By Cheryl Steinberg
You may or may not be aware of this but, some of the highly-illegal drugs today were once used in virtually any kind of cough drop, tincture, or formula to treat anything from cough to nausea to insomnia. And many of these medical preparations that included drugs like heroin and cocaine we even available over-the-counter!
Nowadays, there are much stricter regulations on what have been found to be illicit drugs, as well as other drugs that are prescribed for our ailments.
But, there are some surprising ways in which illicit drugs are being used today. Here are 5 illegal drugs that will cure you…
#1. Cocaine for wound care
First, cocaine is an effective local anesthetic and, once applied, it numbs the area very quickly, usually in less than two minutes. Secondly, cocaine is effective at stopping the bleeding; it’s a vasoconstrictor, which is a drug that constricts – or narrows – the blood vessels. The smaller a blood vessel gets, the bleeding occurs.
Even many pediatricians recommend using cocaine on children’s wounds because of cocaine’s properties that make it a valuable tool for treating cuts and lacerations.
#2. LSD for Alcoholism
Studies show that your chances of staying away from alcohol will be dramatically increased after tripping on acid. There was an extensive study done in the 1960s and ’70s that revealed how recovering alcoholics are much less likely to drink to excess and how some even stopped drinking altogether for several months.
The reason why this works could be due to the LSD helping the participants to feel more confident, happy and satisfied with their lives, which, in turn, decreased the feelings they had that led most of them to abuse alcohol in the first place. The alcohol-abstaining effects from the one LSD trip lasted for about six months, at which point, if LSD were legal, the patients would be able to return to a treatment clinic for another dose, repeating the process until they were able to transition into sobriety.
#3. Heroin for women in labor
Heroin is an opiate, in the same class of drugs as painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine. However, heroin itself is actually much more effective than morphine and takes effect in about two or three minutes. In fact, The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain recommends giving it to people in extreme pain, people in surgery, and women in labor.
Now, just to be clear, the NHS is, in fact, made up of medical professionals. The practice in Britain is to give women in labor an injection of heroin to help with the contractions as they give birth. The one-time use doesn’t do any damage and doesn’t cause dependency, because it is only administered when the baby is on its way out of its mother’s body.
#4. MDMA for PTSD
MDMA, or Ecstasy, has been shown to help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The reason for this is actually the same reason that the drug is popular for recreational use: It releases large amounts of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and oxytocin in your brain, which makes you relaxed, euphoric, and feel at ease. This results in relieving the stress experienced by PTSD sufferers.
When used in a therapeutic setting, MDMA allows PTSD patients to relive their experiences more easily, which is crucial to overcoming the disorder. Ecstasy lets the sufferers do so without being overwhelmed, by activating the area of the brain responsible for controlling fear and stress. Over time, this results in long-term reduction of fear.
#5. Methamphetamine for ADHD and obesity
Desoxyn, the purest form of meth, is prescribed to obese people for quick short-term weight loss. It’s only prescribed as a short-term treatment for obvious reasons, since meth is highly addictive as well as overall catastrophic to your well-being. Meth is rarely prescribed in this way and only when all other treatments fail.
Desoxyn is also prescribed by U.S. doctors to treat ADHD. Considering that sufferers of ADHD typically exhibit symptoms of jitteriness and inattentiveness, which are also associated with meth use, it nevertheless has a therapeutic effect on people with ADHD. When it comes to the brain, nothing is simple, and meth. Like other stimulants, helps regulate brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Drugs and dosage are carefully controlled by your medical providers who can monitor the results and adjust your medication accordingly by a medical professional who can monitor the results. In general, you shouldn’t self-medicate any medical problem with alcohol or illicit drugs and you should only take medications as prescribed. If you are struggling with substance abuse and or a psychological disorder, such as PTSD, ADHD, or depression, Palm Partners is here for you. We offer dual diagnosis treatment for people who are ready to end the cycle of drug abuse. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
The 50’s were an interesting time in history. They are kind of overlooked in the history of drug abuse but the truth is they are what made the 60s happen. In fact much of the drug use that is seen in the 60s didn’t start in the 60s but in the 50s with the Beat Generation. The 50’s also were frighteningly fraught with misunderstanding and ignorance when it comes to drugs, drug abuse and addiction and with this misunderstanding came very heavy sentences for using certain drugs such as marijuana. The 50’s were where many of the beliefs, laws, and “acts” we have today dealing with drug abuse and drugs, first came into existence.
