Drugsof Abuses and The Poly Drug User
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs into sevencategories depending on their symptomologies or effect on theabusers. The seven classification of drugs according to DEA (2015)comprise stimulants, hallucinogens, narcotics, depressants,inhalants, phencyclidine and cannabis. Drug abuse has both minor andmajor effects that comprise violent behavior, increased or reducedblood pressure, seizure and even death after prolonged use. Issuesdiscussed in this research paper consist of symptomology, packaging,issues of criminality, trafficking and methods of ingestion relatedto stimulants and depressants. Moreover, the research provides acomprehensive summary of the results discussed. This paper exploresthe key characteristics of stimulants and depressants.
DiscussionOn Stimulants and Depressants
Effectson Human Body and Symptomology
Thou stimulants and depressants affect the central nervoussystems they have many opposite effects. Stimulants raise thephysiological and nervous actions by enhancing specific chemicals inthe human brain (Irwin,Slabok & Thomas, 2014). On the other hand,depressants function by inhibiting action of the central nervoussystem. Stimulants affect catecholamine chemical level in the brain,used for motivation and signal reward. On the contrary, depressantsfunction by influencing neurotransmitter gammaaminobutyric acid(GABA) in the brain. It reduces the function of brain cells thefacilitate communication and proper function of the body. Thesymptoms of stimulants consist of blood vessel constriction,increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Other symptoms ofstimulants comprise increased alertness due to dilated pupils,increased energy, excessive confidence, rambling speech andirritability. On the other hand, symptoms of depressants compriseslow movement, sleepiness, weight loss, decreased brain function andvisuals disturbance. Moreover, stimulants cause reduced concentrationin the workplace or at school. Stimulants overdose contribute topsychosis or hallucination, which is a rarely witnessed byindividuals who abuse depressants.
Both stimulants anddepressants affect the central nervous system. Both the drugs areaddictive irrespective whether they are taken in large amounts orsmall amounts. Both depressants and stimulants are hard torehabilitate, and individuals who abuse these drugs spend more thantwo months in rehabilitation centers. Depressants and stimulants havemedical benefits. Doctors use stimulants in the treatment ofconditions such as obesity, respiratory problems, neurologicaldisorders and hypotension. For instance, stimulants increase the rateof glucose breakdown, which is a relief to individuals who sufferfrom obesity. Depressants also are used by physicians to treatcondition the involve nervousness, anesthesia, and mania. Inaddition, stimulants are used during surgery of specific parts of thebody such as the eye, mouth or nose. The named body parts havenumerous blood vessels, which leads to profuse bleeding and severedefects if care is not taken. As a result, depressants are used toconstrict blood vessels, which greatly hinder high blood flow makingsurgical operations successful. A majority of stimulants anddepressants such as amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine andopioids are illegal in many countries are used specifically inhospitals to treat various ailments (Irwin,Slabok & Thomas, 2014). Furthermore, depressantsand stimulants lead to death under overdose, especially to the drugpoly user. Stimulants may cause bursting of the blood vessels due toincreased pumping of the heart. Depressants under overdose may leadto blockage of free blood flow leading to seizure and death.
Stimulants and depressants can be identified in the modeof packaging. Illegal stimulants are packaged in aluminum foils,small balloons or plastics. Other illegal stimulants such as cocaineare packaged in zip-lock bags or paper wraps. On the other hand,stimulants are sold under blister packaging if in the form oftablets. Moreover, drug-trafficker package stimulants in small vialsto prevent detection. In some cases, depressants are dissolved inliquids such as alcohol, juices, and water especially when sold tostudents or in drugs restricted areas. In addition, it easier todetermine whether a drug is a stimulant or depressant by observingthe packaging materials. A majority of stimulants are sold in thepowder form such as cocaine, amphetamines, and methamphetamine. Onthe other hand, a majority of depressants are sold in liquid, syrupor pills form. Stimulants have a variety of color and smell (Irwin,Slabok & Thomas, 2014). Amphetamine can be white,brown, orange or dark purple and it has a strong smell. Other typesof illegal stimulants such cocaine and methylphenidates mostly have awhite color. In contrast, a majority of stimulants are colorless andclear with a slightly salty taste.
The majority of stimulants and depressants are sold insmall packages as they are processed under high concentration.Majority of drug traffickers imitate the packaging of other drugssuch as capsules and package them in small paper or containers.Moreover, most depressants and stimulants have a white color as theyare extracted from parts such as flowers and seeds. In addition, amajority of illegal drug dealers prefer white color to prevent easyidentification of these drugs.
