Drug abuse and addiction is on the rise throughout India. According to recent surveys, India has at least seventy million drug addicts. Hence, knowing about drug abuse and various risks of malaise is very important. I would like to introduce you to the most commonly abused drugs and health risks caused by them in this blog.

The most commonly abused drugs include:

  • Marijuana
  • LSD
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin

Marijuana is a plant indigenous to Asia, and is commonly consumed in three forms: Hashish, Ganja and Bhang. It is estimated that one marijuana cigarette is equivalent to five tobacco cigarettes in terms of damage to the body. A marijuana abuser risks all the dangers of smoking and many more, including brain damage, infertility, and loss of memory. Marijuana is a gateway drug, which means that prolonged abuse of marijuana leads to a higher tolerance to the drug, resulting in the abuser trying dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a popular party drug, which is extremely potent even in small quantities. This odourless, tasteless, and colourless drug can induce strong hallucinations where the user sees different colours and has strange experiences. The worst effect of LSD is what is known as a ‘bad trip’ in which users develop extreme forms of paranoia and fear. ‘Flashback’ or a sudden recurrence of the user’s experience can trigger traumatic or strange experiences, even after many hours or months of abstaining from the drug. Fatal accidents can occur with LSD usage, especially while driving. Schizophrenia and severe depression may occur with long-term use.

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It is usually a white crystalline powder. Crack, a cheaper form of cocaine, is even more addictive and dangerous than cocaine. Even a single dose is enough to trigger addiction. Cocaine abusers typically develop a tolerance to the drug, and take in higher doses to maintain the same high. Seizure, cardiac arrest, respiratory problems that can lead to death, Hallucinations, Severe paranoia, HIV and other diseases resulting from infected needles are health risks of cocaine.

Heroin is a highly addictive derivative of morphine, an extract from the poppy plant. In its purest form, it is a white powder but can also be brown in colour because of the presence of impurities. However, heroin is never sold in its pure form, and is often mixed with talcum powder, starch, sugar, powdered milk, or quinine. As the drug is adulterated, it is difficult to determine the actual dose of heroin, which can be fatal. Coma, Death, HIV and other diseases resulting from infected needles, collapsed veins and Infections are health risks of using Heroin.

Meanings of terms which are not very familiar to common society:-

Hashish: An extract of the cannabis plant, containing psychoactive resins.

Ganja: Marijuana

Bhang: The leaves and flowerheads of cannabis, used as a narcotic.

Schizophrenia: A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour.

Rehana MBA(ITBM) SCIT

 

Internet sources:

http://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/archive/drug_abuse_and_addiction_in_india

http://www.indiaparenting.com/teen-issues/155_1270/commonly-abused-drugs.html

Wikipedia.

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