a $500 000 fine and/or life imprisonment. The sale, supply or commercial display of any item used for administering cannabis such as bongs is also illegal.

Tolerance and Dependence
Some regular users develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. If it is unavailable they may panic or become anxious. Some heavy users of cannabis may experience physical dependence.

They may also develop tolerance which means they need more cannabis to get the same effects as before.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using cannabis or severely cuts down the amount used. During withdrawal, the person may experience sleeping problems, anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days, although sleep disturbances may last longer.

Overdose
It is not thought to be possible to overdose with cannabis.


HEROIN
Heroin belongs to a group of drugs called opiates. These are strong pain-killers and highly addictive. They include: heroin, morphine, opium and pethidine.

Heroin is manufactured from morphine or codeine by a chemical process. It is stronger than morphine.

Slang Names
Horse, smack, stuff, dragon, H, and junk are the most common terms used for heroin in Australia at present. They vary, however, from country to country and city to city.

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, heroin is a pure white, fine grained powder. On the street, it is coarser, and varies from pinkish cream to dark brown in colour.

Medical and Other Uses
Until early this century, heroin was used in North America as a powerful analgesic. (An analgesic is a drug which can lessen pain without causing unconsciousness.) However, it has been completely replaced by other drugs because people become highly dependent on it very quickly.

Combination Products
Heroin is sometimes found on the street in combination with: amphetamines ('bombitas'); cocaine ('dynamite', 'speedball', 'whizbang'); or cocaine and amphetamines ('zoom').

Methods of Use
Heroin is most commonly injected or smoked. It can also be sniffed into the nose or taken orally by dabbing it on to a wet finger, but these methods are rare.

Effects of Use on:
Relationships
Illegal use of any drugs usually leads to problems with family and friends. They often find it difficult to understand someone else's addiction and their changes in mood and behaviour. Legal and financial problems, cheating and lying, family fights, stealing, anxiety, paranoia and fear all add to the strain on relationships. It can be especially hard for family and friends to keep helping someone who is dependent on drugs.

Work
Once a person becomes dependent on heroin, holding down a job can be very difficult. It can seem more important to get the drugs they need than to go to work, or to be efficient or reliable when they do. Employers have the right to sack a person caught using drugs at work or convicted of a drug charge. Once a person has a criminal record, getting another job can also be very difficult.

Health
Most of the damaging effects of illegal use of intravenous drugs like heroin occur because of:

  • the way the drug is used, i.e. by injection;
  • the other substances which are mixed with street drugs;
  • poor hygiene and nutrition;
  • the street lifestyle;
  • infections or diseases passed from one drug user to another.


These health problems include:

  • hepatitis,
  • ulcers,
  • abscesses,
  • loss of sex drive,
  • tetanus,
  • infertility,
  • pneumonia,
  • malnutrition,
  • bronchitis,
  • tooth decay,
  • collapsed veins,
  • overdose,
  • brain damage,
  • AIDS.
  • Motor Skills


Heroin is a depressant drug which means it slows down your body's systems. This in turn affects concentration, balance and coordination. Heroin will affect a person's ability to drive any kind of vehicle or operate machinery. When combined with other depressant drugs such as alcohol or cannabis, it is even more dangerous, resulting in a coma or even death.

The Law
In Queensland it is illegal to possess, sell or use heroin.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continued use. The body soon learns to cope with heroin, and the same dose produces weaker and weaker effects each time the drug is used.

Most heroin users very quickly become physically and psychologically dependent on heroin. The body chemistry of the user changes until he/she must keep on taking the drug just to feel normal.

Most users feel that they can control their use but this is rarely true. Very soon, they become totally dependent and their whole life revolves around getting and using the drug. Most users also begin to rely on the feelings heroin gives them, to defend them from the pressures of the real world.

Withdrawal
Sudden withdrawal from heroin use is usually uncomfortable but rarely causes death. There is less danger withdrawing from heroin than from alcohol or barbiturates. The user may have feel like he/she has a severe bout of flu.

Symptoms include:

  • runny nose,
  • sore eyes,
  • sore throat,
  • headache,
  • diarrhoea,
  • stomach cramps,
  • profuse sweating
  • wild temperature fluctuations,
  • aching muscles,
  • severe cramps
  • stiff joints.


As well as these physical problems, the user will feel a real psychological craving to continue the drug. These urges to go back to using heroin are very powerful, and relapses in those trying to give it up are very common.
Overdose
The strength of heroin sold on the street is often unknown and it is easy to use too much and overdose. This causes severe breathing problems and coma. Unless medical help is obtained quickly, the breathing rate will continue to fall until it stops altogether and the person dies.


Heroin Tablets. Unlike the heroin tablets produced in the past, these are intended for oral use, not injection.
Actual size of 10mg heroin tablet

Freeze-dried heroin ampoules which are made in various strengths.

Pakistan and Afghanistan heroin. Most heroin seized in this country today originates from the north-west frontier region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Chinese heroin 'No 3' in distinctive granules. Produced for smoking, it was encountered in London during the early 1970's

Chinese heroin 'No 4' - a more refined form of heroin originating in the same 'Golden Triangle' area as Chinese heroin 'No 3'

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the arm. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the leg. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

A street user deal of heroin which may vary from 125-250mg and cost approximately $25


HYPNOTICS
Rohypnol tablets contain the drug flunitrazepam of 1mg strength

Normison contains the drug temazepam in two strengths; 10mg and 20mg

A sample of the medicinal preparations, in capsule form, produced by a number of manufacturers under the generic title Temazepam. The capsules may contain the drug in a liquid, or more recently in gel. The size of the capsule denotes its strength which varies from 10mg to 30mg.

Dalmane capsules contain the drug flurazepam. The grey and pale yellow capsules have a strength of 15mg

Dalmane capsules coloured black and grey have a stronger concentration of 30mg of flurazepam

Mogadon tablets and capsules, both of 5mg, containg the drug Nitrazepam. Their street name is 'moggies'

A sample of medicinal preparations produced by a number of manufacturers under the non-proprietary title of nitrazepam. In this case there are some similarities between the products although the markings vary.


ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, isopropyl alcohol is a clear, colourless liquid.

Medical and Other Uses
Isopropyl alcohol is widely used in rubbing alcohol products, in cosmetics such as aftershave and hand lotions, and in some antifreeze solutions and quick-drying inks.

Combination Products
Alcoholics on the street sometimes combine isopropyl alcohol with ethyl alcohol.

Methods of Use
Isopropyl alcohol is taken orally, sometimes in desperation by alcoholics who cannot buy ethyl alcohol.

Effects of Use
Short-term, low dose use causes mild inebriation, and can cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Higher doses can cause poisoning which can lead to kidney damage, coma and frequently death from breathing failure.

Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal
Very few people regularly drink isopropyl alcohol because of its known poisonous effects. Tolerance does appear to develop.

Overdose
Isopropyl alcohol is much more dangerous than ethyl alcohol. Doses of 120-240 ml can kill an adult, and much lower doses can kill a small child.


JUNK
(HEROIN)
Heroin belongs to a group of drugs called opiates. These are strong pain-killers and highly addictive. They include: heroin, morphine, opium and pethidine.

Heroin is manufactured from morphine or codeine by a chemical process. It is stronger than morphine.

Slang Names
Horse, smack, stuff, dragon, H, and junk are the most common terms used for heroin in Australia at present. They vary, however, from country to country and city to city.

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, heroin is a pure white, fine grained powder. On the street, it is coarser, and varies from pinkish cream to dark brown in colour.

Medical and Other Uses
Until early this century, heroin was used in North America as a powerful analgesic. (An analgesic is a drug which can lessen pain without causing unconsciousness.) However, it has been completely replaced by other drugs because people become highly dependent on it very quickly.

Combination Products
Heroin is sometimes found on the street in combination with: amphetamines ('bombitas'); cocaine ('dynamite', 'speedball', 'whizbang'); or cocaine and amphetamines ('zoom').

Methods of Use
Heroin is most commonly injected or smoked. It can also be sniffed into the nose or taken orally by dabbing it on to a wet finger, but these methods are rare.

Effects of Use on:
Relationships
Illegal use of any drugs usually leads to problems with family and friends. They often find it difficult to understand someone else's addiction and their changes in mood and behaviour. Legal and financial problems, cheating and lying, family fights, stealing, anxiety, paranoia and fear all add to the strain on relationships. It can be especially hard for family and friends to keep helping someone who is dependent on drugs.

Work
Once a person becomes dependent on heroin, holding down a job can be very difficult. It can seem more important to get the drugs they need than to go to work, or to be efficient or reliable when they do. Employers have the right to sack a person caught using drugs at work or convicted of a drug charge. Once a person has a criminal record, getting another job can also be very difficult.

Health
Most of the damaging effects of illegal use of intravenous drugs like heroin occur because of :

  • the way the drug is used, i.e. by injection;
  • the other substances which are mixed with street drugs;
  • poor hygiene and nutrition;
  • the street lifestyle;
  • infections or diseases passed from one drug user to another.


These health problems include:

  • hepatitis,
  • ulcers,
  • abscesses,
  • loss of sex drive,
  • tetanus,
  • infertility,
  • pneumonia,
  • malnutrition,
  • bronchitis,
  • tooth decay,
  • collapsed veins,
  • overdose,
  • brain damage,
  • AIDS.
  • Motor Skills

Heroin is a depressant drug which means it slows down your body's systems. This in turn affects concentration, balance and coordination. Heroin will affect a person's ability to drive any kind of vehicle or operate machinery. When combined with other depressant drugs such as alcohol or cannabis, it is even more dangerous, resulting in a coma or even death.

The Law
In Queensland it is illegal to possess, sell or use heroin.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continued use. The body soon learns to cope with heroin, and the same dose produces weaker and weaker effects each time the drug is used.

Most heroin users very quickly become physically and psychologically dependent on heroin. The body chemistry of the user changes until he/she must keep on taking the drug just to feel normal.

Most users feel that they can control their use but this is rarely true. Very soon, they become totally dependent and their whole life revolves around getting and using the drug. Most users also begin to rely on the feelings heroin gives them, to defend them from the pressures of the real world.

Withdrawal
Sudden withdrawal from heroin use is usually uncomfortable but rarely causes death. There is less danger withdrawing from heroin than from alcohol or barbiturates. The user may have feel like he/she has a severe bout of flu.

