opiate addict. I don't get colds when other people do, and when I travel in Mexico, I don't get dysentery, although my nonusing companions do, and we eat the same food.

— thirty-year-old man, chemist

LSD and Psilocybin I have been unable to identify any sign at all of addiction, organic injury, or other, in some way unpleasant aftereffects ... In my opinion, however, LSD and psilocybin cannot and should not become "pleasure drugs" for the general public. Their effects are such that they lead one beyond the customary (and constraining) coordinate system of space and time, and afford insights into the heaven and hell of one's own self — which can be dangerous to one who is not cut out for that, and hence is not prepared.

According to my experience, only several repeated experiments afford a serious appraisal. I also believe that at least one of these experiments should be undertaken in familiar surroundings (under discreet supervision of a trusted person) and with higher doses. Only then might the drug show us its, and our, deepest secret.

— Rudolf Gelpke, a Swiss professor of Islamic studies who took LSD and psilocybin a number of times in 1961

A DMT Disaster The only time I ever took a psychedelic was a disaster. It was in the early 1960s, and the drug was DMT. I knew nothing about it. Some friends invited me to their place and told me they wanted to share a pleasant experience with me. They said they would inject a small amount of a new drug into my leg. It was safe and would give me a nice feeling for a short time. 1 agreed to try it.

Within a few minutes of the injection, I was swept into a nightmare world of horrible visions, such as finding myself wading into an ocean where all sorts of monsters attacked me. The real world disappeared so completely I thought I'd never see it again. Even years later I can still recall the feeling of slimy tentacles grabbing my legs and trying to pull me underwater. When I came back from this frightening place, I was so shaken that I stayed in my room for two days. It took me a very long time to get over being afraid of the ocean afterwards, and to this day I have been unable to try another psychedelic, although I am curious about the good effects people have described to me. I think those friends who gave me DMT were not malicious, just irresponsible. I wonder how many others have had similar bad experiences from taking psychedelic drugs with no preparation?

— thirty-five-year-old man, movie producer

Peyote Visions My first vivid show of mescal colour effects came quickly. I saw the stars, and then, of a sudden, here and there delicate floating films of colour — usually delightful neutral purples and pinks. These came and went — now here, now there. Then an abrupt rush of countless points of white light swept across the field of view, as if the unseen millions of the Milky Way were to flow a sparkling river before the eye. In a minute this was over and the field was dark. Then I began to see zigzag lines of very bright colours . . .

When I opened my eyes all was gone at once. Closing them I began after a long interval to see for the first time definite objects associated with colours. The stars sparkled and passed away. A white spear of grey stone grew up to a huge height, and became a tall, richly finished Gothic tower of very elaborate and definite design, with many rather worn statues standing in the doorways or on stone brackets. As I gazed, every projecting angle, cornice, and even the faces of the stones at their joinings were by degrees covered or hung with clusters of what seemed to be huge precious stones, but uncut, some being more like masses of transparent fruit. These were green, purple, red, and orange; never clear yellow and never blue. All seemed to possess an interior light, and to give the faintest idea of the perfectly satisfying intensity and purity of these gorgeous colour-fruits is quite beyond my power. All the colours l have ever beheld are dull as compared to these.

— from an essay by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell (1829-1914). an American physician and novelist who drank an extract of peyote in 1896

I Smoked a Toad In August of 1990 I visited a friend of mine who lived in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. He is a long-time psychedelic tripper who mainly likes mushrooms and peyote. I once brought him some MDMA, but he refused to try it, saying he only took natural psychedelics. So when I got to his house, he told me he had a new favorite drug: toad venom. I thought he was kidding me, but he pulled out a vial that held small, transparent chips of what he said was dried venom he had collected from the big desert toads that come out at night during the summer rains. He showed me some of these guys during my visit; I never knew toads got so big. He also showed me how to handle them and get the venom to squirt out of the glands in their heads. Anyway, one night we smoked a chip of this stuff in a small pipe. It had a strong flavor. I took one toke and held it in for maybe 15 seconds. By the time I exhaled, I felt like I was going up in an elevator to somewhere else. I was lying down in a desert wash, and it was a beautiful night, but I think I was just somewhere else for a while. When I became aware of my surroundings, 1 couldn't talk for a long time and felt that the sounds of the desert were vibrating in my body. It was very intense and very strange. After a few more minutes I felt like myself again. Then 1 started laughing. It just struck me so funny that these big old toads could make you high. I'd like to see the Feds try to go after them.

— thirty-three-year-old man, massage therapist

The Love Drugs 1 first took MDA in 1970.1 thought it was the most wonderful experience I ever had. I remember lying in a Held with four good friends, just lying in a big hug pile for hours, not wanting anything to be different, totally content, completely in the here and now. I felt like a lion in a pride of lions on an African plain, totally-secure in the physical closeness with my brothers and sisters. Over the next few years I took MDA maybe three or four times a year, always with the same good results, but 1 did find there was a price to pay: I'd be nonfunctional for a day or two afterward.

When MDMA came along a few years later, I was delighted. It was legal, shorter acting, and the price I had to pay was much, much less, at least at first. I turned a lot of people on to it, and saw it do incredible things: save marriages, create lifelong friendships, lead to people falling in love. One of my friends produced a T-shirt that said, "Don't Get Married For at Least Six Weeks After Ecstasy!" I think MDMA could put a lot of psychiatrists and psychologists out of business.

I wish I could still use MDMA once a month, as I used to, but I'm afraid that as I've gotten into middle age, I can't handle the burned-out feeling I get the next day. Even taking lower doses, I can barely drag myself around or focus my mind for the next twenty-four hours. So now I take it maybe once a year. I still think it's one of the best drugs ever invented.

— fifty-one-vear-old man, university professor

Psychedelic Therapy As a clinical psychologist who has treated hundreds of patients with psychedelic drugs over the past twenty-five years, I consider LSD, MDMA, magic mushrooms, mescaline, and the rest to be the most valuable therapeutic tools I know to show people how they can change in positive directions.

Because my use of these drugs is not approved under current laws or standards of practice, I cannot publish my findings or engage openly in psychedelic therapy. Still, I have trained many other psychiatrists and psychologists to use this method and have been able to treat many patients successfully. I am very careful in selecting patients for this kind of treatment, very careful in preparing them for a psychedelic session, in conducting the session, and in following it up with the kind of work that enables patients to make practical use of the insights they gain.

