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Guide To Identifying Street Drugs

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Illegal Drug Guide. Information and statistics on the most commonly used and abused drugs on the streets today. The warning signs of substance abuse, particularly in such drugs as Alcohol, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine and Crystal Meth. Below you will find Information on other drugs like Ecstasy, GHB, Heroin, Marijuana and Prescription OxyContin. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem. Please use this directory to find the right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in your local area or please call us toll free @ 1-866-720-3784.


Maintaining an addiction costs more than you think. Whether it's drug dealing, prostitution, or theft, people who have an addiction do whatever they can to make ends meet and get their next fix. Who would have known how much money people can spend when they're feeding their habit?

Below is a chart that breaks down how much people actually spend on their addictions per day,week, and year.

cost of addiction

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is commonly known to people by its types such as beer, wine, liquor, vodka, gin, tequila, whisky or bourbon. The word alcohol was introduced into the English language circa 1543 it was gleaned from the Arabic word for alcohol, which was pronounced "al-gu?l" and quickly adapted to “alcohol” in the English tongue. Ethanol is a colorless, flammable liquid with a mild odour which can be obtained by the fermentation of sugars. Throughout the past millennia man has created thousands of different types of alcoholic beverages usually distilled from a different sugar source creating a distinctly different flavour and odour but the fact remains that it is all ethanol fermented from sugars and refined through the distilling process. Ethanol is the most widely used depressant in the world today, and has been for thousands of years. This sense underlies the term alcoholism or addiction to alcohol.

Ethanol is a colorless, flammable liquid with a mild odour which can be obtained by the fermentation of sugars. As a person consumes alcoholic beverages the ethanol (part of drink that gets a person 'drunk') passes into the bloodstream. The ethanal molecule is incredibly small. Ethanol is small enough to get between the gaps in brain cells. Once in this gap the ethanol interferes with brain cell to cell communication. The aggreagate effect of this interference is conciously recognized by the user as being 'intoxicated'.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Alcohol is the single most used and abused drug in the world mostly this can be attributed to the fact that alcohol has become socially acceptable in most countries and even celebrated and encouraged from a young age in others. This is true in the US and alcohol plays a role in many arrests and vehicle accidents. A few interesting facts about alcohol addiction rates in the US are:

  • As many as 7.4 percent of Americans meet the requirements to be diagnosed as suffering from alcoholism this is a total of nearly 14 million Americans.
  • Greater than half of all American adults have at least one family member who is currently or has suffered from alcoholism.
  • Nearly one out of every four American children has been exposed to alcohol dependency with in his or her family.
  • Alcohol is known to be a contributing factor in several types of cancer affecting head, neck, digestive tract, and breast cancer.
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Cocaine in its purest form is a white, crystalline product; it is a salt called cocaine hydrochloride. Street market cocaine is frequently altered or diluted with virtually any tasteless odourless white powder to increase its weight; the substances most commonly used in this process are baking soda; sugars, such as lactose, dextrose, and mannitol; and local anaesthetics, such as lidocaine or benzocaine, which mimic or add to cocaine's numbing effect on mucous membranes. Cocaine is often cut with other stimulants such as methamphetamine to heighten the addictive qualities and lower the overall cost to the dealer. Once cocaine has been "stepped on" or diluted its white color can change to include pinkish, beige or off-white hues.

Cocaine Abuse Statistics

Cocaine is the most widely abused hard drug in America today; it has become widely available in every state, city, village and town across the nation. Cocaine is highly addictive many people become addicted after just a single use. Cocaine is mass produced in many third worlds south and Central American nations for the expressed purpose of export to the United States. Usage of cocaine in the US in now measured in the hundreds of tons annually and has become and integral part of organised criminal enterprise. Some examples of cocaine statistics in the US are:

  • Some examples of cocaine statistics in the US are:
  • Bank notes of various denominations were tested in 18 different American cities and 90 percent of all bills tested were found positive for trace amounts of cocaine.
  • 6 million American admit to using cocaine which allows for estimated annual consumption in the US of 457 metric tons.
  • In 2001, approximately 235,377 pounds of cocaine were seized in the US.

If you or a loved one is seeking cocaine rehabilitation centers please use this directory to find Addicion Treatment Centers.


