Sunday, November 30, 2008


cannabis, marijuana, drugsTerms: Dope, smoke, weed, draw, puff, blunts, blow, ganja

Marijuana is at the centre of every debate about drugs.Pro-Marijuana reformers argue that the drug is safe compared to tobacco and less unsocial in its effects than alcohol.Legalisation, we are told, will at a stroke deal with a huge problem of criminalisation, save money and make millions of people very happy.But what is the truth about Marijuana? Using the latest technology it is now possible to search through four million recent scientific papers and pull out all those relating to Marijuana, crunching down the results into a digest of the most important facts.Here are the results of that process.
Pattern of use

Marijuana (Marijuana, marijuana or Marijuana sativa)is grown widely world-wide. Marijuana is smoked in a cigarette or a pipe on its own or rolled into tobacco. Marijuana is by far the most popular illegal drug.It varies in potency, according to the content of the active ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from 2-9% in imported material to 8-14% in home-grown flowering heads. 65 - 70% of domestic consumption is resin from North Africa or India, while herbal Marijuana accounts for 25-30% and "Skunk" or other high potency strains 5-10%.

New strains of Marijuana are now available, designed to be grown indoors with short bushy plants and high quality flowering tops. Marijuana is now being grown using the very latest, most modern agricultural techniques.This is a high value crop.Dried marijuana looks similar to tobacco and is compressed into a block the size of a brick, weighing around a kilogram.
Effects of Marijuana

Smoking Marijuana produces almost instant effects, lasting one to four hours. Marijuana makes people relaxed and talkative, but is a depressant, which can make people who are sad feel worse. Sound and colours also become more intense. Users typically report that Marijuana improves self-awareness, relationships with others and makes them more "easy going", tolerant and understanding. Some users say that it helps them to be creative.
140,000 admitted to hospitals every year in US after Marijuana

In the short term Marijuana hinders concentration and slows reaction times, so is a dangerous drug when using machinery or driving. High doses can cause hallucinations and other sensory problems.Nausea and vomiting can occur, especially if inexperienced users take too much. The effects the following day are often less than after heavy drinking - no headaches or nausea, just a "woolly-head".

Death is unknown except from accidents.However, 140,000 people are admitted to US hospitals every year because of Marijuana abuse, mainly with mental health problems.That's one in every 140 users. Physical dependency does not occur, but smoking it in tobacco will of course result in nicotine addiction.

How does it work in the brain?

Some brain cell surfaces have receptors that fit THC, which mimics a naturally occurring brain substance called anandamide, Within minutes of taking Marijuana, these receptors fire up, sending an urgent message to the nucleus of each cell, switching on the genes which tell the cell how to make more receptors.So the first dose may not produce much effect, with few receptors to be activated, but the following ones may be very different.

Now we can see why twins are often similar in their preference for a drug like Marijuana - enjoyment is partly in the genes.Other important factors include the mental state of the person before they take the drug, their expectations and the setting in which the drug is taken.

Big changes in brain function

It is too early to be certain about the long term toxic effects of Marijuana in humans but there are growing grounds for concern. As we have seen with tobacco, opium and other drugs, the history of drug use is that it often takes thirty to fifty years to evaluate impact and risk to health.Even today, almost a century after the first factory-produced cigarrettes hit the market some are still arguing that smoking does not cause cancer.Sir Richard Doll's famous studies which first indicated a link are only thirty years old.The question then is what science may conclude about Marijuana by 2050.

We do know already that high dose exposure of rats to THC causes damage and destruction of nerve cells and structural changes to the hippocampus region of the brain.This area is important for memory, learning, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation.THC alters the way in which sensory information is interpreted.

Brain activity is reduced in the cerebellum in regular Marijuana users when intoxicated, while the orbitofrontal cortex and basal ganglia are stimulated.These effects do not occur in first time users, and explain the clumsiness together with psychologically addictive effects of regular Marijuana use.

Marijuana causes an acute and with regular heavy use, a subacute encephalopathy (damage to brain cells - some viruses do the same). There is no evidence (yet) of irreversible cerebral damage resulting from its use, although impairment of information processing might be a long-term consequence of prolonged use.

Long term effect on brain

There have been a number of studies on the longer term effects of Marijuana, some find significant differences, others do not. The trouble is it all depends on what you are looking for.The truth is that long term Marijuana effects are subtle and easily missed - but they are there all the same.In view of the very large numbers of regular Marijuana users, even subtle effects need to be taken seriously.After all, what is the effect of a single cigarette or of smoking for a year?It is the possible cumulative effect in a population of hundreds of thousands of young and older users over a decade or more that requires the closes scrutiny.

