Facts About Drug Abuse Ireland

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Contents
Page
Preface'

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Drugs and Drug Related Problems Drug Laws 1. Alcohol

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2. Solvents
3. Cannabis
4. Tobacco 5. Caffeine

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6. Amphetamines 7. Cocaine
8. LSD 9. Magic Mushrooms

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10. Sedatives and Minor Tranquillisers 11. Heroin and other Opiates

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PREFACE
This Third Edition is an extensive revision and updatin of the two earlier versions. New materiakinc~udes information on drugs such as Ice, Ecstasy and Buprenorphine ITem esic81 which have attracted attention or w f i c h have been extensively abused in recent times. Coverage has been extended to topics such as the use of drugs in sport and in the workplace, issues which are of increasing concern both nationally and internationally. The aim of each of the editions of this book has been to provide in a non-technical wa back round information on legal, medicat socia and historical facts about drugs used for non-medical purposes in Ireland. It is not intended to be a definitive study of problem drug-taking in Ireland. There are several reasons why this cannot be a definitive study. Firstlg much of the information i s not availa le, particularly about illegal drug use , sim ly because by its illicit nature it is a h i den activity . Secondly, the drug scene i s constantly c h a n g ~ n, reflecting fashion and the availabifity o f different drugs at any particular time, and these changes are often unpredictable. Thirdly, drug problems are believed to develop from a complex interplay of individual human beings, the drug or drugs they take and the social and political environment in which the dru taking occurs and this publication largey; concentrates on the ways in which the drugs themselves contribute to the development of drug problems. As was the case with the earlier editions, I am indebted to many individuals and groups who generously shared information with me. These include or~anisations diverse as as the International Co fee Organisation, the Garda D r u g Squad, the National D r u Treatment Centre Board (hereinafter referre to s i m p l y as the " D r u g C l i n i c " ) and voluntary roups such as the Ana Liffey Project, Ba ymun Youth Action Project and the D u b l i n Diocesan D r u s Awareness Programme . The help, in o m a t i o n and advice of the staff of the Health Promotion Unit has been invaluable. I am especially rateful to my many colleagues involved in foth the prevention and treatment of drug abuse, for their h e l p f u l discussions, comments, information and support. I am also happy to acknowledge my indebtedness to my scientific and medical colleagues from all over the world, the fruits of whose research work I have attempted to incorporate into this publication in'as nontechnical a fashion as possible.

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The book has been written in such a way that it w i l l continue to be of use to those such as teachers, health-care and welfare professionals, c o m m u n i t y and other voluntary groups w h o are w o r k i n g t o prevent drug abuse and to h e l p its unfortunate victims ,as well as to 'ournalists and members of the eneral p d l i c , who seek basic factual in ormation about the effects on the human body of the various chemicals we call drugs .

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DRUGS AND DRUG RELATED PROBLEMS
A drug can be deiined as a chemical which causes changes in the wa the human body iunctions, either mental y , physically or Such a description includes emotionally . many materials we normally think of as drugs, a well as things we might not usually s consider to be dru s, such as coffee, tea, alcohol, solvents an tobacco.

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Drugs may be obtained naturally from plants (e.g. opium, cannabis, coca) or they may be prepared i r o m natural materials b y semisynthesis (e.g. heroin which is easily made from the morphine extracted from opium) or they may be totally man-made (e.g. amphetamines and the tranquillisers). The most widely used drugs...
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