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.
Here it is folks, another entry in our series Drug Myths Debunked. Like me, you’ve heard, I’m sure, lots of different stories about MDMA, many of which are conflicting. So, let’s get to the bottom of what MDMA really is and how it works.
And, as always, these articles are meant to clear the air about specific drugs. They are in no way a recommendation to go and use any of the drugs mentioned. Remember kids: drugs are bad, Mmmkay?
What is MDMA?
MDMA is an empathogenic drug (meaning a chemical agent that induces feelings of empathy) and is categorized in the amphetamine classes of drugs. MDMA has become widely known as “ecstasy” (shortened to “E”, “X”, or “XTC”), usually referring to its street pill form, although this term may also include the presence of possible adulterants. The term “molly” refers to MDMA in powder or crystalline form, usually implying a higher level of purity.
Drug Myths and Misconceptions Debunked
1. Myth — Ecstasy Will Make You a Better Lover
With its provocative name, and synonym, “the love drug,” you could be fooled into thinking the drug ecstasy is an aphrodisiac that will give you and your partner immediate sexual bliss.
Truth — The name ecstasy was chosen because the original name — empathy — was not considered marketable. Although some people may experience pleasurable sex after taking ecstasy, for many others, the experience of taking ecstasy is decidedly asexual. Most users actually report feelings of innocence and childishness, rather than sexuality. And like other stimulants, ecstasy can interfere with the ability to become sexually aroused, both for men and for women.
2. Myth — You Can’t Have a Bad Trip on Ecstasy
Ecstasy has a reputation for being a “happy” drug, and is often mistakenly considered to be psychologically safe, compared to drugs such as LSD.
Truth — While most ecstasy users find the drug pleasant in effect, it can trigger feelings of anxiety and panic, which are heightened by the stimulant effects of the drug. Ecstasy also has hallucinogenic properties, so it can trigger a bad trip.
3. Myth — You Can Trust Anyone Who Takes Ecstasy
The myth that people who take ecstasy are loving, trustworthy, and incapable of theft, abuse or violence is widespread on the rave scene, and encapsulated in their mantra, Peace Love Unity Respect (PLUR).
Truth — Ecstasy does not cleanse the soul or transform people into angels. The illicit drug scene has more than its fair share of sexual opportunists, drug dealers, and people who want to take advantage of vulnerable drug users. Don’t believe for a second that having dilated pupils means someone is trustworthy.
4. Myth — Ecstasy is the Most Effective Antidepressant Ever Invented
This myth states that the euphoric properties of MDMA, combined with the wonderful connection you will feel to other ecstasy users will make your feelings of depression a thing of the past.
Truth — While euphoria is a common effect of MDMA, depletion of the pleasure chemicals of the brain during the high often results in intense feelings of depression after the comedown from ecstasy. And like other psychoactive drugs, ecstasy can sometimes trigger substance induced anxiety, depression and psychosis. Instead of self-medicating your depression, see a doctor and get an effective treatment for depression.
5. Myth — Ecstasy Users Don’t Touch “Hard” Drugs
This myth is based on the idea that some drugs, such as weed and ecstasy, are “soft” — implying they are harmless and non-addictive, while other drugs, such as meth and heroin, are “hard” and thus associated with addiction, disease, needles and overdose deaths.
Truth — While some people come through a phase of ecstasy use without trying other drugs, for many others, ecstasy is just one of several drugs that they take, all of which carry risks. Some progress to using “harder” drugs, such as heroin, after swearing they never would. Whether you like to admit it or not, being an ecstasy user opens you up to the possibilities of drug use in general, and access to a range of illicit substances. Ecstasy carries its own risks, even addiction.
So, there it is. Five common myths about MDMA debunked. Hope this helps you win some arguments.
If you or someone you love is in need of drug addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
A decade of “mom and pop” meth labs, being heroin chic, up all night at the rave and totally stoned.