Symptoms include:

  • runny nose,
  • sore eyes,
  • sore throat,
  • headache,
  • diarrhoea,
  • stomach cramps,
  • profuse sweating
  • wild temperature fluctuations,
  • aching muscles,
  • severe cramps
  • stiff joints.


As well as these physical problems, the user will feel a real psychological craving to continue the drug. These urges to go back to using heroin are very powerful, and relapses in those trying to give it up are very common.
Overdose
The strength of heroin sold on the street is often unknown and it is easy to use too much and overdose. This causes severe breathing problems and coma. Unless medical help is obtained quickly, the breathing rate will continue to fall until it stops altogether and the person dies.


Heroin Tablets. Unlike the heroin tablets produced in the past, these are intended for oral use, not injection.

Freeze-dried heroin ampoules which are made in various strengths.

Pakistan and Afghanistan heroin. Most heroin seized in this country today originates from the north-west frontier region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Chinese heroin 'No 3' in distinctive granules. Produced for smoking, it was encountered in London during the early 1970's

Chinese heroin 'No 4' - a more refined form of heroin originating in the same 'Golden Triangle' area as Chinese heroin 'No 3'

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the arm. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the leg. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

A street user deal of heroin which may vary from 125-250mg and cost approximately $25


KETAMINE

Forms and Appearance
Ketamine is a white crystalline powder which is soluble in water and alcohol. It appears on the street as a white scored tablet. Ketamine can be sold as another drug such as ecstasy.

Medical and Other Uses
Ketamine is a short-acting general anaesthetic which is used for short surgical operations.

Effects of Use
During recovery from the anaesthesia, patients may experience:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • increased blood pressure,
  • hallucinations,
  • headaches,
  • irrational behaviour.


Non-medical users inject or sniff doses small enough to stay conscious. The main effects they want are:

  • euphoria,
  • hallucinations,
  • pleasant sensations of floating and stimulation.


Negative effects include:

  • dizziness,
  • uncoordination,
  • slurred speech and confusion.
  • severe episodes ('bad trips') sometimes occur.


The main dangerous effect of high doses is depressed breathing.

Tolerance and Dependence
There has been little research on the long-term use of ketamine. Thus, it is not known if tolerance or dependence develops. However, a number of regular users have 'flashbacks' to hallucinations they had when taking the drug.


LPG
(SOLVENTS)
Liquid petroleum gases (LPGs), e.g. butane and propane, are solvents contained in aerosols, camping gas cylinders and cigarette lighter gas refills.

Forms and Appearance
There is a huge range of solvent products which can be abused, and they are found in almost every home. They include:
Liquid petroleum gases (LPGs) - (e.g. butane, propane) - contained in aerosols,

  • camping gas cylinders
  • cigarette lighter gas refills.

Liquid solvents - (e.g. benzene, acetone, carbon tetrachloride)

  • fire extinguisher fluid,
  • document correction fluid and thinner,
  • certain types of paint and paint remover, nail polish
  • nail polish remover,
  • anti-freeze
  • petrol.

Solvent-based glues - (containing substances such as toluene and hexane) - used to glue laminates, vinyl floor tiles, wood and plastic. They include modelling glues used making plastic model aeroplanes etc.

Methods of Use
LPGs are sprayed directly into the mouth and inhaled deeply. Liquid solvents and solvent glues are usually poured into a plastic bag which is put over the user's mouth and nose, and inhaled ('sniffed'); or inhaled from a rag, handkerchief, the collar or cuffs, or a soft drink can.

Effects of Use
Deeply inhaling solvent fumes will cause intense intoxication in a very short time - within a matter of seconds if they are a new user.

Immediate effects include:

  • flushed face
  • slurred speech
  • balance difficulties
  • excitability, include uncontrolled laughing or tears


If the user continues to inhale, they may have auditory and visual hallucinations.
There is a very real danger of sudden death caused by over-stimulation of the heart; or asphyxiation caused by swelling of the throat tissues or inhaling vomit.

Users may also put themselves in dangerous situations while intoxicated or hallucinating, causing injury or death.

Long Term Repeated use of solvents can lead to:

  • marked personality changes such as mood swings;
  • loss of short-term memory;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • speech and balance problems.


Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops fairly quickly with repeated use. There is little evidence of physical dependence developing, but many long-term users develop a powerful psychological dependence. They rely on the effects to cope with life, or to add excitement. Many long-term users become heavy alcohol or drug users.

Withdrawal
No physical problems occur if solvent use is stopped. However, the user may feel anxious or uncertain.

Overdose
Sudden death can occur when very low levels of solvents are inhaled. The risk is not necessarily related to the amount.


LSD
(Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
LSD is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens in Australia. It was first developed in the 1940s in Switzerland and explored as a treatment for some mental illnesses.

Slang Names
Acid; LSD-impregnated paper squares: trips, tabs, blotters
(There are hundreds of different printed designs on the paper, and each has its own name eg. Superman, Bart Simpson)

Forms and Appearance
LSD can be absorbed into any suitable substance and therefore can be sold in many forms. Pieces of blotting paper, sugar cubes, microdots and small square flakes of gelatin have all been used.

The most popular form today is absorbent sheets of paper. These are divided into squares and impregnated with LSD. The sheets are then printed with a small motif, hence many of slang terms used. The designs may consist of patterns, symbols, cartoon characters or pictures of current events.

Methods of Use
LSD is normally taken orally.

Effects of Use
Immediate

  • Seeing things in a distorted way or seeing things that don't exist (hallucinations)
  • The person usually knows that what they are seeing is not real
  • Intense sensory experiences (e.g. brighter colours, sharper sounds)
  • Mixing of senses (e.g. colours are heard or sounds seen)
  • Distorted sense of time ( e.g. minutes can be as slow as hours)
  • Distorted sense of space
  • Distorted body image. The person feels they are floating or being pulled down by gravity
  • Boundary between the self and surroundings becomes blurred
  • Changed and intense thoughts
  • Swings in emotions
  • Accidents and occasional suicides during or after taking LSD have occurred


Long Term
The most disturbing long-term effect is the potential for 'flashback' experiences. A 'flashback' is a spontaneous and unpredictable recurrence of the drug experience. It can occur days, weeks and even years after the drug was last taken. It usually lasts for a minute or two and involves some kind of visual hallucination, mostly seeing shapes and patterns that don't exist. Flashbacks can be sparked off by using other drugs, stress, fatigue or physical exercise. Regular users are more likely to experience flashbacks.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance to LSD develops rapidly but goes away quickly once regular use is stopped. Cross-tolerance can also develop, i.e. using one type of hallucinogen makes you tolerant to other hallucinogens.

LSD does not produce any physical dependency. Although most users do not experience any psychological dependence, some feel unable to enjoy their lives without the drug.

Withdrawal
There are no physical withdrawal effects from LSD, and most users will not suffer any psychological effects.

Overdose
Fatal overdose with LSD is not thought to be possible.


MAGIC MUSHROOM
(PSILOCYBIN)
These hallucinogenic mushrooms have similar properties to LSD and mescaline.

Slang Names
"Magic Mushroom" is the most common terms used in Australia.

Forms and Appearance
There are several varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms which differ in appearance. They include the 'liberty cap' and the 'fly agaric'.

Methods of Use
They are either eaten raw, cooked, made into a drink or dried for later consumption. It takes about 30 mushrooms to produce an effect comparable to a mild LSD dose.

Effects of Use
The effects of magic mushrooms vary a great deal. The effects depend on:

  • the amount of active ingredient in each mushroom (which is impossible to know exactly);
  • the mood or 'mind set' of the user before use;
  • and the age of the user.


These effects include:

  • feelings of euphoria,
  • high spirits and wellbeing;
  • bouts of laughing and giggling;
  • visual and auditory hallucinations.

Adverse effects can include nausea and dizziness; and mental problems which are brought to the surface.

However, the main danger is in consuming a poisonous type of mushroom by mistake.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops quickly with long-term use, but there is little evidence of any physical or psychological dependence developing.

Withdrawal
There are very few withdrawal effects when the drug is stopped.

Overdose
Overdose of real magic mushrooms is rare because of the very large amounts the user would need to consume.


'Magic mushrooms' that have been picked and dried. The mushrooms contain the drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Up to 30 may be required for a hallucinogenic experience

These tablets, which have the smell and appearance of proprietary yeast tablets, were illicitly made from virtually 100 per cent dried mushroom material. Each tablet is approximately 10mm in diameter by 5mm wide and weights up to 4 to 5 grams.


MARIJUANA
Marijuana is the dried plant form of Cannabis.
The distinctive shape of the cannabis leaf

The amount sold as a street deal varies quite considerably but typical quantities are shown together with the various current forms of packaging.

Jamaican compressed herbal cannabis usually consists of the whole plant, cut, crushed and pressed into blocks.

Nigerian and Ghanaian compressed herbal cannabis is similarly pressed into blocks, although these may vary considerably in size.

Cannabis from Nigeria, shown here in loose form. It is currently quite common in this country. The stems of the plant can be clearly seen, mixed with the dried leaves.

St Lucian cannabis, another example of loose herbal cannabis. Note how green it is compared with the Nigerian variety. This is a sign that it has only recently been harvested.

Thai sticks, a most unusual form of herbal cannabis, and one peculiar to Thailand. Such sticks rarely reach the UK.

Poor-quality home-grown cannabis, finely cut. The THC content would undoubtedly be fairly low.

The greatest concentration of THC is in the flowering tops and top leaves of the female cannabis plant. High quality cannabis in this form is known as Sinsemilla.

A growing flowering head of a female cannabis plant.

The Malawi stick is a form of compressed cannabis moulded into a shape peculiar to its country of origin. The usual length is about 15cm.


MDMA
(Methylenedioxymethamphtemine)
The chemical name for Ecstasy. It is classified as a Hallucinogen and is similar in chemical structure to Amphetamines and some hallucinogens.

Hallucinogens, also known as 'psychedelic' drugs, change the way a person perceives the world. They work directly on the brain and affect all the senses, producing illusions or hallucinations - that is seeing or hearing things that do not exist.

There are many different types of hallucinogens and some occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. Others are manufactured in laboratories.

Hallucinogens discussed in detail under alphabetical headings are: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide); Psilocybin or 'Magic Mushrooms'; Ketamine; and Ecstasy.

