Illegal Drugs

Illegal Drugs

by Paul Gahlinger


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Does Ecstasy cause brain damage? Why is crack more addictive than cocaine? What questions regarding drugs are legal to ask in a job interview? When does marijuana possession carry a greater prison sentence than murder?

Illegal Drugs is the first comprehensive reference to offer timely, pertinent information on every drug currently prohibited by law in the United States.  It includes their histories, chemical properties and effects, medical uses and recreational abuses, and associated health problems, as well as addiction and treatment information.

Additional survey chapters discuss general and historical information on illegal drug use, the effect of drugs on the brain, the war on drugs, drugs in the workplace, the economy and culture of illegal drugs, and information on thirty-three psychoactive drugs that are legal in the United States, from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco to betel nuts and kava kava.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452285057
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/30/2003
Edition description: Updated
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 557,251
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 Dr. Paul Gahlinger has been involved in drug research since 1984 and is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah.  He is a certified substance abuse medical review officer, an FAA aviation medical examiner, and a consultant for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, and a passionate spokesperson on drug issues.

Table of Contents

Illegal DrugsPreface

Part One: Forbidden Fruit

Chapter 1. Flesh of the Gods—or the Devil's Poison?
The Discovery of Drugs
Substances and spirits
The dose makes the poison
Use and abuse: the four types of drug
Controlled substances
How are drugs named?

Why Are Some Drugs Illegal?
Danger to self
Danger to others
Danger to society
Drug terms

Will the "Drug Problem" Ever Be Solved?

Chapter 2. The Long, Strange History of Psychoactive Drugs
Opium: The Pleasures of Poppy Juice
The first drug problem
American inventions: the pipe and the syringe
Opium Wars
"Soldier's disease": morphine in the American Civil War
A better morphine: codeine and heroin
Addiction alarms

Marijuana: The Ancient Herb
The big numb
A woman's drug
Hashish assassins?
The sacred becomes profane
Rape and dope
Marihuana becomes marijuana
Marijuana as medicine
Modern recreational use

Cocaine: The Sacred Leaf
Gift from the gods
From coca to cocaine
The drink of kings and popes
Freudian slip
Things don't go better with coke

Hallucinogens: Mind, Myth, and Madness
Eleusian mysteries
Fear of witches
Do hallucinogens cause hallucinations?
Set and setting
Military takes notice
Psychedelic therapy
Counterculture crackdown

Chapter 3. The War on Drugs
A Century of Increasing Drug Control
1906: Pure Food and Drug act
1909: Smoking Opium Exclusion Act
1915: Harrison Narcotic Act
1917: The first War on Drugs
1920: Prohibition
1937: Marihuana Tax Act
1965: Drug Abuse Control Amendments
1970: Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Act
1972: Nixon's War on Drugs
1981: Reagan's War on Drugs
1984: Comprehensive Crime Control Act
1986: Anti-Drug Abuse Act
1986: Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act
1993: Clinton's War on Drugs
2001: Bush's War on Drugs

How Is a Drug Made Illegal?
How does a substance become a "drug of abuse"?
Five Schedules of Controlled Substances

Drugs Illegal in the United States
Schedule I. Controlled Substances
Schedule II. Controlled Substances

Federal and State Drug Laws
Types of drug crime
Federal drug penalties: marijuana
Federal drug penalties: other drugs
"But Officer . . .!"

Chapter 4. Drug Use and Abuse
The Notion of Substance Abuse
Types of illegal drug use
Drug Use Illnesses
Single-dose problems
Intavenous drug use
Long-term problems

Substance dependence
Stages of addiction
Stages of recovery
Twelve-step program

Drug Resistance Educational Programs
Fads and fashions
Top ten reasons why people use illegal drugs
Top ten reasons why people do not use illegal drugs

Chapter 5. Drugs at Work: Employee Drug Testing
Hazards of Drug Use in Industry
Federal regulations: the NIDA 5
Workplace Drug Monitoring
Americans with Disabilities Act
Drug testing programs
How are people tested for drugs?
Chain of custody
Tampered specimens
Laboratory analysis

Can Drug Tests Be Fooled?
Adulteration products
Diluted urine
Legal medications that can cause positive drug tests

What Happens When a Drug Test Is Positive?

