The Lowdown On High Times


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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29 Jul 2006

by Amy Verner,

With the summer party season in full frenzy, teens may be confronted with spliffs, sniff, smarties -- and some very tough choices. AMY VERNER reports on the narcotics that are causing the biggest buzz across the country and the risks to those who 'just say yes'


The drug: Marijuana leaves bear a faint resemblance to maple leaves, apropos given Canada's uncertain attitude toward its legalization. Legal or not, whether smoked in a joint, pipe or bong, dope continues to be the teen drug of choice.

The high: The effects of marijuana generally include a "chilled-out" feeling, lowered inhibitions and a heightened experience of flavours - -- causing the infamous diet-sabotaging "munchies."

The low: Poor co-ordination, impaired memory and dry mouth become prevalent after repeated use. Long-term effects include respiratory problems and lung damage.

The scene: House parties, cars ( ever heard of hot-boxing? ), concerts, parks and alleys -- even crowded streets.

The slang: 420, blunt, bud, chronic dope, ganja, grass, hash, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, skunk, smoke, spliff, weed.

The warning signs: Pink, glazed eyes are a telltale sign that someone is still high. After that, expect slacker-type behaviour: general fatigue and apathy.


The drug: The most frightening thing about this narcotic is that common prescription pain relievers contain its core ingredient, oxycodone. Percodan is the brand name for oxycodone combined with Aspirin. With acetaminophen, it's called Percocet. For an OxyContin high, the sustained-release coatings are rinsed from pills, which are crushed into a powder and ingest-ed, snorted or injected.

The high: A far more intense version of getting drunk -- plus a false sense of euphoria, not unlike heroin.

The low: Vomiting, dizziness and constipation are the least of a user's worries. Consumed with alcohol or other depressants, OxyContin can be fatal.

The scene: OxyContin is still relatively unknown among teens. Still, for the first time in 2005, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health included it in their Ontario Student Drug Use Survey.

The slang: Killers, OC, Oxy80 ( referring to the 80-mg tablet ), OxyCotton, oxy.

The warning signs: Lethargy, along with excessive perspiration.


The drug: After marijuana, toxic products such as rubbing alcohol, hairspray, gasoline and glue are most commonly used by teens to get high. Solvents are inhaled ( sometimes via paper or plastic bags ) or are "huffed" -- soaked in rags or toilet paper and stuffed into users' mouths.

The high: Inhalants affect all parts of the brain. While giddiness may quickly set in, the overall feeling is less than pleasant -- more a distorted sense of reality. To achieve a sustained high, repetitive inhalations are necessary.

The low: Drowsiness will set in almost immediately and a headache can persist for hours. Prolonged exposure can cause loss of consciousness. Death can occur when teens inhale out of a plastic bag and suffocate or choke on their vomit. Long-term risks include organ damage.

The scene: Inhalants are used by those in younger grades more often than by older teens.

The slang: Gas, glue, poppers, sniff.

The warning signs: An appearance of drunkenness or the smell of solvents on the breath.


The drug: This effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be abused when pills are crushed and snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.

The high: Taken as prescribed, Ritalin has a calming, focusing effect on those with ADHD -- taken un-prescribed, the drug is similar to speed and is used to get through exams or all-nighters.

The low: The lows are serious and range from heart palpitations and hair loss to anorexia and cardiac arrhythmia. Headaches, blurry vision, digestive problems, skin rashes and irritability also can occur with misuse.

The scene: Those who take Ritalin for medical purposes are less likely to abuse it, says CAMH psychiatric pharmacist Wende Wood. Overachievers may resort to it as a crutch.

The slang: Kibbles and bits, kiddy cocaine, r-ball, smarties, Vitamin R.

The warning signs: Complaints about loss of appetite, dry mouth and vomiting -- much the same as cocaine. ( And early prescription refills can be a sign teens are selling Ritalin to friends. )


The drug: Originally developed by a Japanese chemist as a boost for Second World War soldiers, meth is now most commonly ingested in a pill or heated and inhaled in crystallized form. The drug is instantly addictive.

The high: Think of a cocaine buzz, but for six to 12 hours -- or as long as a few days, since many users "tweak" or continually take more of the drug to stay high.

The low: The "come-down" from this drug can include paranoid, even psychotic reactions. All organs are affected, particularly the brain. Anorexia and suicidal thoughts can occur from prolonged use. Addicts can also lose their teeth.

The scene: CAMH keeps a close watch on crystal meth, though reported teen use is currently 2 per cent. There is growing concern that this is becoming a more popular club drug and a favourite among homeless youth.

The slang: 222, crank, high speed chicken feed, ice, kooLAID, Kryptonite, tina, zip, zoiks.

The warning signs: Dramatic weight loss ( unfortunately part of the appeal for some teenage girls ) and "meth mouth."


The drug: Once a treatment for soldiers in Vietnam, this anesthetic is now most frequently used as a cat tranquillizer. The drug is taken orally or injected when in liquid form, or snorted in powder form.

The high: The effects of ketamine are not unlike PCP ( think back to the psychedelic sixties ), but the high ( known as being in the "k-hole" ) kicks in faster and lasts less than an hour.

The low: Impaired judgment and co-ordination can last up to a day. And no nine lives for a heavy ket user: One gram can cause death ( most dosages are 25 to 100 mg ).

The scene: Ket has become a club drug, often used alongside LSD or ecstasy ( MDMA ).

The slang: Blind squid, breakfast cereal, K, keller, ket, Special K, Vitamin K, wonk.

The warning signs: Zombie-like blank stares, slurred speech and unusual violence. Sources: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Narcanon Vancouver Society, Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Use


Just a Dawg
Jan 6, 2006
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And the verdict is.....
Smoke herb leave the rest. ;)


May 17, 2006
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I'll agree with yoiu 110% mutt! God gave us "all seed bearing plants and herbs to use" not chemicals!

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