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1.

HEROIN










How its used
Heroin is an opiate with strong sedative (downer) and painkilling effects.
It comes in powder form which varies in colour from brown to white. You can
inject it, sniff it or smoke it on foil or in a tobacco-based joint.
Heroin is an opiate processed directly from the extracts of the opium
poppy. It was originally created to help cure people of addiction to morphine.
Upon crossing the blood-brain barrier, which occurs soon after introduction of
the drug into the bloodstream, heroin is converted into morphine, which mimics
the action of endorphins, creating a sense of well-being; the characteristic
euphoria has been described as an orgasm centered in the gut. One of the
most common methods of heroin use is via intravenous injection.

Short-term effects
Effects can start quickly and last for several hours. This depends on how
much of the drug you use and how you take it
Makes you feel warm and relaxed with a hazy feeling of security
Pinpoint pupils
Pain relief
You can have nausea and vomiting the first time you use it
Dramatic mood swings
Your breathing and heart rate slow down
Constipation
Higher doses cause drowsiness goofing off
Injecting heroin causes more intense feelings
Long-term effects
You build tolerance, so you need to take more to get the same buzz
Chronic constipation
Irregular periods in women
High doses can cause you to feel drowsy all the time, fall into a coma or
die from breathing failure
If you smoke heroin you risk lung and heart disease
You may stop eating properly and not look after yourself
Other dangers
Unplanned pregnancy due to irregular periods
Your risk of overdose is a particularly high if you stop using heroin for a
while and then start using again as your tolerance goes down
Heroin is more dangerous when you use it with other depressant drugs
such as an alcohol, tranquillisers, benzos or other opiates, such as
methadone
Damage to veins if you inject it
You risk HIV and hepatitis if you share needles
You risk choking on vomit as your cough reflex is suppressed
If you are pregnant
If you use heroin while pregnant, you risk miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth,
low birth weight or cot death. Your baby may go through heroin withdrawal and
need treatment after birth. You should stop using heroin gradually over a few
days under medical supervision. If you stop too quickly you could lose your baby.
Addictive
Heroin is highly addictive, both physically and psychologically, so your body
craves it and you feel you cant cope without it. If you use it regularly for 2 to 3
weeks you will build tolerance so you need to keep taking more to get the same
buzz.
Withdrawal
You may start to experience withdrawal after several weeks on high, frequent
doses of heroin. Withdrawals start 8-12 hours after your last use and include
aches, shakes, sweating, chills, sneezing and yawning and muscle spasms. These
fade after about a week and are not life threatening.
How long does it stay in your system?
A urine test will detect heroin for 3-8 days. (The length of time depends on the
test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your
own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Help from your doctor to reduce, withdraw, detox or keep off heroin
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area





2. COCAINE
Category: Stimulants
Also called: snow, C, charlie, coke, rock, dust, white.


How its used
Cocaine is a strong but short acting stimulant drug (upper) which comes
in a white powder. You can divide it into lines and snort up the nose with a rolled
up bank note or straw. You can also smoke it or make into a solution to inject.
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves
of the coca plant. It is both a stimulant of the central nervous system and an
appetite suppressant, giving rise to what has been described as a euphoric sense
of happiness and increased energy. It is most often used recreationally for this
effect. Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last
from 20 minutes to several hours, depending upon the dosage of cocaine taken,
purity, and method of administration. The initial signs of stimulation are
hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and
euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and
depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and
pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and
impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage.
The cocaine arrived and we agreed to use it at a time that translated to
three and a half hours after I arrived. It cost $60 for what I was told was an
eighth of a gram. This seemed rather expensive, but I was assured that it was
high quality product. I took the line up my left nostril. After about ninety
seconds, I felt my heartbeat increase. It was definitely kicking in. I began to worry
a bit, as I could feel my heart pounding and my pulse increasing. I finally felt as if
it had reached a plateau.
Short-term effects
Effects of cocaine start quickly but only last for up to 30 minutes
You may feel more alert, energetic, exhilarated and confident
Your heart and pulse rate speed up suddenly
Hyperactivity, dilated pupils, dry mouth, sweating and loss of appetite
Higher doses can make you feel very anxious and panicky
Increased sex drive
Long-term effects
Tightness in chest, insomnia, exhaustion and unable to relax
Dry mouth, sweating, mood swings and loss of appetite
You may become aggressive or even violent
You may feel depressed and run down
Damage to nose tissue
Digestive disorders, dehydration and anorexia
Kidney damage
If you use it often you may lose your sex drive
Injecting may cause abscesses
Smoking may cause breathing problems
Anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, if you use a lot
Restlessness, nausea, hyperactivity, insomnia and weight loss


