A lot of attention has been given in the news recently to the legalization of marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington. In those states, a person can now have up to 5 ounces (any more and they will be in violation of federal law) of marijuana without a medical prescription. That a state was willing to legalize a drug like marijuana is probably due to the reputation it has as a less dangerous drug. On the other hand, opposition to the legalization of the drug was likely due to its reputation as a “gateway” drug, or a drug that often leads people to try harder and more dangerous drugs in the future.
Now that marijuana is legalized in 2 states, and likely to become legal in more states in the future, let’s take a look at the 6 most dangerous drugs that are currently being trafficked illegally in America. The list was decided based on the potential for death or serious long-term health effects as well as the risky behaviors associated with the drug.
Known as dope, smack, H, junk, and horse. Heroin is highly addictive and enters the brain very quickly upon use. Heroin negatively affects the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and liver and can cause serious long term health effects in any of these parts of the body. Because of the high reaction rate overdoses are very common with about 6,500 people dying every year.
Known as coke, crack, blow, bump, C, snow, or candy. Cocaine is highly addictive and very damaging to the body. Cocaine increases body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate which can lead to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death. Each year, in the United States, about 10,000 people die from cocaine-related accidents.
Also called liquor, booze, moonshine, or drink. Although it is not illegal based on the number of accidents and deaths it causes it probably should be. Each year approximately 80,000 people die from alcohol-related injuries. Alcohol directly affects the part of your brain that controls coordination, memory, decision making, and judgment, leading many people under the influence to engage in stupid or risky behavior.
Known as MDMA, XTC, X, E, Adam, clarity, lovers’ speed and hug. Ecstasy acts as both a hallucinogen and a stimulant. Ecstasy tablets often contain other drugs like cocaine or ketamine. Ecstasy directly affects the brain’s production of the chemical serotonin and can permanently damage the body’s ability to produce it. Other negative effects are kidney, liver or heart failure, tremors, muscle cramps, nausea, and blurred vision. Close to 100 people die annually.
Known as K, special K, and cat valium. Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians. It can easily make you blackout or forget what happened while under the drug’s influence. Although death is rare, abuse of the drug can lead to severe mental and physical problems.
Known as acid, cid, blotter, yellow sunshine, and blue heaven. LSD is one of the strongest hallucinogenic drugs. The drug distorts visual judgment, sensations, moods, and feelings. While under the influence of the drug it is very easy for fatal accidents to occur. The drug can stay in the brain for years, triggering sporadic and unexpected ‘flashbacks.’