Crack Cocaine

Crack Cocaine can be a variety of textures and colors depending on production methods and impurities, color depends upon several factors including the origin of the cocaine used and if it was refined with ammonia or baking soda plus the presence of impurities can change the color, but will generally range from bright white to an off-white cream to a beige brown. Its density will also differ depending on what has been added to the cocaine, usually crack cocaine is hard and must be snapped in to useable pieces. It can be waxy or even crumbly if fillers that can endure the cooking process are used. Usually the process of converting cocaine powder in to crack increases potency as most impurities are lost in the cooking process and will not end up in the finished product.

Crack Cocaine Statistics

Crack cocaine use has actually gone down in some areas in recent years but over all the volumes of crack being used is on the rise with smaller communities all across the USA now finding an uprising of crack use and availability which far out weighs the incremental drops in addiction rates in communities with a long history of crack addiction. Some of the more shocking crack statistics are:

  • In 2007, 2.1 million people reported current cocaine use, of which approximately 610,000 were current crack users.
  • In 2008, 1.1 million people aged 12 - 18 had abused crack at least once in the year before being surveyed.
  • 1.6% of 12th graders had abused crack at least once in the year prior to being surveyed
  • The high from snorting cocaine may last as little as 15 to 30 minutes, but the high from smoking is much more intense but only lasts 5 to 10 minutes after which time the user goes in to strong withdrawal and will commit desperate acts to acquire another dose.
  • 1.4 million people in 2005 reported use of crack within the last year.
  • Cocaine and crack use can cause disturbances in heart rhythm or arrhythmia, heart attacks, chest pain and or respiratory failure, strokes, seizures, headaches and a number of gastrointestinal problems.
  • Researchers studying the cocktailing effects of mixing cocaine with alcohol discovered that the human liver combines cocaine with grain alcohol to produce a new substance called "cocaethelyne" which intensifies the effects of both the cocaine and the alcohol while drastically increasing the risk of fatality.
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Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine is a psycho stimulant and adrenaline mimicking drug. It is a member of the family of phenylethylamines. This drug increases the brains content of phenylethylamine during periods of use and causes a drop once use is diminished. Phenylethylamine has been shown to stabilize mood and that its deficit can be responsible for depression. An addiction to methamphetamine typically occurs when a person begins to use the drug as a stimulant, because of its enhancing effects on pleasure and sex, alertness and ability to concentrate. Over time, however, the effectiveness decreases, and users find that they need to take higher doses to get the same results; also that they have great difficulty functioning effectively without the drug.

Crystal Meth Statistics

Methamphetamine use has been on the rise since more purified versions of the drug have become available. High grade "ice" is nearly 100% pure and has become more socially acceptable. Methamphetamine has become a cost effective additive used to increase the level of addiction to drugs like marijuana and ecstasy. We have compiled some shocking statistics which reflect methamphetamine addiction in the USA today.

  • In 2008, 850,000 Americans age 12 and older had abused methamphetamine at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
  • It is estimated that tem million four hundred thousand Americans over the age of twelve a shocking 4.3 percent of the population have tried methamphetamines in their lifetime.
  • In one study, one million three hundred thousand Americans reported having used methamphetamine in the past year and five hundred twelve thousand reported currently using the drug.
  • 4.5 percent of high school seniors have reported using Methamphetamines at some point in their lives.
  • Hospital room visits attributed to Crystal Meth increased by more than fifty percent between 1995 and 2002 bringing the total to greater than seventy two thousand incidents.
  • By the year 2004 the number of admissions to drug treatment for crystal meth accounted for 8 percent of the total admissions and almost 150,000 individual cases.


Ecstasy is usually distributed in pill form and may contain just about any drug from Viagra to heroin and methamphetamines these pills are usually brightly coloured and usually contain a stamped logo which does not reflect something medicinal like a butterfly or popular logo of some sort. Ecstasy in its purest form contains pure MDMA which is a semi synthetic member of the amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, a subclass of the phenethylamines. MDMA also falls under many other broad categories of substances, including stimulants, psychedelics. It causes euphoria which appears to be distinct from most stimulants. It is also has a tendency to produce a sense of intimacy with others and diminished feelings of fear and anxiety. The long-term health effects of ecstasy use are generally not well-known, and the research that has been devoted to addressing the relevant issues thus far has been largely inconclusive. The primary concern is generally that there may be negative long-term consequences that result from the drug's neurotoxic effects. Some further studies have also shown increased rates of depression and anxiety after quitting the drug.