This is history of drug abuse: The 50’s
In the 1950s, use of marijuana and heroin increased, along with that of amphetamines and tranquilizers. There was also the invention of LSD in the 1940s and tests done with that were performed in the 1950s. The most popular illegal drugs were marijuana and heroin. Heroin became predominant in the urban areas after World War II where it was widely distributed. Marijuana saw an increase in usage during this time period, particularly among the youth. Prior to the 1950s, drug problems were considered an urban problem regulated to certain communities.
Drug abuse in the 50’s: The Beat Generation
The Beat Generation was a group of American post-World War II writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition.
The original members of the Beat Generation used a number of different drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, Benzedrine, morphine, and later psychedelic drugs including peyote, and LSD. Much of this drug use was “experimental,” in that they were often initially unfamiliar with the effects of these drugs. They were inspired by intellectual interest, as well as simple self-indulgence. With this experimental use all the claims we hear even today started; that some of these drugs can enhance creativity, insight or productivity, and the belief that the drugs are a key influence on the social events of the time.
Marijuana use in the 50s: Anslinger’s War on Marijuana
Anslinger stopped the availability of pot for scientific studies. It still remains a mystery where he got his information about marijuana back in the 1950s, when he announced in the early 1950s that marijuana was a direct and inescapable step to heroin addiction. He also declared that Communists were behind the distribution of marijuana in the U.S. in order to make Americans “weak” and easy to conquer. In the Cold War hysteria of the 50s, this campaign was his most successful yet. He convinced President Truman to sign the Briggs Act which substantially increased penalties for marijuana possession. In 1958, following the lead of other states, Virginia passed one of the harshest new laws for marijuana which required a minimum twenty years in jail for marijuana possession, with no parole. At that same time, Virginia law provided for a minimum fifteen years for murder and ten years for rape.
Medicine drug abuse in the 50s: The development of prescription and non-prescription medication
After WWII there was an amazing development of new medicines: tranquilizers, new amphetamines and barbiturates, new opioids (synthesized opium products). Weight loss products were sold containing amphetamines and ephedrine. National marketing of these medicines increased their use. This post-war era brought with it affluence, social change and mass use of medicines and drugs. Many of the stimulant, tranquilizer and sedative medicines were misused. Think, Elvis.
Amphetamines and barbiturates were called “mother’s little helpers” as many women developed a habit for the stimulation and sedative effects of these medicines. The predecessors to the modern Drug Enforcement Administration and other government and private organizations began setting up education programs to stem the tide of abuse and addiction that rose with the creation of these medicines.
This is when Durham Humphrey Bill set up prescription and non-prescription categories for all medicines. This arrangement of prescription vs. OTC was put in place by policy and was then made law. It also set up limits on the number of times a prescription can be refilled. A few years after that the Narcotics Control Act updated restrictions and penalties for smuggling and distribution of marijuana and narcotics as well as eliminating the suspension of sentences or probation if convicted. Another act was, The Harrison Narcotics Act which set up a schedule using letters to indicate the degree of potential abuse a medicine has. The schedule used A, B and X in a decreasing level of potential abuse.
Heroin use in the 50s: Government works with gangsters
Heroin in use in the 50s was really limited to urban areas and was making its way into the jazz music scene. In the U.S., the heroin trade between 1948 and 1972 was dominated by Corsican gangsters and U.S. Mafia drug distributors. The raw Turkish opium was refined in Marseilles laboratories (the “French Connection,”) and sold to junkies on New York City streets.
In the 1950s, the U.S. preoccupation with stopping the spread of Communism led to alliances with drug warlords in the Golden Triangle. The U.S. and France supplied the drug warlords and their armies with ammunition, arms, and air transport for the production and sale of opium. The result was an explosion in the availability and illegal flow of heroin into the United States and into the hands of drug dealers and addicts. During the U.S. war in Vietnam, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set up a charter airline, Air America, to transport raw opium from Burma and Laos. During this period, the number of heroin addicts in the U.S. reached an estimated 750,000.
LSD use in the 50s: Military and government use
During the 1950s the US Army, along with the CIA, researched the uses of LSD as a potential ‘truth drug’ for use in brainwashing. Their experiments involved giving LSD to everyone from CIA agents to prostitutes, and recording the results. Soon, psychiatrists also became interested in its potential therapeutic benefits. Although LSD was still being imported from Switzerland at this time, the drug’s formula could be purchased for a small sum from the US patent office, after which a user could synthesize LSD himself. In 1966, after widespread abuse and ill-effects caused in part by people making the drug incorrectly, LSD was outlawed in California. In 1970, it was listed by Congress as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has no recognized medicinal or therapeutic uses.
