Demi Lovato’s recent drug overdose and subsequent hospitalization have once again brought into the news the major threat that drugs pose to public health. A ‘recreational’ activity, drug consumption has become increasingly common with a deceptive ‘cool vibe’ attached to it which often proves to be fatal. Awareness of drug abuse is an important part of the process of fighting its ill effects on our society.
Let’s look at some of the most popular and deadly drugs of the world.
One of the most popular recreational drug, LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) is a highly potent, perception-altering hallucinogen drug. Powerful hallucinations, altered thoughts, and feelings, an unnatural awareness of one’s surroundings as well as increased blood pressure and heightened body temperature are the common effects of LSD. These may transform into anxiety, paranoia and delusions with overconsumption of the drug. Although LSD is not addictive, it may lead to sensory disturbances in the long term.
Another recreational drug, N-Bomb or 2C-I-NBOMe is a synthetic hallucinogen which was designed to mimic the effects of LSD. However, according to many users, N-Bomb’s effects are comparatively more negative and adverse than those of LSD and they report a higher risk of harm under this drug’s influence. While an LSD overdose rarely results in death, an overdose of N-Bombs can be fatal as it may result in seizure, heart attack or respiratory arrest.
13. Bath Salts
This deceptive white powder may seem to be nothing more than your everyday bath salts but is actually a synthetic crystalline drug widely used for recreational purposes. It is so named because its initial sale was done by cleverly disguising the white powder as bath salts and selling it online. Its adverse effects include hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, violent behavior as well as the risk of heart attack, kidney failure and a susceptibility to commit suicide.
One of the deadliest drugs with the highest overdose statistics, opioids are substances that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. Its effect is like that of morphine and several varieties of opioid are actually prescription pain relievers. Addiction levels related to opioids are alarming high which leads to an overdose and a high risk of death. Heroin is one of the most potent kinds of opioid.
11. Gray Death
An extremely dangerous street drug in the US, Gray Death is a combination of different drugs including heroin and other opioids as well as a special synthetic drug called U-47700. Its appearance is similar to that of concrete mixing powder. Gray Death is one of the most potent drugs of the world as it can even be absorbed through the skin on touch and a very small amount of the mixture can easily result in an overdose which, in most cases, is fatal.
Russia’s Krokodil is another name for the drug desomorphine, the intriguing drug that can even be prepared at home! A substitute for heroin, this drug is made by using painkillers, iodine, lighter fluid and industrial cleaning agents. Continued use leads to rotting of the flesh, resulting in a skin similar in appearance to that of a crocodile which is the inspiration behind the drug’s name.
Used in the treatment of HIV patients, Whoonga is a street drug highly popular in South Africa. It is a mixture of several antiretroviral drugs and cheaper when compared to its individual ingredients, making it a desirable alternative. Whoonga produces strong feelings of euphoria and relaxation and is very addictive. Effects include anxiety, depression, stomach ulcers and in many cases, death.
Also called Molly or mandy, ecstasy is a stimulant which causes euphoria and altered feelings in users. Addiction is common in the case of ecstasy which causes insomnia, nausea and a rapid heartbeat. It is most commonly used by people to ‘get high’ at parties where it often leads to dehydration, resulting in severe health problems. Its possession is illegal in most countries.
Scopolamine is a strong poison, known for its high toxicity level and its widespread use by criminals. This drug affects the victim’s ability to defend himself by causing sleepiness, blurred vision and loss of memory. It is blown into the faces of these victims to make them easy targets and has most notably been used by gangs in Colombia. Overdose may lead to respiratory failure and death.
The most popular and commonly used stimulant, tobacco is one drug whose harmful effects are well-known to nearly everyone and yet, this does not deter its widespread consumption. It may be smoked, snuffed, chewed or consumed in some other form. This lethal substance increases the risk for many diseases, especially cancer, of the heart, liver, and lungs.
Marijuana, also called cannabis, causes a general change in perception, heightened mood, and an increase in appetite. It is generally used for smoking or vaporizing and is well-known for the ‘stoned’ feeling it induces. Long-term consumption may cause addiction and lead to decreased mental ability, impaired motor skills, a decrease in short-term memory, behavioral problems, paranoia, and anxiety. This drug is associated with a high number of emergency room visits due to accidents caused under its influence.
The hero of the Netflix show, Narcos, cocaine has been the king of the drug trafficking world for a long time and its easy availability and a cheap price has led to a kind of ‘cocaine epidemic’, with a large number of people developing an addiction to the powerful stimulant. Its effects include a feeling of euphoria, increased energy and an increase in alertness. Cocaine addicts are at a high risk of stroke, lung problems, blood infections and sudden cardiac death. This is the second most frequently used illegal drug (the first being marijuana).
One of the most destructive drugs of the world, methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant, widely used as a recreational drug. It can induce psychosis, seizures, bleeding in the brain, and violent mood swings and behavior. Addiction to meth is a serious problem as the drug is used to elevate mood and increasing quantities are needed to achieve the same effect with every consumption. Meth is used to increase energy and sexual desire so the user can engage in sexual activity for a longer period of time.
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive drug made from morphine and is either snorted, smoked or injected with a needle, all of which sends it directly to the brain. This makes it a very dangerous drug as an overdose has a high possibility of being fatal. Other health problems include heart infections, weakening of the immune system and insomnia. It is one of the world’s oldest drugs and an extremely powerful opioid.
Undeniably, the most dangerous drug is alcohol. Being such a common and popular commodity, excessive consumption is an everyday occurrence, leading not only to alcohol poisoning but also a high rate of deaths due to drunken driving and violent crimes committed under the influence. Chronic excessive drinking causes severe damage to the heart, liver, pancreas, and stomach. As alcohol is a legal substance, threats resulting from its consumption are the most widespread and need the utmost attention of the society.