Ecstasy Statistics

Ecstasy is commonly perceived as a safe drug with little to no side effects and very little risk of addiction but recent studies have disproved these myths definitively and furthermore have unearthed an alarming trend that ecstasy now quite often contains a potentially lethal mix of different substances both over the counter and street varieties.

  • In the year 200, the DEA seized more than 3 million MDMA tablets in the United States.
  • More than 11 million people have tried MDMA at least once.
  • An estimated four hundred and fifty thousand Americans currently use ecstasy on a monthly basis.
  • Imaging studies have noticed significant changes in brain function and activity in MDMA users in the areas of the brain responsible for cognition, emotion, and motor function.
  • Greater than 40 percent of all people who report having used ecstasy meet the guidelines for a diagnosis of dependence to the drug. While an additional 34 percent meet the guidelines for drug abuse.
  • Sixty percent of all people who use ecstasy report experiencing withdrawal symptoms ranging from fatigue and loss of appetite to depression and an inability to concentrate.
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GHB (Gammahydroxybutyrate)

GHB or gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, is a naturally-occurring substance found in the central nervous system, wine, beef, small citrus fruits, and almost all animals in small amounts. It is categorized as an illegal drug in many countries. It is currently regulated in the US and sold by Jazz Pharmaceuticals under the name Xyrem to treat cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy. Historically, GHB has been used in a medical setting as a general aesthetic, to treat conditions such as insomnia, clinical depression, narcolepsy, and alcoholism, and to improve athletic performance. It is also used illegally either as an intoxicant or as a date rape drug. As a supplement/drug, it is used most commonly in the form of a salt. GHB is also produced as a result of fermentation, and so is found in small quantities in some beers and wines.

GHB Statistics

Statistical information is very difficult to attain as this some what obscure yet quite readily available drug has slipped through the cracks and has been over looked by most major studies. This drug reached its peak for abuse in 1999 when it was available a body building supplement. Since this time it has been legislated that importing this substance is illegal and most states have banned its use or are in the process of doing so. We have compiled the following addiction statistics on GHB:

  • Almost six thousand overdoses have been documented in emergency rooms across the USA
  • Almost 70 deaths are now considered GHB related with an additional 40 which are under investigation.
  • One UCLA survey of GHB users indicates that although nearly 70 percent of GHB users reported loss of consciousness while under the influence of this drug, only seven percent sleeked the appropriate emergency medical treatment.
  • Many long time GHB users report near fatal and extreme complications associated with detoxification from this drug.


Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy; Popular street names for heroin include black tar, skag, horse, smack, chieva, gear, Evil, H, and dope. Heroin freebase may also appear as a white powder or China white. As with all other opiates, heroin is used both as a pain-killer and a recreational drug. Frequent administration quickly leads to tolerance and dependence and has a very high potential for addiction, if used for as little as three days then stopped abruptly, withdrawal symptoms can appear. Heroin is illegal in almost every country worldwide.

Heroin Statistics

Although addiction rates to opiate based drugs is up Heroin use has actually dropped in recent years with the much more reliable substance Oxy Contin becoming readily available across the United States. Heroin is a more affordable alternative for people who have become addicted to opiate drugs as its purity goes up its cost continues to drop making it more appealing. Some heroin related statistics are.

  • In 2001 some 4,379 pounds of heroin were seized by the DEA.
  • 20.9 percent of people arrested committed their offense to get money for drugs.
  • In 2003 an estimated 3.7 million people had used heroin at some time in their lives.
  • Opiate withdrawal is rarely fatal but always uncomfortable.
  • Of the 35,000 arrests made in 2001 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, almost 3,500 cases involved heroin.
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Cannabis, also known as marijuana, ganja, weed, green, pot, marry or nuggets can be consumed in many different ways, most of which either involve inhaling smoke from ignited plant, using a variety of different devices such as pipes, bongs, joints, blunts, vaporizers and any number of home made apparatuses, or by administering orally. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa, or its subspecies indica. The active ingredient in Marijuana is formed in the crystalline structure which appears on mature female plants, known as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. The most common physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, impairment of psychomotor coordination, concentration, and short-term memory.

