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OPIOIDS

A specific group of depressant which has pain control and euphoric effects. Refinements or synthetic versions of the opium poppy’s active ingredients, they were developed to treat acute pain, diarrhea, coughs, and a number of other illnesses (Inaba & Cohen, 2004). Canada is currently in an opioid crisis. It is important to understand opioids have a place within the medical field for pain control. That said, they come with risk when not monitored or used for medical purposes. Opioids are highly addictive, therefore risks involved with use should be discussed open and honestly. Stigma around opioid use can be a barrier to discussion, let’s break the stigma. Facts not fear.

TYPEWHAT IS IT?EFFECTSTOXICITY
Can be called ‘overdose’ or ‘overamping’, more drugs in body than it can handle
SPECIFIC ROUTE DANGERS
MORPHINEIsolated from opium,  and 10 times stronger. Used as pain relief, as measured doses could be achieved (previously not done). Morphine eventually prescribed for anemia, asthma, cholera, nervous dyspepsia, insanity, neuralgia, and vomiting.Feelings of euphoria, decrease in pain, and  intense relaxation.

May experience itchy skin, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, droopy eyelids, slowed breathing, trouble concentrating, confusion, constipation.

 

 -central nervous system severely depressed-slowed or no breathing

-heartrate drops, slows down, or stops

-blue lips or fingertips/nails

-clammy and cold skin

-chest pain

-unresponsiveness, especially to pain stimuli (like rubbing knuckles on sternum or upper lip)

-can make gurgling or bubbling sounds

 INJECTED: potential for blood-borne diseases (ex: HIV and Hep C) from reusing someone else’s equipment, skin infections, abscesses, vein damage, heart valve infections, chalk lung, blood clots, cotton fever and track marks

SMOKED: introduces toxins into lungs, causes coughs, emphysema, and cancers. Broken or homemade pipes can cause burns, splits, cuts on lips and in mouth, and lead to Hep C through using someone else’s equipment

SNORTED: can lead to Hep C through reusing someone else’s equipment, erosion/damage of the nasal passages, runny or drippy nose, nosebleeds and lung irritation

SWALLOWED: gastrointestinal side effects can occur

INSERTED/ABSORBED: irritation of mucosal lining, making person more susceptible to STIs, HIV, and HCV during sex

HEROIN

OTHER NAMES: 


Smack, Junk, Tar, Skag, China white, Big H, black tar, dope, brown sugar, mud

Diacetylmorphine, refined from morphine, 5-8 times stronger, extremely effective painkiller, due to extreme addictive properties has limited medical use. Crosses the blood/brain barrier much faster than morphine.

Colour varies depending on kind, ranging from white powder, dark brown powder, or the colour and consistency of roofing tar or coal (black tar heroin).

Feelings of euphoria, as it has high pain relieving properties. Works similarly to prescription pain medicines, with stronger effects felt. Heroin crosses the blood/brain barrier rapidly resulting in a ‘rush’ feeling of intense euphoria. High lasts 2-6 hours.

May have itchiness, slowed breathing and reflexes, as it depresses the central nervous system. Dizziness, upset stomach, lowered sex drive, constipation, pins and needles, and visual/auditory hallucinations not uncommon. 

Women may experience changes to menstruation.

-central nervous system severely depressed

-slowed or no breathing

-heartrate drops, slows down, or stops

-blue lips or fingertips/nails

-clammy and cold skin

-chest pain

-unresponsiveness, especially to pain stimuli (like rubbing knuckles on sternum or upper lip)

-can make gurgling or bubbling sounds

INJECTED: potential for blood-borne diseases (ex: HIV and Hep C) from reusing someone else’s equipment, skin infections, abscesses, vein damage, heart valve infections, chalk lung, blood clots, cotton fever and track marks

Skin Popping, injecting substances under skin not into vein, can lead to skin and soft tissue infections

SMOKED: introduces toxins into lungs, causes coughs, emphysema, and cancers. Broken or homemade pipes can cause burns, splits, cuts on lips and in mouth, and lead to Hep C through using someone else’s equipment

SNORTED: can lead to Hep C through reusing someone else’s equipment, erosion/damage of the nasal passages, runny or drippy nose, nosebleeds and lung irritation

SWALLOWED: gastrointestinal side effects can occur

INSERTED/ABSORBED: irritation of mucosal lining, making person more susceptible to STIs, HIV, and HCV during sex

FENTANYL

OTHER NAMES:

beans, green apples, apples, fake oxy, apache, poison, murder 8, TNT, (the street names are extensive and evolving)

NOTE: CARFENTANIL, a fentanyl derivative, is 10000 times more toxic than morphine, is not for human consumption, is a sedative for large animals (elephants, etc.)