Conventional forms of psychotherapy often enable people to understand how their habits of thinking about themselves and others produce frustration and pain, but you can spend years in therapy gaining all this insight and keep on being the same frustrated, neurotic person. One good psychedelic session can make you feel what you are doing and show you how to do it differently. In the right hands and settings these drugs can convince you that the worst problem in your life can be solved by changing your own attitudes and ways of perceiving and can motivate you to make the necessary changes.

It is a shame that more doctors and patients do not take advantage of this potential.

— seventy-year-old man, psychologist

Quitting Pot I smoked marijuana for about seven years, mostly during college and law school. It was great for me at first, a real relaxer and sense-enhancer, and I had a lot of good times with it. Occasionally I had bad reactions to it — paranoia, shaking, pounding heartbeat, and feeling cold all over. Sometimes I'd have this reaction every time I'd smoke over a period of a week or so, then I wouldn't have it again for many months. I don't know what it came from, maybe being in uncomfortable environments or around people I didn't like.

Eventually I became a daily pot smoker, sometimes starting in the morning. It was my main way of relating to other people. However, I started getting less and less effect from it that I liked. In fact, it began to make me groggy and sleepy most of the time and also gave me a cough. These unwelcome effects got worse and worse until I realized I would have to stop using pot. So I made a resolution to quit completely.

Well, it surprised me to find that wasn't so easy. It took me three years of trying before I really gave up smoking marijuana, even though I no longer got pleasant effects from it. I never realized how much of a habit I had and how hooked I was on it. I was certainly abusing the stuff. I think I'd better just stay off it for good now. I'm afraid that if I tried to use it once in a while, my smoking would just creep back up to that addictive level, and I'd be in the same spot as before.

I don't have bad feelings about pot. I learned a lot from it and never really got hurt by it. I think it should be legalized. I also think people who use it should be aware that it can have strong effects and can be addicting if you don't watch out.

— forty-one-year-old man, lawyer

Marijuana and Driving You want to know about marijuana and driving? When I first tried driving when stoned, it was pretty weird. I would imagine I was cruising along at fifty miles per hour but would only be going twenty. Sometimes I'd feel as if I were very, very tiny behind a gigantic steering wheel. Going through a long tunnel, 1 thought I was driving vertically down a shaft into the earth. These illusions were both scary and fun. I never had an accident, but I'm a good driver to begin with and was always careful. I can see where pot could be dangerous for someone not used to it.

One time, while I was in college, I was very stoned late at night in Cleveland and had to drive home. I was going through deserted streets in residential neighborhoods. Suddenly, I couldn't remember whether I was in Cleveland or Pittsburgh, where I grew up. I could turn the scene through the window into either city. Then I came to an intersection that was very familiar, only I had to turn left if it was Cleveland and right if it was Pittsburgh. That's the kind of mind tricks pot can play on you at the wheel.

Later, when I had been smoking marijuana for several years, i never had such strong effects anymore, and driving after smoking was pretty routine for me. A number of times I almost had accidents because joints fell apart on me while I was driving or because lighting a pipe behind the wheel took my attention ¡and hands) off the wheel. Those hazards were more dangerous than direct effects of the drug.

Finally, pot started making me really sleepy and groggy a lot, and that was a problem for driving, especially when I was by myself on a long haul. I'd think, Boy, it would be nice to smoke a joint, this ride is really boring. So I'd light up and feel pleasantly high for ten minutes or so, then spend the next two hours fighting off the nods. It was no different from getting sleepy normally, but that sure is risky on an interstate highway for you and other people if you don't pull off at a rest stop and either take a nap or somehow wake yourself up.

— thirty-two-year-old man, lab technician

Marijuana as Medicine Twenty years ago I suddenly developed a paralysis of the right side of my body that baffled the doctors. After ten months it began to improve, but I also lost my vision, and that came back only in part. They finally were able to make a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

About three years later I discovered marijuana. A friend told me it was relaxing. My main problem then, aside from partial blindness, was tenseness and tremors in my muscles. Pot cured it, and I've smoked regularly ever since, about four to five times a week. If I go without it for a week, the muscle tremors come back.

Medical science has nothing to offer me. Most people with MS have repeated attacks and keep losing body function. I'm convinced that pot has kept me in remission all these years. It can't help my vision, because there was permanent nerve damage. Still, I can get around fairly well. It does keep my muscles in great shape. I lift weights regularly and feel pretty strong.

I can't believe that marijuana is not legally available for medical use, that a doctor can't prescribe it for me. I want to see it legalized, and I want the government to supply me with it. I'm a veteran and think I ought to get my pot from the VA hospital.

— forty-one-year-old man, part-time roofer inhaling Gasoline One of the best descriptions of gasoline sniffing as it actually occurs was published in 1955 by the late A. E. ("Tajar") Hamilton of the Hamilton School in Sheffield, Mass., in his classic account of children at work and play, Psychology and the Great God Fun. One day when the other children had gone on an expedition, Tajar Hamilton reports, he found a boy nicknamed Bullet with a can of gasoline and a gasoline-soaked rag. After a few preliminary questions, Tajar (with Bullet's consent) turned on a recorder and preserved the dialogue for posterity.

Tajar: Bullet, you said you would come up to the attic and tell me about the gasoline and the bicycles. Will you talk your story into the mike, just as you remember it-

Bullet: Well, I was awful mad when they said I couldn't go on the trip. Sure I picked up the axe when Martha told me not to, but I put it back again. Then she said I couldn't go, and Donnie was going, and when they all went I didn't have anything to do to have fun and I began to get madder and madder all the time. It made me feel kind of sick to be so mad, so I went where they keep the gasoline can and I started to smell it. Tajar: What made you want to smell gas, Bullet? Bullet: Well, when you feel bad, you smell it and it makes you feel kind of hot and kind of drowsy, like you was floating through the air. It makes you feel sort of hot inside and different from the way you were before.

Tajar: And after you smelled the gas and felt better, what did you do?

Bullet: Then I began to feel mad again and had to do something, so I found a nail. It was an old rusty one, and I got a piece of board to push it with so it wouldn't hurt my hand, and I made holes in all the tires except Donnie's.

Tajar: Why not in Donnie's?

Bullet: Because they're solid and you can't. . .

Tajar: And after you had punched all those holes what did you do?