Other dangers
Overdose can cause epileptic fit, stroke, breathing problems and heart
attack
Damage to veins if you inject
Risk of HIV and hepatitis if you share needles
When you mix cocaine with alcohol, they combine to produce
cocaethylene, which increases the risks of damage to the heart or heart
attack
Extremely dangerous if you inject it with heroin, known as a speedball
Increased sex drive can lead to unsafe sex, with the risk of unwanted
pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or HIV
Debt cocaine is an expensive habit and you may find yourself borrowing
money to buy it
If you are pregnant
If you are pregnant, stop using cocaine now. Cocaine causes high blood pressure
so you increase your risk of miscarriage, premature birth or placental abruption
(afterbirth coming away from the womb). It can reduce the oxygen your baby
gets through the placenta. Your baby may be smaller at birth, have birth
abnormalities and a higher risk of cot death.
Addictive
Cocaine is very psychologically addictive so you find it hard to live without it.
Your tolerance increases over time so you have to keep taking more to get the
same buzz.
Withdrawal
You may feel tired, panicky, exhausted and unable to sleep, which can cause you
extreme emotional and physical distress. This distress can lead to symptoms such
as diarrhoea, vomiting, the shakes, insomnia and sweating. You may have long-
term effects such as anorexia and depression. Once you stop using stopped, you
will have an intense craving for more.
How long does it stay in your system?
Cocaine shows up in a urine test for 2-4 days. (The length of time depends on the
test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your
own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
The Law
What help is available?Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Support from your doctor to withdraw or keep off coke
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area

3. METHAMPHETAMINE
HallucinogensStimulants
Also called: crystal meth, ice, glass, tina, christal, cristy, yaba, chalk, crank,
zip, meth.


Methamphetamime, popularly shortened to meth or ice, is a psycho
stimulant and sympathomimetic drug. Methamphetamine enters the brain and
triggers a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Since it
stimulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, causing euphoria and excitement, it
is prone to abuse and addiction. Users may become obsessed or perform
repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand-washing, or assembling and disassembling
objects. Withdrawal is characterized by excessive sleeping, eating and
depression-like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug-craving.
How its used
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant (upper), similar to
speed. It is white, odourless and bitter tasting and comes as rocks, crystals or
tablets, which you can dissolve in water or alcohol. You can smoke, inject, snort
or swallow it.
Short-term effects
Effects can last from 4 to 12 hours, depending on how you take it
You may have an intense rush
Even small amounts make you feel euphoric, aroused, awake, more active
Loss of appetite and rapid breathing
You may have nausea, panic attacks, compulsive repetitive behaviour and
jaw clenching
Long-term effects
Tooth decay or meth mouth
Can cause paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis when you lose contact
with reality
You can become violent and aggressive
Other dangers
Overdose can cause lung, kidney and stomach disorders, stroke, coma
and death
You risk HIV and hepatitis if you share needles
Increased sex drive can lead to unsafe sex, with the risk of unplanned
pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STDs) and HIV
Damage to nerve tissue (neurotoxicity) leading to concentration and
memory problems
If you are pregnant
Do not use if you are pregnant as we dont know enough about the risks to your
baby.
Addictive
You can become psychologically and physically addicted, so your body craves it
and you feel you cant cope without it. You can build tolerance so you need to
take more to get the same buzz.
Withdrawal
Withdrawals include depression, anxiety and craving for the drug.
How long does it stay in your system?
Meth will show up in a urine test for 2-3 days. (The length of time depends on
the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and
your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Support from your doctor
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area