Federal funding for the war on drugs reached $17.1 billion dollars. At this period of time, 34% of Americans admitted to having tried marijuana.
In the 1990s there was decline in most drug abuse but not all. In the 1990s there was a rise in pot smoking, the rise of the rave culture, and also “mom and pop” labs of methamphetamine. Heroin use in the 1990s also increased, as well as the number of overdoses. In fact, you can see see the residual effects of the drug trends in the fashion industry.
Here is a fun fact, heroin became so popular that the reason most models look the way they do today is because of it. The 1990s came up with the trend “heroin chic”. Heroin chic was a look popularized in mid-1990s fashion and was characterized by pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes and angular bone structure. The look gave way to emaciated models such as Kate Moss. A 1996 article in the Los Angeles Times stated that the fashion industry had “a nihilistic vision of beauty” that was reflective of drug addiction and U.S. News and World Report called the movement a “cynical trend”.
The 1990s saw an increase in pot use, ecstasy use, and crystal meth. “Ecstasy and crystal meth are popular in California, meth is big in the Midwest, and the New Jersey Turnpike is just ‘the Heroin Highway’,” -Unknown
Marijuana use in the 1990s: Marijuana use among American youths and young adults increased substantially during the 1990s. Much of the increase in marijuana use could have been attributable to the growing popularity of blunts. If you ever wonder if there really was an increase in marijuana use just listen to the music. Much of the music and culture of the 90s was surrounded by the idea of getting “stoned”. Think, Cypress Hill.
Heroin use in the 1990s: During what seemed like an epidemic of urban heroin use in the 1970’s, the images of the typical addict — strung out, nodding off on street corners, track marks along every vein — were so strong that they turned off an entire generation of potential users. Those images did not resonate so strongly in places where addicts were seen only on television. So when heroin became purer and cheaper as well as able to be smoked or snorted, in the 1990’s, it took root in predominantly white, working- and middle-class communities. Heroin in the 1990s was one of the most deadly of the illegal drugs leading to overdoses of many famous people such as Sublime’s front man Bradley Nowell who died in 1996 and The Smashing Pumpkins band mate Jonathan Melvoin also in 1996. Heroin was glamorized within the music industry as well as the fashion industry.
Meth use in the 1990s: PDFA studies found that use by high school students more than doubled between 1990 and 1996. New ways to cook methamphetamine appeared in 1990s. Some new versions were four to six times stronger and more addictive. Greatest use was seen in the Southwest and West. Methamphetamine use began and grew in the rural Midwest. Rural locations became ideal for cooking of methamphetamine because of geographic isolation, available supply of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and anhydrous ammonia. In 1996, congress passed the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act, which regulated mail order and chemical companies selling chemicals. For example, people who bought large quantities of red phosphorous, iodine and hydrochloric gas would have to show they would use them for legitimate purposes. Law enforcement agents became allowed to track large mail order purchases of pseudoephedrine, another precursor chemical. Chemical supply companies would now be punished if they sold chemicals to people who make methamphetamine.
Ecstasy use in the 1990s: MDMA use rose sharply among college students and young adults during the 1990s, according to the 1995 Monitoring the Future study. Beginning in 1987 on the Spanish island of Ibiza, British vacationers had all-night parties with loud, beat-driven dance music in crowded conditions. Raves spread first to the United Kingdom and then to the United States. By the mid-1990s they were all over the place, especially in big cities. The use of “club drugs” to enhance the enjoyment of the party experience was already established in America, where certain “discos” had already been catering to cocaine and amphetamine users. Ecstasy fit into the rave scene better than cocaine, however. High on ecstasy, shy or cautious people became wild dancers, open and friendly to strangers, and they were able to stay awake all night. By the time raves became established in the United States, ecstasy had already been added to the Schedule I list of controlled substances by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Emergency room visits sparked by bad reactions to ecstasy spiked from 253 in 1994 to 5,542 in 2001, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report.