Other hallucinogenic drugs include Mescaline, Morning Glory, Nutmeg, STP, DMT and PCP (Phencyclidine). These are not substances of significant abuse in Australia at present.

Effects
The effects of hallucinogens will vary from person to person and depend on things such as:

  • how much of the drug is taken and the way it is taken;
  • the person's size, weight and health;
  • the person's mood;
  • the person's experience with hallucinogens or similar drugs over a period of time;
  • whether the hallucinogens are taken with other drugs;
  • whether the person taking the hallucinogens is alone or with other people, at home or at a party.

 


MESCALINE
(HALLUCINOGENS)
Hallucinogens, also known as 'psychedelic' drugs, change the way a person perceives the world. They work directly on the brain and affect all the senses, producing illusions or hallucinations - that is seeing or hearing things that do not exist.

There are many different types of hallucinogens and some occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. Others are manufactured in laboratories.

Hallucinogens discussed in detail under alphabetical headings are: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide); Psilocybin or 'Magic Mushrooms'; Ketamine; and Ecstasy.

Other hallucinogenic drugs include Mescaline, Morning Glory, Nutmeg, STP, DMT and PCP (Phencyclidine). These are not substances of significant abuse in Australia at present.

Effects
The effects of hallucinogens will vary from person to person and depend on things such as:

  • how much of the drug is taken and the way it is taken;
  • the person's size, weight and health;
  • the person's mood;
  • the person's experience with hallucinogens or similar drugs over a period of time;
  • whether the hallucinogens are taken with other drugs;
  • whether the person taking the hallucinogens is alone or with other people, at home or at a party.

 


METHADONE
Methadone belongs to a group of strong pain killing drugs called Opioids. It is a totally synthetic product, similar in chemical composition to opiates such as morphine and heroin.

Slang Names
Dolly, meth.

Forms and Appearance
Methadone is usually seen as small white tablets, clear injectable ampoules and as a brown, orange or green mixture.

Medical and Other Uses
Methadone in the form of a syrup is used to treat heroin-dependent people. In Australia, methadone is only legal within a treatment program. It is available in all States and Territories except the Northern Territory. In some situations take-away doses are also available. Generally a person has to be over 18 years of age and can only go on a methadone treatment program after being assessed by a doctor who is an approved methadone prescriber. Usually people pick up their daily dose at a clinic or pharmacy. (Unauthorised prescription carries heavy penalties.)

There are a number of reasons why methadone is preferable to being dependent on heroin.

Firstly, methadone is swallowed. This cuts out the risk of using shared or dirty injecting equipment and becoming infected with hepatitis B or C or HIV.

Secondly, methadone can be administered in a controlled way. This means that the drug is dispensed in a clinical environment so there is no risk of it being impure.

Thirdly, the effects of methadone last up to 24 hours and this means a person only needs 1 dose per day to control withdrawal. These factors help stabilise a person’s lifestyle. It reduces the stress and anxiety of where the next dose of heroin is coming from and encourages people to look after themselves and others better.

A person on methadone is also more likely to hold down a job. Methadone is cheaper than heroin and the extra money can further improve the health and lifestyle of a person. Criminal activities to buy illegal drugs are also reduced.

Methods of Use
Methadone can be given orally or by injection.

Effects of Use
The effects of methadone are similar to heroin.

Immediate
These can include: relief from pain and feelings of well-being. Physically, the pupils of the eye become smaller, body temperature drops, and blood pressure and pulse slow down. There may be nausea and vomiting. Methadone may also affect a person’s ability to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.

Long Term
These include increased sweating and constipation. Both men and women may experience sexual problems and a woman’s menstrual cycle may be disrupted. Most of these effects will disappear with dose adjustments and as the person’s lifestyle improves.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance will develop slowly with continued use. A previously acquired tolerance to heroin can be transferred to methadone. A powerful physical and psychological dependence develops with continued use.

Withdrawal
Stopping methadone abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Usually they begin one to three days after the last dose. They can include:

  • uneasiness,
  • yawning,
  • diarrhoea,
  • stomach cramps,
  • runny nose,
  • sleeping difficulties
  • joint pain.


These symptoms reach their peak on the sixth day but some may last for a few weeks.

Overdose
Overdose can happen when more than the prescribed dose is taken, when methadone is injected or when methadone is taken with other drugs such as alcohol or minor tranquillisers.


Physeptone tablets containing methadone, widely used in the treatment of heroin addiction

Physeptone ampoules, with methadone in injectable form

Methadone linctus contains methadone hydrochloride and may be prescribed to control a distress cough in terminal disease

Methadone mixture (BNF), a greenish-coloured liquid is two-and-a-half times stronger than methadone linctus and it is used inthe treatment of heroin addiction. It contains an irritant which discourages injecting.


METHYLAMPHETAMINE
Methylamphetamine is similar to amphetamine in both appearance and chemical composition. It is, however, much more potent. Its availability recently has been unpredictable

Ice is made from methylamphetamine hydrochloride. These particular crystals were produced in the USA where the process is well established; the largest crystal in the centre is the size of a 5 cent coin



MORPHINE
(OPIATES & OPIOID)
MST Continous morphine sulphate tablets showing 10mg (brown) and 30mg (purple). The 60mg, 100mg, and 200mg strengths are of the same size tablet

Morphine ampoules containing medicinal morphine in liquid form and ready for injection.

Omnopon ampoules containing the drug papaveretum - a mixture of opium alkaloids in liquid for for injection.

Morphine powder ranges in colour from off-white to dark brown. It is rarely found at street-level.

Morphine granules, another form of illicit morphine. They are not common in Australia.
The opiates are found in a gummy substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian poppy, Papaver somniferum. Opium is produced from this substance, and codeine and morphine are derived from opium.

Other drugs, such as heroin, are processed from morphine or codeine. Opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine and methadone, are called opioids.

Forms and Appearance
Opium appears either as dark brown chunks or in powder form, and is generally eaten or smoked. Heroin usually appears as a white or brownish powder, which is dissolved in water for injection. Most street preparations of heroin contain only a small percentage of the drug, as they are diluted with sugar, quinine, or other drugs and substances. Other opiate analgesics appear in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, syrups, elixirs, solutions, and suppositories.

Medical and Other Uses
Opiates and their synthetic counterparts (opioids) are used in modern medicine to relieve acute pain suffered as a result of disease, surgery, or injury; in the treatment of some forms of acute heart failure; and in the control of moderate to severe coughs or diarrhoea. They are not the desired treatment for the relief of chronic pain, because their long-term and repeated use can result in drug dependence and side effects (such as constipation and mood swings). They are, however, of particular value in control of pain in the later stages of terminal illness, where the possibility of dependence is not a significant issue.

A small proportion of people for whom the drugs have been medically prescribed become dependent; they are referred to as 'medical addicts'. Even use of non-prescription codeine products, if continued inappropriately, may get out of control. Medical advice should be sought, since withdrawal symptoms may result from abruptly stopping use after physical dependence has been established. Because members of the medical and allied health professions have ready access to the drugs, some become dependent.

The Federal Narcotic Control Act regulates the possession and distribution of all opiates and opioids. The act permits individual physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians, as well as hospitals, to keep supplies of certain drugs. Members of the general public must obtain these drugs from such authorised sources. Although the act also permits the prescribing of methadone in the treatment of heroin dependence, permission is given only to specially licensed physicians, and use is governed by specific guidelines.

Opiates have been used both medically and non-medically for centuries. A tincture of opium called laudanum has been widely used since the 16th century as a remedy for 'nerves' or to stop coughing and diarrhoea.

By the early 19th century, morphine had been extracted in a pure form suitable for solution. With the introduction of the hypodermic needle in the mid-19th century, injection of the solution became the common method of administration.

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) was introduced in 1898 and was heralded as a remedy for morphine addiction. Although heroin proved to be a more potent painkiller (analgesic) and cough suppressant than morphine, it was also more likely to produce dependence.

Of the 20 alkaloids contained in opium, only codeine and morphine are still in widespread clinical use today. In this century, many synthetic drugs (opioids) have been developed with essentially the same effects as the natural opium alkaloids. These opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine (Demerol) and methadone, were first developed to provide an analgesic that would not produce drug dependence. Unfortunately, all opiates and opioids, while effective as analgesics, can also produce dependence. Modern research has led, however, to the development of other families of drugs. The narcotic antagonists (e.g. naloxone hydrochloride) - one of these groups - are used not as painkillers but to reverse the effects of opiate overdose.

(Note that where a drug name is capitalized, it is a registered trade name of the manufacturer.)

Another group of drugs has both morphine-like and naloxone-like properties (e.g. pentazocine, or Talwin) and these are sometimes used for pain relief because they are less likely to be abused and to cause addiction. Nevertheless, abuse of pentazocine in combination with the antihistamine tripelennamine (Pyribenzamine) was widely reported in the 1980s, particularly in several large cities in the United States. This combination became known on the street as "Ts and blues." The reformulation of Talwin, however, with the narcotic antagonist naloxone has reportedly reduced the incidence of Ts and blues use.

Methods of Use
Street users usually inject opiate solutions under the skin ('skin popping') or directly into a vein or muscle, but the drugs may also be 'snorted' into the nose or taken orally or rectally.

Effects of Use
The effects of any drug depend on several factors:
the amount taken at one time; the user's past drug experience; the manner in which the drug is taken; and the circumstances under which the drug is taken (the place, the user's psychological and emotional stability, the presence of other people, simultaneous use of alcohol or other drugs, etc.).

Immediate
These appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours or days. Opiates and opioids briefly stimulate the higher centres of the brain but then depress activity of the central nervous system. Immediately after injection into a vein, the user feels a surge of pleasure or a 'rush'. This gives way to a state of gratification - hunger, pain, and sexual urges rarely intrude.

The dose required to produce these effects may at first cause restlessness, nausea, and vomiting. With moderately high doses, however, the body feels warm, the extremities heavy, and the mouth dry. Soon, the user goes 'on the nod', an alternately wakeful and drowsy state during which the world is forgotten.

As the dose is increased, breathing becomes gradually slower. With very large doses, the user cannot be roused; the pupils contract to pinpoints; the skin is cold, moist, and bluish; and profound respiratory depression resulting in death may occur.

Long Term
These appear after repeated use over a long period. Chronic opiate users may develop endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining and valves as a result of non-sterile injection techniques.