4. CRACK COCAINE
Also known as: Freebase, Base, Rocks, Stones, Wash, Pebbles, Gravel.



How it's used
Crack cocaine is a smokeable form of cocaine which is made by
chemically altering cocaine powder to form crystals or rocks (about the size of a
raisin). It is called crack because it makes a crackling sound when it is being
burnt. Crack is usually smoked in a pipe, glass tube, plastic bottle or in foil. It can
also be injected.
Crack cocaine, often nicknamed crack, is believed to have been created
and made popular during the early 1980s . Because of the dangers for
manufacturers of using ether to produce pure freebase cocaine, producers began
to omit the step of removing the freebase precipitate from the ammonia
mixture. Typically, filtration processes are also omitted. Baking soda is now most
often used as a base rather than ammonia for reasons of lowered odor and
toxicity; however, any weak base can be used to make crack cocaine. When
commonly cooked the ratio is 1:1 to 2:3 parts cocaine/bicarbonate.


Short-term effects
Crack is also a short acting stimulant drug but the effects are much
stronger than cocaine
Creates an immediate intense euphoria which peaks after about 2
minutes and lasts for around 10 minutes
The high feeling can induce hallucinations, huge mood swings and
paranoia
Aggression and violence
Users report feeling alert, energetic and confident
Dry mouth, loss of appetite, sweating, increased heart and pulse rate
Once the high has worn off (after about 20 minutes), it is followed by a
long low crash which can be associated with strong cravings to take more
Long-term effects
Increased anxiety, nervousness and psychotic behaviour
Chronic coughing, cracked wheezy breathing and partial loss of voice
Breathing problems and damage to lungs
Difficulty sleeping
Weight loss
Debt
Other dangers
Risk of overdosing increases if mixed with heroin, barbiturates or alcohol
High doses can raise the bodys temperature, cause convulsions and
respiratory arrest.
Problems with anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks.
Loss of sexual desire, heart problems
Damage to veins if injecting
Risk of HIV and Hepatitis transmission if injecting equipment is shared
Increased libido can lead to risky sexual behaviours.

If you are pregnant
Crack cocaine use during pregnancy can induce miscarriage, premature labour,
smaller babies and congenital abnormalities. Babies born to mothers who are
crack users during pregnancy will show withdrawal syndrome following birth.
Addictive
Crack can quickly become both physically and psychologically additive. Tolerance
increases over time and so users have to keep increasing their dose to get the
same effect.
Withdrawal
Tiredness and depression
How long does it stay in your system?
2-4 days(The length a substance is detectable depends on the test used, the
levels consumed, if there are existing medical conditions and the persons own
metabolism. This figure should therefore be used as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling/ Psychotherapy
Complimentary therapies, e.g. acupuncture
Residential treatment programmes
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area


5. LSD
Also called: lysergic acid diethylamide, acid, blotter, cheer, dots, flash,
hawk, L, lightening flash, liquid acid, lucy, micro dot, trips, tabs.



How its used
LSD is a hallucinogenic drug. It comes from ergot, a fungus found growing
wild on rye and other grasses. It comes as a piece of paper with pictures on it,
which you suck or swallow.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a semisynthetic
psychedelic drug of the tryptamine family. Arguably the most regarded of all
psychedelics, it is considered mainly as a recreational drug, an entheogen, and a
tool in use to supplement various types of exercises for transcendence including
in meditation, psychonautics, and illegal psychedelic psychotherapy whether self
administered or not. LSDs psychological effects (colloquially called a trip) vary
greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as previous
experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. They also
vary from one trip to another, and even as time passes during a single trip. An
LSD trip can have long term psychoemotional effects; some users cite the LSD
experience as causing significant changes in their personality and life
perspective. Widely different effects emerge based on what Leary called set and
setting; the set being the general mindset of the user, and the setting being
the physical and social environment in which the drugs effects are experienced.

Short-term effects
Effects start 30 minutes after you take it and can last up to 20 hours
Effects depend on how much you take and how you are feeling when you
take them, so may be good or bad
You may have visual effects, distortion of sound, changes in sense of time
and place. This is called a trip.
Long-term effects
Paranoia, phobia and ideation (thinking about suicide)
If you have underlying mental health problems, LSD can trigger them
You can get flashbacks for 2-3 years after your trip
Other dangers
LSD affects your judgement so you may make unsafe choices, such as
driving while under the influence
Hallucinations may make you delusional, such as believing you can fly,
which can cause accidents or falls
If you are pregnant
Do not use if you are pregnant as we dont know enough about the risks to your
baby.
Addictive
LSD is not addictive, but you can build tolerance so you need to take more to get
the same effect.
Withdrawal
No withdrawal symptoms
How long does it stay in your system?
LSD will show up in a urine test for 2-3 days. (The length of time depends on the
test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your
own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Support from your doctor
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area.