Bullet: Mary hollered to come to dinner, so I went and we had hot dogs at the council ring and then we had some games and then I didn't feel so good, so I went and smelled the gas again. Tajar: How long have you liked to smell gas, Bullet? Bullet: Well, here at camp, ever since about two weeks after I came to the farm. I showed Donnie how to smell it. It makes you feel like you was in fairyland or somewhere else than where you are...

Tajar: Bullet, how come so much gas was spilled on the cellar floor?

Bullet: Oh, I just wanted to get more on my rag. If you have a lot it makes you sort of dream. It gets all dark and you see shooting stars in it, and this time I saw big flies flying in it. They were big and green and had white wings.

Tajar: And you feel better about yourself and about people after you have one of those dreams?

Bullet: Yep, until I begin to feel bad again, or get mad.

Tajar: Okay, Bullet, that's all for now. Thank you for being so truthful with me.

— from Licit and Illicit Drugs, by Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports (1972)

Poppers in the Pool I was first introduced to amyl nitrite during my senior year in college. The father of one of my friends had a heart condition for which he used the drug. He would amass huge numbers of poppers and give them out to anyone who wanted them. I had read of this drug but had no firsthand experience with it.

My friends and I used to get together on weekends and hang out in a heated pool with a whirlpool bath in the condominium complex where I lived. One cool December evening after drinking several glasses of wine, we got into the near-scalding, frothing waters of the pool. I was already warm from the alcohol and wondered what it would be like to dilate my arteries all the way. I suggested we try a popper. I broke one and inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with the strong odor.

The effect was immediate. My arms and legs felt like liquid warmth, and at the same time I got a pounding in my head. |We came to call this the "jackhammer effect.") When I exhaled, my vision blurred, with small blue patches filling my field of vision. I then jumped in the nearby unheated swimming pool and got an even brighter visual display. All the effects lasted only a few minutes. I liked them enough to repeat this ritual many times in the course of the evening. In fact, I did it over and over on many evenings.

I never knew about sexual uses of poppers until much later, when a gay friend told me about it. I never got into that. My interest was just in the spectacular rush and sensory fireworks. After a few months of doing poppers in the whirlpool bath, I guess I lost interest in having the same experience over and over. Maybe I just overdid it to the point where it started to get boring. In any case, all that was three years ago, and I haven't used amyl nitrite since.

— twenty-year-old man, medical student

In Datura Country I was on a camping trip with a friend in northern Arizona in remote canyon country. We noticed a lot of datura plants growing around us, some with seed pods. When we ran out of marijuana, I suggested that we try datura. Neither Tom nor I had ever done it.

We each ate about ten seeds and drank a cup of tea made from the leaves. That was just after sunset. We started a small campfire, although it was a warm night, and sat around waiting for something to happen. After about an hour we both started to feel different. 1 got restless and walked away from the fire into some big boulders at the base of a cliff.

You have to understand that what I'm going to tell you from this point on is not a clear memory. It's more like trying to put together the pieces of a dream. I have some very vivid pictures in my mind, but they don't all hang together in a logical order, and there are definite holes in my memory.

Anyway, I think I found a comfortable place in the rocks and sort of curled up with my eyes closed. Then I remember seeing bats, a lot of bats and very large ones. They kept flying at me, coming right in close. Their faces were hideous. I thought to myself, "I've never seen bats like that." I wanted to find Tom to see what he made of them, but when I got up I couldn't tell where I was. It didn't look like Arizona anymore, and Tom was nowhere in sight.

1 was in a dark forest, or maybe a swamp. It was hot, and the air was thick and hard to breathe. I couldn't tell if it was day or night. I kept getting tangled in these vines and roots and had to fight my way through them to make any progress. Also, there were dark shapes moving in and out of the trees that seemed to follow me, but I couldn't get a good look at them to see what they were. They did not seem friendly. I remember feeling very thirsty, trying to find water, getting more hung up in the undergrowth.

I came to some sort of pool. The water was black and stagnant, and I wasn't sure I should drink it. I scooped some up and put it to my lips. It was warm and thick, not at all refreshing. Then I realized it was blood. That made me think I was going to die. I fell on the ground and started crying. The black shapes got nearer and bigger. I still couldn't see what they were, but i knew they were waiting for me to die so they could devour me. It seemed like an eternity as they closed in.

The next thing I remember is waking up in a burning desert, nothing but sand. I was tied to a stake, left to die of thirst. The sun beat down on me unbearably. I tried to call for help but couldn't make any sound. That also seemed to go on forever.

Then I discovered I was in the rocks just a short distance from our campsite. The sun was up; it must have been ten o'clock. My mouth and throat were completely parched. The light hurt my eyes, and I couldn't focus them. I felt very hung over. Then I remembered eating the datura and was able to sort out some of the weird dreams or whatever they were.

Tom was nowhere in sight. I tried shouting for him but my throat was so dry I couldn't yell very loud, and drinking water didn't help much. I searched the immediate area and eventually found Tom stumbling around. He had no clothes on and was pretty cut up. He didn't know where he was and couldn't tell me what had happened. I got him cleaned up and made sure he didn't have any serious injuries. He slept off and on for the next few hours, then came to himself, although he was hung over even worse than I was. He had no memory of anything after eating the datura. All he could say was that he thought he'd stick to marijuana from now on.

— twenty-three-year-old man, ranch hand

I Ate the Panther Amanita On two occasions I ate the panther mushroom. I was living out in the woods in western Oregon. I once ate Amanita muscaria, hut did not get much effect from it, iust a little sick feeling. Word went around that the panther would make you high. Most of my friends were afraid to try the panther. I decided to he the guinea pig. I found a medium-sized specimen, sliced it, and steeped it in hot water and lemon juice. Then I drank the liquid and ate half the mushroom.

About forty minutes later I was feeling dreamy and relaxed. I lay on my back in the woods and saw images with my eyes closed. There was no sickness and generally no bad effects. The dreamy state lasted about three hours.

That experience encouraged me to experiment further, so a week later 1 ate twice as much, prepared in the same way. The dreamy state came on faster and was more intense. After an hour I tried to get up but felt very confused and disoriented. I didn't know whether I was dreaming or awake or what was real. It wasn't scary, just strange.

I crawled out on a big fallen tree over a pond, and while trying to find a good position, fell off. Then I wasn't sure if it had happened or not, so I got back up on the tree and fell off again. I kept having a compulsion to repeat the fall, because I couldn't tell if it had happened or was going to happen. On about the seventh time, I hit my head on some rocks and was bleeding pretty badly. Some people saw me and got scared. I guess I looked bad, although I was unaware of being hurt. They drove me an hour to the nearest emergency hospital. By the time I got there I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I thought the doctors and nurses were angels and started singing hymns. They did not know what to make of me.