Scientists have studied electrical activity in the frontal lobes of the brain in Marijuana users using event-related potential measurements (ERP).You can measure not only patterns of electrical activity in the brain using electrodes placed over the head, but also the speed of brain reactions to - say - a picture or a sound.

Research shows that with increased length of use, Marijuana users are less able to focus attention and filter out irrelevant stimuli, (frontal lobe activity).However with increasing frequency of use there was a growing problem in the parietal area of the brain with slower speed of information processing.

For example, a 35 year old man who had been taking Marijuana every day for eighteen years was monitored during six weeks of withdrawal. Brain event-related potential (ERP) measures of selective attention showed that he had problems filtering out complex irrelevant information. THC is fat soluble and stored widely in the body, taking several weeks to disappear completely, however the changes persisted even when Marijuana levels in the body were undetectable after six weeks of abstinence.

The man was allowed to take some more Marijuana, and his ERPalmost returned to normal.In other words, there is some evidence that people who are regularly stoned, require some THC levels in the brain for "normal" function in some mental tasks. Some problems in thinking may actually improve when a chronic user is slightly under the influence.But effects of Marijuana can last a very long time.

This "recovery" effect when intoxicated is not uncommon.Some musicians report that work they create when drunk or stoned can only be recovered fully when they perform in the same mental state that they were in originally.
Selective attention deficits

With so many school pupils using Marijuana we need to look very closely at any possible effect on learning.The results are worrying. A study of college students found significant effects on a wide range of mental tasks more than 18 hours after using Marijuana. Heavy users made more errors and had greater difficulty concentrating, in registering, processing and using information. These are subtle effects that might not be noticed by the person or those around but are identified on formal psychometric assessment. Another study also found long term difficulties in focussing attention and filtering out irrelevant information, which got worse in those with longest exposure to Marijuana.

In summary then, Marijuana is not physically addictive and there is no withdrawal.However it produces profound changes in brain activity, activating genes and altering the way the brain functions - effects which can last months after a chronic user has given up.Marijuana is undoubtedly addictive psychologically, as seen in some who do not find it easy or pleasant to live without it.


The so-called a motivational syndrome has been well described in chronic users, who seem to have lost drive.Marijuana users can sometimes be convinced that this is a positive thing:an end to undisguised aggressive ambition, replaced by a gentler, more relaxed attitude to the whole of life.

But drive, the desire to succeed, to triumph over difficulties, to excel through a major challenge, these things are vital to the future of young people, who as we have seen are often the heaviest Marijuana users.Stamina, staying power, determination, these are the substance of remarkable achievement, of developing one's true potential, of character development.

Indeed one could go further and say that the future of a community or a nation depends on motivating each generation to go out and make a difference, instead of sitting on their back-sides dreaming all day.

However we need to return to the pressures created by the six faces of the future: fast, urban, tribal, universal, radical and ethical.Teenagers and young adults leaning towards a radical, ethical and tribal society, and against one that is "power-hungry" fast, urban and universal, can easily embrace a Marijuana culture as part of a protest.For them, the answer to life may not be more, but mildness, not massive but micro, not mighty but meek.


There have been many suggestions that schizophrenia could be triggered by use of Marijuana.There is no evidence for this but good reason for the link in people's minds. Schizophrenia is a condition affecting around 1% of the population in the course of a lifetime, and is usually chronic, treatable but relapsing.However schizophrenia is often confused with drug-induced psychosis. By the law of probabilities the two events sometimes occur more or less at the same time- psychosis and onset of schizophrenia - as one would expect when both drug-taking and schizophrenia are relatively common.

Acute mental illness caused by Marijuana is a common cause of hospital admission. In many cases it is hard to separate the effects of different drugs that the user has been taking.The combined effect is often an acute psychotic state indistinguishable from many other mental disorders.The diagnosis may only become clear when the person who is unwell reveals the full history of what they have tried and when. The difference from other diagnoses is that drug-induced hallucinations, delusions and distortions disappear with abstinence from drugs.

Other health issues

Marijuana use in pregnancy carries similar risks to smoking tobacco - from the tobacco used. It can also affect male sexual development in some cases (unusual).Marijuana has a depressant effect on the immune system through direct effects on white cells.It can also slow healing.Regular Marijuana smoking is linked to bronchitis and other chest problems, and possibly lung cancer.One to three marijuana joints a day can cause as much lung damage as smoking five times a many cigarettes.The way smokers inhale increases the effects on the lung.

Marijuana in combination with cocaine causes a particularly high rise in blood pressure and heart rate - typically a rise of 49 beats per minute combined compared to around 30 with either alone.Users taking both before exercising are placing an additional strain on their hearts.