6. ECSTASY


Ecstasy Category: HallucinogensSedativesStimulants
Also called: E, disco biscuits, hug drug, mitsubishi, rolex, dolphins, XTC, yokes,
love doves, MDMA, brownies, M and Ms, sweeties, tulips, X.
How its used
Ecstasy is a stimulant drug (upper) that also produces mild hallucinogenic
effects. Ecstasy tablets come in a variety of colours and shapes and often have a
logo or design.
Short-term effects
Effects can start after 20 to 60 minutes and last for several hours
Your pupils dilate and your jaw tightens
You may have nausea, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth and throat
You can have epileptic fits and paranoia for the first time
Your body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate go up
You may feel intense emotions and love for people around you
Anxiety, panic attacks and confusion
Long-term effects
Weight loss
Loss of interest in work
You may get flashbacks
Sleep problems, lack of energy and dietary problems
Bouts of depression, personality change and memory loss
Other dangers
Danger of collapse, vomiting and burst blood vessels
Anxiety, psychosis, panic attacks, hallucinations, insomnia and paranoia
Liver, kidney and heart problems
Women may get more frequent urinary tract infections
Heart failure
The loved up feeling can lead to unsafe sex, with the risk of unwanted
pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STDs) and HIV
Heatstroke, dehydration
Drinking too much fluid too fast can be dangerous best to sip 1 pint of
water per hour
Death by overdose is rare
If you are pregnant
Do not use ecstasy if you are pregnant as we dont know enough about the risks
to your baby.



Addictive
You wont become physically addicted to ecstasy but there is a risk of
psychological addiction, when you feel you cant enjoy yourself without it. You
may build tolerance to it so you have to keep taking more to get the same buzz.
Withdrawal
If you use regularly, you may feel tired and depressed when you withdraw from
ecstasy.
How long does it stay in your system?
Ecstasy shows up in urine tests for 3-8 days. (The length of time depends on the
test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your
own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Your doctor
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area








7. OPIUM


Opium is a resinous narcotic formed from the latex released by
lacerating (or scoring) the immature seed pods of opium poppies (Papaver
somniferum). It contains up to 16% morphine, an opiate alkaloid, which is most
frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade.
Opium has gradually been superseded by a variety of purified, semi-synthetic,
and synthetic opioids with progressively stronger effect, and by other general
anesthesia. This process began in 1817, when Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertrner
reported the isolation of pure morphine from opium after at least thirteen years
of research and a nearly disastrous trial on himself and three boys.


Methadone Category: Opioids
Also called: meth, juice, phy.

How its used
Methadone is a green or blue liquid which you drink. It can only be prescribed by
certain GPs. Methadone can help you to reduce your cravings if you are addicted
to heroin. It is an opiate, from the same family as heroin and morphine.
Short-term effects
Drowsiness, sleep
Slower, shallower breathing
Reduces cough reflex
Reduces pain
Dry eyes nose and mouth
Your blood pressure goes down
Long-term effects
Long-term constipation
Small pinpoint pupils
Sweating, itching
Pain in your bones
Teeth problems, so its important to brush your teeth
Other dangers
Your risk of overdose goes up if you take a break and then start using
again as your tolerance will be lower
You are more likely to overdose if you drink alcohol and use benzos while
on methadone
Methadone is poisonous to people who do not use it regularly so it is
important to keep it out of reach of children or others in your home who
may drink it by accident
If you are pregnant
If you are addicted to heroin, your doctor can prescribe methadone to stabilise
you before your baby is born. Your baby may go through withdrawal symptoms
after birth. Only use methadone under medical supervision and only during your
middle trimester (3-6 months of pregnancy).
Addictive
Methadone is physically and psychologically addictive, so your body craves it and
you feel you cant cope without it. You can build tolerance so you need to take
more to get the same effect.
Withdrawal
You will start withdrawal within 72 hours of your last dose. Withdrawal is less
severe if reduce your dose gradually rather than stop suddenly. Opiate
withdrawal symptoms include aches, tremor, diarrhoea, sweating and chills,
sneezing, yawning and muscular spasms. You may have sleep problems, cravings
and mood swings for weeks.
How long does it stay in your system?
Methadone shows up in a urine test for 2-3 days. (The length of time depends on
the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and
your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only).
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Support from your doctor to reduce, stabilise or withdraw from
methadone
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area

