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Drugs made from opium are called opiates, and are often used as painkillers. Heroin can be dissolved in water and then injected, this is very dangerous and can lead to overdose.
There is an entire world behind the production and distribution of drugs.
The origins of drug and alcohol slang terms shed a little light on what is otherwise a very dark and secretive world. Take heroin, for example. For each year between andan estimatedpeople used heroin.
That appearance may explain some of its names such as black tar, black pearl and brown sugar. The latex in opium which is itself picked in neighboring Burma and other nearby countries contains 12 percent of the alkaloid morphine, which is chemically processed to create heroin.
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The heroin is often moved through southern China, where it is then sent out internationally. On the other hand, some of the more obscure names for heroin require a little imagination. In the days before the chemistry of liquefying heroin for intravenous use, the drug had to be inhaled or sniffed. The popularity of the television show Breaking Bad cast a spotlight on the production, distribution, and language of crystal methamphetamine.
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In the early s, cocaine enjoyed such popularity — fueled in part by the well-intentioned War on Drugs — that demand for the drug far exceeded the supply. Drug manufacturers resorted to producing a cheaper alternative to cocaine, one people could easily buy due to its low price and lower purity.
Household baking soda sodium bicarbonate was used to strip cocaine of its purity. During production, the cocaine was heated, and the resultant cracking sound gave birth to a new scourge and a new name: crack cocaine.
As one of the most popular and accessible drugs in the world, marijuana comes with its own lexicon. A blunt, on the other hand, is often a hollowed-out cigar not a cigarette that is filled with marijuana. The failure of the 18th Amendment firmly cemented alcohol, and its myriad slang terms, into the American consciousness. For as dangerous as all these drugs are, the biggest substance abuse problem in America is not cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, or even marijuana.
The ubiquity and ease of access of prescription drugs have made them the newest chemical epidemic in America. Unsurprisingly, the illicit consumption of prescription drugs has spawned its own glossary. For example, Dextromethorphan is an over-the-counter anti-cough medicine that becomes hallucinogenic after milligrams. Similarly, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid better known as GHB is a popular medication for the treatment of insomnia, clinical depression, and narcolepsy, which has led to it being usurped by drug users looking for an easy way to get their hands on a potent depressant.
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OxyContin and Vicodin are more painkillers that are popularly abused, either by people desperate to find relief from their physical stress or by users looking for a depressant. Accessed January 24, National Institute on Drug Abuse. Online Etymology Dictionary. High Times. Accessed January 27, CBS News.
Urban Dictionary. Accessed January 25, Your Dictionary. The Topeka Capital-Journal.
How is heroin used?
A Modest Construct. Accessed January 26, Search Slang Terms by Drug Heroin.