They kept me for a while and made sure I hadn't fractured my skull, then let me go, all patched up. I was coming back to normal when they sent me away, about eight hours after eating the mushroom. My face got all black and blue from the fall, but otherwise I was all right.

I haven't eaten panther Amanitas since then. I'm still interested to try again, but I would want to have someone with me to watch out for me, and I think I would take less than that last time.

— thirty-one-year-old man, unemployed

Positive Experiences with PCP I've had very positive experiences with PCP, which, I guess, makes me unusual, since everyone says it's a terrible drug. I used it over a few months about five years ago. It used to come sprayed on dried parsley leaves that were then rolled into very thin joints. From one to three tokes on one of these joints would give me a high lasting four to ten hours. My consciousness would alter within a minute of taking the first toke.

PCP would make me very flexible, allowing me to be active or restful. I could jog farther and longer than normal under its influence or I could sit still and meditate. 1 could close my eyes and create inner visions, sometimes seeing colorful, changing, geometric designs, as if I had ingested mushrooms or peyote.

For years 1 have suffered lower back pains, supposedly due to the deterioration of cartilage between my lumbar and sacral vertebrae. Whenever I smoked PCP 1 felt no pain, and as I've said, could jog comfortably. Even after the drug wore off, I experienced no pain from any athletic activities I performed. A few times I jogged in six-inch snow wearing only sneakers and shorts without getting cold. Even when I got back to the house after such a run, my friends noted that my skin was not at all cold.

My thinking was often imaginative and lucid. And I laughed a lot. I would often laugh so much that people around me, even though they didn't know what I was laughing at (I don't remember now, myself) would also start laughing. I remember doubling over and sometimes rolling on the floor in fits of laughter. I loved every second of it.

Finally, there was a strange "psychic" effect of PCP, which I still don't understand. Once in a while under the influence of the drug, I would feel as though a "ray" or "beam" entered my head through the back; I can't really describe it. When this happened, I would have thoughts or knowledge that I would later find were telepathic or precognitive. I would receive a thought from a friend or realize something would happen in the future. One night I described to a friend a drug bust that we would be involved in and the aftermath of it in months to follow. It all happened exactly as I predicted.

Maybe these experiences were just cases of heightened intuitive power. My unconscious mind might have had all the information to make these predictions, but it took the drug, or the altered state brought about by the drug, to put the information together and let it come to the surface. I don't know, but that "ray" or "beam" feeling always came first, and when it occurred, I would say to myself or to a friend, kind of nodding my head and rolling my eyes somewhat in jest, "Here we go again." I wondered if I were a psychonaut or just a plain psychic nut. Whatever, it was fun.

My use of angel dust, as I called it, finally got out of hand. I was taking it all the time, and people around me told me I was acting too crazily. So I stopped and haven't used it since. Sometime, I'd like to experiment with it again to explore those physical and mental powers it seems to release in me.

— thirty-six-year-old man, screenwriter

Nothing Good About PCP I've tried most drugs and think most have their place. PCP is one of the few I can see nothing good about. I've taken it in pill form a few times, thinking it was pure THC. One time I was about to give a lecture to a large group of medical doctors. I was using marijuana a lot then and went outside just before the talk to smoke a joint. Someone I didn't know came along and produced a joint. He lit it and handed it to me. 1 took a deep drag on it and only noticed the taste of PCP after I had the smoke in my lungs. I couldn't believe that anyone would do that to me, but before I could say anything, I was called in to the auditorium to start my lecture.

On the way to the podium, I started rushing on the PCP. I could hardly control my legs or thoughts, and could only get words out of my mouth with great difficulty. If I hadn't been experienced with drugs, I would really have lost it. As it was, I don't think anyone really noticed. It probably seemed that 1 was just talking pretty slowly for the first five minutes; after that I got myself together and was able to control the drug. I was furious, however, and when I finished, I found the guy that slipped me that loaded joint and told him what I thought of him. I've never seen him since, and I've never taken any PCP since, either.

— thirty-seven-year-old man, medical doctor

Ketamine Summer Soon after I began work in a pharmacology lab. I met a coworker who shared my desire to alter ordinary consciousness by means of drugs. One summer day during our lunch break, he handed me the package insert from a box of ketamine. After reading the precautions warning of possible hallucinations, delirium, and dissociative states, we decided to try it that evening.

We wanted to inject a subanesthetic dose, but neither of us knew how to calculate a "recreational" dose or how to give injections. In retrospect, I believe it was this uncertainty that made our first trip on ketamine one of the best. Robert shot first, injecting the drug into the muscle of his leg. Then I took about twice as much, injecting it into my arm muscle.

Within five minutes of the injection I came on to the drug. At first, all my organs felt like lead, especially my stomach, and I thought I might have to vomit. These physical sensations quickly gave way to an incredible dreamlike state. I lay down and tried to talk, but my words were garbled, and my mouth felt numb. There also seemed to be a delay between speaking and hearing what i said, so that I kept repeating myself in a vain attempt to "catch up" and hear what I just said.

The brick walls of the room began to vibrate. I had to close my eyes to avoid another round of nausea. With my eyes closed I entered a new dimension, filled with multicolored triangles, rotating clockwise. When I tried to get up and walk, the floor heaved up and down, reminiscent of a boat on a stormy sea. I sat down and felt detached from my physical being, lapsing into a state of semiconsciousness. This lasted for what seemed like hours, but by the time I returned to near-normal reality, only forty-five minutes had passed since the injection.

This first experience inspired Robert and me to repeat our explorations with ketamine. We took it every day tor the next two months. It was an interesting time. I haven't used the drug since then.

— twenty-five-year-old man, laboratory technician

Addicted to Cough Pills I've had asthma all my life and am allergic to just about everything. Allergic skin rashes and asthma are my biggest problems. I've been in the hospital for the asthma a lot of times and to control it I have to take a lot of medication, including cortisone and pills for coughing.

As a child I took a lot of codeine for coughs. For the past ten years I've been on Hycodan, which I understand contains a narcotic (hydro-codone|. Originally, I took one tablet four times a day; now I take two four times a day. If I try to cut down the dose I start coughing and get really congested. Also, I get upset and can't sleep.