Chapter 6. Chemicals and the Brain
The Quickest Way to the Brain
How are drugs taken?
Blood-brain barrier
Mental road map

The Anatomy of a Neuron
Mind and matter
Electrical signals

Sending and Receiving Signals: Neurotransmitters
Locks and keys
Excitement and inhibition
GABA and Glutamate
Opioids and endorphins
Drugs and their neurotransmitters

Natural, Synthetic, and Designer Drugs
Natural drugs
Synthetic drugs
Designer drugs
Testing drug purity

A Little Chemistry (Just Enough to Make Sense of It All)
Simple molecules
Breaking down a drug name
Opiates and opioids
The amphetamine family
The indole hallucinogens

Metabolism of Drugs
Types of Tolerance
A Final Word: The Secret of Psychoactive Drugs
Contact high
Non-drug altered states of consciousness

Chapter 7. Just Say Know
Illegal Drug Use Today
By their drugs so shall ye know them
National drug surveys
Street terms and slang words

The Business of Illegal Drugs
Basic economics: supply and demand
Youth employment
World drug trade

Psychoactive Drugs That Are Not Illegal
Amanita muscaria
Amyl nitrate
Betel nuts
California Poppy
Doña ana
Hawaiian baby wood rose
Kava kava
Morning Glory
Nitrous oxide
Salvia divinorum
San Pedro

Food for Thought

Part II: Illegal Drugs from A to Z

Alphabetical List of Drugs Illegal in the United States

Chapter 8. Amphetamines

Speed: The Story of Amphetamines
From ephedra to amphetamine
The rise of Ritalin
Other amphetamine-like drugs
You can never be too thin

Who Is Using Amphetamines?
Meth labs
Pure speed?

Chemical Characteristics
Testing for amphetamines
Legal and illegal amphetamines

Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 9. Barbiturates
Dolls and Devils: The Story of Barbiturates
Three types of barbiturates
Valley of the Dolls
Downside of the downers

Who Is Using Barbiturates?
The choice of suicides
Chemical Characteristics
Testing for barbiturates
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 10. Cathinone
Nine Lives of Cat: The Story of Cathinone
Migration of people and their drugs

Who Is Using Cathinone?
Cat contaminants
Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 11. Cocaine
Flake: The Story of Cocaine
Chewing coca
Coca becomes powder cocaine
Powder cocaine becomes freebase
Freebase becomes crack

Who Is Using Cocaine?
Traditional use: Coqueros
Medical use
Recreational use
The Colombian cartels
From field to flake: the making of cocaine
Economics of crack
Pure coke?

Chemical Characteristics
Cocaine and alcohol
Testing for cocaine

Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
Cocaine nose
Cocaine lungs
Cocaine and the heart
Cocaine and the brain
Cocaine paranoia
Cocaine babies

What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 12. DMT, Bufotenine, and Psilocybin
Businessman's High: The Story of DMT
Who Is Using DMT?
Smoking Toad: The Story of Bufotenine
Toxins and toadstools
Mayan toad statues
Toad licking in Australia
Toad smoking in America

Who Is Using Bufotenine?
Magic Mushrooms: The Story of Psilocybin
Who Is Using Psilocybin?
Chemical Characteristics

Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 13. Flunitrazepam
Roofies, Rape, and Robbery: The Story of Flunitrazepam
The "forget-me" pill
Easy prey
La Rocha becomes illegal

Who Is Using Flunitrazepam?
Why are roofies popular?
Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 14. GHB
Dancehall Depressant: The Story of GHB
Body builders

Who Is Using GHB?
Making GHB
Medical uses

Chemical Characteristics
Effects on the nervous system
GHB and sleep
Glasgow Coma Scale
Effects on the heart
Effects on the lungs
Other effects

Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose
Emergency Department care

