This drug is one of the most widely distributed drugs in North America
Lets play name that drug. Email Central.email@example.com to see if you are correct. Now read on…
The active ingredient in this drug is extracted from the leaves of a rather prosaic looking plant, a shrub to be exact. Despite its widespread presence in the United States, this shrub cannot grow there. It requires some unique soil and environmental conditions to grow. Unlike marijuana, this plant is finicky. It is about as different from marijuana as any drug could be. This month’s mystery drug is a central nervous stimulant. But more revealing is that this drug is also a topical anesthetic. If properly formulated, this month’s drug can be a very effective medication, one that facilitates some very delicate surgical procedures. If this drug is improperly formulated, it takes on a Robert Louis Stevenson identity, a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. These effects are especially true if the drug is smoked and inhaled into the lungs. When ingested in that manner, this month’s drug becomes a monster.
Any guesses yet?
During the civil war, some experts promoted the drug as a putative treatment for soldiers who had become addicted to morphine. That did not work. Others proposed the drug as a tonic for an array of emotional ills. Especially with melancholia, this month’s drug seemed to instantly erase signs of the “blues” or depression. Ironically however, extended use of the drug actually triggered a very deep depression that would often digress into a paranoia and withdrawal from social interactions. These effects are seen with modern users of this drug as well. In fact, the onerous side effects from chronic use of the drug are more pronounced in the modern era.
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Our featured drug is perhaps the most hated illicit drug in the world. It has been the central figure in the destabilization of countries located in the southern hemisphere. In the United States, the drug has been the proximate cause of a great deal of inner-city violence. There, the drug has become the currency for a wide array of legal and illegal activities. The drug has been the staple product and principal source of income for criminal gangs. In fact, the more notorious street gangs in America fueled their growth in the 80s and 90s from sales of this drug.
The most critical moment in this drug’s history came at the point when users discovered that the drug could be easily converted into a water insoluble form that could be smoked. When this happened, users discovered that this very potent stimulant drug could be delivered to the brain in a matter of seconds once it had been heated beyond its melting point. The street name given to this form of the drug was a play on the noise that the drug would make when heated on pie tins in kitchen ovens, a process designed to quickly convert the drug into its smokable form. As they say, that was a “game changer.” An entire line of paraphernalia evolved to facilitate the smoking of this drug. Legions of addicts grew out of this period and destined this drug for its reputation as a uniquely destructive substance.
Those who are addicted are easy to identify. Users of this drug exhibit very noticeable symptoms of intoxication. As a central nervous system stimulant, the drug triggers pronounced excitation. Users display pronounced dilated pupils and an overall pattern of hyper activity. Speech becomes rapid and emotional; gestures move quickly and are exaggerated. This drug is short acting, arguably, the shortest acting drug in the current lineup of major abused drugs. Because of its short half-life, users will display serial patterns of use where the intervals between doses may only last 10-15 minutes. This drug is an anorectic, it blunts appetite and convinces users that they have eaten when they have not. It convinces users of a list of many things that are not true. It is also perhaps one of the most difficult drugs to detoxifyfrom; there are no known maintenance drugs or pharmaceutical preparations that directly reduce cravings and urges.
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This month’s drug is a monster. Just ask an addict, one in recovery, or one still actively using. Their stories will always be the same.
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Thank you Medtox for a wonderful article.