When you’re using any kind of illegal drug, you are playing Russian roulette with your health. Although, ironically, it’s the misuse of LEGAL drugs that produces the biggest body count, illegal drugs can do some horrific things to your body.
6. Flakka / Bath Salts
Flakka and bath salts are both variants of the synthetic cathinone family, but there is so much overlap and mixture between what’s sold as each that it’s fair to lump them together. Flakka/bath salts are highly addictive stimulants that produce euphoria and if too much is taken, it can produce what has been described as an aggressive, excited delirium along with bizarre zombie-like movements, extreme paranoia, freakish hallucinations, and a seeming immunity to pain. The paranoia and a dramatically reduced attention span can continue on for months, even after the person gets off the very addictive drug.
In six months, Ashley lost 50 pounds, blew through $15,000 of a settlement and sold her house for $700.
She lost feeling in her fingertips. Her hands turned raw and scaly, almost black. She was convinced her old man talked to people through the vents, that strangers lurked outside and that she was once in a high-speed chase — sirens blaring — with the law.
She stayed awake for nine straight days, rarely ate and drank even less. A stench clung to her body. In the shower, she could feel something seep out of the pores in her face. She never could get clean enough.
After all that, still, she chased it.
“You can’t stop,” she said. “It’s like crack cocaine. But it’s better.” (Indy Star)
Although this opioid produces a strong sense of pleasure followed by a peaceful drowsiness for a few hours, it’s extremely addictive and people rapidly build up a tolerance to the drug. Those larger doses that are needed to produce a high eventually overwhelm the body and that’s why more than 10,000 Americans died of heroin overdoses in 2014.
I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin builds up a tolerance fast. Heroin starts to cost more money. I need heroin to feel normal. I don’t love anymore. Now I’m sick. I can’t afford the heroin that I need. How did $10 used to get me high? Now I need $100. That guy that let me try a few lines the first time doesn’t actually deal. Oh I need to find a real dealer? This guy is a felon and carries a gun – he can sell me the drug that lets me find love in the world. No this isn’t working, I need to quit. (Ste. Genevieve Health Department)
4. Crystal Meth
Meth looked so innocuous on Breaking Bad, but it’s one of the worst drugs you can take. It’s like other amphetamines and as such was used by fighter pilots and dieters in days gone by. But now it’s much more powerful – and cheaper. As little as $5 in the United States can get you high. In fact, meth causes the body to release approximately 12 times as much dopamine as eating or sex. This makes it one of the most addictive drugs you can take and as many as 93 percent of people in traditional treatment go back to meth. Couple that with the inability to feel pleasure and slow thinking that goes along with recovery, and getting off the drug can be a nightmare. Meth wears your body down, and among the more gruesome symptoms is something called “meth mouth” — severe tooth decay, tooth cracking, tooth loss, and generalized rampant destruction in the mouth. This goes along with the sores many meth addicts have on their faces and the exaggerated aging effect. This is not a drug for anyone who wants to be a pretty person.
“I tried it once and BOOM! I was addicted.” (DrugFreeWorld.org)
3. PCP/Angel Dust
Phencyclidine can be ingested in a variety of different ways and can produce a sense of euphoria for 5-8 hours. In larger doses, the drug can also produce powerful hallucinations, make users pain free, detach them from their environment, make them believe they have super strength, and give users a feeling of invulnerability. This can cause psychosis and lead the users to engage in violent behavior toward themselves and others. Additionally, the way PCP is habitually used can be detrimental. Users can go on two- to three-day benders where they don’t eat or drink very much followed by days of sleep where they also don’t take in much liquid or food. As this pattern is repeated, the effects of the drug, malnutrition, and dehydration can take a terrible toll on the body.
Former Commander of Bronx Homicide Vernon J Geberth retells a tale from his book Practical Homicide Investigation. A man named “Michael” was high on PCP at a woman’s apartment. He took off his clothes and began talking nonsense. The woman and a neighbor helped Michael back to his apartment, where he took more of the drug.
He smashed his mirror and used pieces of it to carve off his own face, which he fed to his dogs. He also gouged out one of his eyes and irreparably damaged the other. Police investigated, recovering prints from the mirror that matched Michael’s and his own flesh from the stomachs of his dogs.
Initially Michael told emergency medical technicians “the dogs did it” but later said: “I did it myself. It’s an offering to Big Bird.” (NoBullying.com)
This South African drug is a mixture of detergent, rat poison, and antiretroviral drugs given to people suffering from AIDS. Because of that last ingredient, AIDS patients are being mugged for their drugs or, worse yet, addicts are deliberately infecting themselves with AIDS to get easier access to the drug. However they acquire it, this concoction is added to marijuana and smoked, which produces a mellow feeling mixed with mild hallucinogenic elements. Unfortunately, smoking something with rat poison and detergent in it unsurprisingly has negative effects. For one thing, the level of addiction is so powerful that addicts need a hit every 4-8 hours or it will cause stomach cramps so severe that they cause veins to burst, leading to blood pouring out of one’s mouth, ears, and eyes.
A friend of mine died right before my eyes last year. He threw up his intestines – it was really scary I didn’t want that to happen to me. (BBC)
Over a million people in Russia are addicted to this drug made with painkillers, gasoline, lighter fluid, paint thinner, and industrial cleaning agents among other potential ingredients. There’s no word on how many people are using it in the United States, but it did arrive here in 2013. The drug is popular because it’s cheap, can be made at home in a short period of time, and supposedly has an even stronger kick than heroin. However, as you might imagine, injecting that kind of concoction into your body does horrific damage. It turns the area the injections are shot into green and scaly like a crocodile, causes horrifying sores and can even cause gangrene that leads to limbs being amputated. The average krokodil user only lasts a couple of years on the drug and after that, the person looks almost as if he’s rotting to death. On top of all that, it’s one of the most addictive drugs on earth. Getting off it requires a full month of agony and it often leaves former users with speech impediments and brain damage.
In October, a report published online in the American Journal of Medicine confirmed the case of a 30-year-old addict in Richmond Heights, Mo., whose finger “fell off” and whose skin began to rot after he began injecting krokodil. (Time)