#1) Marijuana or Weed
Weed has been around for thousands of years and quite popular for its sedative and somewhat hallucinogenic effects. It can be use medically in cancer patients to increase appetite and/or as a pain killer.
People who smoke weed become “stoned” – they become mellow, relaxed.
While a mild drug, weed is illegal in the United States, most likely for political reasons. Use does decrease motivation and memory formation, and some heavy users report feeling chronically “doped.”
Fun Facts about Weed:
George Washington grew marijuana
Hemp, which is a form of marijuana, was once accepted as money in the USA
Hemp was also possibly the first fabric used by people –ever
Cocaine is an extremely popular drug on the party circuit, and is well known for its association with the rich and famous (because only they could afford to maintain a habit). Unfortunately, a new form of cocaine, crack, is significantly more accessible and has ruined the lives of many.
A stimulant that works on dopamine, cocaine produces feelings of euphoria, energy and excitement. The crash can be nasty, however, and potential side effects include paranoia and delusions that bugs are crawling over your skin. Not to mention its exceptionally high rates of addiction.
Fun Facts about Cocaine:
Cocaine was used heavily by the famous psychiatrist Freud and is still used in medicine today as a pain killer
2,500 people try cocaine for the first time on any given day
Coca cola originally contained cocaine. (Hence, the name)
#3) Xanax and the benzodiazepines
Xanax, and its family of drugs, the benzodiazepines (or “benzos”), are quite good at slowing the brain down. They do this by activating the GABA inhibitor pathways. This produces a feeling of calm, good will, and relaxation.
As such, they are quite popular, both as prescription medication, and as drugs of abuse. This is unfortunate, as the benzos are both highly addictive and extremely difficult to quit. If you stop abruptly, withdrawal can be so bad as to send you into convulsions or make you go temporarily insane.
Adderall is a mix of amphetamines, and we’ve talked in great length about its use for ADHD. It promotes dopamine release and activity in brain cells, which leads to greater focus, motivation and attention.
But there’s a darker side. In high doses, Adderall can cause euphoria and extreme amounts of energy, hence its street name “speed.” When used recreationally, Adderall is addictive and tolerance quickly develops, meaning greater and greater doses.
Adderall has only been around since 1998, but is quite popular on college campuses. Students love its ability to help them study, pull all nighters, or party. Which is tragic, because such use only delegitimizes its use as a treatment for ADHD.
Fun Facts about Adderall
We produce and distribute legally more than 1,000kg per year of crystal meth, a close relative to Adderall
Anyone whatsoever if given a high enough dose Adderall would become delusional and temporarily insane
Adderall is among the most effective appetite suppressant we know of
Ecstasy makes you feel what its name implies – great feelings of pleasure and joy. It acts on all sorts of brain chemicals to work its magic, and is popular on the club scene to make parties that much more enjoyable.
Someone who takes ecstasy may quickly fall in love with someone and share all the most intimate secrets, or quiver with joy at the feeling of the ground under their feet.
Dancers who take ecstasy should be aware of its potential to cause dehydration. We’re talking about overheating to the point where your body organs sort of “melt.” Eww. Not to mention that use may be associated with significant brain damage.
Fun Facts about Ecstasy
Ecstasy has been investigated for its use in couples therapy
Drug company giant Merck patented Ecstasy in 1914
Because this drug can cause people’s jaws to clamp down shut really, really hard, users sometimes use pacifiers. (Stuff like that makes it pretty easy for critics to call drug use infantile)
A terribly seductive drug, use of Heroin mimics powerful painkiller chemicals natural to the body. This produces a feeling of deep calm and relaxation. Users feel like “everything is going to be all-right,” that life is wonderful.
That is, until the effects run out. Withdrawal from heroin is a terrible, terrible thing, and can even be life threatening. An inmate in jail who was undergoing withdrawal, for instance, decided to break his own foot so that he would get painkillers to dull the agony.
It’s that bad.
Fun Facts about Heroin:
Bayer, the makers of aspirin, once sold heroin as a cough medicine. (They probably had high customer retention)
The term “junky” comes from people who would sell pieces of junk metal to raise money to use heroin
Up to 85% of people who become addicted to heroin will never kick the habit fully
A psychedelic that can make your life extremely interesting when you start seeing colors, shapes and have elaborate trances. The CIA drugged unsuspecting people with LSD to investigate its potential use as an interrogation tool, hoping that someone who was seeing floating, glowing giraffes might also be more willing to talk about what he knew.
At least one person died as a result of that testing.
LSD is a popular recreational drug because the strange experiences it causes can be quite enjoyable, and even life-changing according to some. That said, its potential for bad trips is not to be ignored – with some people even jumping out windows, thinking they can fly.
Fun Facts about LSD
The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” can be abbreviated to LSD and is said to capture what taking the drug feels like
People who take LSD can later have unexpected and vivid flashbacks where they re-experience their “trip”
Owning just one gram of LSD can send you to jail for 5 years. The government is serious about stopping use of this drug (except when they’re the ones doing it)
PCP, or Phencyclidine, is a strange drug that can cause excitement and aggression. It is not the most popular recreational drug because it is unpredictable, but some of the better effects PCP has include intoxication and anesthesia.
That said, it has quite high potential for causing brief periods of psychosis similar to schizophrenia, extreme aggression and cause unexpected and sudden violence.
Fun Facts about PCP
Street names for PCP include “Peter Pan,” “Happy sticks,” and “Black dust.” Despite not being so popular, it may have among the most nicknames
PCP was used as an anesthetic originally with the unfortunate side effect of psychosis
#9) Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms are like a natural LSD. They too send you off on “magical” trips, and have been used by many cultures as part of religious ceremonies. There are more than 200 different types of mushrooms with psychoactive effects, so the effects can be quite diverse and unexpected.
While entirely natural, use of magic mushrooms has its own risks.
Fun facts about Magic Mushrooms
Some major religious works have been suggested to have been done or influenced by the use of magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms, along with marijuana, are legal in Amsterdam
Magic mushrooms can be consumed in tea (which makes their use seem that much better than, say, an intravenous drug)
Alcohol should be number one if use alone is looked, but since it is legal and socially acceptable, we’ve put it last.
Alcohol is a sedative that works to inhibit certain parts of the brain. It can cause excitement and disinhibition, effects that seem stimulatory, when it inhibits control and regulation centers.
Fun facts about Alcohol