Synthetic opiate, 100 times stronger than morphine, 50 times stronger than heroin, legal with a prescription for pain relief. It is odourless and tasteless.

Non-pharmaceutical is exceptional dangerous as it has varying levels of toxicity. 

Fentanyl is used as a cutting agent for other substances, often unbeknownst the person using.

 

Similar to heroin, in euphoria, relaxation, reduced feelings of pain, although the effects occur quicker, are more intense, but shorter lived.

Negative effects are similar to heroin as well, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, hallucinations, depressed CNS, etc.

As above.

Note: a very small amount (the size of a few grains of salt) of pure fentanyl is enough to kill the average adult.

As above.

Note: fentanyl test strips do not detect all analogues (including carfentanil), they do not test the entire amount of the drug, therefore, while they are a method of harm reduction, they do not eliminate the need to never use alone and always carry naloxone.

OXYCODONE

OTHER NAMES:

OxyContin, Percodan, Roxicodone, Oxaydo, Oxy, kickers, Oxycottons, Hillbill Heroin, Killers, Blue, Cotton, OC

Semisynthetic derivative of codeine, used for moderate to severe pain relief, stronger than codeine but weaker than morphine or hydromorphone.

 

Somewhat similar to heroin, euphoria, pain relief, relaxation.

 

 

As above.As above.

OxyContin is a time-release version, meant to sustain pain relief for chronic sufferers of pain. However, crushing, chewing, sniffing, or injecting destroys the time-release effect, increasing chances for overdose.

HYDROCODONE

OTHER NAMES:

Vicodin, Hycodan, Norco,

Semisynthetic, one of the most prescribed, similar to codeine without nauseating effects, used as a cough suppressant.Main effect is pain relief, may experience euphoria or sense of calmness/relaxation.

Other effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, itchy skin, hives, decreased sexual desire, difficulty urinating, constipation, breathing difficulties.

-central nervous system severely depressed

-chest pain or discomfort

-slowed or no breathing

-heartrate drops, slows down, or stops

-blue lips or fingertips/nails

-clammy and cold skin

-unresponsiveness, especially to pain stimuli (like rubbing knuckles on sternum or upper lip)

-can make gurgling or bubbling sounds

SNORTED: can lead to Hep C through reusing someone else’s equipment, erosion/damage of the nasal passages, runny or drippy nose, nosebleeds and lung irritation

SWALLOWED: gastrointestinal side effects can occur, this is the best route for codeine for achieving high. Can be mixed with water to potentiate.

INSERTED/ABSORBED: irritation of mucosal lining, making person more susceptible to STIs, HIV, and HCV during sex

CODEINE

OTHER NAMES:

T3s, Empi, Syrup, Cody, Captain Cody

Note: Codeine is an active ingredient In a variety of prescriptions and/or cough syrups.

Isolated from opium in 1832, twice as strong as opium, used in cough syrups and as pain management.

Is approximately 1/5 the strength of morphine. Often combined with aspirin or acetaminophen.

 

Main effect is pain relief, may experience euphoria or sense of calmness/relaxation.

Other effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, itchy skin, hives, decreased sexual desire, difficulty urinating, constipation, breathing difficulties.

-central nervous system severely depressed

-chest pain or discomfort

-slowed or no breathing

-heartrate drops, slows down, or stops

-blue lips or fingertips/nails

-clammy and cold skin

-unresponsiveness, especially to pain stimuli (like rubbing knuckles on sternum or upper lip)

-can make gurgling or bubbling sounds

SNORTED: can lead to Hep C through reusing someone else’s equipment, erosion/damage of the nasal passages, runny or drippy nose, nosebleeds and lung irritation

SWALLOWED: gastrointestinal side effects can occur, this is the best route for codeine for achieving high. Can be mixed with water to potentiate.