Method of Ingestion
Majority of stimulants that are in the powder form aresniffed, swallow and mixed with liquid such as water and injectedsuch as cocaine. On the other hand, many depressants are taken withliquids such as soft drinks or through injection. Many drug abusersprefer injection as it has an immediate depressing effect.
Stimulants and depressant have more than one method ofingestion. Stimulants and depressants can be taken with drinks, food,sniffed or directly injected into the body. Poly users prefer onemethod of ingestion such as injection.
TraffickingTrends for Depressants and Stimulants
Among all the stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine,and methamphetamine, cocaine is the most trafficked drug. In thepast, drug dealers majorly used to smuggle drug from Colombia, Canadaand Brazil to U.S. Currently, drug cartels dealing with stimulantsmostly cocaine have developed new routes to sell their drugs in othercontinents such as Europe (Kirkland,2015). Nowadays, drug dealers use private yachts andprivate jets to minimize the number of inspections compared to thepast where they could use ships and public airplanes. Moreover,countries such as Peru and Bolivia that were not known in drugtrafficking, according to the research they are currently keysuppliers stimulants such as cocaine in the European market. Othercountries such as Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador are key departurepoints of stimulants drugs. Furthermore, countries such as Jamaica,Cape Verde, and Dominican Republic are key hubs that facilitatetrafficking of cocaine to continents such as African and Europe(Kirkland,2015). Drug traffickers of stimulants prefer busy portsin Europe such as Antwerp port in Belgium and Rotterdam in Hollandwhere they collaborate with some of the port officials. For instance,in Rotterdam which is one of the busiest ports in the world, only 50,0000 of containers out of 11million which pass through the portannually are scanned (Kirkland,2015). On the other and hand, depressants are lesstrafficked compared to stimulants. The current trend in depressantsinvolves increased consumption by the teens. The reported cases ofdepressant abuse by children have increased over the years, mostlythe barbiturates. Children under the age of 12 years old upon the endof treatment of a particular disease continue to use depressants,thus becoming addicted.
A large number of drug traffickers of both stimulants anddepressant target the youth. Young individuals are easy to convinceas they strive to seek new methods of entertainment. In addition,many young individuals are easily misled by their peers. By targetingthe young, the drug traffickers are able to establish potentialcustomers for a long duration. Both drug stimulant and depressanttrafficker are currently expanding their markets. Many of depressantdealers are encroaching young individuals in high schools, which wasnot common in the past as they targeted mainly college students.Additionally, stimulant drug traffickers are expanding their marketsto supply their products in the entire globe. Research indicates drugtraffickers have ventured in continents such as Europe and African, atrend that was common in the past.
Issue of Criminality
Due to the high profit realized, drug cartels arefrequently in conflicts. Stimulants such as cocaine are major causesof conflict in areas such as Central American and Mexico. Drugdealers strive to control shipment routes and markets, leading to thekilling of the new entrants or individuals who try to block ordominate drug the routes. Moreover, numerous Mexico security officershave lost their lives while working to ensure ethics is preserved incountry. In addition, stimulant drugs cartels are strategic in theirmode of operation. The plan and extort business or illegally acquirekey business in order to facilitated transportation of their drugs.By extorting established brands, they receive minimal to noinspection, making them achieve their targets with ease. Moreover,many stimulant drug dealers such as cocaine traffickers have beeninvolved in activities such as kidnapping. By kidnapping children orwives of key political leaders, they are to conduct their businessemploying treats. Moreover, stimulants have been used by criminals,which provide them with force confidence. Research shows that morethat 80% of thieves in American are abusers of drugs mostly thestimulants (Kirkland,2015). In contrary, depressants are less associatedwith criminal activities. Individuals utilize stimulants in order todrive away stress or worries and hence they are unlikely to engage incriminal activities.
Majority of criminals are poly drug users. The utilizestimulants before engaging in a given activity. Later, they utilizedepressants to drive away their awful thoughts such as killing thosewho oppose them.
In summary, there are seven types of drugscategorized by their effects. Stimulants and depressants are amongthe mostly abused drugs. Stimulants are harmful in the body andresult in effects such as increased heart rate and effectiveness.Depressants lead to effects such as inactivity. Stimulants facilitatecriminal activities, and they are the most supplied compared todepressants.
Irwin, S.,Slabok, M., & Thomas, G. (2014). Individual differences:Correlation between stimulants and depressants drugs. Journalof Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 123(3),206-211.
Kirkland,Robert O., (2015). Drug Cartel and Gang Violence in Mexico andCentral America: A Concise Introduction, Cognella Publishing, FirstEdition, ISBN: 978-1-63487-039-9
United StatesDepartment of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA (2015),Drugs of Abuse-2011 Edition-Resource Guide, Washington D.C.www.DEA.gov