The drugs we take

By chillinwill · Oct 19, 2009 ·
  1. chillinwill
    From cannabis to ketamine: a rundown of the the most popular drugs currently used by thousands of British clubbers

    The most popular illegal drug in Britain costs £20 for an eighth of an ounce (3.5g). May be smoked both before and after a night out, and is a particular favourite at “chillout” parties when clubbers return home from a night out. Restored to Class B, from Class C, in January.

    Very addictive Class A stimulant with powerful but short-lived effects, temporarily speeding up the processes of mind and body. People taking it feel wide-awake, confident and on top of their game, though the drug can cause anxiety and paranoia. Purity has plummeted from about 50 per cent to 10 per cent, its lowest ever, with costs falling from about £45 to £30.

    A stimulant drug with mild hallucinogenic properties. Costs £1-£2 a tablet and is still the most popular club drug in the UK, 20 years after it first appeared at raves and dance clubs. While 15 years ago an Ecstasy pill might contain 120mg of MDMA (pure ecstasy), recent analyses suggest the MDMA content has gone down to 30mg or less. Many pills contain the stimulant BZP instead of MDMA.

    MDMA powder
    A powder form of Ecstasy, costing about £40 a gram. Snorted, swallowed or “bombed” in small paper wrappers. More expensive than Ecstasy and seen as purer and more sophisticated.

    A deliriant Class C drug developed in the 1960s for use as an anaesthetic on humans and animals. Sold in powder form for £20 a gram for short-lasting (30 minute) out-of-body experiences, said to be like LSD but without the side-effects. Heavy use is linked to memory impairment and bladder problems. According to government statistics, the percentage of 16 to 24-year-olds taking it more than doubled between 2008 and 2009.

    GBL converts to gammahydroxybutrate (GHB) shortly after entering the body. GBL is a legal chemical used as a grease stripper in industry (and therefore difficult to ban). Two millilitres is an active dose, and addicts may seek more after just 20 minutes. Effects include increased energy, happiness, enhanced sexual experience but also nausea and loss of co-ordination and concentration. Both drugs are particularly dangerous when used with alcohol and other depressant or sedative substances. An increasing number of people are seeking help for addiction to GBL.

    Melanie Reid
    October 19, 2009
    Times Online

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