Special issues

The ladder or gateway - the facts

As we have seen, both tobacco and alcohol use in teenagers make use of other drugs more likely, and the same is true for Marijuana. Most people who use other illegal drugs started off using Marijuana. A study by Columbia University's Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse fund children who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than peers who have never tried it. People who use Marijuana do not necessarily go on to use other illegal drugs.However they may be open to other health risks such as unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

The fact that there is a link does not prove cause.Studies show that people using crack or heroin have almost without exception used Marijuana first.Chance association or real culprit? Some say that there is no real link.Whilst it is true that people who use heroin usually started with Marijuana, they say there could be other reasons:

1· Perhaps some common factor in background or personality.

2· Perhaps the studies on possible links were done when Marijuana was more freely available than heroin - so people may simply have come across it first.

3· It may be the illegality of Marijuana that creates the link - exposing users to an underground network. Of dealers offering other drugs.

The same kind of arguments exist over violent videos and violent crime.We know from research that those with certain types of personality are more likely to feel aggressive and commit violent acts if they have recently been watching violent films.So surely violent films are to blame?No, say the film-makers."It may just be that people who are violent like watching violent films and anyway the link is not strong.Violent crimes are committed by people who have not watched videos or films beforehand, and many watch them with no effects."
Common sense tells us there is a link

However, common sense tells us that there is almost certainly a link.We know that media exposure influences behaviour.Indeed the advertising industry sells billions of pounds of TV time on that basis.A campaign starts in a town or city and sales soar.People can be influenced to part with money, change the way they use their spare time or which brand of alcohol they consume - so why not accept the likelihood that people can also be influenced in the way they treat other people?

The same arguments apply to Marijuana.Here is a drug which is relatively harmless in itself but which is almost always a front-runner in those who later become addicted to drugs such as heroin.We know that once teenagers smoke tobacco it is easier for them to cross the next step and smoke Marijuana.

Lowering the threshold

We also know that once someone starts using Marijuana it is easier for them to try something else - for the following reasons:

1· Desensitisation: "It was a big step at first, but Marijuana didn't kill me - actually I can't see what all the fuss is about so why not try some other things?"

2· Targeting by dealer: "My mate offered me some free dope and also had some other stuff he was giving away so I tried both"

3· Knowledge of supply: "I was thinking about trying something else and I already knew exactly who to ask"

4· Drug- taking part of social life: "My friends do things together.We all smoke dope. Someone had something else so for a bit of a laugh we all tried it"

It is dangerous nonsense therefore to suggest that Marijuana use does not significantly increase the risk of a serious drug addiction later on.

Some say that the risk would be reduced if legalised because the person would buy Marijuana from a licensed and regulated source (a shop) rather than from an illicit dealer supplying a wide range of other drugs.That might be the case but there is no doubt in my mind that it would also lower the threshold for other experimentation, and increase the numbers of young people for whom Marijuana becomes a completely accepted part of normal everyday life.This is unlike the situation at present in most countries including the US and UK where the majority of teenagers and adults have never used Marijuana, and where a very small minority of any age use it regularly.

Does Marijuana have a medical value?

For years there have been suggestions that Marijuana can help the sick - especially those with multiple sclerosis or advanced cancer.Indeed as we have seen the drug has been used by doctors for centuries in many countries, and in Britain up to 1928.The big question is whether doctors should be given the same freedom that they enjoy with morphine and other opiates.

California recently passed a law allowing doctor to prescribe Marijuana as a treatment, although the law is being contested. The British Medical Association has also recommended legalisation for medical purposes and more research into pain-relieving effects.

As a doctor I find it strange that very addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine have been used in medicine for decades, yet the use of Marijuana in medicine is still illegal in many countires and frowned upon in others.We will discuss later on the beneficial effects of heroin, morphine and other opiate-derived drugs in the relief of pain and other symptoms such as severe diarrhoea and terminal breathlessness, but what about Marijuana?
Let doctors decide how to treat illness

My own view is that doctors should be free to prescribe whatever drugs the medical profession as a whole considers to be helpful in treatment, unhindered by law. Great fuss is made that doctors might be persuaded to prescribe Marijuana simply because it makes seriously sick people happy and their suffering easier to bear.But even if that were the case, would that be so wrong?

Doctors in general practice spend their lives prescribing psychoactive drugs such as tranquillisers and antidepressants to help people feel happier about life.If a particular individual reports that he or she finds a reefer of Marijuana as effective or more effective than conventional medication, why not let it be used for that purpose?It might be more acceptable to prescribe THC in cake form or as tablets.