INSERTED/ABSORBED: irritation of mucosal lining, making person more susceptible to STIs, HIV, and HCV during sex

Codeine comes with its own risks for injection use, which include severe allergic reaction and abscesses when skin popped. Codeine does not react well with heat when mixed, so if injecting, use a cold water mix and a clean filter.

HYDROMORPHONE

OTHER NAMES:

Dilaudid, Exalgo, Hydrostat, Palladone,  Dillies, Hydro, Dust, Hospital Heroin, D, Big D, Super 8

Refined morphine, 7-10 times more potent than morphine, short-acting semisynthetic, used as alternative to morphine for moderate to severe pain.Similar to other opioids in extreme euphoria, pain relief, relaxation effects.

Similar as well in lightheadedness, dizziness, itchy skin, nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, etc.

As aboveAs above

 

Note: With all opioids/opiates there is a risk of physical dependence, or addiction, as these drugs cause chemical changes within the structure of the body and brain. When we discuss addiction, quite often substance users are painted as ‘just looking for a high’, when quite often, they are looking to not feel sick. Opioid withdrawal includes chills, diarrhea, insomnia, sweating, body aches, nervousness, widespread or increased pain, irritability and agitation, nausea and stomach pain; the severity and length of withdrawal depends on how much drug was taken, which opioid was used, and how long the drug was used (source). With this in mind, it is important when discussing addiction and opioid use, we meet substance users with empathy and kindness, reduce the stigma of use, and meet them where they are at. This crisis affects us all, and we are all in it together.

DEPRESSANTS

Also known as “downers”, are substances which slow down your body’s processes, such as mental and physical alertness, breathing, heart-rate, and make you feel more relaxed.

TYPEWHAT IS IT?EFFECTSTOXICITY
Can be called ‘overdose’ or ‘overamping’, more drugs in body than it can handle
HARM REDUCTION FOR TYPE
ALCOHOL

 

Oldest known and most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. There are hundreds of different kinds, ethyl alcohol (ethanol, grain alcohol) is the main psychoactive component in all alcoholic beverages.Low doses: results in sedation, muscle relaxation, lowered inhibitions, euphoria, drowsiness, dizziness

High doses: decreased alertness, exaggerated emotions, slurred speech, double vision, staggering, retrograde amnesia (blackouts), shock, coma, death

Chronic high dose: organ damage, cardiovascular issues, nervous system damage, gastrointestinal damage, reproductive disruption, cancer, impaired mental/emotional processing

– respiratory and cardiac failure

– unconsciousness

– vomiting while semiconscious; leads to aspiration, blocking airway to lungs

– blackout

– coma

– death

  • Avoid consuming alcohol in unsafe spaces when possible
  • Avoid consuming alcohol alone
  • Plan your consumption days (eat a meal, drink water, get rest)
  • Preplan transportation if required (if not staying home)
  • Avoid mixing with other substances as this can increase chances of overdose/toxicity
  • Slowly lower your dose and frequency or preplan amount to consume before starting your intoxication
  • If you are with someone and they “pass out”, place them in the recovery position in case of vomit
BENZODIAZEPINES

OTHER NAMES:
Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Rohypnol, Klonopin, “Benzos”, “tranx”, “BDZs”, “downers”, “Xannies”, “Klonnies”, “Vals”

Prescribed medications which slow brain function, can be used to produce calm without sleep or aid in sleep depending on type (sedatives/
tranquilizers)Can be used to treat seizures and alcohol withdrawal
Produce feelings of calm, can aid in sleep, daytime or morning drowsiness, calms anxiety, relaxes muscles, controls muscle spasms, only recommended for short-term use, as dependency can occur

note: Rohypnol is not approved in Canada or the US, however, it can cross the border and be used here; known as the “date rape” drug as it produces sedation and memory loss and is tasteless, colourless, and odourless.