Codeine phosphate Category: Opioids
Also called: Solpadeine, Nurofen Plus, Feminax, Migraleve, Panadeine, Syndol,
Tylex. Although sometimes called DF118s, DFs, Difene these do not contain
codeine. Difene is a totally different drug. DFs contain dihydrocodeine which is
related to codeine but is a different drug.

How its used
Codeine is a painkiller which you can get in tablet, capsule or liquid form.
Codeine is in many medicines which you can buy over the counter or be
prescribed by your doctor for pain. It is an opiate drug, from the same family as
morphine and heroin.
Short-term effects
Pain relief
You may feel warm, relaxed and detached
You may feel confused and light headed
Dry mouth, itchiness and pinpoint pupils
Your body temperature and heart rate go down
You may feel drowsy and sick
Larger doses can slow your breathing and lower blood pressure
Long-term effects
Constipation
Liver damage if drug also contains paracetamol, such as Solpadeine
Breathing problems
Irregular periods for women
Other dangers
Your risk of overdose goes up if you mix codeine with other drugs, such as
other painkillers or alcohol
If you are pregnant
It can be dangerous for your baby if you withdraw from codeine when pregnant.
It is better to reduce your dose very slowly. Codeine may cause your baby to be
born small and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Addictive
Codeine is both physically and psychologically addictive, so your body craves it
and you find it hard to cope without it. Your tolerance increases over time so you
have to keep taking more to get the same buzz.
Withdrawal
Withdrawal is less severe if you reduce the dose first. If you stop using suddenly,
you will get opiate withdrawal symptoms such as aches, tremor, diarrhoea,
sweating and chills, sneezing, yawning and muscular spasms. These symptoms
start within 8 to 24 hours after your last dose, peak around the third day and
fade after 5 to 10 days. You may have sleep problems, cravings and mood swings
for weeks.
How long does it stay in your system?
Codeine will show up in a urine testfor2-10 days depending on the dose and how
well your liver functions. (The length of time depends on the test used, the
amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own
metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Support from your doctor to reduce withdraw, detox or keep off codeine
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area

8. Cannabis Category: HallucinogensSedatives
Also called: hash, hashish, blow, pot, ganja, marijuana, grass, joint, THC,
bhang, black, blast, blunts, Bob Hope, bush, dope, draw, hemp, herb, puff,
northern lights, resin, sensi, shit, smoke, soap, spliff, wacky backy, weed, zero,
afgan, moroccan.



How its used
You can smoke it with tobacco in a joint, inhale through a pipe or bong or make
into a tea or food.
Herbal cannabis (grass or weed) is common and is generally made from the dried
leaves and flowering parts of the female plant and looks like tightly packed dried
herbs. Skunk is a general term given to stronger forms of cannabis that contain
more THC, cannabiss active ingredient, than resin or more traditional herbal
cannabis. Resin/hash is a black/brown lump made from the resin of the plant.

Short-term effects
You may feel sedated, chilled out and happy
Some people feel sick
You may get the munchies or feel hungry
Your pulse rate speeds up and blood pressure goes down
Bloodshot eyes, dry mouth
Tiredness
Long-term effects
May damage your lungs and lead to breathing problems
Has been linked with mental health problems, such as depression and
schizophrenia
May lower sperm count and suppresses ovulation so you may have
problems getting pregnant
Regular use may affect your memory, mood, motivation and ability to
learn
May cause anxiety and paranoia
May affect your coordination and reactions so you are more at risk of
accidents, especially if you also drink alcohol
Other dangers
As with tobacco, smoking hash may cause cancer
Cannabis psychosis when you disconnect from reality and start showing
symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations even when you are not
using drugs
If you are pregnant
If you smoke cannabis with tobacco while you are pregnant the risk to your baby
is the same as smoking smaller birth weight, higher risk of premature (early)
birth, higher risk of miscarriage, your baby may get less oxygen through the
placenta. After the birth, your baby is at more risk of cot death and early health
problems, such as asthma.
Addictive
You can get psychologically addicted to cannabis, in this case, you might find it
hard to cope without it. If you smoke it with tobacco you may get physically
addicted to tobacco (see Tobacco ).
Withdrawal
Anxiety, irritability
Urge or cravings to smoke
Sleep problems, restlessness
Loss of appetite
How long does it stay in your system?
Cannabis will show up in a urine test for 2-28 days (The length of time depends
on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and
your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only.)
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area