If I think about it, I guess I know I'm addicted, but I don't like to face that. I've never had anything to do with drugs, and no one in my family or people I work with would think of me as an addict. Most doctors give me the Hycodan without asking too many questions, but sometimes I've gone to several different ones to get enough prescriptions so that I wouldn't have to worry about running out. I know I should try to stop the Hycodan, but I don't think I can face the day without it. I don't know what I can do.

— fifty-two-year-old woman, university guidance counselor

The Wonders of Sudafed I suspect most people take antihistamines just because they have been brainwashed by the pharmaceutical industry. I concluded long ago that I would much rather put up with the symptoms of a cold than endure the depression antihistamines give me.

Two summers ago, I came down with a head cold just as a low-pressure system settled over the East Coast. The combination caused one of my ears to close up. After a day or so of constant tugging at my ear, it was becoming sore. I consulted my local pharmacist, who, hearing of my aversion to antihistamines, recommended Sudafed. I had never heard of it.

The Sudafed worked wonders right away, drying up my sinuses and unblocking the congested ear without producing any of the hated side effects of antihistamines. It also really zapped me — better than coffee. In fact, Sudafed is so stimulating that, though I now use it whenever I have a cold, I can't take it too late in the day, or I won't be able to fall asleep that night. I think it's a great drug and am surprised more people don't know about it.

— forty-year-old housewife

Testimonials to Smart Drugs My secretary responded so well to piracetam (at doses of only 800 mg) that I decided to give her a small raise so she could afford it. She takes piracetam instead of heading for the coffee machine. Every day she takes it she is decidedly more alert and intelligent acting, and she smiles more. She is overall a much better employee. She says it wakes up her brain.

1 first tried Hydergine six years ago with some fascinating results. During a visit to see my Dad at Christmas, he and I started taking 9 mg per day of Hydergine in the hope it would help to improve our long-term memory. The results were apparent to us both within two days. He was in his forties and could remember events from when he was in his twenties. They were as clear in his mind as if they happened yesterday. ... I was in my early twenties and my memories went back to the childhood years. A unique opportunity had been presented to us to sit down and share in the joys that our life had brought us. What a gift!

During my final year as an undergraduate I decided to change majors from psychology to mathematics. I was also running out of money, and I knew I had to finish in one year and then get a job. I started using a combination of Hydergine, vasopressin, pemoline, and a good vitamin formula with large amounts of choline. This particular combination improved my concentration enormously. I flew through that year taking a full load of upper-level mathematics courses each semester. Not only did I complete the major in the allotted time, but my grades were better than I was used to. I was getting A's instead of B's. I landed a job in Silicon Valley immediately after graduation. In other words, everything went perfectly according to plan, and I really don't think I could have done it without the smart drugs.

— above three statements come from the book, Smart Drugs & Nutrients by Ward Dean, M.D., and /ohn Morgenthaler

Smart Drugs: A Dissenting View I think my mind is just fine, and I've got a great memory. But I'd heard so much about these smart drugs, I thought I'd give them a try. First, I took Hydergine for a month, a high dose: 20 milligrams a day. It cost a fortune, and do you know what the result was? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I might as well have been swallowing corn starch.

Next I tried Eldepryl. I got a doctor friend to prescribe it for me, and was again floored by the price. This one I tried off and on for three weeks. Nothing.

Finally, I went for the Vasopressin nasal spray, using it several times a day for two weeks. This time I did get an effect; it made my nose run like a faucet. I mean, nonstop, day and night. As for the promised jumps in intelligence and ability to concentrate and remember, 1 don't remember any of them occurring. I think I'll save my money in the future.

— forty-year-old man, dentist

Cotton Poisoning Cotton poisoning is the term used to describe the body's reaction to a particle of fiber, like cotton, or of some other foreign substance that gets injected into the bloodstream. It usually appears in two to four hours after injection and causes muscle cramps, chills, cold sweats, and nausea. After two or three hours of discomfort, it usually passes away, leaving the victim exhausted.

This is my understanding of cotton poisoning after talking to people who have experienced it and after experiencing it myself. My own reaction was different in that it kept recurring. I still don't understand it.

One night I was with two friends, and we were shooting some drug. I don't remember whether it was Demerol, Dilaudid, or heroin that we were using, but it was something of that nature. We put the drug in a spoon and used steaming hot water to dilute it; then we drew the liquid into a syringe through a piece of cigarette filter. We all used the same needle, and we cleaned it thoroughly between uses with steaming hot water. Everything was done in the normal fashion and we all got high.

After about two and a half hours 1 began to feel cold. I turned off the cooler and put on an extra shirt, and I felt a little better. It didn't take long before I was cold again. I asked my friends if they, too, were cold, but they said they were very warm.

I got colder and colder and broke out in goose bumps. I began to shiver and break out in a sweat. My muscles were very tense from the coldness, and I felt as if I was waiting for a bus in a windy snowstorm without a coat. I was clutching at my chest, shivering, and the muscles in my back and shoulders began to cramp from being so tense. Then I started to sweat very heavily and began vomiting. My head was spinning and throbbing. I didn't know what was going on.

One of my friends said I had cotton poisoning. He said that he had had it before and there was no way of stopping it. It would probably last another hour or two. He went into the bathroom and ran a hot bath for me — that was the only thing that would help, he said. It did help some. I was still cold, but the hot water relieved the backache. I kept sweating and throwing up, though. I don't know how long it took, but I was finally able to get out of the tub and go to bed, completely exhausted.

The next day I was okay, but the day after the whole thing came back, just the same, and I hadn't shot any more drugs, just smoked a lot of pot and drank beer. Over the next few days, I kept having recurrences and they kept getting worse. I thought I was going to die a few times. No one had ever heard of cotton poisoning recurring like that. I finally went to a doctor, hut he had never even heard of cotton poisoning, and I had to explain it to him. He was no help at all. Finally, after I got sick every other day for a week, the whole thing went away. I've never had it since.

I've had some bad experiences with drugs. I've had some really bad times with opium in India, including miserable highs and terrible chest pains. I've done hallucinogens that were so strange I once lay down in a bonfire. I've been so wiped out on the combination of morphine and amphetamines that I've lost track of days at a time and regained consciousness in awful situations. Except for my being sent to prison, no drug experience or drug-related experience has been so hard to deal with, so unpleasant, and so painful as my episode of cotton poisoning.