A precedent has been set for decades by doctors who prescribe a glass of sherry before an evening meal or whisky last thing at night for patients on the ward."Her usual tipple and it will do her good".The main reason is for a sense of well-being, rather than to produce a very slight reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Of course, every Marijuana user in the country might go banging on the door of their doctor's surgeries saying he's depressed and wants cut-price dope from the chemist, but prescribing could be reserved for those with a limited range of chronic conditions or for those who are dying.Those that might benefit include those with advanced cancer, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or AIDS.

The refusal to allow doctors to prescribe THC as a drug is a political one and needs to change.It is no more likely to undermine anti-drugs campaigns than the use of morphine for pain or steroids to increase a sense of well being in the dying.

In summary then, Marijuana is a powerful drug with long term effects on the activity of the human brain, plus a host of separate actions on other organs and tissues.Expect more reports of subtle learning difficulties, especially in teenage users who so far have been very difficult to include in clinical studies for obvious reasons.

Marijuana is not a drug that should be available to anyone in society except on a prescription basis for a limited number of serious medical conditions. Given what we now know, it is clear that Marijuana is a particularly unsuitable drug for large numbers of teenagers and young adults to be taking at a critical time in their lives.That's clear from research on the brain alone, without even considering other health issues and the ladder effect.People who promote Marijuana as "safe" or "harmless" are dangerously ignorant, dishonest or deluded.One suspects the majority are users or past users themselves - hardly likely to be impartial.

In view of how hard it would be to re-legalise Marijuana were it to be legalised today,legalisation would be particularly fool-hardy and irresponsible.We don't yet know what future research will show and the data we have is disturbing enough.It would be very premature to say the least.I have no doubt that future generations would judge such a decision very severely.


tobacco, nikotine, addicted, effects, drugsNicotine is probably as addictive as heroin and on a national scale far more dangerous to health.It kills 120,000 every year in Britain alone and if tobacco were reaching the market today for the first time would without question be banned outright as a highly dangerous, addictive substance.

In America tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death, killing 400,000 a year at a cost of $50 billion in direct medical bills.Smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides and fires combined.

The medical effects of tobacco are far wider than could possibly be covered in a book of this size. Most people need no convincing of the dangers.The problem is that the addiction is even more powerful than their fears of illness or early death.And teenage smokers are usually particularly relaxed in the knowledge that any health problems will take years to emerge.

Nicotine is a stimulant and a sedative. Nicotine reduces anxiety and makes users feel calm.It is physically and psychologically addictive.Smoking causes an almost immediate "kick" due to triggering adrenaline release and other hormones. Nicotine only takes seconds to reach the brain from the lungs and affects the body for around half an hour. Repeated stimulation leads to depression and fatigue so the user needs more. Research shows that nicotine users regulate their blood levels of nicotine so that levels rarely fall below a certain level - even if it means waking for a cigarette in the night.

Cigarette smoke consists of a dozen gases, mainly carbon monoxide, as well as nicotine and tar - which varies from 7 - 15 mg.The tar causes cancer, emphysema and other lung disease, while carbon monoxide damages the cardiovascular system and heart.Nicotine also affects both heart and lungs.Tar from tobacco causes cancers of the lung, oesophagus, mouth, lips, and larynx.

Pregnant smokers have a greater risk of underweight babies at birth, stillbirths and premature labour as well as of sudden infant deaths. Every time a pregnant woman smokes a cigarette it reduces the blood supply to the developing baby, hence smaller birth weight.

Women who smoke also suffer more from strokes and heart attacks when using the pill - especially if over thirty. Nicotine gum and patches can be helpful to replace tobacco when a person is seeking to change behaviour, but the nicotine addiction still needs to be broken.

So then, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use are almost universal. Abuse of alcohol and nicotine addiction have made it much harder to take an absolute consistent line against all illegal drugs.As we will see later, society has a clear choice:either take a stronger line against alcohol and tobacco or relax the line on Marijuana, Ecstasy and several other "milder" illegal substances.The present situation is irrational and unsustainable for a new generation who view their parents' addictions, and their campaigns against Marijuana, as both hypocritical and offensive.


alcohol addiction, drugs, problem, effectsAlcohol - where do we draw the line

The continued acceptance of alcohol abuse as normal, despite the havoc that results, is one of the strongest arguments in favour of the legalisation of Marijuana.After all, in contrast Marijuana (at first) appears a friend not an enemy.What is better? Relaxed and stoned, or violently drunk?

The biggest problem with alcohol use is where to draw the line with this substance which appears naturally in all fermenting liquids, and which in small to moderate doses is not only a relaxant and a social lubricator, but also a health tonic.

Alcohol is the most widely accepted drug in the world, and is part of many social settings.It changes a person's mood, reduces inhibitions, helps us feel more confident and less anxious.It is often a part of celebrations and can be used to drown out unpleasant feelings.