Drug users who share needles are also at a high risk of acquiring AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and HIV infection (human immunodeficiency virus). Non-sterile injection techniques can also cause abscesses, cellulitis, liver disease, and even brain damage. Among users with a long history of subcutaneous injection, tetanus is common. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result from the unhealthy lifestyle of the user, as well as from the depressant effect of opiates on respiration.

Pregnancy
Women dependent on opiates and opioids are likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Among their most common medical problems are anaemia, cardiac disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and hepatitis. They also have an abnormally high rate of spontaneous abortion, breech delivery, caesarean section, and premature birth. Withdrawal from the drugs has also been linked to a high incidence of stillbirths.

Infants born to heroin-dependent mothers are smaller than average and frequently show evidence of acute infection. Most exhibit withdrawal symptoms of varying degrees and duration. The death rate among these infants is higher than normal.

The Law
If tried by summary conviction, a first offence for opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment. For subsequent offences, the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment. If tried by indictment, opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

Importing, exporting, trafficking, and possession for the purposes of trafficking are all indictable offences and carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Cultivation of opium is also an indictable offence and carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

It is illegal to obtain a prescription for opiates, opioids or any other 'narcotic' from health care professionals without notifying them that you have obtained a similar prescription through another practitioner within the last 30 days.

Tolerance and Dependence
With regular use, tolerance develops to many of the desired effects of the drugs. This means the user must use more of the drug to achieve the same intensity of effect.

Long-term users may also become psychologically and physically dependent.
Psychological dependence exists when a drug is so central to a person's thoughts, emotions, and activities that the need to continue its use becomes a craving or compulsion. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use of the drug is reduced or stopped abruptly. Some users take heroin on an occasional basis, thus avoiding physical dependence.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal may occur in regular users as early as a few hours after the last administration. It produces:

  • uneasiness
  • yawning
  • tears
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal cramps
  • goose bumps
  • runny nose

These symptoms are accompanied by a craving for the drug. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after a week. Some bodily functions, however, do not return to normal levels for as long as six months. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health has occasionally been fatal. Opiate and opioid withdrawal, however, is much less dangerous to life than alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal.

Overdose
Overdose is a particular risk on the street, where the amount of drug contained in a 'hit' cannot be accurately gauged.


NICOTINE
(TOBACCO )
The drug found in tobacco.

There are a large number of current and past slang names for tobacco, which mainly refer to cigarettes.

Forms and Appearance
Smoking tobacco is a brown, shredded plant-leaf material. Chewing tobacco is a dark, moist, compressed mass of plant-leaf material.

Combination Products
Street drug users sometimes mix tobacco with other drugs such as cannabis, and smoke the combined product.

Methods of Use
The dried leaves of the tobacco plant are usually smoked in cigarettes, pipes or cigars. Tobacco can also be chewed (chewing tobacco) which causes nicotine to be absorbed by the membranes in the mouth.

Effects of Use
Smoking tobacco contributes to the majority of drug related illness in Australia. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 compounds and some of these have been linked to heart and lung disease. There are also 43 known cancer-causing substances in cigarettes.

Tobacco smoke has three main components: nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Nicotine is the drug in tobacco which causes dependency. It is a highly toxic chemical and can affect heart rate, increase blood pressure and decrease blood circulation.

Tar is one of the 43 cancer-causing substances and is the main substance in tobacco smoke linked to cancers and respiratory diseases. This is because tar affects the flexibility of small air sacs in the lungs.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas. High levels of carbon monoxide in the blood are typical of people who smoke. This increases the risk of developing circulation problems such as hardening of the arteries and coronary heart disease.

The effects of smoking vary from person to person, depending on the person’s gender, health, working environment and hereditary factors.

Pregnancy
Studies have shown smoking during pregnancy has been linked to: miscarriage; stillbirth; premature birth; smaller birth weight babies; illness in early infancy; and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The Law
There are laws in NSW that cover some public spaces where smoking is not permitted. These include auditoriums of cinemas and theatres and in public halls, lifts, public transport and taxis. Federal laws have banned television, radio, print-media and billboard advertising of tobacco products. Smoking by those handling food for sale, or in a place used for handling food for sale is illegal. Many workplaces also have smoking restrictions.

In NSW, tobacco products are only legally available to people over 18 years of age. Retailers must ask for proof of age before selling them.

Tolerance and Dependence
Smokers can develop tolerance to the nicotine in tobacco. Smokers can also develop dependence on nicotine.

Withdrawal
Quitting smoking can produce the following withdrawal symptoms: dizziness and light headedness; headaches; tingling sensations; upset digestion; changes in sleeping patterns; coughing; and cravings. For most people, these withdrawal symptoms last up to three weeks.



NITRATES

Nitrites are a range of synthetically-produced chemicals designed to be inhaled.

Slang Names
Poppers, nitro, nitrite

Forms and Appearance
Poppers are sold in small glass bottles under various brand names.

Medical and Other Uses
In the past, nitrites were sold in chemist shops as a treatment for heart problems, e.g. angina. Sufferers carried small glass capsules containing nitrite liquid in a special case. When they felt chest pains, they put a glass capsule inside a handkerchief, and crushed it with their fingers . (The name 'popper' came from the popping sound of the capsule giving way. The name has continued to be used for nitrites in screw-topped bottles.) The fumes released were inhaled from the handkerchief and dilated the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle. This increased blood flow and eased the pain.

Nitrites have now been replaced by a range of specific drugs for heart disorders.

Methods of Use
Most users inhale directly from the bottle, or from a handkerchief, tissue, or piece of cloth.

Effects of Use
The fumes dilate all the blood vessels in the body, and increase the blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. Therefore, the user will feel a 'head rush'. This can be followed by: short-lived feelings of excitement and exhilaration; increased heart beat; pleasant feelings of dizziness and disorientation; and increased sexual arousal.

Adverse effects include: nausea, vomiting, headaches and dizziness. Nitrites are poisonous if swallowed, and can cause damage to vision if splashed into the user's eyes. They can also cause skin problems such as dermatitis if they come into contact with the skin.

Tolerance and Dependence
Regular users of poppers soon develop a tolerance.

No physical dependence seems to develop with use, and very few users develop any psychological dependence.

Withdrawal
No withdrawal effects have been reported associated with stopping the use of poppers.

Overdose
There appears to be little risk of overdose. However, all the nitrites sold as poppers are poisonous and can be life-threatening if swallowed instead of inhaled.


OPIATES & OPIOID
The opiates are found in a gummy substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian poppy, Papaver somniferum. Opium is produced from this substance, and codeine and morphine are derived from opium.

Other drugs, such as heroin, are processed from morphine or codeine. Opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine and methadone, are called opioids.

Forms and Appearance
Opium appears either as dark brown chunks or in powder form, and is generally eaten or smoked. Heroin usually appears as a white or brownish powder, which is dissolved in water for injection. Most street preparations of heroin contain only a small percentage of the drug, as they are diluted with sugar, quinine, or other drugs and substances. Other opiate analgesics appear in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, syrups, elixirs, solutions, and suppositories.

Medical and Other Uses
Opiates and their synthetic counterparts (opioids) are used in modern medicine to relieve acute pain suffered as a result of disease, surgery, or injury; in the treatment of some forms of acute heart failure; and in the control of moderate to severe coughs or diarrhoea. They are not the desired treatment for the relief of chronic pain, because their long-term and repeated use can result in drug dependence and side effects (such as constipation and mood swings). They are, however, of particular value in control of pain in the later stages of terminal illness, where the possibility of dependence is not a significant issue.

A small proportion of people for whom the drugs have been medically prescribed become dependent; they are referred to as 'medical addicts'. Even use of non-prescription codeine products, if continued inappropriately, may get out of control. Medical advice should be sought, since withdrawal symptoms may result from abruptly stopping use after physical dependence has been established. Because members of the medical and allied health professions have ready access to the drugs, some become dependent.

The Federal Narcotic Control Act regulates the possession and distribution of all opiates and opioids. The act permits individual physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians, as well as hospitals, to keep supplies of certain drugs. Members of the general public must obtain these drugs from such authorised sources. Although the act also permits the prescribing of methadone in the treatment of heroin dependence, permission is given only to specially licensed physicians, and use is governed by specific guidelines.

Opiates have been used both medically and non-medically for centuries. A tincture of opium called laudanum has been widely used since the 16th century as a remedy for 'nerves' or to stop coughing and diarrhoea.

By the early 19th century, morphine had been extracted in a pure form suitable for solution. With the introduction of the hypodermic needle in the mid-19th century, injection of the solution became the common method of administration.

Heroin (diacetylmorphine) was introduced in 1898 and was heralded as a remedy for morphine addiction. Although heroin proved to be a more potent painkiller (analgesic) and cough suppressant than morphine, it was also more likely to produce dependence.

Of the 20 alkaloids contained in opium, only codeine and morphine are still in widespread clinical use today. In this century, many synthetic drugs (opioids) have been developed with essentially the same effects as the natural opium alkaloids. These opiate-related synthetic drugs, such as meperidine (Demerol) and methadone, were first developed to provide an analgesic that would not produce drug dependence. Unfortunately, all opiates and opioids, while effective as analgesics, can also produce dependence. Modern research has led, however, to the development of other families of drugs. The narcotic antagonists (e.g. naloxone hydrochloride) - one of these groups - are used not as painkillers but to reverse the effects of opiate overdose.

(Note that where a drug name is capitalized, it is a registered trade name of the manufacturer.)

Another group of drugs has both morphine-like and naloxone-like properties (e.g. pentazocine, or Talwin) and these are sometimes used for pain relief because they are less likely to be abused and to cause addiction. Nevertheless, abuse of pentazocine in combination with the antihistamine tripelennamine (Pyribenzamine) was widely reported in the 1980s, particularly in several large cities in the United States. This combination became known on the street as "Ts and blues." The reformulation of Talwin, however, with the narcotic antagonist naloxone has reportedly reduced the incidence of Ts and blues use.

Methods of Use
Street users usually inject opiate solutions under the skin ('skin popping') or directly into a vein or muscle, but the drugs may also be 'snorted' into the nose or taken orally or rectally.

Effects of Use
The effects of any drug depend on several factors:
the amount taken at one time; the user's past drug experience; the manner in which the drug is taken; and the circumstances under which the drug is taken (the place, the user's psychological and emotional stability, the presence of other people, simultaneous use of alcohol or other drugs, etc.).