The 50’s history of drug abuse was not as much characterized by the drug users themselves but the bigger picture going on around them. The government was highly involved because so many of the drugs used in the 50’s were still legal and later on, of course, became illegal. The 50’s built the foundation of the drug system and use we have today; in the laws, scheduling, use, and beliefs.
In this series we are going to be talking about drug myths or drug misconceptions (some drug truths too). We all have heard the drug myths and misconceptions before. Even people who haven’t used drugs have probably heard a few of them. The drug myths and misconceptions, truth are, you know, the stories like George Washington smoked weed, and that Ecstasy puts holes in your brain etc. (those will be looked at in later posts.) Whatever the substance and whatever the story we are here to finally get the truth out about it all!
This is drug myths debunked: LSD.
(Disclaimer: As we “debunk” myths we are not saying you should use these substances or saying that these substances are safe to use. This is merely a fun and factual article. Substance abuse in any way regardless of what is true and what isn’t, can be dangerous.)
In this entry; I am going to be spitting the truth about one drug that has one of the biggest myth archives to date: LSD.
And let me just say this: Everything you think you know about LSD wrong.
I don’t know where half the myths came from I just know I have heard a lot of them when it comes to LSD. I have heard the stories about strychnine, how it stays in your spine, that if you take more than 7 hits you are clinically insane, about getting bad acid, and so much more. I am here to get the truth out! It is time the smoke and mirrors about LSD were removed. Let’s get started:
What is LSD?
LSD (Lysergic acid diathylamide) is an illegal drug first made by Sandoz, a Swiss drug manufacturer, in 1938. The story goes that Albert Hofmann, a young chemist working for Sandoz, first stumbled upon LSD-25 (so named because Hofmann tried 24 derivatives of fungus that grew on rye (ergot) before coming to the drug we have now) hoping it would help stimulate the respiratory and circulatory systems. Then, 5 years later, after shelving the project, he produced the drug again and this time he took 250 micrograms, believing that such a dose would have minimal effects, if any at all. In fact, LSD is very active even in small doses. Feeling dizzy, Hofmann decided to leave work on his bicycle, unwittingly going on the first LSD trip. LSD is a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug. It’s most common form is that of ‘blotter papers’ – small squares of paper that have been dipped in LSD. LSD can also come in the form of a powder or crystal, a liquid, gelatin squares, laced on a sugar cube, or a small pill. LSD is also known as acid.
Here are the myths that have come about since then:
LSD contains strychnine: FALSE
Anti-drug educators frequently told their students some varying story with the theme of getting strychnine poisoning. For example, that strychnine is commonly sold as a cheaper substitute for LSD by unscrupulous drug dealers; that strychnine is a byproduct of LSD synthesis; that the body produces strychnine as a result of LSD being metabolized; or that strychnine is used as a preservative to prevent the otherwise natural, rapid decomposition of LSD, allowing it to be stored; or that strychnine is somehow necessary to bond LSD to blotter paper. None of this is true. Ever since the anti-drug crusades this story has been perpetuated to the point where even the drug users themselves believe it and have continued perpetuating it. In reality, most hallucinogens cause some degree of mental or physical discomfort after the “trip” is over. This is an indirect effect of the drug, not strychnine or any other adulterant.
The truth about strychnine: Strychnine itself is one of the bitterest substances known. The bitter taste can be detected at 1 part per million, which is well below the toxic level that causes adverse effects (this means you would know it was in your acid). The dangerous dose of strychnine is too high(big) to be contained in a blotter square and be fatal or cause even adverse effects; even if the entire square were composed of the poison it wouldn’t cause adverse effects. But strychnine has been discovered mixed with LSD on very rare occasions but it has also been found mixed with other drugs. In a few samples recovered by law enforcement agencies, any substance with strychnine were found in murder or attempted murder investigations where someone was being specifically targeted for poisoning, and not associated with recreational LSD use.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles stands for LSD: FALSE
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was the title a drawing, by Lennon’s son Julian. The drawing is of his friend Lucy Vodden, in the sky, with diamonds. Whether young Julian was taking acid at the time is up for debate.
LSD stays in your spinal fluid: FALSE
This legend may have its foundation in the fact that chronic LSD use can result in flashbacks and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder or HPPD. There remains no consensus regarding the nature and causes of HPPD or flashbacks. That’s beside the point though, LSD physically remaining in the body for months or years after consumption has been discounted by experimental evidence. Although the body does store some toxins in fat tissue, and residues of some drugs and toxins can be found in spinal fluid, LSD is not among these. LSD is metabolized by the liver, and has an elimination half-life of around 2.5 to 4 hours, and is insoluble in fats.