– Extremely drowsy, unable to stay awake

– slurring of speech

– confusion

– agitation

– lack of muscle control or coordination

– coma

Note: Benzodiazepines are very dangerous when consumed with other depressants such as alcohol

  • Avoid mixing with alcohol as this increases chance of overdose/toxicity
  • Do not use someone else’s prescription/use prescriptions as prescribed
  • Non-prescription: know your source (non-pharmaceutical is not regulated or monitored)
  • Benzodiazepines can interact with each other, avoid mixing

Note: Due to the potential for Rohypnol to be used as a “date rape” drug, never accept drinks you have not seen made, and do not leave drinks unattended.

GHB (GAMMA HYDROXYBUTYRATE) and GBL (GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE)

OTHER NAMES:
G, Georgia Home Boy, grievous bodily harm, liquid ecstasy, fantasy

Clear liquid, white powder, tablet or capsule. Colourless, odourless, slightly salty but virtually undetectable in liquids. Can be produced in homes from recipes/kits purchased online.Low doses: relives anxiety and produces relaxation, aids in sleep, lowered inhibitions

Combined with other drugs (not uncommon) can cause nausea and breathing difficulties.

Can produce withdrawal effects: tremors, sweating, insomnia, and anxiety.

Note: GHB and GBL are also considered “date rape drugs” as they can result in sedation and memory loss.

– extremely drowsy, unable to stay awake

– nausea

– difficulty breathing

– slurring of speech

– confusion

– agitation

– lack of muscle control or coordination

– coma

Note: GHB and GBL are very dangerous when mixed with other depressants as it increases the likelihood of toxicity.

  • Avoid mixing with alcohol if possible
  • Know your source
  • Start with small dose to test strength/purity
  • Doses metabolize different for every individual, know your amount, start small, do not judge on how much others consume
  • Do not accept beverages you did not see mixed and never leave your beverage unattended

Note: GHB and GBL are considered “date rape drugs”, if you suspect you have been “spiked” (extreme drowsiness, nausea, blurred vision, spatial awareness distortion, paralysis of limbs), stay with a trusted individual (not someone you just met) and go someplace safe (home/hospital/friends/family).

INHALANTS

OTHER NAMES:
Air Blast, buzz bombs, gluey, poppers, kick, hippie crack, rush

Ordinary household and commercial products; either inhaled directly from container, substance-soaked rag inhaled over nose and mouth, or poured into a plastic bag/container and inhaled.

Examples (not exhaustive): model glue, hairspray, gasoline, cleaning fluids, propellants in aerosol sprays, contact cement

Effects of intoxication are felt very quickly, similar feeling to alcohol intoxication, which may include light-headedness and hallucinations.

Can result in slurred speech, slowed central nervous system, poor coordination, confusion

– once inhaled, body becomes depleted of oxygen, causing heart rate to increase to increase blood flow to brain

-dizziness, distorted sense of space/time

-similar to alcohol or stimulant effects

-when initial high wears, body and senses become severely depressed (this results in the classification as Depressant)

-lethargy can occur, with nausea and vomiting, headache, slurred speech, trouble breathing, and lack of coordination

NOTE: SOME SUBSTANCES, SUCH AS GASOLINE AND/OR BUTANE CAN RESULT IN DEATH

  • Paper bags are safer than plastic to avoid asphyxiation
  • Avoid placing both nose and mouth inside bag
  • When using aerosol cans, turn the can upside down before spraying into the bag – reduces the other poisons you inhale
  • Many inhalants are flammable, be mindful when/if smoking
  • Using nitrous (whippets), do not share mouth pieces as there is increased risk of infection, especially if open wounds are present
  • Computer duster can lead to frostbite on fingers and hands, liver damage, and sores, use necessary precautions or use nitrous oxide as a safer alternative
  • Gasoline and butane are high risk inhalants, extremely harmful to mouth, lungs, bone marrow, liver, and brain. Associated with sudden sniffing death syndrome and coma.
  • Avoid using alone

 

 

STIMULANTS

Also known as “uppers”, are substances which speed up heart rate, breathing, and make an individual feel energetic and more alert.

TYPEWHAT IS IT?EFFECTSTOXICITY
Can be called ‘overdose’ or ‘overamping’, more drugs in body than it can handle
SPECIFIC ROUTE DANGERS

COCAINE

OTHER NAMES:

Blow, snow, powder, nose candy, lines, lady

Cocaine hydrochloride is a fine powder sometimes diluted with sugar, cornstarch, or talcum powder.