— twenty-three-year-old man, prisoner

Panic Reactions As a doctor interested in drug reactions, I've had occasion to treat many cases of drug panic. I worked in an emergency room in San Francisco during the big, early days of pot and acid, and used to see all kinds of people come in thinking they were going crazy or dying. I soon learned that these reactions were more psychological than pharmacological.

One time, a father and mother came in with their teen-age daughter. The girl was a pot smoker and had been pressuring her mother to try it. Finally, the mother agreed, but, since she didn't know how to smoke, the daughter baked up some pot brownies. The mother ate one. An hour later she was hysterical, thinking she had been poisoned and was losing her mind. Meanwhile, the daughter had eaten three brownies and just felt very high. Before I had a chance to do anything, a staff psychiatrist came down and got caught up in the family hysteria. (The father, who had come home from work early, was the worst of the three, pleading with us to save his wife.) The psychiatrist gave the mother an injection of Thorazine and admitted her to the psychiatric ward. She stayed agitated and panicked for four days. I could have talked her down in an hour, if I had just been able to get her away from her husband and calm her.

The best method I hit upon for dealing with drug panics in the emergency room was to let the patients know I did not consider their problems serious. When a couple of teen-agers would come in with a stricken friend, I'd just say, "Okay, have a seat and relax. I'll be with you as soon as I can." Then I'd mostly ignore them. When they demanded attention for the crisis, I'd say, "Look, there are people here who really have things wrong with them that I have to deal with. Your friend is just upset and all he needs is to calm down. So get him to breathe deeply and regularly, and I'll come back as soon as I take care of the real problems in here."

Usually, by the time I'd come back, the victim would be looking better, and the whole group would just want to make a graceful exit from the hospital. Of course, if it's an older person thinking they are dying of a heart attack or something, you should go through the motions of examining them and telling them firmly that their physical health is fine. I never give tranquilizers or sedatives to panic victims, just reassurance and calming vibes. The worst thing you can do is give the impression that you think something is really wrong.

— forty-year-old man, general practitioner

Different Tastes in Drugs My husband and I met in college in the late 1960s. We were both involved in antiwar politics and did some experimenting with group living and using drugs, mostly marijuana and psychedelics. I found the experiences interesting, but after a while did not want to repeat them frequently. My husband, on the other hand, thought marijuana was the greatest thing he had ever discovered. Smoking it became an important ritual for him.

Over the years he's continued to smoke it. Once in a while, I join him, but I've come to find I don't like the effect all that much. I can't concentrate well when I'm stoned and sometimes feel mentally scattered and vulnerable. I guess my drug of choice is wine. Two glasses of good wine put me in just the right state after a trying day. John drinks wine, too, but for getting high he prefers marijuana.

In the past few years, our different preferences in drugs have become a problem for us. My not liking marijuana separates me from John's closest friends and weakens our relationship. I don't think married people have to do everything together, but this is something important, and my inability to share John's highs bothers me. Also, I find I resent his smoking friends, since I'm the outsider, the "straight wife," when they are around. Yet I know that if I object, I will just drive him out of the house to get high with them elsewhere.

We try to talk about our problem but have not come up with an answer. I just don't like marijuana and he does. It may seem like a little matter, but when we are having a hard time with each other, it comes to symbolize all of the differences that keep us from sharing fully with each other, and I can see it harming our marriage. I don't know other couples who have this problem.

— thirty-five-year-old housewife

A Mother's Concern Even though my son has a learning disability, which always made things hard for him at school, it never occurred to me while he was growing up that he wouldn't turn out all right in the end. Now, however, I'm not so sure. In the three years since he first became involved with drugs, starting at age fourteen, he has been arrested twice (for bizarre behavior) and hospitalized three times, the last time for a period of more than eight months. Although his severe problems began when he first tried LSD, now even pot can trigger a psychotic episode.

Unlike his friends, and even his younger brother, my son cannot handle drugs. For him they are simply poisons. He knows this. And yet the social pressure on him to take drugs is often more than he can withstand. Despite his history and my repeated appeals, his friends continue to supply him with drugs, even going so far as to smuggle them into the hospital the last time he was there.

— forty-five-year-old housewife

The Ecstasy of Love

Where, like a pillow on a bed,

A Pregnant banke swel'd up, to rest The violet's reclining head,

Sat we two, one anothers best. Our hands were firmely cimented

With a fast balme, which thence did spring, Our eye-beames twisted, and did thred

Our eyes, upon one double string; So to'entergraft our hands, as yet

Was all the meanes to make us one, And pictures in our eyes to get

Was all our propagation. As 'twixt two equal Armies, Fate Suspends uncertaine victorie, Our soules, (which to advance their state,

Were gone out,) hung 'twixt her, and mee. And whil'st our soules negotiate there,

Wee like sepulchral! statues lay; All day, the same our postures were, And wee said nothing all the day.

— from "The Extasie" by lohn Donne <1572-1631)

Addicted to Running I watched my roommate in college and best friend turn into an addicted runner. Greg took up running in his junior year and quickly got into it big time, i think he didn't have a lot going for him then — no girlfriend, no great interest in school — and running gave him a real sense of purpose and accomplishment. It also got him high. I ran with him a lot at first. To me running was a lot of effort. I always felt good afterward, but at the time it seemed more like work than fun. But I'd notice that Greg seemed to get into an altered state after about two miles. His whole face would look different, and he'd seem to be flying. He'd tell me he'd get a real buzz on from running, and I'm sure he did. After a while he started running farther than I cared to: five miles, then, seven miles, then ten miles. So I'd turn back early, and he'd keep on.

In his senior year, Greg ran in the Boston marathon. He trained for it for three months and did really well. He said he just wanted to do it once to see what it would be like. He also said it was the greatest high of his life. So I guess I wasn't surprised when, a few months later, he was training for another marathon. After graduation he fell into a pattern of running marathons every few months, and it seemed he was always either training for them, running them, or recovering from them. His running seemed compulsive to me and began to drive a wedge between us.

Greg has run .50- and 100-mile races since then — impressive achievements, I guess, but he's also injured his knees and back and won't cut down. Sometimes, when we've been on the road together, he's been unable to run because of bad weather or other circumstances, and I find it almost impossible to be with him then. He climbs the walls, just like someone trying to kick a cigarette habit. I think he's become addicted to running as his main high in life and doesn't have a healthy relationship with it. But he has no insight into that, and won't listen to me or anyone else who tries to talk to him about it.