Immediate
These appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours or days. Opiates and opioids briefly stimulate the higher centres of the brain but then depress activity of the central nervous system. Immediately after injection into a vein, the user feels a surge of pleasure or a 'rush'. This gives way to a state of gratification - hunger, pain, and sexual urges rarely intrude.

The dose required to produce these effects may at first cause restlessness, nausea, and vomiting. With moderately high doses, however, the body feels warm, the extremities heavy, and the mouth dry. Soon, the user goes 'on the nod', an alternately wakeful and drowsy state during which the world is forgotten.

As the dose is increased, breathing becomes gradually slower. With very large doses, the user cannot be roused; the pupils contract to pinpoints; the skin is cold, moist, and bluish; and profound respiratory depression resulting in death may occur.

Long Term
These appear after repeated use over a long period. Chronic opiate users may develop endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining and valves as a result of non-sterile injection techniques.

Drug users who share needles are also at a high risk of acquiring AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and HIV infection (human immunodeficiency virus). Non-sterile injection techniques can also cause abscesses, cellulitis, liver disease, and even brain damage. Among users with a long history of subcutaneous injection, tetanus is common. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result from the unhealthy lifestyle of the user, as well as from the depressant effect of opiates on respiration.

Pregnancy
Women dependent on opiates and opioids are likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Among their most common medical problems are anaemia, cardiac disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and hepatitis. They also have an abnormally high rate of spontaneous abortion, breech delivery, caesarean section, and premature birth. Withdrawal from the drugs has also been linked to a high incidence of stillbirths.
Infants born to heroin-dependent mothers are smaller than average and frequently show evidence of acute infection. Most exhibit withdrawal symptoms of varying degrees and duration. The death rate among these infants is higher than normal.

The Law
If tried by summary conviction, a first offence for opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment. For subsequent offences, the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment. If tried by indictment, opiate or opioid possession carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

Importing, exporting, trafficking, and possession for the purposes of trafficking are all indictable offences and carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Cultivation of opium is also an indictable offence and carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

It is illegal to obtain a prescription for opiates, opioids or any other 'narcotic' from health care professionals without notifying them that you have obtained a similar prescription through another practitioner within the last 30 days.

Tolerance and Dependence
With regular use, tolerance develops to many of the desired effects of the drugs. This means the user must use more of the drug to achieve the same intensity of effect.

Long-term users may also become psychologically and physically dependent.
Psychological dependence exists when a drug is so central to a person's thoughts, emotions, and activities that the need to continue its use becomes a craving or compulsion. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use of the drug is reduced or stopped abruptly. Some users take heroin on an occasional basis, thus avoiding physical dependence.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal may occur in regular users as early as a few hours after the last administration. It produces:

  • uneasiness
  • yawning
  • tears
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal cramps
  • goose bumps
  • runny nose

These symptoms are accompanied by a craving for the drug. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after a week. Some bodily functions, however, do not return to normal levels for as long as six months. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health has occasionally been fatal. Opiate and opioid withdrawal, however, is much less dangerous to life than alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal.

Overdose
Overdose is a particular risk on the street, where the amount of drug contained in a 'hit' cannot be accurately gauged.


PETHIDINE
Pethidine tablets are often used in hospitals

Ampoules containing pethidine in injectable form. The variation in ampoule size indicates different strengths, i.e. 50 and 100mg


POPPERS
(NITRATES)
Nitrites are a range of synthetically-produced chemicals designed to be inhaled.

Slang Names
Poppers, nitro, nitrite

Forms and Appearance
Poppers are sold in small glass bottles under various brand names.

Medical and Other Uses
In the past, nitrites were sold in chemist shops as a treatment for heart problems, e.g. angina. Sufferers carried small glass capsules containing nitrite liquid in a special case. When they felt chest pains, they put a glass capsule inside a handkerchief, and crushed it with their fingers . (The name 'popper' came from the popping sound of the capsule giving way. The name has continued to be used for nitrites in screw-topped bottles.) The fumes released were inhaled from the handkerchief and dilated the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle. This increased blood flow and eased the pain.

Nitrites have now been replaced by a range of specific drugs for heart disorders.

Methods of Use
Most users inhale directly from the bottle, or from a handkerchief, tissue, or piece of cloth.

Effects of Use
The fumes dilate all the blood vessels in the body, and increase the blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. Therefore, the user will feel a 'head rush'. This can be followed by: short-lived feelings of excitement and exhilaration; increased heart beat; pleasant feelings of dizziness and disorientation; and increased sexual arousal.

Adverse effects include: nausea, vomiting, headaches and dizziness. Nitrites are poisonous if swallowed, and can cause damage to vision if splashed into the user's eyes. They can also cause skin problems such as dermatitis if they come into contact with the skin.

Tolerance and Dependence
Regular users of poppers soon develop a tolerance.

No physical dependence seems to develop with use, and very few users develop any psychological dependence.

Withdrawal
No withdrawal effects have been reported associated with stopping the use of poppers.

Overdose
There appears to be little risk of overdose. However, all the nitrites sold as poppers are poisonous and can be life-threatening if swallowed instead of inhaled.


Pot
(Cannabis)
Cannabis is the short name for the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana, and hashish (or hash) come from the dried leaves and flowers of this plant. The chemical in cannabis that makes the user high is Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The more THC cannabis contains, the stronger it is. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Slang Names
pot, grass, dope, mull, yundi, hooch and dagga

Forms and Appearance
Marijuana is the dried plant form. It is a coarse, tobacco-like mixture, usually greenish-brown in colour.

Hashish, or hash, is the resin of the plant, and ranges in colour from light brown to almost black. It is sold as oil or in compressed small blocks.

Medical and Other Uses
Cannabis has been used for many thousands of years in the manufacture of products such as clothing and rope, and for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Combination Products
Cannabis has been combined with other drugs such as opium and heroin.
Methods of Use
Marijuana is usually smoked in water pipes called bongs or in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Hash is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked. The concentration of THC is higher and more potent in hash than in the leaf and flower heads. Marijuana and hashish can also be cooked in foods and eaten.

Effects of Use
Immediate
The effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken; the person's experience with the drug; their expectations; the mood they are in; and the way in which the drug is taken. Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. The effects of cannabis are most intense during the first hour after taking it, although they may persist for three to five hours. The most common reaction to cannabis is to feel 'stoned, 'happy', 'bent', 'relaxed' or 'high'. Small amounts can produce a feeling of well-being and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual. It can also redden eyes, impair coordination and reduce concentration. Cannabis can affect one’s ability to drive.

Higher doses make the above effects stronger. A person’s perception of time, sound, and colour may become distorted or sharpened. Feelings of excitement, anxiety and confusion may also increase.

Long Term
Frequent or heavy smokers may experience some long-term effects. These include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy, and boredom
  • reduced memory, concentration and learning abilities;
  • the increased risk of bronchitis and respiratory diseases
  • reduced sex drive
  • lowered sperm count/irregular menstrual cycles
  • the risk of psychotic behaviour - this is more likely if the person already has schizophrenia.


Driving
Cannabis affects a person's motor and coordination skills, vision and ability to judge distance and speed. This can make driving very dangerous. In Queensland, it is against the law to drive if under the effect of any drug. There are heavy fines for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Work
As stated before, cannabis affects concentration and coordination. Using drugs at work can result in loss of a job or cause an accident or injury.

Pregnancy
Health Research indicates that if used during pregnancy, the chemicals in cannabis may have an effect on the developing baby. There are reports of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature babies and low birth weights due to marijuana use. The THC in cannabis is passed on to newborn babies through a mother's milk.

The Law
In Australia, cannabis laws are different from State to State. In NSW and Queensland, it is illegal to possess, grow, manufacture, trade or use any cannabis products. If convicted of these offences a person can face heavy fines or go to jail, which means they will then have a criminal record. This can affect future work, travel and relationships.

Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and or 2 years in prison to a $500 000 fine and/or life imprisonment. The sale, supply or commercial display of any item used for administering cannabis such as bongs is also illegal.

Tolerance and Dependence
Some regular users develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. If it is unavailable they may panic or become anxious. Some heavy users of cannabis may experience physical dependence.

They may also develop tolerance which means they need more cannabis to get the same effects as before.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using cannabis or severely cuts down the amount used. During withdrawal, the person may experience sleeping problems, anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days, although sleep disturbances may last longer.

Overdose
It is not thought to be possible to overdose with cannabis.


PSILOCYBIN
These hallucinogenic mushrooms have similar properties to LSD and mescaline.

Slang Names
"Magic Mushroom" is the most common terms used in Australia.

Forms and Appearance
There are several varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms which differ in appearance. They include the 'liberty cap' and the 'fly agaric'.

Methods of Use
They are either eaten raw, cooked, made into a drink or dried for later consumption. It takes about 30 mushrooms to produce an effect comparable to a mild LSD dose.

Effects of Use
The effects of magic mushrooms vary a great deal. The effects depend on:

  • the amount of active ingredient in each mushroom (which is impossible to know exactly);
  • the mood or 'mind set' of the user before use;
  • and the age of the user.


These effects include:

  • feelings of euphoria,
  • high spirits and wellbeing;
  • bouts of laughing and giggling;
  • visual and auditory hallucinations.


Adverse effects can include nausea and dizziness; and mental problems which are brought to the surface.

However, the main danger is in consuming a poisonous type of mushroom by mistake.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops quickly with long-term use, but there is little evidence of any physical or psychological dependence developing.

Withdrawal
There are very few withdrawal effects when the drug is stopped.

Overdose
Overdose of real magic mushrooms is rare because of the very large amounts the user would need to consume.

'Magic mushrooms' that have been picked and dried. The mushrooms contain the drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Up to 30 may be required for a hallucinogenic experience

These tablets, which have the smell and appearance of proprietary yeast tablets, were illicitly made from virtually 100 per cent dried mushroom material. Each tablet is approximately 10mm in diameter by 5mm wide and weights up to 4 to 5 grams.



RESIN
Pakistani and Afghan resin - slabs of dark brown or black resin which are hard and brittle.