Extracted from leaves of coca plant, potent brain stimulant, and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs.

Short-term: high lasts approx. 15-30 minutes (intensity varies by dose and route), user experiences euphoria, heightened senses, increased energy, panic attacks, anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, insomnia, increase in temperature, heart rate and blood pressure

Long-term: tolerance, paranoia, dependence, headaches, stroke, damage to nasal septum, heart disease, heart attack, hallucinations, shakes, poor balance

-rapid heartbeat/breathing

-chest pains

-convulsions or seizures

-dizziness

-muscle cramping

-sweating, often with chills

-dehydration

-aggression, anxiety, or paranoia

-won’t wake up

-foaming at mouth

-vomiting

SNORTED: can lead to Hep C through reusing someone else’s equipment, erosion/damage of the nasal passages, runny or drippy nose, nosebleeds and lung irritation

INJECTED: potential for blood-borne diseases (ex: HIV and Hep C) from reusing someone else’s equipment, skin infections, abscesses, vein damage, heart valve infections, chalk lung, blood clots, cotton fever and track marks

SWALLOWED: gastrointestinal side effects can occur

INSERTED/ABSORBED: irritation of mucosal lining, making person more susceptible to STIs, HIV, and Hep C during sex

CRACK COCAINE

OTHER NAMES:

Rock, crack, base

The “rock” form of cocaine, smokable form, made by adding baking soda to a cocaine solution and allowing it to dry.

Typically smoked, results in a shorter but stronger euphoric effect.

Short-term: high lasts about 5-10 minutes, increased breathing, intense euphoria, cravings, decreased appetite, aggression, paranoia, see cocaine effects

Long-term: tolerance and dependence, delirium, aggressive paranoia, brain seizures, psychosis, respiratory failure, hallucinations, stroke, severe dehydration

See: cocaine

 

Important to note: speedballing (mixing cocaine with an opiate) increases chances of toxicity/overdose

SMOKED: introduces toxins into lungs, causes coughs, emphysema, and cancers. Broken or homemade pipes can cause burns, splits, cuts on lips and in mouth, and lead to Hep C through using someone else’s equipment

INJECTED: See above

METHAMPHETAMINE

OTHER NAMES:

Jib, Crank, Pint, Glass, Crystal, Crank, Meth, Crystal Meth, Tweak

Belongs to the chemical family amphetamines but is synthesized with a precursor chemical such as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine. Comes in forms of crystals, rock, powder or liquid. Short-term: high lasts 20 minutes to 16 hours depending on route, immediate ‘rush’ lasts only a few minutes, extreme increased energy, euphoria, transfixion on gadgets, fidgeting, cleaning or organizing, repetitive behaviours, depression, loss of appetite, headache, seizures, increased physical activity, paranoia, insomnia, irritability, faster breathing, heart rate, higher temperature, blurred vision

Long-term: tolerance and dependence, damage to brain, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, anxiety, extreme paranoia, delusions (related to parasites or insects under skin resulting in obsessively scratching and picking), convulsions, heart attack, loss of appetite, toxic psychosis, violent and aggressive behaviours

-red face

-very rapid or irregular heartbeat

-sweating heavily

-rapid breathing and/or eye movement

-aggression

-anxiety

-extreme paranoia

-hallucinations

-fever

-shaking or trembling (jerky body movement)

-stroke

-heart attack

SMOKED: in addition to above mentioned route dangers, inhalation of ingredients (toxins) used to make methamphetamine, can lead to permanent damage of teeth and gums.

INGESTED, SNORTED, INJECTED, INSERTED: see above

AMPHETAMINE

OTHER NAMES:

Biphetamine, Speed, Adderall, Dexedrine, Bennies

There are legal and illicit amphetamines. Used to enhance brain activity; medically prescribed for few health conditions (such as ADHD, ADD, narcolepsy, and limited use as an aid in treating obesity), prescriptions commonly sold illegallyShort-term: increase in energy, heart-rate, and blood pressure, nervousness, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, headaches, skin rashes and itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, digestive problems

Long-term: toxic psychosis and psychotic episodes, compulsive use, hostility, paranoia, hallucinations, formication, high doses can result in dangerously high body temperatures and an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, seizures

-seizures

-uncontrollable shaking

-irregular heartbeat

-high body temperature

-potential for heart attack or stroke

-dehydration

-inability to sweat or urinate

-headache

-psychosis

INGESTED, SNORTED, SMOKED, AND INJECTED: See above

 

Note: ingesting (swallowing) is the safest route.

