Friday, 20 July 2012


Which is better: to have fun with fungi or to have Idiocy with ideology, to have wars because of words, to have tomorrow's misdeeds out of yesterday's miscreeds?

Drug abuse isn't just about illicit drugs like marijuana or cocaine. Legal medicines with legitimate uses can be abused, meaning they're taken by someone other than the patient or in a manner or dose other than what's recommended. Here are some of the commonly abused prescription drugs (depressants, pain relievers, and stimulants) and some nonprescription (over-the-counter) drugs.

I learned why they're called wonder drugs - you wonder what they'll do to you.


Prescribed to ease anxiety or promote sleep, depressants slow the brain's function. Barbiturates are a type of depressant. Phenobarbital is a barbiturate; others are Mebaral, Seconal, and Nembutal. Though helpful when used as prescribed, barbiturates can be addictive. If taken with certain drugs, including alcohol, the heart and breathing can slow, which can lead to death. Slang for barbituates includes "barbs," "reds," red birds," "phennies," "tooies," "yellows," and "yellow jackets."

Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you've been to some of those places, you think, "How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?"

Benzodiazepines: Valium, Xanax

Valium and Xanax are examples of benzodiazepines, another type of depressant. They may be prescribed to treat anxiety, acute stress reactions, panic attacks, convulsions, and sleep disorders (typically for short-term use). Like other depressants, they have reasonable uses but may be abused. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines "can be problematic" but is rarely life-threatening, notes the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.

Sleep Medicines

Sleep medicines are depressants. The sleep drugs Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta are newer sleep medicines called nonbenzodiazepines. These drugs "may have less potential for addiction" than other depressants, states the web site of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

Codeine and Morphine

Pain relievers are another group of prescription drugs that are commonly abused. They include codeine and morphine. Brands of morphine include Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph, and Roxanol. Morphine is typically prescribed for severe pain; codeine, for milder pain. Street names for codeine include "Captain Cody" and "Cody." Slang for morphine includes "M" and "Miss Emma."

Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.

OxyContin, Percocet

OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Roxicodone share an active ingredient, oxycodone, which is an opioid pain reliever. These drugs aren't identical; Percocet also contains acetaminophen, while Percodan also contains aspirin. These drugs should only be taken under medical supervision. Street names include "oxy," "O.C.," and "oxycotton" for OxyContin and "percs" for Percocet or Percodan.

Woe to you, my Princess, when I shall see who is the stronger, a gentle little girl who doesn't eat enough or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body.

Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet

Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet contain the opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Opioids can cause drowsiness, constipation, and may depress breathing, depending upon the amount taken, the NIDA notes. Vicodin's street names include "vike" and "Watson-387," states the web site of the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Vicodin, or any other prescription drug, shouldn't be shared; they're only for the patient with the prescription.

Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe, that found me poor at first, and keep me so.


Stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy. They're prescribed for narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression that doesn't respond to other treatments. The ADHD drugs Dexedrine and Adderall, are stimulants called amphetamines, which may be abused by people seeking a sense of euphoria. Risks include fast or irregular heartbeat, reduced appetite, heart failure, nervousness, insomnia, and addiction. Nicknames for amphetamines include "bennies," "black beauties," and "speed."

It is in the interests of our society to promote those things that take the edge off, keep us busy with our fixes, and keep us slightly numbed out and zombie like. In this way our modern consumer society itself functions as an addict.


Methylphenidate is a stimulant found in the ADHD drugs Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin. Its nicknames include "MPH," R-ball," "Skippy," "the smart drug," and "vitamin R." NIDA notes that taking high doses of a stimulant may result in dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, and the potential for cardiovascular failure or lethal seizures.

A drug is neither moral nor immoral -- it's a chemical compound. The compound itself is not a menace to society until a human being treats it as if consumption bestowed a temporary license to act like an asshole.

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is the active ingredient in many nonprescription cough and cold medicines. Those products are safe when taken as recommended, but very large doses can produce euphoria and impaired judgment, as well as nausea and vomiting, loss of coordination, and increased heart rate, NIDA says. DXM's street names include "Orange Crush," "Triple Cs," "Dex," "Robo," and "Skittles."

To punish drug takers is like a drunk striking the bleary face it sees in the mirror. Drugs will not be brought under control until society itself changes, enabling men to use them as primitive man did: welcoming the visions they provided not as fantasies, but as intimations of a different, and important, level of reality.


Pseudoephedrine is commonly found in nonprescription cold medicines. It's sought as an ingredient for making the illegal drug methamphetamine ("meth"). That's why there are laws limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine-containing drug products that can be purchased at a time.

If you think dope is for kicks and for thrills, you're out of your mind. There are more kicks to be had in a good case of paralytic polio or by living in an iron lung. If you think you need stuff to play music or sing, you're crazy. It can fix you so you can't play nothing or sing nothing.

The worst drugs are as bad as anybody's told you. It's just a dumb trip, which I can't condemn people if they get into it, because one gets into it for one's own personal, social, emotional reasons. It's something to be avoided if one can help it.