Drugs are bad, we all know that. Pretty much everyone has experienced some kind of drug, whether it’s a simple flu depressant or a lethal class A drug such as Heroin or Crack. I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to narcotics; in other words, I’m a lightweight. In my personal experience, the worst substances I’ve ever experienced have been nicotine (pointlessly addictive cancer stick) and alcohol (a lethal concoction which blurs right from wrong). Of course, what these two drugs have going for them is their legality; of course this doesn’t shy away from the fact that they are incredibly addictive and dangerous. So here’s a list of the top five most dangerous drugs, but don’t get any ideas!
Being considerable wasted with your head shoved down a toilet, as you may know, isn’t a pleasant experience. While you vomit uncontrollably, the thought “I’ll never drink again” may come to mind. It may in fact be a wise decision. Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the UK by some margin according to an authoritative study published in November. The report reopened calls for a reclassification of the current drugs system to be scraped and an intensive campaign launched against booze. The study is led by sacked government drugs adviser Davis Nutt with colleagues from the breakaway Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. They claim that if drugs were classified on the basis of the potential harm they do, Alcohol would be class A.
Street names: booze, poison and juice.
UK Death toll (pa) 40,000 deaths
This lethal drug almost killed seemingly indestructible rockers Keith Richards and Iggy Pop. But what makes Heroin so dangerous? The class A drug has major withdrawal symptoms and can lead to life threatening symptoms. Their intense euphoric effect is the main attraction amongst users and is administered by either snorting or injecting it intravenously. But going cold turkey from this lethal narcotic is notoriously difficult. The user will start to feel withdrawal symptoms 6 to 24 hours of their last dosage. As one battles the urge, they will begin to sweat large amounts and experience a streak of depression. If that’s not enough on your plate, other serious effects include regular vomiting, high fever, diarrhoea, agitation and gut-wrenching cramps.
Street names: smack, skag and junk.
UK Death Toll (pa): 700
The most lethal form of cocaine and one of the most addictive of all illegal drugs. Crack cocaine, often nicknamed “crack” after the sound made during its manufacture and when smoked, first gained popularity in impoverished inner-city neighbourhoods in New York, Los Angeles and Miami in late 1984 and 1985. It is now estimated that almost 46,000 Londoners are injecting or smoking the drug. Offenders are known to spend as much as £500 a week on the habit. The problem doesn’t end there, crack has an exponential effect on crime, in some London police stations up to one five arrests are related to crack use. There are also increased risks among users of psychiatric problems, including paranoia and depression, as well as links to violent behaviour. Injecting the drug carries further risks, exposing users to the threat of blood-bome infection such as HIV and hepatitis C.
Street names: rock, iron cavvy, base and crack
Death toll UK (pa): 214
This dance and sex drug has been described as more addictive that crack cocaine. Crystal methamphetamine has become increasingly popular throughout the world with its usage increasing exponentially in the past decade, particularly in the US where the drug is considered a major problem. American singer Rufus Wainwright is among other celebrities who have confessed overcoming an addiction to crystal meth, which allows users to stay up for days and increases sexual arousal. The colorless and odorless stimulant possesses neurological hazards such as the releasing of extremely high levels of dopamine which allow the user to become more alert. However over a period of time, crystal meth will damage brain cells ultimately reducing the body’s dopamine levels; this can create symptoms not too dissimilar to Parkinson’s disease. Worryingly, crystal meth’s degree of presence in the UK is still unclear.
Street names: ice, meth, Tina and Nazi crank.
Death toll UK (pa): 5
Methadone has had a lot of media coverage in recent months. The increase in methadone treatment has sparked debate amongst medical professionals, criminal justice professionals and politicians. Methadone is a class A drug, however new anxiety has risen for two reasons. The first is the continued rise in the number of people using heroine, methadone allows people to tackle their psychological addiction and stabilize their lifestyle when used as a substitute for heroin, whilst the second is that for many people opiate dependency becomes a lifelong problem requiring long term treatment. Methadone is prescribed by a doctor to treat people who have been addicted to opioids for over 30 years. However, street methadone has become a major problem in the UK. This is essentially methadone sold or given to someone it was not prescribed for, and can be extremely dangerous. Dealers of street methadone often “cut” the drug with water or juice. However diluting methadone only makes it more dangerous, making it difficult to determine the exact dosage which can lead to overdoses.
Street names: juice, meth and linctus.
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