Generation Y: Drugs - W H A T, W H I C H, W H Y - A N D H O W ...

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The Independent Online
Cannabis and Marijuana Cannabis (black, blow, gear, hash, pollen, puff, resin, slate, soap, solid) and marijuana (draw, ganja, grass, greeny, herb, menali hash, northern lights, pot, purple, red-bearded skunk, skunk, super skunk, weed) cost between £15-£20 per eighth of an ounce. Cannabis resin is stripped from the hemp plant and comes in a compressed block. Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the plant. Usually smoked rolled into a joint or in a pipe. Can produce a feeling of relaxation and stimulation that may lastseveral hours. Can also reduce concentration, slow reflexes and produce feelings of nausea.

Heroin Heroin (dragon, horse, "h", skag, smack) is derived from opium and comes in powder form, costing about £30-£40 a gram. Usually sold in grams or half grams and cut with other substances - 63 per cent heroin is described as "pure". Can be smoked ("chasing the dragon") or injected. A depressant, rather than a stimulant, meaning that it can be taken over a longer period than cocaine, which usually "burns out" a serious user within years. Highly addictive. After-effects include severe depression, tiredness, weight loss and general ill-health. Excessive purity has caused many deaths.

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine (coke, charlie, quiver) comes in powder form and costs between £40 and £70 a gram. It is usually sniffed. A class-A drug, it acts as a stimulant, producing feelings of self-confidence and energy. Repeated taking increases tolerance, which means that larger amounts are needed. After-effects include tiredness and depression and, depending on extent of usage, paranoia, restlessness and weight loss. Crack cocaine (freebase) is cocaine that has been treated with chemicals to form crystals that can be smoked. Highly addictive.

LSD LSD (acid, microdot, tab, trips; tab form may be printed with different characters, eg, Bart Simpson, Floyd's, Penguin Penny, Strawberries) is a class-A drug and comes on blotting paper, small squares of paper, sugar cubes or gelatin strips which cost about £3-£4 each. Effects begin between 30 and 60 minutes after taking, intensifying normal senses and often produce hallucinations and heightened self-awareness. Trips may be extremely pleasant, but, depending on state of mind and quality of the drug,may also be terrifying, inducing panic, hysteria and paranoia. Effects can last up to eight hours.

Ecstasy Ecstasy (E, MDMA, pills, party smarties) is a class-A drug, supplied in tablets or capsules (£10-£15 each). Varieties include Dove, Double Dove, Banana Split, Rhubarb & Custard, Snowballs, Cali Dreamers, Pink Cadillac, Fido Dido. Widely counterfeited - aspirin, fish-tank tablets, LSD, heroin and speed have all been sold as E. About half of all tablets seized by police contain no MDMA. E produces a happy, relaxed state with mild euphoric rushes, building up to a feeling of exhilaration and energy. Ecstasy-related deaths have been caused by impurities in the drug, or dehydration.

Amphetamines Amphetamines (billy, speed, whizz) and methamphetamines (ice) come in either powder or crystal form, costing about £8-£10 per gram. They often contain a high proportion of other substances such as bicarbonate of soda. Can be either sniffed, swallowed, dissolved into drinks, or injected. Powerful stimulant effect, making user feel alert, confident and energetic and reducing the desire to eat and sleep. Effects last up to eight hours. After-effects include depression and tiredness; prolonged use may cause weight loss and general ill-health; high doses can lead to seizures.

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