Alcohol abuse often begins when a person feels that without alcohol he or she will not be able to enjoy the occasion or will be less able to cope with an unchanging situation. Dependency follows when the body becomes used to a certain level of blood alcohol.Withdrawal in someone who's heavily dependent should not be undertaken without medical supervision.

What is it?

Alcohol is a carbohydrate, a relative of sugar, and is therefore a potent source of energy for drinkers, supplying up to half of a heavy drinker's energy requirements in a day. It is created by yeasts which in the absence of oxygen get the energy they need by converting sugar to alcohol.

Alcohol is absorbed rapidly from the stomach - in five to ten minutes without food.The effects last several hours, related to body weight which is why many women are more affected by the same dose than men.

One unit is 8 grams of alcohol - equivalent to half a pint of normal beer, cider or lager, a standard glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits. After four or five units, most people feel relaxed and comfortable.Eight units causes slurred speech and clumsiness, with exaggerated emotions.Higher doses cause double vision, dizziness, staggering, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting.Beyond that alcohol can cause blindness, loss of consciousness, and loss of memory for events at the time.

The biggest danger is from injury caused by intoxication.In 1990 15% of all road accidents were alcohol related and 32% of all pedestrians killed on the road were under the influence of alcohol.Drinkers may also choke on their own vomit while unconscious. Although such sudden deaths are uncommon, this is a real hazard in police cells or in a side room in an emergency ward.

A hangover may follow, caused by dehydration and toxic metabolites.Mixing alcohol with other depressant drugs such as barbiturates or heroin is particularly dangerous as the effects are additive.

alcohol, addiction, problem, drugsOther effects

Alcohol has many other effects on the body.

Stomach irritation - can cause ulcers

Liver damage - alcohol is destroyed by the liver but liver cells are also casualties (see below)

Mouth and throat - cancers are more common in heavy drinkers

Nutritional damage caused by neglect of a proper diet

Brain damage caused directly by alcohol in the blood - in severe cases causing Korsakoff's psychosis, a permanent memory loss

Liver cirrhosis is a serious problem

Liver cirrhosis is common and deadly.It kills more than 23,000 a year in the US.It is the third commonest cause of death in men in their fifth decade. The commonest cause is alcohol abuse.There is probably a genetic reason why only 15% of heavy drinkers develop the problem.Once cirrhosis is diagnosed it is often too late to prevent death and 30% die in a year.

As the liver becomes progressively damaged it is no longer able to do its job as a food store, as a maker of digestive enzymes, and as a waste-disposal unit for toxins.The result is that the liver becomes enlarged with fatty tissue, the person becomes ill and jaundiced (yellow) and blood pressure rises in blood vessels draining into the liver, causing for example life-threatening bleeds of veins lining the gullet.This happens in 40% of those with cirrhosis.These bleeds cause sudden, violent, catastrophic vomiting. Death follows in minutes in almost half of those who are unfortunate enough to have one.

Defining use and abuse

Is there a safe limit?

The World Health Organisation and governments have recently revised their guidelines about so-called safe limits for alcohol consumption in both men and women. The current accepted limits vary from expert to expert but are around 21 units for men and 14 units for women. The problem is that these are general guides and do not tell us what the actual damage to an individual's health will be.

Alcohol can be good for you

Evidence is growing that alcohol in moderate doses increases life expectancy.This discovery was made following a series of large-scale studies comparing, for example the health of teetotallers with moderate and heavy drinkers.One of the protective effects appears to be on the heart and blood supply, with a reduction in strokes and heart attacks.At first the beneficial effect was attributed to some mysterious ingredients in red wine, but we now know that the therapeutic action is related to alcohol itself, independent of the method of production.

The discovery that drinking alcohol can be good for health brought alarm calls from those concerned that the news would encourage abuse. It certainly undermined the case for absolute abstention.

Classic features of abuse

There are two main patterns of alcohol abuse: regular and binge. The regular abuser drinks every day or most days. The binge drinker rarely sees himself as an alcoholic because he often goes for days or weeks without touching alcohol.However once he starts, he cannot stop.

The slide down

A habit may start with social drinking over a meal, before progressing with higher consumption.As the liver gets used to destroying alcohol, the person needs more to achieve the same level of intoxication.Typically the next step may be private drinking, in secret, drinking alone at any time of the day or night.

In advanced cases the person wakes feeling jittery and vulnerable, and has alcohol instead of breakfast " to calm the nerves".A classic sign of a deteriorating situation can be when the person stops eating breakfast, partly because the stomach is often so raw from alcohol-induced irritation the night before.

