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Explained: All you need to know about the enemy, drugs

On Anti-Drug Day we explain to you all hat you need to know about drugs.

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What are drugs?
Drugs are substances other than food, which alter the normal functioning of body and mind.

What are the commonly abused drugs?
The commonly used drugs are heroin, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD etc.

Which categories of persons are prone to drug abuse?
All categories of persons are prone to drug abuse. However, students, youth and people of the society who are unable to cope with life on their own terms are more prone to drug abuse.

Why do people take drugs?
Factors such as pressure of career, curiosity and experimentation, myths of social acceptance, family factor, depression etc contribute to involve a person drug in drug abuse.

What are the ill-effects of drugs abuse?
Continuous intake of drugs affects normal health, functioning of vital organs of the body. Excessive use of some drugs cause pre mature death. It also leads to other harmful effects like absence from school/college, loss of job, spread of disease like HIV/AIDS, propensity to commit crimes etc.

What are the signs of drug abuse?
Loss of appetite, increased blood pressure and body temperature, dilation of pupils, violent behaviour, restlessness, excessive sweating, respiratory problems, weight loss, lack of sleep, depression, body pain.

Why is it difficult to leave drugs?
It is difficult to leave drugs as most of the drugs are addictive in nature and users become dependent on them. Moreover, stopping intake of drugs like Heroin leads to with drawl symptoms which extremely uncomfortable.

What are withdrawal symptoms?
They occur when a drug addict tries to stop intake of drugs. Like in opiates, body experiences nausea and vomiting, sweat, sleeplessness, cramps, pain, shivering, convulsions etc.

What are depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens?
Depressants: These drugs reduce the activity of the central nervous system and produce calmness and relaxation. They are used as sedatives to induce sleep for example, Opiates and Barbiturates.
Stimulants: Such drugs stimulate the activity of the central nervous system. Some stimulants have licit therapeutic uses, for example Amphetamines.
Hallucinogens: These drugs act on the central nervous system, producing mood and perceptual changes, varying from sensory illusions to hallucinations, for example LSD, Phencyclidine, Psilocybin.

What are narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances?
Narcotic Drugs are substances which diminish the awareness of sensory impulses, especially pain, by the brain. In large doses, it causes stupor, coma and convulsions. Generally cannabis preparations, opium/ opium alkaloids and coca alkaloids come in this category. Psychotropic substances are substances which alter functioning of the mind. They are generally synthetic drugs.

What are synthetic drugs?
Drugs, which are made purely through chemical substances, are synthetic drugs for example Amphetamines and Lysergic acid Diethylamide.

What is ATS?
It is amphetamines type stimulants.
Ephedrine and Pseudoephidrine are used to make ATS.

What are designer drugs?
Designer drugs are combinations of different drugs, which have multiple effects when taken, for example MDMA, Fentanyls, para-Methoxyamphetamines.

What are the street names of heroin, marijuana and cocaine?
Heroin: Smack, Brown Sugar, Boy, H, Harry, Junk, White lady, White stuff.
Marijuana (ganja): Grass, Joint, Weed, Pot, Hemp, Sinsemilla, Kif.
Cocaine: Coke, Coco, Lady, Crack, Snow, Speedball, Stardust, Bazooka, BigC.

What are party/club drugs?
‘Party drugs’ is a generic term that is used to describe drugs that are used at raves and other parties. All party drugs are considered to be controlled substances for example Ecstacy, Adam, Speed, K (Ketamines).

What are internet pharmacies?
Internet pharmacies are web based pharmacies, which sell medicinal drugs through online pharmacy websites. Selling drugs through these pharmacies without physician consultation could be illegal.

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