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Drugs in the clubs of Britain

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Drugs in the clubs of Britain

Drugs work by changing chemicals in your brain that control your mood. Most drugs boost or imitate the behavior of chemicals (like adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin) which regulate our mood, well being and energy levels. These chemical messengers are part of what makes us feel happy.
The reason people continue doing drugs or become addicted is to do with a part of the brain called the reward pathway. It's an area deep in the brain which makes us repeat experiences that feel good, be it having sex, dancing or doing another line. Dopamine is made in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and released in the nucleus accumbens and the pre-frontal cortex every time you have fun clubbing or canning it. ( Unfortunately, this is also the mechanism through which drugs do damage. Stimulants such as coke and E (ecstasy) raise the levels of feel good chemicals, but also stimulate the part of the nervous system that goes into action when we press the panic button. You'll be energized, but your blood pressure will rise, pulse will race, pupils will dilate and you'll get hot and sweaty. Do too many drugs at once and your heart will beat abnormally fast. If your blood pressure rises too high, blood vessels in the brain could pop; causing fits similar to those suffered by epileptics. Hyperthermia and dehydration are also dangers (Drugs & Medical Encyclopedia 1990). Highs are caused by a rise in transmitters; comedowns are the result of a temporary shortage of them. The most drugs you do the greater the lack of transmitters in your brain in the morning and the longer the comedown. The following is a survey covering all there is to know about consumption of drugs, focusing mainly in Britain's club scene. What are the drugs clubbers use, and what are the effects.
After a month long survey over who is the average clubber, out came the following results. If you hang out in the British clubs, you usually take three to four E's in a session (average 3.7). In 1999 this was 2.82 on average. You?re 23 years and ten months old. You smoke cannabis every other day, and reckon you?ve smoked 5884 spliffs in your life. You take E to feel euphoric and high. You go clubbing for the music to be with your friends and to dance. Two out of five of you listen to house and garage; two out of five listen to trance. You?ve probably never tried steroids, 2CB, methadone, crystal meth, Viagra, flatliners, heroin or crack. Less than a third of you have ever tried herbal highs, less than a quarter has tried GHB. You?ve been to 9.4 different clubs this year. 10.6% of you have been to 20 or more. You?ve tried speed, poppers, cocaine, acid, base speed (paste) and magic mushrooms, but you haven't taken of them in the last month. You have a much better time clubbing on stimulants. Only 3.4% of you prefer to go clubbing without drugs. You?ve been clubbing for five years and 11 months. You?ve taken 148.9 E's in your clubbing career. You take E 3.9 times a month. Last year the average was 4.5. You go clubbing 4.1 times a month. 16% of you go twice a week or more. You always or nearly always take ecstasy when you go clubbing. 47.9% of you always or nearly always drink too. When you get home 42.9% of you always or nearly always smoke spliffs. You?re probably male (61.9% of you are), probably straight and probably white. You?ve probably snorted E and nearly half of you have smoked it. But you?ve never injected any drug. Half of you have tried ketamine, but less than a third have taken it in the last month. You?re moody after you?ve been clubbing. 75.2% of you are in a worse mood 1-3 days after you?ve been out. (Mixmag magazine)
The top ten drugs consumed in the year 2000 are:
1. Ecstasy 84.7%
2. Cannabis 79.9%
3. Cocaine 39.6%
4. Poppers 39.1%
5. Ketamine 29.7%
6. Speed 29.2%
7. GHB 25.8%
8. Paste speed 24.4%
9. Methadone 22.6%
10. Benzodiazepines 21.6%
While at the question ? Which are the drugs you most like to try?? the top ten were:
1. GHB (10.2%)
2. Cocaine (9.9%)
3. LSD (7.8%)
4. Magic Mushrooms (6.1%)
5. Ketamine (5.1%)
6. Crack (3.3%)
7. Heroin (2.6%)
The biggest worries of a clubber about drug taking are:
1. A friend dying from drugs (25.8%)
2. Health problems (15.9%)
3. Overdose (7.5%)
4. Depression (6.7%)
5. Trouble with the police (6.7%)
6. Signs of mental impairment (4.3%)
The most popular questions a drug-use clubber would ask are:
1. What the long-term effects of drugs are on your body and mind? (60.7%). Most of those who replied to this question are confused by the constant conflicting evidence about any possible long-term effects of recreational drugs. Every new scientific paper seems to contradict to the last. Does grass make you forgetful and stupid? Will E give you Parkinson's disease?
2. What the immediate effects of drugs on your body and mind are? (14.1%). Some of them want to know the short-term side effects of drug use. Others say they don't trust what they?ve read in papers or in leaflets from drug agencies.
3. What other ingredients are there in pills and what damage they might do? (6.5%). The last decent-sized testing of Es in the UK was in January 1998. Then, 35 pills were tested: 26 contained amphetamine and/or caffeine, 6 contained 60-80 mg MDMA, one a low dose of MDEA and one nothing active at all. A Mitsubishi (a kind of ecstasy pill) tested in March 1999 was nothing but glucose, and in 1999, China Whites (aka White Russians or Technos, another kind of ecstasy pill), were found to contain DOB, a powerful hallucinogen whose effects can last for 24 hours. Sadly, ground breaking website has had problems testing Es since its lab decided to stop carrying out the work. As E testing by the public is illegal, the short answer is, who knows? (Mixmag magazine)