Indian resin sticks are thin cannabis sticks, dark brown to black in colour, and usually stuck together in a cluster

Traditional Moroccan resin is found in compressed slabs, golden to greenish-brown in colour, or else as a loose, fine powder

New form of Moroccan resin - 'tiles'

Turkish resin in a powder form, light brown in colour

Lebanese Gold resin comes as a golden powder, compressed into slabs and wrapped in cotton bags

New form of Moroccan resin - 'slabs'

New form of Moroccan resin - 'soap'

The current trend is to cut street deals of cannabis resin into 'fingers'. A typical quantity is shown together with the various ways in which it is packaged.



RUBBING ALCOHOL
(ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL)

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, isopropyl alcohol is a clear, colourless liquid.

Medical and Other Uses
Isopropyl alcohol is widely used in rubbing alcohol products, in cosmetics such as aftershave and hand lotions, and in some antifreeze solutions and quick-drying inks.

Combination Products
Alcoholics on the street sometimes combine isopropyl alcohol with ethyl alcohol.

Methods of Use
Isopropyl alcohol is taken orally, sometimes in desperation by alcoholics who cannot buy ethyl alcohol.

Effects of Use
Short-term, low dose use causes mild inebriation, and can cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Higher doses can cause poisoning which can lead to kidney damage, coma and frequently death from breathing failure.

Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal
Very few people regularly drink isopropyl alcohol because of its known poisonous effects. Tolerance does appear to develop.

Overdose
Isopropyl alcohol is much more dangerous than ethyl alcohol. Doses of 120-240 ml can kill an adult, and much lower doses can kill a small child.


SMACK
(HEROIN)
Heroin belongs to a group of drugs called opiates. These are strong pain-killers and highly addictive. They include: heroin, morphine, opium and pethidine.

Heroin is manufactured from morphine or codeine by a chemical process. It is stronger than morphine.

Slang Names
Horse, smack, stuff, dragon, H, and junk are the most common terms used for heroin in Australia at present. They vary, however, from country to country and city to city.

Forms and Appearance
In its pure form, heroin is a pure white, fine grained powder. On the street, it is coarser, and varies from pinkish cream to dark brown in colour.

Medical and Other Uses
Until early this century, heroin was used in North America as a powerful analgesic. (An analgesic is a drug which can lessen pain without causing unconsciousness.) However, it has been completely replaced by other drugs because people become highly dependent on it very quickly.

Combination Products
Heroin is sometimes found on the street in combination with: amphetamines ('bombitas'); cocaine ('dynamite', 'speedball', 'whizbang'); or cocaine and amphetamines ('zoom').

Methods of Use
Heroin is most commonly injected or smoked. It can also be sniffed into the nose or taken orally by dabbing it on to a wet finger, but these methods are rare.

Effects of Use on:
Relationships
Illegal use of any drugs usually leads to problems with family and friends. They often find it difficult to understand someone else's addiction and their changes in mood and behaviour. Legal and financial problems, cheating and lying, family fights, stealing, anxiety, paranoia and fear all add to the strain on relationships. It can be especially hard for family and friends to keep helping someone who is dependent on drugs.

Work
Once a person becomes dependent on heroin, holding down a job can be very difficult. It can seem more important to get the drugs they need than to go to work, or to be efficient or reliable when they do. Employers have the right to sack a person caught using drugs at work or convicted of a drug charge. Once a person has a criminal record, getting another job can also be very difficult.

Health
Most of the damaging effects of illegal use of intravenous drugs like heroin occur because of :

  • the way the drug is used, i.e. by injection;
  • the other substances which are mixed with street drugs;
  • poor hygiene and nutrition;
  • the street lifestyle;
  • infections or diseases passed from one drug user to another.


These health problems include:

  • hepatitis,
  • ulcers,
  • abscesses,
  • loss of sex drive,
  • tetanus,
  • infertility,
  • pneumonia,
  • malnutrition,
  • bronchitis,
  • tooth decay,
  • collapsed veins,
  • overdose,
  • brain damage,
  • AIDS.
  • Motor Skills


Heroin is a depressant drug which means it slows down your body's systems. This in turn affects concentration, balance and coordination. Heroin will affect a person's ability to drive any kind of vehicle or operate machinery. When combined with other depressant drugs such as alcohol or cannabis, it is even more dangerous, resulting in a coma or even death.

The Law
In Queensland it is illegal to possess, sell or use heroin.
Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continued use. The body soon learns to cope with heroin, and the same dose produces weaker and weaker effects each time the drug is used.

Most heroin users very quickly become physically and psychologically dependent on heroin. The body chemistry of the user changes until he/she must keep on taking the drug just to feel normal.

Most users feel that they can control their use but this is rarely true. Very soon, they become totally dependent and their whole life revolves around getting and using the drug. Most users also begin to rely on the feelings heroin gives them, to defend them from the pressures of the real world.

Withdrawal
Sudden withdrawal from heroin use is usually uncomfortable but rarely causes death. There is less danger withdrawing from heroin than from alcohol or barbiturates. The user may have feel like he/she has a severe bout of flu.

Symptoms include:

  • runny nose,
  • sore eyes,
  • sore throat,
  • headache,
  • diarrhoea,
  • stomach cramps,
  • profuse sweating
  • wild temperature fluctuations,
  • aching muscles,
  • severe cramps
  • stiff joints.


As well as these physical problems, the user will feel a real psychological craving to continue the drug. These urges to go back to using heroin are very powerful, and relapses in those trying to give it up are very common.

Overdose
The strength of heroin sold on the street is often unknown and it is easy to use too much and overdose. This causes severe breathing problems and coma. Unless medical help is obtained quickly, the breathing rate will continue to fall until it stops altogether and the person dies.

Heroin Tablets. Unlike the heroin tablets produced in the past, these are intended for oral use, not injection.

Freeze-dried heroin ampoules which are made in various strengths.

Pakistan and Afghanistan heroin. Most heroin seized in this country today originates from the north-west frontier region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Chinese heroin 'No 3' in distinctive granules. Produced for smoking, it was encountered in London during the early 1970's

Chinese heroin 'No 4' - a more refined form of heroin originating in the same 'Golden Triangle' area as Chinese heroin 'No 3'

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the arm. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

'Tracking marks', along the veins in the leg. Ulcers, sores, puncture wounds and bruises develop at the site of repeated injections

A street user deal of heroin which may vary from 125-250mg and cost approximately $25


Solvents

Forms and Appearance
There is a huge range of solvent products which can be abused, and they are found in almost every home.

They include:
Liquid petroleum gases (LPGs) - (e.g. butane, propane) - contained in aerosols

  • camping gas cylinders
  • cigarette lighter gas refills

Liquid solvents - (e.g. benzene, acetone, carbon tetrachloride)

  • fire extinguisher fluid
  • document correction fluid and thinner
  • certain types of paint and paint remover
  • nail polish and nail polish remover
  • anti-freeze
  • petrol

Solvent-based glues - (containing substances such as toluene and hexane) - used to glue laminates, vinyl floor tiles, wood and plastic. They include modelling glues used making plastic model aeroplanes etc.

Methods of Use
LPGs are sprayed directly into the mouth and inhaled deeply. Liquid solvents and solvent glues are usually poured into a plastic bag which is put over the user's mouth and nose, and inhaled ('sniffed'); or inhaled from a rag, handkerchief, the collar or cuffs, or a soft drink can.

Effects of Use
Deeply inhaling solvent fumes will cause intense intoxication in a very short time - within a matter of seconds if they are a new user.
Immediate effects include:

  • flushed face
  • slurred speech
  • balance difficulties
  • excitability, include uncontrolled laughing or tears


If the user continues to inhale, they may have auditory and visual hallucinations.
There is a very real danger of sudden death caused by over-stimulation of the heart; or asphyxiation caused by swelling of the throat tissues or inhaling vomit.

Users may also put themselves in dangerous situations while intoxicated or hallucinating, causing injury or death.

Long Term Repeated use of solvents can lead to:

  • marked personality changes such as mood swings;
  • loss of short-term memory;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • speech and balance problems.


Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops fairly quickly with repeated use.
There is little evidence of physical dependence developing, but many long-term users develop a powerful psychological dependence. They rely on the effects to cope with life, or to add excitement. Many long-term users become heavy alcohol or drug users.

Withdrawal
No physical problems occur if solvent use is stopped. However, the user may feel anxious or uncertain.

Overdose
Sudden death can occur when very low levels of solvents are inhaled. The risk is not necessarily related to the amount.


SPEED - AMPHETAMINES
(Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine)

Amphetamines are a stimulant because they speed up the functions of the central nervous system.

Slang Names
Speed, gooey, bennies, black beauties, copilots, crystal, dexies, eye openers, lid poppers, meth, pep pills, uppers, wake-ups, buzz, whiz, amphet, sulph.

Forms and Appearance
In powder form, legal preparations are white, odourless, crystalline powders with a bitter taste. Illegal preparations include fine to coarse powders, crystals and 'chunks'.

The most common colours are off-white, yellow and pink. Tablets and capsules have various colours, sizes and shapes. Illegally produced amphetamines often have a strong, unpleasant smell which may be 'fishy' or ammonia-like.

Medical and Other Uses
Amphetamines have been used to treat:

  • narcolepsy (uncontrolled episodes of sleep)
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • sedation caused by drugs prescribed for epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • abnormally low blood pressure associated with anaesthesia
  • obesity due to improper diet
  • psychic depression.


Combination Products
Street combinations include: 'goofballs' (amphetamines and barbiturates); 'speedballs' (methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin); and 'zoom' (cocaine, heroin and amphetamines). LSD is sometimes combined with amphetamines, but usually the buyer is not aware of the presence of the other drug when buying.

Methods of Use
The powder form is commonly taken orally, by dissolving in a drink, licking off a finger, or, more rarely, by rubbing the powder into the gums. It is also dissolved in water and injected (the preferred method of the chronic, high-dose abuser). It can be sniffed up the nose or mixed with cannabis or tobacco for smoking, or smoked straight off tin foil.

Effects of Use
The effects of speed depend on:

  • amount taken
  • person’s experience with the drug
  • their expectations
  • mood they are in
  • way in which the drug is taken


Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. Small doses of speed can produce a feeling of well-being, and more self confidence and energy. It can also reduce appetite and make a person more alert. However, even a small amount can increase breathing and heart rate, and cause heart palpitations and anxiety or nervousness.

Higher doses can make the above effects more intense. In addition, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heart beat may occur. Some people may become hostile and aggressive.