METHYLPHENIDATE

OTHER NAMES:

Concerta, Ritalin, Methylin, Vitamin R, Skippy, JIF

See: Amphetamine See: Amphetamine See: Amphetamine See: Amphetamine
MDMA

OTHER NAMES:

Ecstasy, Molly, X, XTC, E

Synthetic drug with both amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. Can be tablet form, brown/beige/pink/yellow powder, or gel capsules.

 

Note: not all effects of drug are known, so use with care.

Short-term: high starts after 20-40 minutes and can last 3-6 hours, euphoria, enhanced self-confidence, energy, sociability, teeth clenching, muscle tension, nausea, increased heart rate and blood pressure, transfixion on sights/sounds, loss of inhibitions, heart failure, kidney failure, blurred vision

Long-term: depressions, paranoia, cravings, depletion of serotonin, damage to cells which produce serotonin, death due to dehydration or hyperthermia, liver damage, sleep problems, anxiety, memory interference

-over-heating

-vomiting

-cramping

-not sweating (sign of severe dehydration)

-faintness

-panic attacks

-high blood pressure

-seizures

-loss of consciousness

Note: toxicity/overdose more like to occur when combined with alcohol

INGESTED: (most common) safest route for consumption, gastrointestinal side effects can occur

SNORTED, SMOKED, INJECTED: see above

 

Note: snorting MDMA might put you an increased risk for developing dependence on MDMA than oral use.

 

HALLUCINOGENS

A classification of drugs which cause users to see, feel, or hear things which are not happening or present.

TYPEWHAT IS IT?EFFECTSTOXICITY
Can be called ‘overdose’ or ‘overamping’, more drugs in body than it can handle
SPECIFIC ROUTE DANGERS
LSD (LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE)

OTHER NAMES:

Acid, Blotter, Cid, Tab, Hits, Boomers, Microdots, Doses

Manufactured from a fungus which grows on grains (rye). Applied to paper (small squares), available in liquid form, thin squares of gelatin, or applied to sugar cubes.

Can be taken orally or liquid/gelatin applied to eyes.

Felt within 30-60 minutes of consumption and lasts for 2-12 hours.

Hallucinations, brighter colours, objects sharper defined, time and distance perception altered, impaired short-term memory, mood swings.

Heartrate and blood pressure increased, dry mouth, sweating, high body temperature, sleeplessness, dizziness, nausea, and chills may all be experienced.

Rise in heart rate and blood pressure, high body temp, dizziness, nausea, profuse sweating, diarrhea, seizures, vomiting, and respiratory failure.

Impaired judgment resulting in harm, “bad trips” also called acute anxiety reactions, paranoia, delusions of grandeur which results in dangerous irreparable behaviour/acts

 

There is not enough credible evidence to suggest specific route dangers. While, like other substances within these lists, the route is primarily ingestion, similar issues may occur,
MUSHROOMS (PSILOCYBIN)

OTHER NAMES:

Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms

Psilocybin is found in certain mushrooms, is structurally similar to serotonin, disrupts normal function of serotonin system to produce effects.

Typically eaten, baked, or brewed into tea, however can be snorted, smoked or injected (very rare)

.

Felt within 30-45 minutes of consumption, lasting from 8-12 hours. Nausea often appears before the mental effects are felt.

Hallucinations, giggling, nervousness, paranoia, distorted sense of reality, and physical/mental/emotional senses altered while high.

As above.

Note: there is a danger in mistaking a poisonous mushroom for a magic mushroom, poisonous mushrooms can lead to death. It is important to know your source and your substance.

As above.

Note: mushrooms are know the create nausea, sickness, vomiting before their psychedelic effects occur, therefore it is important to take precautions and use small amounts until you know how your body will react.

