A Review of Drug Abuse Data Bases: the National Survey

The data base which appears to provide the most consistent source of drug use data on youth and young adults is the National Survey co2nducted between 1971 and 1977. There are five studies in this series. The first two surveys were conducted for the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. The most recent three were conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The five studies are entitled: 1) 1971 study: Public Attitudes Toward Marihuana. 2) 1972 study: Drug Experience, Attitudes and Related Behavior Among Adolescents and Adults. 3) 1974 study: Public Experience with Psychoactive Substances. 4) 1976 study: Nonmedical Use of Psychoactive Substances. () 5) 1977 study: National Survey on Drug Abuse. () These surveys share several critical characteristics which contribute to their utility for estimating drug use: Data collection on the “at risk” 18-25 year age bracket; Adequate and consistent sampling methodology; Comparability of drugs investigated; Comparability of question formats; and Accessibility of detailed tabular data. Each of the five studies is discussed below to demonstrate its adequacy as a data base for projecting the number of drug users in the United States Read more […]

The Diagnosis and Treatment of the Phencyclidine Abuse Syndrome

David E. Smith, M.D., Donald R. Wesson, M.D., Millicent E. Buxton, Richard Seymour, M.A., and Honey M. Kramer Our first exposure to Phencyclidine occurred during the summer of 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco in which the drug was first introduced as the “PeaCe Pill” during a rock concert. We saw that day between twenty-five and thirty acute Phencyclidine toxic reactions. In some respects, these reactions were like the bad LSD trips we were used to treating, but in other respects quite different, with greater physical toxicity and paranoid thinking. We had samples of the “PeaCe Pill” analyzed through a local Bay Area toxicology laboratory and found that the psychoactive drug was PCP. The “PeaCe Pill” was not well received by the majority of individuals in Haight-Ashbury at that time, although Phencyclidine became the drug of choice for a small number of users who continued to use it on a chronic basis. For them most part, Phencyclidine was a drug of deception, usually marketed as “THC” or as one of the psychedelics which were more in demand. Within the past five years, however, Phencyclidine has become increasingly visible as a primary drug of abuse under a variety of street names, including “hog,” Read more […]

The Neuropsychological Consequences of Phencyclidine (PCP)

Phencyclidine was originally synthesized for use as an anesthetic agent in the late 1950s. However, it was taken off the market due to its side effects that include disorientation, hallucinations, and excitatory activity. Insufflation or “snorting” low doses of phencyclidine (PCP, also called angel dust or crystal) can produce mild agitation, catatonic rigidity, and possible lack of verbal communication. Higher doses can result in coma, apnea, hypertension, and fatality. The possibility that phencyclidine produces organic mental impairment was studied by Carlin and colleagues. PCP abusers who had been abstinent for an average length of 27 months were compared on a number of neuropsychological measures to polydrug users who had never used phencyclidine and to controls who were neither alcohol nor substance abusers. Neuropsychological impairment was demonstrated for six of the 12 phencyclidine users, five of the 12 polydrug users, and none of the controls. Neuropsychological test protocols of the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery and MMPI were rated on overall level of performance on a scale of 1 to 6. Subjects were matched for age, education, sex, and ethnicity. The authors found that 50 percent of the Read more […]

Drug Testing

Many organizations require individuals to undergo drug testing if they wish to be considered for a job and sometimes if they wish to stay on the job. In addition, individuals on probation for crimes often must undergo random drug tests and a failure — a positive drug test — is a violation of their probation and must be adjudicated in a court to determine if the individual should be given more probation or serve the jail or prison sentence that was foregone in lieu of probation. Parolees — individuals newly released from prison — often must also undergo random drug tests and a failure is grounds for return to prison. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends testing for five substances, including amphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust). Amphetamines can be tested for up to 48 hours after the drug was ingested. According to pharmacologist Karen E. Moeller and colleagues, many drugs can give a false reading for amphetamines, such as the antidepressants bupropion (Wellbutrin), desipramine (Norpramin), or fluoxetine (Prozac), as well as pseudoephedrine (an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies), the blood pressure medication labetalol (Normodyne), the Parkinsons Read more […]

Drug Info: Therapeutic use. Treatment. Mental and Physiological Effects. Rehab.

Entries are arranged alphabetically and follow a standardized format that allows to easily find information, and also facilitates comparisons of different drugs. Rubrics include: • Official names, Street names: This section lists the alternate names for a substance, including brand names, generic names, and chemical names for drugs, as well as common “street” names for drugs and other substances. • Drug classification: This section lists the type of drug and its classification and schedule by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, if applicable. • Key terms: This is a mini-glossary of terms in the entry that may be unfamiliar to students. • Overview: Historical background is included here, including the drug’s origin, development, and introduction to society. The current impact of the drug is discussed. • Chemical/organic composition: This section includes discussion on the various compositions of the drug, if it is found in pure or altered forms, and whether or not it is often mixed with other substances or drugs. • Ingestion methods: Availability of the drug or substance in different forms, for example, pill or powder, is discussed. • Therapeutic use: This section describes Read more […]