Using speed over a long period of time can cause health problems. These include: malnutrition from loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhoea ; reduced resistance to infection; increased blood pressure which increases risk of stroke; emotional disturbances and periods of psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use.
Psychological dependence develops quickly in most regular users. Chronic high-dose use results in physical dependence.

Withdrawal
There are no physical symptoms from abruptly discontinuing regular use. Rather, the prominent symptoms are extreme fatigue, followed by prolonged but disturbed sleep. Other symptoms include mental agitation, depression, irritability, panic and feelings of being unable to cope.

Overdose
Fatal overdose is possible. This could occur at low doses with inexperienced users. Speed poisoning or overdose can cause brain haemorrhage, heart attack, high fever, coma and occasionally death. Most deaths, however, are due to accidents while under the influence of speed.


ANABOLIC STEROIDS

Forms and Appearance
Anabolic steroids are produced as capsules and tablets in a variety of colours, and as an injectable liquid.

Medical and Other Uses
Anabolic steroids imitate certain naturally occurring hormones and are used to treat some human and animal health disorders.

Methods of Use
The drugs can be taken orally as tablets or capsules. However, abusers will usually inject the liquid forms intramuscularly.

Effects of Use
Most users will have increased muscle growth and body bulk, as well as greater strength and stamina.

Adverse effects from misuse include:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • liver and kidney problems
  • liver and kidney cancers
  • hepatitis
  • sexual and menstrual dysfunction
  • growth of face and body hair in females
  • mood swings
  • aggression and irritability
  • damage to the unborn child in pregnant users


Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops with continued use. There is little evidence of physical dependence developing. However, many users become psychologically dependent because the drug has given them a body which is very important for their self-image. They feel afraid to stop using it in case that body should change.

Withdrawal
Sudden withdrawal from long-term or heavy use of anabolic steroids can be very dangerous. The user may suffer complete muscular collapse leading to an almost complete loss of strength and stamina. Some users have violent mood swings, and feel very depressed and anxious. Withdrawal should always be medically supervised.

Overdose
Steroid overdose can cause collapse, coma, convulsions and death.


Tobacco
There are a large number of current and past slang names for tobacco, which mainly refer to cigarettes.

Forms and Appearance
Smoking tobacco is a brown, shredded plant-leaf material. Chewing tobacco is a dark, moist, compressed mass of plant-leaf material.

Combination Products
Street drug users sometimes mix tobacco with other drugs such as cannabis, and smoke the combined product.

Methods of Use
The dried leaves of the tobacco plant are usually smoked in cigarettes, pipes or cigars. Tobacco can also be chewed (chewing tobacco) which causes nicotine to be absorbed by the membranes in the mouth.

Effects of Use
Smoking tobacco contributes to the majority of drug related illness in Australia. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 compounds and some of these have been linked to heart and lung disease. There are also 43 known cancer-causing substances in cigarettes.

Tobacco smoke has three main components: nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Nicotine is the drug in tobacco which causes dependency. It is a highly toxic
chemical and can affect heart rate, increase blood pressure and decrease blood circulation.

Tar is one of the 43 cancer-causing substances and is the main substance in tobacco smoke linked to cancers and respiratory diseases. This is because tar affects the flexibility of small air sacs in the lungs.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas. High levels of carbon monoxide in the blood are typical of people who smoke. This increases the risk of developing circulation problems such as hardening of the arteries and coronary heart disease.

The effects of smoking vary from person to person, depending on the person’s gender, health, working environment and hereditary factors.

Pregnancy
Studies have shown smoking during pregnancy has been linked to: miscarriage; stillbirth; premature birth; smaller birth weight babies; illness in early infancy; and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The Law
There are laws in NSW that cover some public spaces where smoking is not permitted. These include auditoriums of cinemas and theatres and in public halls, lifts, public transport and taxis. Federal laws have banned television, radio, print-media and billboard advertising of tobacco products. Smoking by those handling food for sale, or in a place used for handling food for sale is illegal. Many workplaces also have smoking restrictions.

In NSW, tobacco products are only legally available to people over 18 years of age. Retailers must ask for proof of age before selling them.

Tolerance and Dependence
Smokers can develop tolerance to the nicotine in tobacco. Smokers can also develop dependence on nicotine.

Withdrawal
Quitting smoking can produce the following withdrawal symptoms: dizziness and light headedness; headaches; tingling sensations; upset digestion; changes in sleeping patterns; coughing; and cravings. For most people, these withdrawal symptoms last up to three weeks.


UPPERS - AMPHETAMINES
(Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine)
Amphetamines are a stimulant because they speed up the functions of the central nervous system.

Slang Names
Speed, gooey, bennies, black beauties, copilots, crystal, dexies, eye openers, lid poppers, meth, pep pills, uppers, wake-ups, buzz, whiz, amphet, sulph.

Forms and Appearance
In powder form, legal preparations are white, odourless, crystalline powders with a bitter taste. Illegal preparations include fine to coarse powders, crystals and 'chunks'.

The most common colours are off-white, yellow and pink. Tablets and capsules have various colours, sizes and shapes. Illegally produced amphetamines often have a strong, unpleasant smell which may be 'fishy' or ammonia-like.

Medical and Other Uses
Amphetamines have been used to treat:

  • narcolepsy (uncontrolled episodes of sleep)
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • sedation caused by drugs prescribed for epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • abnormally low blood pressure associated with anaesthesia
  • obesity due to improper diet
  • psychic depression.


Combination Products
Street combinations include: 'goofballs' (amphetamines and barbiturates); 'speedballs' (methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin); and 'zoom' (cocaine, heroin and amphetamines). LSD is sometimes combined with amphetamines, but usually the buyer is not aware of the presence of the other drug when buying.

Methods of Use
The powder form is commonly taken orally, by dissolving in a drink, licking off a finger, or, more rarely, by rubbing the powder into the gums. It is also dissolved in water and injected (the preferred method of the chronic, high-dose abuser). It can be sniffed up the nose or mixed with cannabis or tobacco for smoking, or smoked straight off tin foil.

Effects of Use
The effects of speed depend on:

  • amount taken
  • person’s experience with the drug
  • their expectations
  • mood they are in
  • way in which the drug is taken

Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. Small doses of speed can produce a feeling of well-being, and more self confidence and energy. It can also reduce appetite and make a person more alert. However, even a small amount can increase breathing and heart rate, and cause heart palpitations and anxiety or nervousness.

Higher doses can make the above effects more intense. In addition, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heart beat may occur. Some people may become hostile and aggressive.

Using speed over a long period of time can cause health problems. These include: malnutrition from loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhoea ; reduced resistance to infection; increased blood pressure which increases risk of stroke; emotional disturbances and periods of psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use. Psychological dependence develops quickly in most regular users. Chronic high-dose use results in physical dependence.

Withdrawal
There are no physical symptoms from abruptly discontinuing regular use. Rather, the prominent symptoms are extreme fatigue, followed by prolonged but disturbed sleep. Other symptoms include mental agitation, depression, irritability, panic and feelings of being unable to cope.

Overdose
Fatal overdose is possible. This could occur at low doses with inexperienced users. Speed poisoning or overdose can cause brain haemorrhage, heart attack, high fever, coma and occasionally death. Most deaths, however, are due to accidents while under the influence of speed.


VALIUM
(BENZODIAZEPINES - Minor Tranquillisers)
Minor tranquillisers are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the central nervous system. They are depressants because they slow down physical, mental and emotional responses. Most tranquillisers are based on benzodiazepine or, more rarely, barbiturates. The most common benzodiazepine tranquillisers are diazepam, known as Valium or Ducene; oxazepam, known as Serepax; nitrazepam, known as Mogadon; tempazepam, known as Normison; flunitrazepam, known as Rohypnol; and clonazepam known as Rivotril.

Slang Names
Tranks, downers.

Forms and Appearance
Most tranquillisers are seen in capsule or tablet form in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They have a number of different brand names, which are the same drug made by different companies.

Medical and Other Uses
Minor tranquillisers are usually prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems. They can be used to treat panic disorders and muscle spasms. Minor tranquillisers only treat the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. They do not treat the cause of these symptoms. Only doctors can prescribe minor tranquillisers as they are restricted substances under the NSW Poisons Act.

Combination products
Combining minor tranquillisers with alcohol, pain killers and anti-histamines like cough, cold and allergy medications can result in unconsciousness and failure to breathe.

Methods of Use
Benzodiazepine is usually taken orally, as tablets, capsules or a liquid. Sometimes it is injected.

Effects of Use
Common short-term effects, when used as prescribed include relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia. In higher doses, the user will have feelings of euphoria and dreaminess, and will have no feelings of worry, fear, hunger or cold.
When used in higher doses, effects include lethargy, irritability, violent mood swings, aggression, nausea, loss of sexual interest, and increased appetite and weight.

The Law
Illegal use, possession or supply of minor tranquillisers carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops very quickly with continues use. With sleeping tablets, this can happen in 3 nights. Dependence occurs in 4 to 6 weeks.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using minor tranquillisers or severely cuts down their dose. Symptoms can include sleeping problems; tension; muscle pain; pain attacks and depression. If someone has been regularly using minor tranquillisers for more than 2 or 3 weeks, they should not stop suddenly. They should be discontinued gradually over a period of months under the supervision of a doctor, pharmacist or health worker. Some people find that massage, relaxation techniques and stress management help during withdrawal. If possible, withdrawal should begin when there is some degree of stability in a person’s life.

Overdose
Overdose of minor tranquillisers can cause convulsions, breathing problems, coma and death.


Ativan
The blue 1mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a number of medicinal preparations produced by other manufacturers under the non-proprietary or generic title of lorazepam

Ativan
The yellow 2.5mg Ativan tablet is shown to the left of a sample of non-proprietary lorazepam preparations produced by other manufacturers

Non-proprietary
A sample of the medicinal preparations produced by manufacturers under the non-proprietary title oxazepam

Librium
Librium tablets and capsules of 5mg strength. Librium contains the drug chlordiazepoxide

Tenuate Dospan
Tenuate Dospan tablets also contain the drug diethylpropion. Because of their potential for misuse, they have been brought within the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act

Duromine
Duromine contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Ionamin
Ionamin also contains the drug phentermine in two strengths, 15mg and 30mg

Teronac
Teronac contains the drug mazindol in a white tablet of 2mg strength

Adifax
Adifax contains 15mg of the drug dexfenfluramine hydrochloride

Ponderax
Ponderax capsule each containing 60mg of fenfluramine hydrochloride, a drug related to amphetamine


WAKE UPS - AMPHETAMINES
(Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine)
Amphetamines are a stimulant because they speed up the functions of the central nervous system.