Aldous Huxley Took Acid The Day He Died: TRUE
Aldous Huxley, famous promoter and icon of hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline, peyote as well as the author of “The Doors of Perception” and “A Brave New World” did in fact take acid on the day he died.
Baseball Legend Dock Ellis Once Pitched a No-Hitter Under the Influence of LSD: TRUE
Dock Phillip Ellis, Jr. (March 11, 1945 – December 19, 2008) was an American professional baseball player. A pitcher, Ellis played in Major League Baseball from 1968 through 1979 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and New York Mets. In his MLB career, he had a 138–119 win-loss record, a 3.46 earned run average, and 1,136 strikeouts. Ellis threw a no-hitter on June 12, 1970. He later claimed that he accomplished the feat under the influence of LSD. Ellis was the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game in 1971. That year, the Pirates were World Series champions. He also had a substance abuse problem, and he acknowledged after his retirement that he never pitched without the use of drugs. After going into treatment Ellis remained sober and devoted the remainder of his life to counseling drug addicts in treatment centers and prisons. He died of a liver ailment in 2008 at the age of 63.
A person who has used LSD more than seven times is automatically declared legally insane: FALSE
The same claim is often suggested with large doses, the difference being that the person is considered psychotic only for the duration of the trip. An extension of this legend is that a person who does LSD more than “X number of times” is permanently disqualified from the military as a result of being “legally insane,” a version which was likely inspired by wishful thinking of drug-using draft dodgers in the 1960s. However, no such law exists, at least not in the United States.
Caught with LSD you get manslaughter charges or attempted murder charges: FALSE
No state or federal law allows for a seller of illegal drugs to be charged with that crime under any relevant legal theory. This myth may have origins in stories about long prison sentences for possession or sale of LSD, that may have been comparable to sentences given to those convicted of murder.
Man permanently thinks he is a glass of orange juice (or becomes an orange) on LSD: FALSE
Another common legend, again dating back to the 1960s, was that a man who took LSD went insane and permanently thought that he was a glass of orange juice. Because of this, he could never bend over, slept upright and did not make any sudden movements. Alternative versions sometimes have the man thinking he is a glass of milk or a whole orange. Another version of this myth states that the man believed he had become an orange, and was afraid he would be ‘peeled’ by his friends
You can get “bad” LSD: FALSE
A “bad trip” is easily caused by an expectation or fear of ill effects, which may later be blamed on “bad acid”. This legend was made famous at the 1969 Woodstock festival, when concert-goers were warned to stay away from “the brown acid”, which was allegedly bad. One possible reason people believe that they had “bad acid” could be because they were simply sold a much higher dose than usual, which is not uncommon due to the inherent lack of quality control of illicit drugs. The stronger the dose, the stronger and potentially more anxiety-provoking the trip can get. Drugs described as LSD in the 1970s occasionally actually contained PCP, amphetamine, or other drugs that have quite different effects from LSD. There are now many research chemicals (DOB, 2C-I, DOI, 25I-NBOMe etc.) that can be nearly indistinguishable from real LSD before use, and can be easily confused with “bad acid”.
And that’s it for now! Hope you enjoyed finding out how little you actually knew about LSD.
If you or someone you love is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
As much as party goers, ravers, and clubbers would like to believe that “club drugs” aren’t addictive that just isn’t the truth. Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, Molly, and Rohypnol are all addictive.
The effects of club drugs
The term “club drugs” refers to a wide variety of drugs often used at all night parties (“raves”), nightclubs, and concerts. Club drugs can damage neurons in the brain and can impair the senses, memory, judgment and coordination. Club drugs also can have different effects on the body. Some common effects of club drugs are loss of muscle control and motor control, blurred vision, and seizures. Club drugs like ecstasy are also stimulants that can increase heart rate and blood pressure and can also lead to heart or kidney failure. Other club drugs like GHB are central nervous system depressants that can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness or breathing problems.
Club drugs also affect a person’s self-control. Many club drugs like GHB and Rohypnol are used in date rape incidences because they are sedatives that can make a person unconscious and immobilize them. Rohypnol or “roofies” can cause a kind of amnesia where users may or may not remember what they said or did while under the influence of the drugs. Club drugs are also risky because it is never certain to know exactly what chemicals were used to produce them. For instance, many ecstasy pills will have methamphetamine in them and the amount of each varies each time. And last but not least, club drugs in the worst case scenario can be fatal. High doses of club drugs can cause severe breathing doses, coma or even death.
So can you become addicted to “club drugs”?
