Opium is a drug made from the poppy plant. Opium is made by drying the latex contained with in the opium poppy. It contains morphine usually about 8-10% by weight. This is what makes opium addictive. It also contains some codeine and other alkaloids. Typically opium is smoked in order to vaporize the morphine and get high (or relieve pain). Opium was also used in other ways. For instance Laudanum was a solution of opium in alcohol that was used as a way to consume opium (and thus morphine). Like morphine, heroin, and oxycodone, opium is addictive and causes tolerance and dependence.
Marijuana is derived from the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, a member of the Cannabaceae family. All types of cannabis strains - both male and female plants - produce THC, the active ingredient that, when smoked or ingested, intoxicates the user. This substance can be detected in every part of the plant, including the stems. The highest concentration of THC, however, is found in the resin, which is most abundant in the flowers of female plants. Marijuana cannot be easily classified. It is described as a psychogenic (a cannabinoid), a narcotic (although it does not contain opium), and a hallucinogen (the USA government's designation). Each of these definitions, however, is a compromise. Opinion is further divided on whether the drug is a CNS stimulant or a depressant. Controversy also rages over marijuana's medicinal properties, which are alleged and denied fiercely by proponents and detractors, respectively. One fact remains indisputable: marijuana is the most abused illegal drug in the world.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. Meth can cause an individual to have a general sense of well being. In addition it will increase ones physical activity while decreasing their appetite. Used over an extended period of time methamphetamine can cause high blood pressure and lead to permanent damage to blood vessels that are located in the brain. This can ultimately result in strokes and death.
Peyote is a small, spineless cactus, Lophophora williamsii, whose principal active ingredient is the hallucinogen mescaline. From earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of traditional religious rites. Mescaline can be extracted from peyote or produced synthetically. The top of the cactus above ground — also referred to as the crown — consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. Once ingested, peyote can cause feelings of nausea before the desired mental effects appear, which are altered states of perception and feeling. Other effects can include increased body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure; loss of appetite, sleeplessness, numbness, weakness, tremors. Effects can be different during each use due to varying potency, the amount ingested, and the user’s expectations, mood and surroundings.
Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that increases levels of dopamine, a brain chemical (or neurotransmitter) associated with pleasure and movement, in the brain’s reward circuit. Powder cocaine (also called coke), freebase and crack are all forms of cocaine. They’re all powerful stimulants, with short-lived effects – that means they temporarily speed up the way your mind and body work. Both ‘freebase’ cocaine (powder cocaine that’s been prepared for smoking) and ‘crack’ cocaine (a ‘rock’ like form of cocaine) can be smoked. This means that they reach the brain very quickly, while snorted powder cocaine gets to the brain more slowly. All types of cocaine are addictive, but by reaching the brain very quickly freebase or crack tend to have a much stronger effect and be more addictive than snorted powder cocaine. Injecting any form of cocaine will also reach the brain more quickly but this has serious additional risks. It raises the body’s temperature, makes the heart beat faster and reduces your appetite. When the effects start to wear off, people experience a long ‘comedown’, when they feel depressed and run down. This crash can happen for days afterwards.