Marijuana Statistics

As the movement to have marijuana readily available to treat medical problems such as Pain, Glaucoma, Cancer, insomnia and other conditions is on the rise so is the availability of locally grown high grade marijuana. Smugglers are also bringing in foreign marijuana by the ton we have pulled together a few statistics on Marijuana related incidents in the US.

  • In 2008, 25.8 million Americans above 12 years of age had used marijuana at least once, in the year before the survey was conducted.
  • In 2001 2,673,535 pounds of marijuana were seized in the US.
  • In 1989 51,625 pounds of hashish were seized from various points across the US
  • 35,000 arrests were made in 2001 by the DEA; almost 7,000 cases involved marijuana and or hashish.


Oxy-Contin also known by it generic name oxycodone is an opiate medication, very similar to heroin except it contains a sustained-release mechanism, which means the medication is typically effective for eight to twelve hours. If taken orally and as prescribed but unfortunately the mechanism is contained within the coating on the tablets which can be easily bypassed by chewing the tablets or by rinsing off the coating all together. In high doses, overdoses, or in patients not tolerant to opiates, oxycodone can cause shallow breathing, cold, clammy skin, apnea, hypotension, pupil constriction, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death. There is a high risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms if a patient discontinues oxycodone abruptly. Therefore the use of this drug should be gradually discontinued rather than abruptly discontinued. Drug abusers are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms as they tend to use higher than prescribed doses. Withdrawal symptoms are also likely in newborns whose mothers have been taking during their pregnancy. The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are the same as for other opiate based painkillers and may include the following symptoms. Anxiety, Nausea, Insomnia, Muscle pain, Fever and Flu like symptoms.

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Oxycontin Statistics

Oxycontin is at the center of the current prescription drug epidemic in the United states today. The company responsible for the marketing production and distribution of Oxycontin plead guilty of misbranding and unlawful distribution charges and were fined 600 million dollars recently in the USA and the following statistics are a shocking reminder of the prescription drug problem currently being faced in this Country.

  • In 2008, 15.2 million Americans reported taking a prescription narcotic for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
  • From 1997 to 2004, there was a 556 % increase in the sales of oxycodone, a 500 % increase in the so called therapeutic grams of oxycodone used, and an astonishing 568% increase in the non-medical use of Oxycontin
  • Between 1997 and 2004 there was a 129% increase in opioid-related deaths from one thousand forty two in 1999 to four thousand fifty one in 2002.
  • From 2005 to 2006 there was a 28.9% increase in oxycodone-related deaths in Florida alone.

If you are still unsure about what this information means or would simply like additional information Drug Rehab HQ can assist you by phoning our toll free helpline.

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Illegal Drug Information Online

There is a dizzying number of illegal street drugs in the world.

Empowering yourself by gaining knowlege on common street drugs will help you avoid addiction or help a loved one who suffers from substance abuse.

DRHQ compiled the following illegal drug information with the most important facts on each of the most abused illegal drugs with the hope that increasing awareness on these subjects will help someone.

The sections below are an illegal drug identification guide to alcohol, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, GHB, heroin, marijuana, and oxycontin. The editors at DRHQ colleted this data from peer-reivewed, accurate, independant sources.

DRHQ aims to will help addicts make positive changes in their lives and potentially avoid addiction all together. Give straight facts about illegal drug abuse and the most common drugs people find themselves addicted. Review the types of drugs that are being abused to increase knowledge of the commonaddiction warning signs people display and how to help.

This following is a fairly shocking collection of drug abuse information and statistics to help people realize that addiction is everywhere. Addiction does not recognize or respect any boundaries such as social, economical, or regional. Addiction has the reptuation of being a scourge amongst the poor but in reality addiciton lures people from all walks of life in to its clutches.

Improve your knowlege level on illegal drug effects, from length of high to the overall emotional toll of substance abuse is the best defence against drug addiction. If you or a loved one is battling addiction please use this directory to find alcohol drug treatment centers in your local area or review your drug treatment options.

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