These were a few of the biggest drug abuse trends of the 90s. Did you experience any of this? How old were you in the 1990s? Did you fall into any of these trends? Can you point out any other things about the 1990s that really led to the increase in drug abuse?
If you or someone you love is in need of alcohol or drug 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.
Today’s substance showdown is between two very euphoric “club drugs”; molly, which is the rookie on the scene, and ecstasy, which is our veteran substance. Just like yesterday’s substance showdown between marijuana and alcohol; molly and ecstasy will go head to head for three rounds based on: health effects, insidiousness and legality as well as addictive nature and withdrawal. The substance with the WORST of each round will be the winner. This should be a great match up between two similar substances both MDMA based; one old and one new.
Let us introduce our veteran contender Ecstasy! MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), popularly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline
And its opponent; Molly! Molly, short for molecule, is considered to be pure MDMA, unlike Ecstasy, which generally is laced with other ingredients, such as caffeine or methamphetamine.
It’s a substance showdown: Molly v. Ecstasy
LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!
ROUND 1: HEALTH EFFECTS
Ecstasy: Ecstasy acts by increasing the activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Ecstasy causes a large release of serotonin and it also triggers the release of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which play important roles in love, trust, sexual arousal, and other social experiences. This may account for the characteristic feelings of emotional closeness and empathy produced by the drug.
Ecstasy effects on the brain: The surge of serotonin caused by taking Ecstasy depletes the brain of this important chemical, causing negative after effects that include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and anxiety. Some heavy Ecstasy users experience long-lasting confusion, depression, sleep abnormalities, and problems with attention and memory.
Other health effects of ecstasy: Ecstasy users may experience other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating. As well as, increases in heart rate and blood pressure
- In high doses, Ecstasy can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. On rare occasions, this can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, or cardiovascular system failure or even death.
- Ecstasy can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), causing potentially harmful levels to build up in the body if it is taken repeatedly within short periods of time.
The last health effect of ecstasy could be and more often than not is, laced with other drugs such as methamphetamine aka crystal meth. This means you add in a whole new slew of health effects just from that added substance.
Molly: Molly essentially has the same exact health effects (see above) as ecstasy when it comes to producing feelings of euphoria and closeness with other people. Only difference is, molly usually comes in a “pure” powder form, while ecstasy comes in pill form.
Health effects of molly: The same as the health effects (see above) of ecstasy, minus one thing; the supposed risk of it being laced and those health effects. We are going to go ahead and go with the idea of Molly as MDMA in its pure form that doesn’t come with any added substances. So just take out the added health effects of something such as meth that it could be laced with but remember this isn’t always the case and most likely isn’t.
THE WINNER OF ROUND 1 IS: NEITHER, IT IS A DRAW
Both ecstasy and molly have very similar health effects and while molly is touted as being pure there is still a high chance that it is not.
ROUND 2: INSIDIOUSNESS AND LEGALITY
Ecstasy: Ecstasy has been used in a therapeutic settings but that was a long time ago. Today ecstasy or MDMA is considered a Schedule 1 substance under the Drug Enforcement Administration’s guidelines. That means that Ecstasy is very illegal. So there is no insidiousness when it comes to its social acceptance or its legality.
What might give ecstasy its sneaky side is the fact that it does make you feel so good when you take it. Those feelings of warmth and comfort that ecstasy creates are something that you wouldn’t consider in a dangerous drug. Also, ecstasy comes in a pill form that can easily contain hidden substance including crack cocaine, cocaine, meth, speed, GHB, and well pretty much anything.
Ecstasy comes in a colorful bright little pill, stamped with something almost teen or kid friendly, like a smiley face, or a peace sign. Ecstasy is almost marketed on the street to younger adults who are raving and clubbing and the sad thing is they think what they are getting is just ecstasy when that just isn’t true. Ecstasy gets its real insidiousness in its packaging which hides the other substances in it and makes it look “cool” to take. It is like the stranger trying to talk kids into coming with him with a piece of candy.