Chapter 15. Ibogaine
Out of Africa: The Story of Ibogaine
Anti-addiction potential
Who Is Using Ibogaine?
Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 16. LSD
Acid: The Story of LSD
Who Is Using LSD?
Pure LSD?
Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 17. Marijuana
Up in Smoke: The Story of Marijuana
Joints and blunts
Acapulco Gold and Maui Wowie
Hash oil
Medical marijuana
Marinol: a medical substitute
The debate continues

Who Is Using Marijuana?
Going Dutch
Medical use

Chemical Characteristics
Marijuana and the brain
Drug testing

Withdrawal Signs
Reverse tolerance
Long-term Health Problems
Marijuana and the immune system
Other health problems
Is marijuana addictive?

What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 18. MDMA
Adam, Eve, and Ecstasy: The Story of MDMA
From amphetamines to MDA
Empathy agent
Designer drugs
Alphabet (and chemical) soup

Who Is Using MDMA?
Is that pill Ecstasy?
Chemical Characteristics
Ecstasy and sex
Nerve destruction

Withdrawal Signs
Terrible Tuesdays
Long-term Health Problems
Brain damage
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 19. Methaqualone and Glutethimide
'Luding Out: The Story of Methaqualone and Glutethimide
Who Is Using Methaqualone & Glutethimide?
Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 20. Opiates
The First Narcotics: The Story of Opiates

Medically Used and Abused Opiate Derivatives

Opioids: Synthetic Narcotics
Other illegal opioids

Who Is Using Opiates?
Purity of heroin
Another form of China White

Chemical Characteristics
Testing for opiates
Poppy seed positive

Withdrawal Signs
Treating opiate addiction
Ultra-rapid detox

Long-term Health Problems
What To Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 21. PCP
Angel Dust: The Story of PCP
Who Is Using PCP?
Chemical Characteristics
Testing for PCP
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Chapter 22. Peyote and Mescaline
Divine Cactus: The Story of Peyote and Mescaline
Varities of hallucinogenic cacti
The flesh of God
The Native American Church
Why is peyote illegal?

Whos Is Using Peyote and Mescaline?
Inside an NAC peyote ceremony
Mescaline use

Chemical Characteristics
Withdrawal Signs
Long-term Health Problems
What to Do If There Is an Overdose

Part III. Self-help Resources
Self-help Resources
Drug identification
Further information
Drug abuse prevention and treatment coordinators