— twenty-six-year-old man, photographer

Fireworks Turn Me On I get high from fireworks. I love them and just can't get enough of them. Waiting for the Fourth of )uly is too hard. I'll drive hundreds of miles to buy fireworks and shoot them off with friends. I guess they're like drugs for me. The good ones are often illegal. They're a little dangerous. And they really deliver.

— thirty-three-year-old man, engineer

Speaking in Tongues I speak in tongues. This other language gives me the words my spirit needs to express itself. It happens on two different kinds of occasions. One occurs when I am depressed, anxious, upset, or feel a great sorrow in my heart and don't really know exactly what is wrong. Speaking releases all that bottled-up tension and depression. I also find myself wanting to speak in tongues when I feel really good. I want to express the tremendous love or peace or wonder I feel but can't find words for.

When I speak in tongues it is as if a voice from within me is talking. Another part of my being — beyond conscious thought — takes over and lets me express what my inner spirit is feeling in a language all its own. I am totally in the here and now when this happens, not worrying about the past or dreaming about the future. The feeling is similar to what some people get from psychedelic drugs. No other reality exists beyond what I am a part of at that moment.

I received "the gift of tongues" (as the Bible calls it) while I was involved with a Christian commune. This group believes tongues is a gift from the Holy Spirit to permit fellowship with the Father. It means believers have direct access to God.

I was once in a remote wilderness area of British Columbia on a canoe trip. In a marshy area around a lake our group came across big tracks, perhaps of moose or elk. I suddenly felt thrilled to be among wild animals, where man had not destroyed nature. 1 looked up to see mountains and sky stretch to infinity. I suddenly realized how beautiful the world I live in can be. Then I started to speak in tongues. As 1 did, I lost my sense of self-consciousness and with it my feelings of loneliness, isolation, and alienation from the rest of the world. I felt connected to all of life.

Speaking in tongues makes me high. It makes me experience an altered state of consciousness. It lets me glimpse another reality — infinite realities — beyond the scope of my "normal" state of consciousness.

Speaking in tongues resembles meditation. One has to come to it with the proper set and setting, to be in tune. I am sure many Christians who speak in tongues feel the release of an emotional burden or, as in Pentecostal churches, a real high; but to have the total here and now experience, one has to come with a desire for it. Tongues is not magic in itself. The magic is in using tongues to open oneself to powers already within each of us.

— thirty-year-old housewife


Cross-referenced entries are in italics.

Abscess: A localized collection of pus surrounded by an inflamed area, often the result of a bacterial infection.

Abstinence: Refraining from using something, such as a drug, by one's own choice. In pharmacology the term "abstinence syndrome" is equivalent to withdrawal syndrome.

Abusers: People who use drugs in ways that threaten their health or impair their social or economic functioning.

Acetic acid: The acid in vinegar.

Acetylcholine: A stimulatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, which also controls muscles and sensory input signals.

Acid: Slang term for LSD ¡lysergic acid diethylamide).

Acid house: A type of psychedelic music with a strong back beat, often played at nightclubs where people take ecstasy and engage in wild dancing.

Active principle: The main chemical constituent of a drug plant. Cocaine, for example, is the active principle of coca leaf. Although active principles may be responsible for many of the effects of drug plants, they do not exactly reproduce those effects and in pure form have higher toxicity and potential for abuse.

Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese system of medical treatment that aims to influence energy flow around the body by inserting needles into particular points on the skin.

Acute: Intense and of short duration, as opposed to chronic.

Addiction: In reference to drugs, a pattern of consumption marked by compulsive taking of a drug, the need for increasing doses over time to maintain the same effect [tolerance), and the appearance of symptoms when the drug is stopped that disappear when it is reinstated (withdrawal).

Adulteration: The deliberate addition of impurities to a pure sub stance — for example, the cutting of cocaine with sugars and cheap local anesthetics to make it go further on the black market.

Alkali: Any substance that in solution gives a pH of greater than 7.0. Lye (potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and lime (calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide) are examples of alkalis.

Amnesia: Loss of memory, either partial or total.

Amys: Slang term for amyl nitrite.

Analgesic: A medication that reduces or eliminates pain.

Androgenic: Having the property of stimulating development of male sex characteristics.

Anemia: A deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin, reducing the blood's capacity to carry oxygen.

Angel dust: Slang term for PCP (phencyclidine).

Animal tranquilizer: Slang term for PCP (phencyclidine), because of its use as a veterinary' anesthetic.

Antidepressants: Pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for the treatment of persistent and severe depression. Imipramine (Tofranil), amitrip-tyline (Elavil), and fluoxetine (Prozac) are examples.

Antihistamines: A large class of synthetic drugs used to relieve allergic symptoms.

Apathy: Lack of feeling, emotion, or interest in what excites most people.

Asphyxiation: Unconsciousness or death resulting from lack of oxygen.

Asthma: A respiratory disease caused by constriction of the bronchial tubes with resultant difficulty in breathing. Wheezing on exhalation is the most characteristic symptom.

Bad trip: An unpleasant experience on a psychoactive drug, especially a hallucinogen. Paranoia, panic, scary hallucinations, and depression may all occur in a bad trip.

Barbs: Barbiturates, such as secobarbital (Seconal).

Biorhythms: Cyclic changes in biological functions, such as twenty-fcur-hour cycles of waking and sleeping and secretion of certain hormones, and the monthly menstrual cycle in women.

Bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchial tubes, producing a painful cough and other breathing difficulties.

Bummer: Slang term for an unpleasant experience on a psychoactive drug. Similar to bad trip.

Burn-out: A condition of emotional and intellectual impairment supposed to be the result of excessive use of psychoactive drugs. Also, a person with this condition.

Bust: An arrest, especially for involvement with illegal drugs. Also used as a verb.

Cellulose: An indigestible carbohydrate that is the main structural component of all plant tissues and fibers.

Central nervous system: The brain and spinal cord.

Chamomile: A low-growing plant of the daisy family with yellow flowers and a pleasant applelike smell. The dried flowers make a relaxing tea that also alleviates indigestion.

Chemotherapy: The treatment of cancer by giving patients very toxic drugs that kill dividing cells, in the hope that more cancerous cells will die than normal ones.

Chipping: The practice of using narcotics such as heroin on an occasional basis without developing true addiction.

Chronic: Persisting over time, as opposed to acute.

Codependence: lj a relationship in which one person enables or encourages the addictive behavior of another person. 2) an addictive personal relationship.