Molly: Molly is also considered a Schedule 1 substance which means it too is highly illegal in every way possible including therapeutically or medicinally. Molly doesn’t come in a pill form like ecstasy does so the whole marketing aspect of its insidiousness is non-existent. Also, it is highly illegal so it also isn’t insidious in its legality. It might just be insidious in its social acceptance and its rise to notoriety through our mainstream pop culture. Madonna is said to ask people at a concert, “Has anyone seen Molly?” later explaining she wasn’t talking about the drug. The drug Molly has also gotten supposed mentions in Jay-Z’s song “Empire State of Mind” feat. Alicia Keys, and Kanye Wests’ song “Mercy”. Anytime pop icons are mentioning a drug it suddenly becomes “cool” and while not accepted by most adults or parents it definitely is socially accepted between young adults, those who party, club, rave, and are into the mainstream pop culture. The mentions might make it seem okay to take Molly and this makes it slightly insidious.
Also, molly is touted to be “pure” and the word “pure” for anyone taking drugs usually defines into “safe” or “safer”; that or “better”. Because Molly comes in a powder form the truth is it can be cut and laced with pretty much anything without the user knowing it. In fact there may be no molly in the supposed molly powder at all. This makes molly very insidious. Can you imagine getting a little bag of supposed molly powder and really it was all methamphetamine? That’s pretty insidious. Molly is like the girl who looks totally different with her make up off; great with the make up on, and scary and almost unrecognizable as the person you know without it.
AND THE WINNER OF ROUND 2 IS: MOLLY
Because of molly’s supposed purity and its rise to fame through our mainstream pop culture we are going to go ahead and give this round to Molly. Plus Molly is new on the block and not as much is known about it. Sorry Ecstasy but you just aren’t as insidious as molly.
ROUND 3-WITHDRAWAL AND ADDICTION
Ecstasy: Ecstasy is addictive that means that ecstasy has withdrawal symptoms. And while most people don’t end up getting addicted physically to it, mentally it is very easy due to the great feelings it produces. Here are some ecstasy withdrawal symptoms:
- Depression – This is one of the primary Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that are reported by individuals who wish to stop using the drug; unfortunately, some of the cutting edge research in relation to ecstasy has reported that taking the drug just a couple of times could potentially cause long term brain damage that leads to depression.
- Sleeplessness – This is one of the most commonly ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that occurs when a person attempts to stop using the drug.
- Agitation – This is an Ecstasy withdrawal symptom that is extremely common.
- Difficulty concentrating & Memory Problems
More often than not, a person who is going through the Ecstasy withdrawal process will reach for alcohol or various other types of drugs to help them to relax. This unfortunately will typically just become another addiction to any of these substitute chemicals.
Molly: Molly is just as addictive as ecstasy and has withdrawal symptoms also the ones mentioned above and below. Here are some of the molly withdrawal symptoms:
Molly as well as ecstasy works in a particular way; it brings you up, and then you crash down. The crash occurs when the drug is leaving your body, and this can result in withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Dilated pupils
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
THE WINNER OF ROUND 3 IS: NEITHER, IT IS A DRAW
Both ecstasy and molly have very similar withdrawal symptoms and both are categorized as Schedule 1 substances, this makes them totally equal in this round.
THE WINNER OF THIS SUBSTANCE SHOWDOW IS MOLLY!
Molly may have some of the same health effects and it may have some of the same withdrawal symptoms as ecstasy, but when it comes to its insidiousness it has ecstasy beat. And that’s what pushed it over the edge to become our winner, and the worst of the two substances. Molly for right now is accepted as a part of the “party or rave scene” especially with younger people including teens and it is touted as being “pure” which means “safer” which adds also to its insidiousness.
Both ecstasy and molly are potentially dangerous but if you are going to get in the boxing ring with a substance go ahead and pick your battle with the veteran old guy; ecstasy.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for Molly or Ecstasy Addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.