Photographic Acknowledgments

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Illegal Drugs 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drugs are everywhere. We encounter them everyday. The question remains, though, how do we approach them? Do we experiment with them or do we pass them by. Paul M. Gahlinger’s, Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse, attempts to answer this question. Paul Gahlinger is a doctor, teacher at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, researcher at NASA, and a leading scientist/professional in the field of pharmacology. I read his book Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse for my high school chemistry class. My teacher it would help us further understand the chemical nature and origin of many drugs. The main idea behind this book is to provide accurate knowledge of certain drugs to the reader to help influence their decisions on whether to try a drug or pass on it. I thought this book accomplished its goal in full. This is in part because of the very knowledgable author and the very knowledgable sources he used. It was very in depth, almost to the point where it became rather boring and a tire to read.  Paul gives a very in depth description of the history, use, and abuse of many modern day drugs and those that have fallen out of popularity. He blatantly describes why he wrote this book and what he hopes to accomplish by doing so. He also includes phone numbers of help centers throughout the United States in case you suffer from an addiction or simply need help with a certain drug. He includes many sources throughout the book. Some of these include representatives from the DEA and the Native American Church.  Paul Gahlinger clearly knows what he is talking about. His background in medicine and extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals make him a great person to write this book. He also makes sure to focus on the drugs he talk about. He doesn’t focus on the bigger picture as much. This ensures a fair representation of each drug. Paul was at a conference in Switzerland and was asked to speck about the drug problem. He is obviously a highly respected scientist/researcher. He also participates in events that promote cleaning up the streets and making sure that drug use remains safe while not blatantly going against them. In this way he is unbiased.  Paul’s descriptions of the drugs he has chosen to write about are spot on. He focuses mainly on the history of each drug, its effects, and the symptoms of withdrawal and overdose. He also talks about what to do if there is an overdose. This helps him achieve his goal of educating the reader beyond a basic education level. These descriptions are almost one-hundred percent accurate due to the fact that he has some remarkable sources helping him. He cites sources from DEA on numerous occasions. These relationships he has formed with the DEA help him to relate real life scenarios and statistics to each drug making the description seem both more realistic and believable.  The one negative thing that I can think of is that some of the descriptions go too far in depth. Gahlinger does his beset to make the learning experience enjoyable so that the reader won’t simply read the first page and then put the book down and never glance at it again. That wouldn’t help him achieve his goal at all. Towards, the end of the book certain drugs and descriptions start to become repetitive. He gives a little too much history or describes too many forms of each drug. It these parts that would turn a reader off, so to speak. I think he should have cut a few of the drugs and focused on perhaps who makes these drugs or who sells them. He only educates the reader on the specifics of the drug. I think with that added information this book could really be quite an enjoyable read. Written by GianCarlo
sasha17 More than 1 year ago
Paul Gahlinger, the author of Illegal Drugs, is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah. He has a medical degree and a PhD in medicine. I personally read this book for my chemistry class. The main topic of this book is Illegal drugs. The author wrote this book to give health and science related information on illegal drugs to the reader. I believe the book would be a good read for someone looking for basic information on drugs.  In part one, “The Forbidden Fruit”, which is 7 chapters long, the author talks about the history and culture of illegal drug use. Part two of the book, “Illegal drugs for A-Z”, covers the science of specific drugs from A-Z. Part three, “Self Help Resources”, talks about ways to identify drug addiction and where to get help.  Three parts of this book that I found very interesting are the long term health problems, origin of drugs and legal drugs. The long term health problem section comes at the end of every chapter in the second part of the book. It talks about what long term health problems come with each drug. For example the marijuana part of the book says that people who smoke marijuana have the same long term health problems of people who smoke tobacco. The cocaine section says that people often suffer from stomach ulcers to damaged intestines. In the origins of the drug section it talks about where drugs came from in the cocaine section it talks about how the leave came from the Andes, how it was originally used and how it turned into a powder. The last part I found interesting was the section where it talks about legal drugs. It gives you a list of drugs, where they originated from and how they affect your body. Because the author does not judge and how the author lays out the information on a very basic yet informative level, this book would been good for someone who wants to look up something very quick and specific and has no access to the internet.   I believe that for somebody who is looking for basic information on many different types of drugs this book would be a good pick up. I found many interesting parts in the long term health problems, origins and, the list of drugs that are legal.  -Sasha, Stuart Hall Highschool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Illegal Drugs by Paul Gahlinger gives readers factual information about the dangers of taking illegal drugs and how detrimental it can be to both oneself and to society. Paul Gahlinger is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah, so his information relates not only to just drugs but also how it harms you through a medical standpoint. I read this book because it was assigned as homework for my chemistry class so we could understand the chemical compounds involved in making these drugs. Overall, Illegal Drugs is a very informative book that dives deep into specific drugs and gives a lot of information on each one. First off, before diving deep into the specific drugs, Gahlinger gives us readers information about what type of drug it is that we are reading about, how it is taken, the duration of its effect, its physical danger, and its addiction potential. The format of each chapter follows this same beginning, giving it a very straightforward approach to factual information. Later on in the chunk of the chapter, the author gives a brief history of the drug, who’s using it, the chemical characteristics, where in the world it is most common, and how it is produced. Later on, in the last few sections of the chapter, Gahlinger will discuss its effects on the body, how it is tested for, long term health problems, what to do if there is an overdose, and the physical and mental signs of overdose. Overall, this book is very informative and well organized. However, as a result of the organization of the chapters and the similar format of each chapter, it becomes a bit boring and very repetitive. However, since I read this for my chemistry class, it became easier to take notes because I knew what to expect from each chapter. If you are looking for a good book to read on your free time, this would not be a good read as it gets boring and repetitive.
Dawn Tucker More than 1 year ago
a quick yet mostly accurate guide for quick reference