Sudden withdrawal in a heavy drinker can cause sweating, anxiety and trembling or in extreme cases fits and delirium.Complete withdrawal in a very heavy drinker is therefore dangerous without medical help.

Special issues

Problems of acknowledgement

Getting someone to admit he or she has a drinking problem can be extremely difficult, and presents one of the greatest challenges. Alcoholism is made far more difficult to treat because social drinking is found almost everywhere.For someone with a past addiction, even the smell of alcohol can induce an intense craving, which can become almost irresistible.

Workplace epidemic

Alcohol is the most widely abused drug at work and the commonest cause of drug-related sickness and lost productivity.It is surprising therefore that so few companies address the issue directly.We look elsewhere at the issue of using urine and hair samples for drug testing, but electronic breathalysers are cheap to buy, fast, and cost nothing per test.Random tests at work with instant discipline for any worker over the legal driving limit could be a powerful disincentive.Part of the discipline process should be an offer of counselling and treatment, in cases where addiction is suspected.

Other alcohol issues

As with any other addiction, breaking it may require several attempts.Support and help are vital as a problem drinker begins to rebuild a normal life.As the addiction is laid to one side, some of the precipitating problems may come to the surface and need dealing with.A key step is releasing the person to be fully responsible and in control of his or her own life again.

In summary then, alcohol abuse is a scourge on society.It needs to be tackled far more seriously than in the past with comprehensive measures which are outlined later.Failure to deal with alcohol as a problem will lead without doubt to Marijuana being legalised.How can one possibly justify an aggressive stand against Marijuana at the same time as the enthusiastic promotion of alcohol to a nation already reeling from excess?These two issues are linked and those who seek to hold them apart play into the hands of those who want no restrictions at all.

Caffeine addiction

caffeine addict, drugsCaffeine is a mild stimulant. High doses can make someone feel jittery or on edge and may prevent sleep. Very large doses may cause flashes of light or odd noises. As with other stimulants, the greater the high, the greater the fall. It also can increase heart rate and blood pressure, is a weak diuretic (encourages urine formation) and increases the respiratory rate.

Coffee is drunk in every country of the world and is a mainstay of most offices in the Europe and the US.The standard dose needed for stimulant effects is 200mg, or the equivalent of two cups of strong coffee or three cans of soft drink.As many as 30% of coffee drinkers say they "couldn't do without it" and are probably mildly addicted. Tolerance can develop rapidly.

Death from caffeine has been known, but only after doses of around 10 grams, the same as 100 cups of coffee. High doses of caffeine may affect the size of babies at birth.The foetus is especially likely to be harmed in the last three months of pregnancy, when the mother's ability to get rid of caffeine is reduced.Low birth weight, miscarriage and withdrawal symptoms in babies (breathing difficulties) have all been described.

Mothers who are heavy drinkers of coffee or cola drinks in pregnancy have twice the risk of their babies dying suddenly, even when other factors are allowed for such as age at motherhood, smoking and bottle feeding. Heavy caffeine intake also increases the risk of sudden death of babies after birth.Tea, coffee and cola should therefore be avoided in large doses in pregnancy.

Caffeine increases the effect on the unborn of other substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, shutting down the blood supply to the placenta, starving the foetus of oxygen and increasing the risk of low birth weight or malformations.However caffeineis harmless to the human fetus when intake is moderate and spread out over the day.

A possible reason for increased cot death in babies of heavy caffeine consuming mothers is that caffeine stimulates respiration and when this is removed, the baby has less drive to breath. That may make all the difference when it comes to fighting off infection or other problems.

Coffee addicts

"I'm dying for a cup of coffee" is a very familiar refrain, repeated perhaps a million times a day in Britain alone - usually half in jest.But what is the reality? Someone used to drinking six or seven cups of strong coffee a day will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms on waking and then every two to three hours after the last coffee drink. Caffeine withdrawal results in headaches and a range of other mildly unpleasant symptoms including drowsiness and lethargy.


rave parti pills drugsAll about rave...
Most Ravers who fancy trippin on Ecstasy/MDMA can now have Rave as a natural alternative to these illegal drugs. The only thing we kept in mind while making Rave was your safety in health & that you don't go behind bars simply because you were having some fun. With Rave we can offer you absolute ecstasy while not messing with the law & your health. Rave is formulated in such a way that each ingredient will keep you buzzing with energy & enigma for hours on end.

Rave even gives you the freedom to have alcohol along with it as it has no reaction with alcoholic substances. Most other party pills have BZP and TFMPP in them which causes dehydration and are extremely dangerous when consumed with alcohol. Rave is completely made from natural elements & contains neither of these; hence it is safe to mix it with alcohol too.

