Society will never truly be rid of drugs, of any form

Posted Friday, October 22, 2010 - 10:59am

This is college and being in college means you are around drugs constantly. College and high school students are the two most significant users of drugs for people under 25. In college, however, one significant substance becomes available to those over the age of 21: alcohol.

While we don't really view this as a drug, it does affect the brain. Alcohol has the benefit of having centuries of use and probably will never be completely illegal ever again. Whether this substance is obtained by friend or self, drinking is always happening at college. Parties usually take place in remote locations due to the underage elements one can find in the party. This outdoor drinking can lead to numerous problems because being outside while it's dark makes it hard to see. Being outside while it’s dark and you’re drunk can be lethal. What makes it so controversial is that it lowers your inhibitions and frankly makes you more stupid. It slows reaction time and if you drink too much, you can die.

Alcohol is something not everyone can buy; people under 21 have found numerous ways to get drugs. One way is to go to your friendly supermarket and find the medicine aisle. That cough syrup you take when your throat is sore is just the thing a person wants if they want drugs. In cough syrup, there is a chemical known as dextromethorphan or DXM. This is a drug that causes visual effects similar to that of pcp and kentamine (medication for dogs). Anyone at any age can buy these substances, although stores might be cracking down, as more people try to get a hold of it.

This is what is available for people to ingest to their heart's content, but once you go outside of your average grocery store, you get the weird stuff. Smoke shops seemingly always have a new substance that is so new states haven't made a policy for it. Therefore it remains legal.

The more popular these drugs become, the more likely it is to face enforcement by the state. Salvia Divinorum, an ancient herb from Mexico, is used to give shamanistic visions. Our culture doesn't quite use it that way; we use it simply for the hallucinations. The drug will cause you to visit old memories, merge with objects around you and cause you to feel like you are in multiple places at once. The effects do not last very long and usually wear off after five minutes of use, although while on it, time can seem to go on much longer.

Spice is best known as the legal weed. It is a mixture of various herbs to mimic what actual weed does to you. With more studying going into spice, actual synthetic cannabinoids (the part of weed that gets you high) raise the question of its legality. Obtaining this is becoming more difficult as more and more states decide their laws for it. Our own state is in the process of making spice illegal as it is an unregulated drug that affects a person’s brain.

Once you go online, the amount of actual drugs becomes truly staggering, from legal alternatives for cocaine to a drug that will make you pay attention in class.

In college, one type of drug is becoming popular as it will actually boost your ability to pay attention and learn. That drug is known as Adderal, a prescription drug given to those who suffer from attention deficit disorder. The problem is it works on people who don't have that condition, so students who need a little boost to pass a test are getting more and more of these. Adderal isn't easy to purchase online, but similar drugs that are sold as weight loss drugs virtually have the same effect.

Continuing the trend of mixtures of substances to mimic the effect of another drug comes the “party” pills. These pills are concocted as a method of simulating the effects of drugs from ecstasy to cocaine. Their method for creating a legal cocaine is to simply load as many stimulants as possible into a pill. It is basically an incredibly high-powered caffeine pill that gives you huge amounts of energy.

There will always be substances people can abuse, whether they are illegal or legal. Legality of drugs is changing drastically with California on the verge of changing the legality of cannabis. Other states are cracking down on spice and other smoke shop herbs. Drugs are something we as a society will never truly be rid of.

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