Ecstasy is the most popular drug in Britain as we saw. Most Es are pills and should contain MDMA. But MDMA can also be bought in capsules or as a powder, which is snorted or injected. The contents of a pill can vary, and a pill stamped with a well-known logo doesn't guarantee its quality. For instance, there are 45 different types of Mitsubishis: some contain MDMA, others contain related drugs like MDEA or MDA, others contain nothing or K or caffeine.
The short-term effect of an E will last three to six hours, less for tolerant users. MDMA releases feel good chemicals serotonin and dopamine from nerve cells, and the surge in these boosts your energy, causes euphoria, increases alertness and makes other clubbers seem really friendly. It will also make your pupils dilate, your jaw clench and your heart beat faster. This could cause anxiety, panic, confusion and paranoia. The drug will also impair your memory and affect your ability to make rational judgments. You may not be able to remember what you?ve just done, such as the how many pills you?ve taken or if you?ve had any water. The growing number of people taking more and more pills suggests that many users are developing tolerance to E and needing to take more to get the same effect.
Avoiding alcohol and drinking lots of juice or water will help with the come down. Taking pills that help to replace your serotonin (like 5-HTP) is probably no better than eating a decent meal the day after you?ve been out. It may even be dangerous if you do both at the same time. And drugs and anti-depressants don't mix. Vitamin C helps rats on MDMA to reduce the damage from E (the serotonin), but we have no idea if it has the same effect on people.
It's hard to single out the long-term effects of E as most users take other drugs as well. But tests show that E users are more likely to suffer subtle memory loss than drug takers who have never done E. Those who take the most Es have the most impaired memories. Studies also show that the brains of heavy users have fewer working serotonin neurones. This deficiency could lead to impulsive, hostile behavior, and MDMA users appear to have altered sleep patterns and bigger mood swings. However, the effects on you will ultimately depend on your lifestyle. Problems with memory loss or lack of attention may become apparent if you?re studying for finals, but not if you?re sitting in a hammock on the beach. Sudden mood swings may be a drawback if you have a young family, but not if you live on your own. Luckily your brain can compensate for a lot of damage before people really start to notice a big change in your behavior. Other organs make up for over-indulgence in the same way. For example, you need to destroy 90% of your liver before it fails. The older you get, the less able the ?reserve? part of your brain will be to compensate for drug use. From the age of 25, brain cells die and are not replaced. If you take E, this ageing process means your brain will detoriate faster than those of non drug users.(
Andrew, 20, is a student in London. His holiday to Jersey was ruined by bad pills.
?I went away for a weekend break to Jersey with my boyfriend Andrew when term ended at uni. Lisa Lashes was playing at a nearby club, so we went along with a couple of pills that Andrew had bought from a friend. We dropped at about 11:30 pm. I didn't really come up on my pill but Andrew was quite high. We had a really good time, then at 2:00 am the club shut and we went home. Andrew started to feel a bit dodgy when we got home. By the time we went to bed he felt really bad; he was sitting bolt upright, clutching his head, and had pains in his stomach. This was three hours after taking the pills. I lay in bed with him for ages, watching him in agony, wondering what to do. We started to wonder if it was bad enough for us to take him to the hospital. In the end, he got so bad that we decided to go to the hospital. We were halfway there when we decided that it might do more harm than good and stopped the car. We thought about the consequences of going in. The hospital would ask a load of questions about the pills, and Andrew didn't want to get his friends in trouble, so we went home again. Andrew was still in a pretty bad way and he didn't want to go to sleep. We stayed up watching TV for ages. He finally fell asleep, but I stayed up, watching him, to make sure he was OK.
I stayed away from pills for a few months after that. It put me off. We?d bought them from a friend, and you don't expect your friends to give you dodgy pills. It goes to show that there always be a few dodgy pills in a batch, and you can't tell which they are until you?ve had them.? (Mixmag magazine).
In the survey, at the question:? What drugs have you tried?? and ?When and what was your first drug use?? the answer is the same. Cannabis comes in many different types - solid hash or strains of grass - and they all work differently on each person. A joint made with resin may contain between three or six per cent THC; skunk may have up to 20% THC. But no matter how you?re affected, you can put it down to the chemical THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is similar to a natural chill-out chemical we all have in our brains already.
Cannabis makes the brain slow down. You?re likely to feel relaxed, but could also suffer from short-term memory loss, poor co-ordination and laziness. You may also loose track of time, or become paranoid and self-obsessed, especially if you smoke and drink alcohol together. You may suffer subtle memory loss and have difficulty organizing yourself. About 10% of cannabis smokers become dependent, and often complain of depression, irritability, paranoia and relationship difficulties. One spliff is the equivalent to three cigarettes? worth of lung damage. Not only because people inhale more deeply and keep the smoke in their lungs for longer, but also because of the cancer-causing agents in cannabis. Cannabis smokers could also suffer from mouth and throat cancer. Smoking grass or hash through a bong doesn't filter out dangerous cancer causing agents; some studies even suggest they concentrate the cancer causing substances in the smoke.
Ketamine hydrochloride, or K, was originally developed in the 1960's as a medical anaesthetic and today is mainly used on farm animals by vets. Pharmaceutical-grade ketamine comes as a liquid which is injected into muscle tissue, but it's normally snorted as a powder or swallowed in a pill form. Some people prefer to smoke it after sprinkling it with tobacco. (Drugs & Medical Encyclopedia 1990)
If ketamine was alcohol it would be an alcopop - it's the thing everybody wants to try. Some people like the ...

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Keywords: drugs in britain, drugs in the renaissance

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