Coke: Slang term for cocaine. (Others are "blow" and "snow.")

Coma: Deep and prolonged unconsciousness, usually the result of disease, injury, or poisoning.

Controlled substances: Plants and chemicals listed in the Federal Controlled Substances Act, the law regulating disapproved psychoactive drugs and those approved only for medical use.

Convulsion: An intense episode of muscle contraction, usually caused by abnormal brain function.

Cop: To obtain a supply of a desired drug. Same as score.

Cornea: The transparent, outer covering of the eye, overlying the iris, pupil, and lens.

Crack: A smokable, pelletized form of cocaine.

Crash: To experience depression, lethargy, or sleepiness after a drug-induced high, especially common after using stimulants.

Cut: To adulterate a drug by adding to it some substance to make it go further. Also, any substance used for this purpose.

Deal: To sell or distribute illegal drugs.

Deliriants: Drugs that cause delirium. Datura is an example.

Delirium: A state of mental confusion marked by disorientation and hallucinations. Fever and certain drugs are common causes.

Dependence: Inability to separate oneself easily from a substance or activity. See addiction.

Depressants: Drugs that reduce the activity of the nervous system. Alcohol, downers, and narcotics are all depressants.

Depression: Melancholy mood; dejection.

Detoxify: To recover from the action of a toxin on the system. For example, treatment programs exist to help addicts detoxify from opiates — that is, to stop taking the drugs and adjust to being non-users.

Dope: 1) Psychoactive drugs in general, especially illegal ones. 2) Specific drugs or types of drugs, usually opiates, downers, or marijuana.

Down: 11 No longer under the effect of a psychoactive drug, especially a stimulant or hallucinogen, as in, "If you take acid now, you won't be down till after midnight." 2) Depressed, as in, "I'm feeling really down."

Downers: Barbiturates, minor tranquilizers, and related depressants.

D.T.'s: Delirium tremens — the most severe form of withdrawal from alcohol, marked by agitation, hallucinations, and other mental and physical imbalances.

Duster: A PCP-laced joint |from angel dust, a slang term for PCP).

Ecstasy: Common street name for MDMA.

Ejaculation: In males, the discharge of seminal fluid, usually during orgasm.

Emaciated: Thin and gaunt, as from starvation or illness.

Emphysema: A chronic respiratory disease in which lung tissue loses its elasticity and with it the ability to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. Patients with emphysema suffer from progressively diminishing breathing capacity and may eventually becomc bedridden "respiratory cripples."

Endogenous drugs: Drugs produced within the body.

Enzyme: A protein produced by a living organism that catalyzes (speeds up) biochemical reactions. Many digestive enzymes enable the body to process foods, for example.

Estrogen: One of a group of hormones, mostly manufactured by the ovaries in women, responsible for producing female sex characteristics and regulating fertility.

Euphoria: A feeling of great happiness or well-being.

Fix: Slang term for a dose of a mood-altering drug, especially an intravenous dose of an opiate, as in, "I need a fix." Also used as a verb, as in, "When did you fix last?"

Flashback: A recurrence of symptoms associated with LSD or other hallucinogens some time after the actual drug experience.

Freak out: To panic or lose emotional control.

Freebase: A smokable form of cocaine. As a verb, to smoke cocaine in this form.

GABA: Gamma-amino-butyric acid, a simple, organic chemical that serves as a neurotransmitter in certain brain cells. Its effect is inhibitory and depressing of nervous function.

Gas: Slang term for nitrous oxide.

Gastrointestinal tract: The whole chain of tubular structures from the mouth to the anus concerned with the processing of food.

Glass: See ice.

Gram: A unit of mass and weight in the metric system, defined as one thousandth of a kilogram. (A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.)

Hallucination: The perception of something that is not there, such as seeing pink elephants or hearing voices that other people cannot hear; also the nonperception of obiects or events that are perceived by others (negative hallucination). Hallucinations can be symptoms of physical or mental illness, or the result of taking some kinds of psychoactive drugs.

Hallucinogens: Drugs that stimulate the nervous system and produce varied changes in perception and mood. Examples are LSD, DMT, mescaline, and magic mushrooms. Hallucinogens are also known as psychedelics.

Hash: Slang term for hashish, the concentrated resin of the marijuana plant.

Hash oil: A dark, syrupy liquid obtained by extracting the resin of marijuana with solvents and concentrating it.

Head: A person who uses psychoactive drugs, especially marijuana (a pot head] or psychedelics (such as an acid head).

Head shops: Stores that sell drug-related products, such as smoking devices, drug literature, and other materials.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, usually because of infection with a virus. Jaundice, weakness, and digestive problems are common symptoms that may last for weeks or months. There is no specific treatment.

High: An altered state of consciousness, marked by euphoria, feelings of lightness, self-transcendence, and energy. High states are not necessarily drug-related. They may occur spontaneously or in response to various activities that affect mood, perception, and concentration. Also used as an adjective.

Hog: Slang term for PCP (phencyclidine).

Hormone: A chemical substance produced by one organ of the body, such as a gland, and conveyed, usually by the blood, to another organ (or organs), where it exerts a controlling or regulating action. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates sugar metabolism throughout the body.

Hyperventilation: Abnormally rapid, deep breathing.

Hypothermia: The condition of abnormally low body temperature, usually the result of exposure to cold. Early symptoms are uncontrollable shivering and bizarre changes in consciousness. If not treated, it can progress to coma and death.

Ice: A smokable form of methamphetamine.

Immune system: Those organs and tissues of the body concerned with the recognition and destruction of foreign substances, such as invading germs. The immune system includes organs such as the spleen and tonsils along with the bone marrow and certain white blood cells.

Inflammation: A characteristic response of the body to irritation, injury, and infection. It consists of swelling, warmth, redness, and pain in the affected part.

Insomnia: Inability to sleep.

Intoxication: The state of being under the influence of a poison or drug, with effects ranging from stimulation and exhilaration to stupefaction and loss of consciousness.

Intramuscular: Within a musclc, such as the injection of a drug into the muscle of an arm or leg.

Intravenous: Within a vein, such as the injection of a drug directly into the bloodstream.

Joint: A marijuana cigarette.

Junk: Slang term for narcotics, especially heroin.

Junkie: A heroin addict.

Laughing gas: Slang term for nitrous oxide.

Lethargy: A state of sluggish indifference or unhealthy drowsiness.

Leukemia: A form of cancer marked by uncontrolled multiplic

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