Drugs and their dangers

Photo above: Viagra

Ecstasy

People take the tablets to dance all night, and sometimes die from exhaustion and dehydration. Other controlled drugs, such as ketamine and methamphetamine, and chemicals such as paracetamol and calcium carbonate are often taken with Ecstasy.

Effects and dangers

Increased heart rate and blood pressure; jaw clenching, teeth grinding and uncontrollable shaking; kidney, liver and brain damage; long-term memory loss; chills, sweating and vomiting; inability to think, see and co-ordinate properly and hallucinations.

Ketamine (K, Special K, Vitamin K)

Ketamine, an anaesthetic for veterinary as well as human use, comes as a white crystalline powder, liquid or tablet.

Effects and dangers

It produces a progression of effects, from a state of dreamy intoxication to delirium accompanied by the inability to move, feel pain or remember what has occurred under the drug's influence. Its effects last an hour or less but can affect the senses and co-ordination for up to 24 hours.

Inability to move; distorted judgement, perception, hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste; confusion and hallucinations; nose problems (bleeding, inability to smell properly); gastric pains; urinary and bladder problems.

Methamphetamine (Ice, Glass, Crystal, Speed, Ya ba)

Methamphetamine, which usually comes in a crystallised form known as methamphetamine hydrochloride, is known as Ice in Singapore. It also comes as tablets known as ya ba.

Effects and dangers

Has a strong effect on the central nervous system and is highly addictive. The abuser feels anxious and restless.

It increases the heart rate and body temperature; fits, stroke and death; damage to heart and nerves; liver and kidney diseases; abnormal behaviour with mood swings, confusion, delusion and hallucination; anxiety and irritability

Viagra (Sildenafil)

Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, relaxes muscles and increases blood flow to particular areas.

Effects and dangers

Taking Viagra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure. Nitrate drugs include recreational pills such as amyl nitrite.

Amyl nitrite (Poppers)

Poppers are a nitrite-based drug. Amyl nitrite is used medically to ease chest pain caused by angina.

Effects and dangers

The effects, which are instantaneous and brief, but intense, are caused by a sudden surge of blood to the heart and brain.

Regular use can cause skin problems around the mouth and nose.

As poppers reduce blood pressure, they are dangerous for people with anaemia, glaucoma, breathing or heart problems, and may lead to heart attacks.

Poppers are inhaled and can be fatal if swallowed.

Sources: Central Narcotics Bureau, drugs.com, TheSite.org


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