Absolutely. Many club drugs such as ecstasy and even molly can have methamphetamine (“meth”), speed, cocaine or even heroin, which is very addictive in them. People also can become addicted if they use GHB, Ketamine repeatedly. These drugs can cause severe and long-lasting symptoms. Even if someone doesn’t become physically addicted to club drugs they can become psychologically addicted to the feeling the drugs produce. IT is also possible for a person who is taking club drugs to begin developing a tolerance the drugs and this is the beginning of a physical or psychological addict or both. Tolerance to club drugs means that the club drug user has to take more and more of the substance to achieve the same effects as before. This can lead to not only an addiction, physically or psychologically, but can also make using club drugs much more dangerous. The biggest danger though with becoming addicted to club drugs is taking a club drug such as ecstasy frequently and regularly and then finding out that it isn’t ecstasy you are now addicted to but meth or heroin if that is what your MDMA is cut with. That can be really scary.
So if you are wondering if you can become addicted to club drugs the answer is yes. Whether it is psychologically or physically or even to another substance that is in the club drugs, the truth is you can become addicted to club drugs.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment Club Drug Addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD Myths
There are many myths about the effects LSD has on the brain. One popular legend is that if you do LSD a certain number of times, you will be declared “legally insane” or develop Schizophrenia. Another is that once you’ve tried LSD, your body retains small amounts of LSD in your spinal fluid which it releases sporadically. Then there are the stories of people on LSD that walk in front of cars or jump off cliffs because they think can fly. Some of these myths are true – like people accidentally walking in front of traffic or drowning due to loss of inhibition which directly affects their judgment. Some of these are myths or have yet to be scientifically proven to be true; like your body retaining small amounts of LSD after taking it. Both have contributed to the misunderstandings in popular culture of what LSD actually does to the brain.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD Facts
It’s believed that LSD works similarly to serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating moods, appetite, muscle control, sexuality, sleep and sensory perception. LSD seems to interfere with the way the brain’s serotonin’s receptors work. It may inhibit neurotransmission, stimulate it, or both. It also affects the way that the retinas process information and conduct that information to the brain.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD Effects
The effects of LSD are highly subjective. LSD’s effects vary from person to person depending on dose, age, and life experience. Most users experience strong sensory and visual distortion. Colors may seem brighter, patterns could seem to “breathe” and users can experience an altered sense of time. LSD may also impair judgment and the ability to perceive danger, so accidents on LSD are common. Many LSD users are taking the drug while already using other drugs like alcohol, prescription pills, heroin or cocaine. The mixture of LSD and other drugs can cause extreme trips that can onset psychosis or underlying mental illnesses like Schizophrenia.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD and Addiction
LSD is not physically addictive. LSD tolerance can develop and cause the user to take a stronger dose each time, but physical withdrawal symptoms from LSD are rare when use is stopped. Since addicts crave dependability and are constantly chasing a greater “high” repeated LSD trips tend to lose their novelty, and what once seemed magical becomes every day and commonplace.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD and “Bad Trips”
It is quite possible to have a bad reaction to LSD. This is referred to as a “bad trip” and may cause panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Very high doses or LSD containing other chemicals and drugs increase the likelihood of a bad trip. Because street drugs are not legal and therefore not regulated, it is not uncommon for dealers to sell chemicals that are not LSD at all. These chemicals can also cause a bad trip.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD and Mental Illness
While there is no evidence that LSD causes brain damage of any kind, some LSD users experience severe, frightening thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and despair while using LSD; causing anxiety, panic attacks, or full blown mental psychosis. Whether LSD causes mental illness on its own, or if it simply exacerbates an underlying mental condition, is still debated among experts. However, the effects of this LSD-induced psychosis, though very rare, can be permanent.
Your Brain on Drugs: LSD and “Flashbacks”
Some users report having “acid flashbacks” for months or years after taking LSD. Flashbacks are a recurrence of some part of the experience of the trip, without having taking the drug again. A small percentage of LSD users experience what is known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. People suffering from this syndrome experience a form of visual hallucination (or flashbacks) that are persistent, instead of momentary.
Your Brain on Drugs: Bottom Line
LSD does not cause immediate brain damage or physical addiction but it can onset underlying mental illness. It is not retained in the body indefinitely but in rare cases can contribute to an accidental death. These rare cases of people falling to their death while tripping on LSD were likely either suicides or accidents caused by disorientation or misjudgment of distance, rather than an attempt to “fly.” LSD has been used in the past to treat alcoholism, mental illness and is now being researched to improve the quality of life of terminal ill patients.
If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.