Ingredients of rave:

*Free Form Amino Acids 180mg
*Caffeine 100 mg
*Kava Extract 90 mg
*Citrus Aurantium Extract 30 mg
*Pyridoxine HCL 15 mg
*Riboflavin 3 mg
*Encapsulating aids q.s

Here's a look into how some of the major ingredients in Rave help in giving its effects:

Free Form Amino Acids: Free form amino acids are vital for certain functions of the human body. These acids are easily digested & aid in repair, growth and development of muscle tissue. The body, through assimilation of these acids, produces over 50,000 proteins and over 15,000 enzymes. These acids play a key role in normalizing moods, concentration, aggression, attention, sleep, and sex drive. In Rave, these free form amino acids are formulated to give you maximum energy & also in preventing any 'come down effects' that are often experienced with other pills.

Caffeine: Caffeine works as a stimulant to the central nervous and metabolic system. In Rave, it helps reduce physical fatigue and restore mental alertness when unusual weakness or drowsiness occurs. The concentration of caffeine in Rave helps stimulate the CNS that results in increased alertness and wakefulness, faster and clearer flow of thought, increased focus and better general body coordination.

Kava Extract: The kava extract in Rave causes a mix of sensations like slight tongue and lip numbing caused by the contraction of the blood vessels, a general talkative and euphoric behavior, calming effects, a sense of well-being, clear thinking and total relaxation of the muscles, peacefulness and contentment, more sociable, especially with the right company.

Citrus aurantium extract: The Citrus aurantium extract is the extract of bitter orange (and bitter orange peel) that aids in fat loss and works as an appetite suppressant. Bitter orange contains synephrine, an element similar to ephedrine. This elements present in the orange acts as a stimulant in Rave which increases the rate of metabolism in your body thus giving you the energy to dance all night long without ever getting tired.

Dosage for Rave: To experience the best effects, take 1-2 capsules of Rave with a large glass of water or juice. While on Rave continue to hydrate constantly at regular intervals.

Cocaine (illegal)

legal cocaine drugAKA:
Charlie, chang, coke, gack, toot, Vialli, showbiz sherbert, snow, white, candy, Percy and sniff.

Cocaine is a white, flaky powder obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is odourless, soluble, and has powerful stimulant properties similar to those of amphetamines.

The most common method of taking cocaine involves sniffing or snorting a small amount (usually called a 'line') up the nose through a small tube (often a rolled-up banknote or straw). The drug is then absorbed into the blood via the nasal membrane. Cocaine can also be heated and the fumes inhaled. In soluble form, cocaine can be injected.

The effects:
* Cocaine produces feelings of wellbeing, mental exhilaration, and euphoria;
* The sensations often last between 15-30 minutes followed immediately by a 'coming down' period;
* Anxiety, paranoia, depression, and often the inability to sleep can occur during the come down period, thus encouraging users to repeat the dose in order to maintain the effect;
* Other effects can include tremors, muscle twitching, rapid pulse, nausea, anxiety, confidence, high blood pressure, cold sweats, and mood changes.

Other forms of cocaine:
Freebase cocaine is cocaine without its water-soluble component or 'base'. A chemical treatment is used to draw out the 'pure' cocaine from many of the impurities, increasing the impact of the effects when smoked. Crack is a form of freebase cocaine made by heating cocaine hydrochloride with baking soda or ammonia in water. Speedball is the term given for an injectable and dangerous mixture of soluble cocaine and heroin.

The law:
Cocaine in all forms is a Class A drug. It is illegal to produce, supply, or possess. It is also illegal to allow premises to be used for supplying or producing cocaine.

The risks:
* Chronic sneezing, frequent nosebleeds, and nasal congestion can be a consequence of snorting cocaine;
* Repeated snorting can cause serious damage to the membranes lining the nose and the structure separating the nostrils;
* The mucous membranes may become so irritated and inflamed that sores develop inside the nostrils;
* After a heavy session, users can feel like they've got a bad cold;
* For women who are pregnant, cocaine can cause bleeding, miscarriage and an increased risk of stillbirth;
* Users can develop a strong psychological dependence to cocaine, often taking more to deal with the comedown;
* Overdose is possible, and even fatal in some cases.

If you're planning to take cocaine:
* Keep track of the amount used as tolerance quickly builds up. The more you take to get the same effect, so the risk increases of a hit your body may be unable to handle.
* If injecting, use new needles to reduce the risk of HIV or hepatitis infection.

Ecstasy side effects (MDMA)

ecstasy side effectsBrain imaging research in humans indicates that Ecstasy causes injury to the brain, affecting neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays a direct role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Many of the side effects users face with Ecstasy use are similar to those found with the use of cocaine and amphetamines: Psychological Ecstasy side effects, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia - during and sometimes weeks after taking Ecstasy. Physical Ecstasy side effects such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease.