DMT (DIMETHYLTRYPTAMINE)

OTHER NAMES:

Businessman’s Trip, Spirit Molecule

A hallucinogenic tryptamine, found naturally in South American trees, vines, shrubs, animals, humans, etc., but most is synthesized. Similar in structure to psilocybin, however digested juices destroy the active ingredient, therefore must be smoked, snorted, or injected.

One of the active ingredients in ayahuasca, as the other active ingredient, indole alkaloid harmaline, protects the DMT from being rendered inactive by gastric juices.

Felt in as little as 10 minutes, but only lasts for 30 to 60 minutes.

Intense visual hallucination, loss of awareness of surroundings, similar to LSD, may produce nausea, trembling, chills, cramps, muscle tension, and shallow breathing.

Ayahuasca causes intense diarrhea and vomiting before producing a ‘dreamlike condition’ which may last for 10 hours.

Research is not substantial enough to make claims of toxicity; however, it is recommended to start with lower doses first as a harm reduction practice due to this unknown factor.DMT can be hard on the lungs when inhaled. It can lead to stomach discomfort and pains (Ayahuasca).
PCP

OTHER NAMES:

Angel Dust, Peep, KJ, Shermans, Ozone

Phencyclidine hydrochloride. Created as a dissociative general anesthetic for surgery. Due to its toxic and hallucinatory effects, was limited to veterinarian practice, eventually being altogether discontinued.

Liquid, crystal, tablet, or powder form. Easy to create in home laboratories, which are unregulated and not monitored.

Disconnects sensory messages sent to the CNS, decreasing inhibitions, deadening pain, mind/body separation.

Low dose: lasts 1-2 hours, mild depression leading to stimulation, pleasant sensory-deprivation effect

Moderate dose: lasts 4-6 hours, increase intensity of sensory-deprived state, potential hallucinations either tactile/visual/auditory, forgetfulness

Large dose: lasts up to 48 hours.

PCP is strong, especially for first time users. Doses can range, but in higher dose cases, PCP can lead to catatonia, coma, convulsions, seizures, respiratory depression, rigidity of muscles, kidney failure, and/or cardiovascular instability.

High frequency of “bad trips” associated with PCP.

PCP can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected therefore the risks associated are similar to those discussed in previous categories.
KETAMINESimilar to PCP, close chemical relative, does not last as long.

Potentially habit-forming risk, care, amount, and frequency of use is important to note.

Ketamine results in an experience described by many as ‘out-of-body’ and/or ‘near death’ with depersonalization, hallucinations, delirium, and sometimes bizarre and mystical experiences.

The major effects last for an hour or less (dependent on dose and tolerance), however, coordination, judgement, and sensory perception can be affected for up to 24 hours.

Respiratory depression, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, combative behaviours, convulsions, and rarely, coma.As above.
MDMASEE: STIMULANTS

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Without the following resources, these charts would not exist. For anyone seeking additional information on anything mentioned within these charts, these resources are wonderful guides with greater detail and specific research. We present these charts as a synopsis of what is said by those who have taken to time to compile this data. Research like this is crucial to the work HIV North does as a harm reduction agency. Without these resources, we would not be able to offer harm reduction approaches in an appropriate manner.

Source

Catie. (2017). Tips for preventing overdoses from uppers. www.catie.ca

Catie. (2017). Tips for preventing crystal meth overdoses. www.catie.ca

Catie. (2017). Tips for preventing overdoses from downers. www.catie.ca

Inaba, D., & Cohen, W. E. (2014). Uppers, downers, all arounders: Physical and mental effects of psychoactive drugs. Medford, OR: CNS Publications.

Streetworks. (2005). Uptown, Downtown: the Drug Handbook. www.streetworks.ca

Sunshine Coast Health Center. Drugs of Abuse: An Identification Guide. www.schc.ca

Tripsit. (n.d.). Tripsit Factsheets Betahttp://drugs.tripsit.me/

Additional Resources:

Toward the Heart has great information from peers on harm reduction practices. Check out their safer use page here. Trigger warning: this page includes video of someone injecting and is shared for education and harm reduction purposes.

https://www.catie.ca/en/healthy-living/preventing-overdoses/uppers