Major Drugs in Ohio
Ohio, like every state in the United States, has its share of drug problems. Cocaine is one of the many drugs that are abused in this state. It is the most potent stimulant of natural origin known to man. It has the consistency of a white crystalline powder or an off-white chunky material. Often times, cocaine is diluted with other substances. These other substances include lactose, inostiol, mannitol, and local anesthetics. This is done by the drug dealers to increase the volume of substance, which means larger profits for them. Cocaine is usually snorted through the user's nose but it sometime injected intravenously. The effects take place almost immediately and last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on the amount taken. The high produced by cocaine is created by building up dopamine in the user's brain which gives them an euphoric, energetic, and mentally alert feeling. Cocaine is a powerful and very addictive drug. A tolerance is often developed when an user, seeking to achieve the initial pleasure received from first use, increases the dosage to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects.
Crack is another drug that is abused in Ohio. Crack is actually the freebase form of cocaine. It got the name Crack because of the crackling sound it makes when it is heated. This drug became popular in the mid 1980's because of its immediate high and inexpensive production cost. Crack is most often smoked. Its effects are similar to cocaine's, however they are shorter lived. Short-term physiological effects include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Ingesting large amounts of cocaine can intensify the user's high, but can also lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior. Users who ingest large amounts may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, and paranoia. Other possible effects of crack use include irritability, anxiety, and restlessness.
Meth is a drug that is not only a problem in Ohio, but across the United States. Meth, a derivative of amphetamines, is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, and injected. It is accessible in many different forms and may be identified by color, which ranges from white/yellow to darker colors such as red and brown. Methamphetamine comes in a powder form that resembles granulated crystals and in a rock form known as "ice," which is the smokeable version of methamphetamine that came into use during the 1980s. Meth use increases energy and alertness while decreasing appetite. An intense rush is felt almost instantaneously when a user smokes or injects methamphetamine. Snorting methamphetamine affects the user in approximately 5 minutes, whereas oral ingestion takes about 20 minutes for the user to feel the effects. The intense rush and high felt from methamphetamine results from the release of high levels of dopamine into the section of the brain that controls the feeling of pleasure. The effects of methamphetamine can last up to 12 hours. Side effects include convulsions, dangerously high body temperature, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, stomach cramps, and shaking.
Ohio also has a problem with marijuana. It is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Marijuana is typically smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), cigars (blunts), pipes, or water pipes (bongs). The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the potency and effects of marijuana intoxication. Over the past two decades, THC levels of marijuana in the United States have increased. Marijuana's effects begin as soon as the drug enters the brain and can last from 1 to 3 hours. As THC enters the brain, it causes the user to feel high by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. When the euphoria passes, the user may feel sleepy or depressed and may also get feelings of panic, anxiety, or distrust.
Another drug that is causing havoc in Ohio is heroin. Synthesized from morphine, heroin is considered very addictive. It is the most abused of the rapid acting opiate classification of drugs. Heroin comes in many forms, but in its pure form it is a white powder with a bitter taste. The color of heroin varies from white to dark brown depending on the impurities or additives in the drug. Heroin users experience a rush or a surge of pleasurable sensations. Heroin can be injected, smoked, or snorted. Intravenous injection produces the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria. Effects are felt in 7 to 8 seconds. Even though effects for sniffing or smoking develop more slowly, beginning in 10 to 15 minutes, sniffing or smoking heroin has increased in popularity because of the availability of high-purity heroin and the fear of sharing needles. Also, users tend to mistakenly believe that sniffing or smoking heroin will not lead to addiction.
Ecstasy has become a problem not only in Ohio, but across the United States. People are abusing this drug not only at late night parties known as raves, but also at home, in their dorm rooms, at the mall, in class, and other common places. Rave party attendees who ingest ecstasy are at risk of dehydration, hyperthermia, and heart or kidney failure. These risks are due to a combination of the drug's stimulant effect, which allows the user to dance for long periods of time, and the hot, crowded atmosphere of rave parties. The combination of crowded all-night dance parties and ecstasy use has been reported to cause fatalities. MDMA, know to the rest of us as ecstasy, is a synthetic drug which has both psychedelic and stimulant properties. It is a schedule one substance under the controlled substance act and is that is known as a "club drug" on the streets. It is usually swallowed in pill form, but sometimes users crush the pill and snort it like they would cocaine. The "high" experienced from ecstasy lasts approximately four to six hours. Research shows that ecstasy users experience damage to the part of their brain which is related to critical thought and memory. Ecstasy dealers may also add adulterants to the drug such as mescaline, meth, codeine, paramehtoxyamphetamine (PMA) and dextromethorphan (DXM) without the user's knowledge, causing effects the user did not anticipate.
- In the 1970's Ecstasy was actually given to psychotherapy patients, but in 1986 this practiced was stopped when animal studies showed that Ecstasy use caused brain damage.
- Individuals who use PCP generally report an out-of-body experience where they feel detached from reality, or ones consciousness is disconnected from reality.
- Over one million adolescents each year are confirmed as victims of child abuse and neglect by state child protective service agencies. State welfare records indicate that alcohol and drug abuse is one of the top two problems exhibited by families in 81% of the reported cases.
- Methamphetamine use is associated with increased numbers of HIV infections in some populations.