Drug Identification and Paraphernalia

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a fast-acting synthetic opiate that's estimated to be 100 times more potent than morphine. It has legitimate clinical uses for treating chronic pain, but is extremely dangerous when consumed illicitly.

In our Region we have found other drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine mixed with Fentanyl, either intentionally or unintentionally. You can't see it, smell it or taste it, but if fentanyl is mixed with other drugs, it may be fatal. Fentanyl comes as a white, beige or brown powder or  can be pressed to resemble prescription pills. Users dilute and heat fentanyl and then inject it (or they snort or smoke the drug). Fentanyl can also come in the form of a prescription patch.
Fentanyl can slow breathing which may result in an overdose or death. Naloxone can reverse the effects; however, medical attention should be immediately sought.  

Heroin

Heroin and morphine are opiates derived from raw opium. Raw opium comes from the seedpods of a species of poppy flower and looks like a milky white sap. Producers collect the sap and it is dried and processed into heroin. Heroin comes as a white, beige or brown powder. Users dilute and heat the heroin and then inject it (or they snort or smoke the drug).

Opiates and Opioids are central nervous system depressants. The effects are:

  • A powerful analgesic (pain-killing) effect
  • Euphoria including feelings of tranquility
  • Powerful anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects

After the initial feeling or "rush", the user experiences:

  • Sleepiness
  • Possible nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Reduced heart rate
Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a strong central nervous system stimulant known as "meth", "crystal meth", and "speed". Meth can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected.

Methamphetamines come in tablet and powdered forms, or in crystalline shards ("crystal meth") which are generally a purer form of the drug.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a fine white crystalline powder which is soluble in water. It is commonly mixed with other powders such as corn starch or sugar. Crack cocaine looks like white rock salt or white candle wax. It often has a yellow colouring.

Cocaine can be sniffed, inhaled, eaten or rubbed onto the mucous membranes of the nose.  Crack cocaine can be smoked or melted and injected. Common paraphernalia includes pipes, small pieces of glass or mirrors, razor blades or hypodermic needles.

Ecstacy
Ecstasy (also known as "E", "X", and "Molly"). Ecstasy got popular as a rave drug but has now spread to bars, clubs and any other party locations. Most users swallow ecstasy tablets but the drug can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Ecstasy comes in pill form. The pills come in various shapes, sizes and colours. The pills are often stamped with various logos, symbols or characters.
GHB

GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a party drug and comes in powdered form, capsules, and small vials of clear, odourless liquid. GHB is often dissolved in or mixed with alcoholic beverages and has very little flavour (there is a slight salty, soapy taste).

Since GHB is colourless, odourless and nearly tasteless, offenders may slip it into a person's drink without their knowledge. Offenders take advantage of GHB causing a drunken state, a possible loss of sexual inhibitions, and memory loss. That is why GHB is referred to as a date rape drug.

Inhalants

Inhalants consist of many common household products. Products such as:

  • airplane glue
  • rubber cements
  • nail polish remover
  • paint thinners
  • spray paint
  • whipped cream cans
  • correction fluid (white-out)
  • gasoline
  • various hydrocarbons
  • many common cleaning fluids and air fresheners
  • Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is also used as an inhalant.

This list includes many of the commons inhalants, but there are many other substances used. Many household liquids and aerosols are used as inhalants. The paraphernalia used in conjunction with inhalants includes balloons, rags, plastic bags, nitrous tanks and canisters, gas cans, paint can and empty glue bottles.

Inhalants are breathed in through the nose, mouth or both. The substances can be inhaled directly from the container, by breathing through a rag soaked in the substance, breathing from a bag containing rags soaked in the substance or vapours of the substance itself or breathing from cylinders or balloons filled with the substance.

Ketamine

Ketamine, or ketamine hydrochloride, is an injectable anesthetic. It can be used on both animals and humans, but it is primarily used for veterinary surgery. It is stolen from veterinary clinics and sold on the street, in bars and at rave parties.

Ketamine comes either as a white power or liquid.

Ketamine is generally snorted or smoked. It is commonly combined with ecstasy or marijuana. It is occasionally injected.

LSD

LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogen. It is made from lysergic acid, which comes from mold that grows on grain. It is sold at bars, parties, raves and on the street.

LSD can come in tiny tablets or capsules, known as microdots. It is also found as a liquid solution with a gelatin medium called "window pane." It is most commonly found as blotter paper soaked with the drug. The blotter paper is perforated into squares and decorated with pictures. It is slightly bitter to taste. Heat and light degrade LSD, so it is commonly wrapped in foil for protection.

Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, or psilocybin, are a species of fungus which contains chemicals that result in hallucinations when ingested. Other effects include elevated pulse, blood pressure and body temperature.

Psilocybin looks like dried or fresh mushrooms.

Mushrooms are chewed and swallowed. They may be mixed and eaten with other foods.

Rohypnol

Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant that is ten times more powerful than Valium. It is used in some foreign countries as a pre-surgical sedative and for treatment of severe sleep and psychiatric disorders. It has been widely publicized as the "date rape" drug.

Rohypnol is commonly found as a white tablet. The backs of the tablets are often scored with a single line or a double-cross. The number of lines indicates the number milligrams. R.H., Roche or Ruffies may be stamped on the tablets. The tablets may be packaged professionally in blister packs.

Rohypnol may be swallowed, inhaled (after being crushed into a powder), injected, smoked or dissolved in a drink. When dissolved in a drink, Rohypnol is colourless, odourless and tasteless. These features allow it to sometimes be used to render an unsuspecting victim unable to defend himself or herself against a sexual assault. Rohypnol may produce amnesia in a non-frequent user, so a victim is unable to remember the incident or identify their attacker.

Cannabis

Marihuana comes from cannabis sativa, otherwise known as the hemp plant. Other forms of marihuana are hashish and hash oil. The active chemical is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). It is found is all parts of the plant, but is most concentrated in the buds and flowering parts. The average concentration of THC is 3%, but it can approach 30% in hashish resin. Hashish is made of the THC rich parts of the hemp plant, concentrated and compacted. THC is psychoactive, or mind-altering.

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