9. AMPHETAMINE CATEGORY: STIMULANTS
Also called: speed, amphetamine sulphate, uppers, phet, billy, whiz,
sulph, base, dexedrine, dexamphetamine.

How its used
Amphetamine is a stimulant (upper). It can be a powder or tablet which you
sniff, swallow or inject. Speed is an off-white or pinkish powder and can
sometimes look like crystals. Base speed is purer and is a pinkish grey colour and
feels like putty. You can dab speed onto your gums or sniff in lines like cocaine
using a rolled up bank note. You can also roll it up in a cigarette paper and
swallow. This is called a speedbomb. You can mix it in drinks or inject it. You can
smoke methamphetamine in its crystal form. It starts to affect you within 20
minutes and lasts for 4-6 hours.
Short-term effects
You feel exhilarated, with more energy and confidence
You dont need much sleep or food
Your pupils look wider and your face paler
Your breathing and heart rate increase and blood pressure rises
Dry mouth, diarrhoea, need to urinate more often
Higher doses also cause flushing, sweating, headaches, teeth grinding,
jaw clenching and racing heart
You may be talkative and aggressive
Can sometimes cause amphetamine psychosis, when you lose contact
with reality
Long-term effects
Tolerance you need to take more to get the same buzz
Anxiety, depression, irritability and aggression
Powerful cravings
You may become violent
Mood swings
Mental health problems such as psychosis, paranoia, delusions and
hallucinations
Weight loss
Scratching or itchy skin
Sniffing speed can damage the inside lining of your nose
Injecting speed can cause vein damage and sharing needles puts you at
risk of HIV and hepatitis
Other dangers
Risk of overdose
Heart failure
Very dangerous if you combine it with anti-depressants or alcohol
Risk of HIV and hepatitis if you share snorting or injecting gear
May trigger underlying mental health problems
Increased sex drive can lead to unsafe sex, with the risk of unwanted
pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or HIV
If you are pregnant
Do not take if you are pregnant as we dont know what the risks are to your
baby.
Addictive
You can become addicted to speed physically and psychologically, so your body
craves it and you find it hard to cope with life without it.
Withdrawal
You may have anxiety and panic attacks after withdrawal from speed. You may
feel you have no energy for weeks afterwards.
How long does it stay in your system?
Speed will show up in a urine test for 1-2 days. (The length of time depends on
the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and
your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only).
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies such as acupuncture
Support from your doctor
Residential treatment programmes
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area

10. Ketamine Category: HallucinogensSedatives

(also called: special K, K, vitamin K)


How its used
Ketamine is an anaesthetic. You can get it as a white powder to snort, a liquid to
inject or a tablet to swallow.
Short-term effects
Depending on how you take it, the effects generally start within a few
minutes and last 1-3 hours
You can have an out of body experience
You may have hallucinations, numbness and muscle spasms
You may also feel sick or vomit
Long-term effects
If you use ketamine regularly, you may get flashbacks
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Ketamine is linked to many mental health problems including panic
attacks, insomnia, delusions and suicide
Can cause depression, memory problems and psychotic episodes
Other dangers
If inject it, ketamine may damage your veins and lead to abscesses and
thrombosis
You risk HIV and hepatitis if you share needles
If you are pregnant
Do not use if you are pregnant as we dont know enough about the risks to your
baby
Addictive
You have a fairly high risk of becoming psychologically addicted, so you find it
hard to cope without it.
Withdrawal
No known physical withdrawal symptoms
What help is available?
Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
Counselling or psychotherapy
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
Medical support if necessary
Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
Aftercare
One to one or group family support
Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in
your area.