Slang Names
Speed, gooey, bennies, black beauties, copilots, crystal, dexies, eye openers, lid poppers, meth, pep pills, uppers, wake-ups, buzz, whiz, amphet, sulph.

Forms and Appearance
In powder form, legal preparations are white, odourless, crystalline powders with a bitter taste. Illegal preparations include fine to coarse powders, crystals and 'chunks'.

The most common colours are off-white, yellow and pink. Tablets and capsules have various colours, sizes and shapes. Illegally produced amphetamines often have a strong, unpleasant smell which may be 'fishy' or ammonia-like.

Medical and Other Uses
Amphetamines have been used to treat:

  • narcolepsy (uncontrolled episodes of sleep)
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • sedation caused by drugs prescribed for epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • abnormally low blood pressure associated with anaesthesia
  • obesity due to improper diet
  • psychic depression.


Combination Products
Street combinations include: 'goofballs' (amphetamines and barbiturates); 'speedballs' (methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin); and 'zoom' (cocaine, heroin and amphetamines). LSD is sometimes combined with amphetamines, but usually the buyer is not aware of the presence of the other drug when buying.

Methods of Use
The powder form is commonly taken orally, by dissolving in a drink, licking off a finger, or, more rarely, by rubbing the powder into the gums. It is also dissolved in water and injected (the preferred method of the chronic, high-dose abuser). It can be sniffed up the nose or mixed with cannabis or tobacco for smoking, or smoked straight off tin foil.

Effects of Use
The effects of speed depend on:

  • amount taken
  • person’s experience with the drug
  • their expectations
  • mood they are in
  • way in which the drug is taken

Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. Small doses of speed can produce a feeling of well-being, and more self confidence and energy. It can also reduce appetite and make a person more alert. However, even a small amount can increase breathing and heart rate, and cause heart palpitations and anxiety or nervousness.

Higher doses can make the above effects more intense. In addition, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heart beat may occur. Some people may become hostile and aggressive.

Using speed over a long period of time can cause health problems. These include: malnutrition from loss of appetite and sometimes diarrhoea ; reduced resistance to infection; increased blood pressure which increases risk of stroke; emotional disturbances and periods of psychosis. (Psychosis is when a person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include hearing voices, paranoia and a fear of harassment.)

Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use.
Psychological dependence develops quickly in most regular users. Chronic high-dose use results in physical dependence.

Withdrawal
There are no physical symptoms from abruptly discontinuing regular use. Rather, the prominent symptoms are extreme fatigue, followed by prolonged but disturbed sleep. Other symptoms include mental agitation, depression, irritability, panic and feelings of being unable to cope.

Overdose
Fatal overdose is possible. This could occur at low doses with inexperienced users. Speed poisoning or overdose can cause brain haemorrhage, heart attack, high fever, coma and occasionally death. Most deaths, however, are due to accidents while under the influence of speed.


WHIZBANG
The street or slang name for Cocaine combined with Heroin, (also called 'dynamite' or 'speedball'); and Cocaine combined with Morphine.


XTC
(ECSTACY)
Ecstasy is classified as an hallucinogen. It is the common term for MDMA or Methylenedioxymethamphtemine and is similar in chemical structure to amphetamines and some hallucinogens.

Slang Names
E's, Eckies, XTC and MDMA are the most common terms used in Australia at present.

Forms and Appearance
Ecstasy is usually sold as small tablets which come in a variety of colours and sizes. It can also come in a white powder form.

Methods of Use
Ecstasy is usually taken orally as tablets or capsules. In its powder form, it is sometimes inhaled through the nose ('snorted'). There have also been reports of people injecting themselves with ecstasy.

Effects of Use
Generally ecstasy is used to dance all night at 'Rave Parties' as it gives the user feelings of energy and freedom from hunger. It is also taken to experience its hallucinogenic effects and for a variety of other reasons.

In a 1993 national survey, three per cent of Australians said they had taken ecstasy at some time in their lives, and one percent said they had used it within the last 12 months.

Effects can begin within an hour of taking ecstasy. Most effects last up to six hours, but some may persist for up to 32 hours.
These include:

  • a strong feeling of wellbeing
  • increased confidence
  • feelings of closeness with other people
  • increased blood pressure
  • jaw clenching
  • grinding teeth
  • increased pulse rate
  • increased body temperature
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • paranoid thoughts (for example, fear of persecution or feelings of superiority)
  • sweating
  • dehydration


Increasing doses can produce:

  • hallucinations
  • blurred vision
  • sensations of floating
  • irrational behaviour
  • convulsions (fits)
  • vomiting


'hangover effect' including:

  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • muscle aches
  • difficulty in concentrating - particularly on the day after taking the drug.


Long Term Effects
Most drugs, if used at particularly high doses, over a long period of time are likely to cause some health problems. Little is known about the long-term effects of ecstasy. There is some evidence to suggest that long- term use may cause damage to the brain, heart and liver.

Studies here in Australia and in the US have found that few people seem to use ecstasy for long periods. This is probably because the unpleasant effects of the drug increase as people take more of the drug more often.

The Law
In Australia it is illegal to sell, manufacture, possess or use ecstasy.

Tolerance and Dependence
Research suggests that people do develop a tolerance to the pleasurable effects of ecstasy. It also appears that the positive effects diminish while the negative effects increase with increasing use of the drug. People report needing to take more of the drug to experience the same positive effects, but this also increases the unpleasant effects.

There is little evidence of any physical dependence on ecstasy. However, many users develop a low-level psychological dependence with long-term use. Some people begin to feel that it is impossible to have a really good time without it.

Withdrawal
Most ecstasy users have no physical problems when they stop using the drug. However, many regular and heavy users will go through a period of feeling anxious and depressed.

Overdose
Poisoning or overdose can and does occur. This results in very high blood pressure, fast heartbeat and a very high body temperature.

Some people have had severe reactions to ecstasy and there have been deaths related to its use in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Many of these were associated with overheating and dehydration.

Ecstasy is regarded as a dangerous substance for people with medical conditions such as heart or respiratory problems, and for people with depression or any other psychological disorders.

High doses of ecstasy can produce severe hallucinations. People sometimes behave irrationally when they are experiencing hallucinations and can be dangerous to themselves or others.

Ecstasy tablets are difficult to identify because of the variation in shape, size and colour. The most well known have the impression of a bird on the face of the tablet and are known as 'Doves'

Ecstasy capsules are not so common. They may additionally contain amphetamine and LSD. The red and black capsules are more familiar and have been named 'Dennis the Menace'


YUNDI
(CANNABIS)
Cannabis is the short name for the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana, and hashish (or hash) come from the dried leaves and flowers of this plant. The chemical in cannabis that makes the user high is Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The more THC cannabis contains, the stronger it is. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Slang Names
pot, grass, dope, mull, yundi, hooch and dagga

Forms and Appearance
Marijuana is the dried plant form. It is a coarse, tobacco-like mixture, usually greenish-brown in colour.

Hashish, or hash, is the resin of the plant, and ranges in colour from light brown to almost black. It is sold as oil or in compressed small blocks.

Medical and Other Uses
Cannabis has been used for many thousands of years in the manufacture of products such as clothing and rope, and for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Combination Products
Cannabis has been combined with other drugs such as opium and heroin.
Methods of Use
Marijuana is usually smoked in water pipes called bongs or in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Hash is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked. The concentration of THC is higher and more potent in hash than in the leaf and flower heads. Marijuana and hashish can also be cooked in foods and eaten.

Effects of Use
Immediate
The effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken; the person's experience with the drug; their expectations; the mood they are in; and the way in which the drug is taken. Effects also depend on the quality and purity of the drug. The effects of cannabis are most intense during the first hour after taking it, although they may persist for three to five hours. The most common reaction to cannabis is to feel 'stoned, 'happy', 'bent', 'relaxed' or 'high'. Small amounts can produce a feeling of well-being and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual. It can also redden eyes, impair coordination and reduce concentration. Cannabis can affect one’s ability to drive.
Higher doses make the above effects stronger. A person’s perception of time, sound, and colour may become distorted or sharpened. Feelings of excitement, anxiety and confusion may also increase.

Long Term
Frequent or heavy smokers may experience some long-term effects. These include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy, and boredom
  • reduced memory, concentration and learning abilities;
  • the increased risk of bronchitis and respiratory diseases
  • reduced sex drive
  • lowered sperm count/irregular menstrual cycles
  • the risk of psychotic behaviour - this is more likely if the person already has schizophrenia.


Driving
Cannabis affects a person's motor and coordination skills, vision and ability to judge distance and speed. This can make driving very dangerous. In Queensland, it is against the law to drive if under the effect of any drug. There are heavy fines for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Work
As stated before, cannabis affects concentration and coordination. Using drugs at work can result in loss of a job or cause an accident or injury.

Pregnancy
Health Research indicates that if used during pregnancy, the chemicals in cannabis may have an effect on the developing baby. There are reports of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature babies and low birth weights due to marijuana use. The THC in cannabis is passed on to newborn babies through a mother's milk.

The Law
In Australia, cannabis laws are different from State to State. In NSW and Queensland, it is illegal to possess, grow, manufacture, trade or use any cannabis products. If convicted of these offences a person can face heavy fines or go to jail, which means they will then have a criminal record. This can affect future work, travel and relationships.

Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and or 2 years in prison to a $500 000 fine and/or life imprisonment. The sale, supply or commercial display of any item used for administering cannabis such as bongs is also illegal.

Tolerance and Dependence
Some regular users develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. If it is unavailable they may panic or become anxious. Some heavy users of cannabis may experience physical dependence.

They may also develop tolerance which means they need more cannabis to get the same effects as before.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using cannabis or severely cuts down the amount used. During withdrawal, the person may experience sleeping problems, anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days, although sleep disturbances may last longer.

Overdose
It is not thought to be possible to overdose with cannabis.

نویسنده : مجید : ۳:٤٠ ‎ب.ظ ; ۱۳۸۸/۱۱/٥
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