Also, there is evidence that people who develop a rash that looks like acne after using Ecstasy may be risking severe side effects, including liver damage, if they continue to use the drug. Research links Ecstasy use to long-term damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought and memory. One study, in primates, showed that exposure to Ecstasy for 4 days caused brain damage that was evident 6 to 7 years later.
MDA, the parent drug of MDMA (Ecstasy), is an amphetamine-like drug that has also been abused and is similar in chemical structure to Ecstasy. Research shows that MDA also destroys serotonin-producing neurons in the brain. Ecstasy also is related in its structure and effects to methamphetamine, which has been shown to cause degeneration of neurons containing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Damage to these neurons is the underlying cause of the motor disturbances seen in Parkinson's disease. Symptoms of this disease begin with lack of coordination and tremors and can eventually result in a form of paralysis.

The Short-Term Side Effects of Ecstasy

While it is not as addictive as heroin or cocaine, ecstasy can cause other adverse effects including nausea, hallucinations, chills, sweating, increases in body temperature, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. Ecstasy users also report after-effects of anxiety, paranoia, and depression.

Short-term side effects of ecstasy
* Nausea
* Hallucinations
* Chills & sweating
* Increased body temp
* Tremors
* Muscle cramping
* Blurred vision

The effects start after about 20 minutes and can last for hours. These is a 'rush' feeling followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being to those around, often with a heightened perception of color and sound. Some people actually feel sick and experience a stiffening up of arms, legs and particularly the jaw along with sensations of thirst, sleeplessness, depression and paranoia. Gives a feeling of energy. Some mild hallucinogenic effects.

Ecstasy's chemical cousin, MDA, destroys cells that produce serotonin in the brain. These cells play a direct roll in regulating aggression, mood, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Methamphetamine, also similar to Ecstasy, damages brain cells that produce dopamine. Scientists have now shown that ecstasy not only makes the brain's nerve branches and endings degenerate, but also makes them "re-grow, but abnormally - failing to reconnect with some brain areas and connecting elsewhere with the wrong areas. These reconnections may be permanent, resulting in cognitive impairments, changes in emotion, learning, memory, or hormone-like chemical abnormalities.

Long-Term Side Effects of Ecstasy

The side effects of long-term ecstasy use are just beginning to undergo scientific analysis. In 1998, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted a study of a small group of habitual ecstasy users who were abstaining from use. The study revealed that the abstinent users suffered damage to the neurons in the brain that transmit serotonin, an important biochemical involved in a variety of critical functions including learning, sleep, and integration of emotion. The results of the study indicate that recreational ecstasy users may be at risk of developing permanent brain damage that may manifest itself in depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other neuropsychotic disorders.

Marijuana: Facts for teens

Marijuana facts for teensWhat is marijuana? Are there different kinds?
Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana.
Sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah; it’s a Spanish word), hashish (“hash” for short), and hash oil are stronger forms of marijuana.
All forms of marijuana are mind-altering (psychoactive). In other words, they change how the brain works. They all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana’s effects on the user depend on it’s strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s. For the year 2006, most marijuana contained, on average, 7 percent THC.

How is marijuana used?
Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or smoke it in a pipe or water pipe, sometimes referred to as a bong. Some users mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew a tea. Another method is to slice open a cigar and replace the tobacco with marijuana, making what's called a blunt. Marijuana cigarettes or blunts sometimes contain other substances as well including crack cocaine.

How long does marijuana stay in the user's body?
THC in marijuana is rapidly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs. Generally, traces (metabolites) of THC can be detected by standard urine testing methods several days after a smoking session. In heavy users, however, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using marijuana.

How many teens smoke marijuana?
Contrary to popular belief, most teenagers do not use marijuana. Among students surveyed in a yearly national survey, only about one in seven 10th graders report they are current marijuana users (that is, used marijuana within the past month). Fewer than one in five high school seniors is a current marijuana user.

Why do young people use marijuana?
There are many reasons why some children and young teens start smoking marijuana. Many young people smoke marijuana because they see their brothers, sisters, friends, or even older family members using it. Some use marijuana because of peer pressure.
Others may think it’s cool to use marijuana because they hear songs about it and see it on TV and in movies. Some teens may feel they need marijuana and other drugs to help them escape from problems at home, at school, or with friends.
No matter how many shirts and caps you see printed with the marijuana leaf, or how many groups sing about it, remember this: You don’t have to use marijuana just because you think everybody else is doing it. Most teenagers do not use marijuana!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chill out with Legal Ecstasy !

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