Quick Facts about Recreational Drugs
Caffeine factoid - Weight for weight tea has more caffeine in it than coffee - but we use less tea per cup than coffee. So we actually get more caffeine from drinking coffee.
(The International Coffee Organisation)
2CB factoid - 2CB is made in illegal labs as far away as India and Thailand. It comes through Turkey and Eastern Europe on its route to the UK.
2C-I factoid - EU surveys of 15-16 year olds show that up to 5% of this age group have experienced hallucinogenic drugs, compared with 10% in the USA.
(European Council Report on Risk Assessment of 2C-I 2003)
Alcohol factoid - Over 5% of 14-15 year olds, and just under 10% of 15-16 year olds in England drink more than the UK guideline healthy limits for adults.
(Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2002)
Speed factoid - 3.3% of all 16-24 year olds have used speed within the last year. That is 205,000 people - less than the number who have used cocaine in the last year.
(British Crime Survey)
Steroid factoid - In 2005/2006 there were 270 seizures of illegal anabolic steroids in England and Wales in 2004. The amount rose from 160 kg in 2003 to 560 kg in 2004 - a 51% rise.
(Home Office Statistical Bulletin 2006)
BZP factoid - BZP was made in 1944 by the Wellcome Laboratories in the UK. It was trialled as a worming treatment for cattle, but was never widely used as it caused some animals to have fits.
(Europol-EMCDDA Joint Report: 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP) 2005)
Dope factoid - Cannabis is one of the world's most commonly used leisure drugs. About one person in 20 in the UK has used it.
Fag factoid - About 12 million people in the UK smoke cigarettes - 26% of men and 23% of women. In England 16% of boys and 25% of girls are regular smokers. 80% of smokers started when they were teenagers.
(ASH - Action on Smoking and Health, 2006)
Coke factoid - Cocaine was extracted from the leaves in 1855. It was widely used in tonics. Until 1904, coca cola contained small amounts. The drink was advertised as "a valuable brain tonic and cure for all nervous afflictions".
Crack fact - Crack was first made from cocaine in the 1960s by a chemical process called freebasing.
Crystal meth factoid - From 1942 onwards, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was given daily injections of methamphetamine from his doctor.
(The medical casebook of Adolf Hitler by L Heston and R. Heston)
E factoid - Home office surveys have shown that 4.8% of 10-25 year olds in the UK have tried ecstasy at least once and 9% of 18-25 year olds have.
(Offending, Crime & Justice Survey 2004)
Ephedrine factoid - A 60,000 year old grave in Iraq was found to contain Ephedra flowers. Does this mean that ephedrine has been in use all that time?
(Release: History of Drugs)
Foxy factoid - Foxy was first made by scientist, Alexander Shulgin, who has personally tested over 200 home made psychedelic chemicals
(Tihkal by Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin)
GHB factoid - GHB has some strange uses. It can treat sleep disorders and alcoholism and it is a body building supplement, a date rape drug and a club drug.
Heroin factoid - Opium was widely used in Ancient Rome. It was openly on sale in the shops and was used for pleasure, pain relief and as a poison.
ketamine factoid - Ketamine has a bad press among drug users. In the 1970s Furry Freak Brothers comics it was described as a 12 hour nightmare. In modern surveys of drug users it generally gets a negative rating.
(Independent Drug Monitoring Unit)
Khat factoid - About 6 tons of khat arrives in the UK every week. Most of it is on its way to the USA where it is illegal.
(Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs: Executive Summary Khat)
LSD factoid - In 1984 the Stonehenge festival lasted a whole month. At its peak 20-100,000 people were present – half of them were on acid.
(Independent drug monitoring unit)
Mushroom factoid - Recent UK surveys show that 12 - 15% of people aged 16 have used magic mushrooms. Though Scotland has a particular liking for them - 1 in 5 people aged 16 said they had tried them.
PcP factoid - PCP has been used in psychiatric research to induce schizophrenic illness in rats. It mimics the same mental symptoms in human drug users.
(Review of Neuroscience 1999)
Poppers factoid - Amyl nitrite was discovered in 1857 and used to ease chest pains (angina). It used to come in small glass capsules that were popped open - hence poppers.
Prozac factoid - In the UK the only SSRI that is recommended for under 18s is Prozac. This is because some young people have had suicidal feelings after taking some of the others.
(Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)
Rohypnol factoid - Kurt Cobain overdosed on rohypnol and champagne about a month before his suicide. Doctors removed about 50 rohynol tabs from his stomach. No one knows if this was a suicide attempt or not.
(Love and Death: by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin)
Solvents factoid - In the late 1800s there was a craze for sniffing laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and ether among gentlemen and ladies of high rank.
Tranquillisers factoid - About one in seven people in the UK are prescribed tranquillisers sometime each year. 1 in 40 people take them all the year and are dependent.
Viagra factoid - Sextasy - ecstasy plus Viagra - users are at risk of causing injury to their penis' with erections that last for four hours or more. Anatomical damage has been reported in a number of cases.
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