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Review of Street Drugs.docx

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University of Ottawa
Biopharmaceutical sciences
William Ogilvie

BPS1101: Street Drugs - incensole acetate used for religious purposes (Frankincense). - drugs are illegal because they are dangerous: 1) health 2) personal life 3) society - BUT are also dangerous because they are illegal: 1) fines 2) jail time 3) criminal records 4) impurity (in the mixture there may be other substances – buyer beware) Marijuana - US Navy was large grower of hemp - buds with high THC content are smoked, then resin on leaves are for hashish (brownies, etc.) - brought to Europe from Middle East by Napolean and to American by Mexican workers (legal until 1930’s) - crime by sailors in New Orleans led to “Marijuana Tax Act” - became popular again in 1960s (hippies), decline in 1970s (Vietnam War), then increase when soldiers came back - active ingredient is THC  anandamide agonist (implicated in memory, pain-relief, etc.) - pharmaceutical THC mode from petroleum, used for AIDS-related anorexia (increased appetite), Sativex for Muscular Sclerosis - herbal incense: “fake pot” = leaves spiked with synthetic analgesics/cannabinoids. E.g. JWH-018 (made by John Hoffman, more potent than THC) - fine < 15g, criminal record> 15 g Cocaine - #2 illegal substance in Ottawa, though legal until 1914 - Stephan Chemical in New Jersey uses coca leaves to make Coca-Cola but extracts cocaine - Cocaine was in many patent medicines (e.g. French Tonic wine) until 1914  “Harrison Tax Act” - still used in surgery, benzocaine (topical anesthetic) and novocaine (dental anesthetic) inspired by cocaine - cocaine processing  dig hole in jungle with plastic, add leaves + HCl - cocaine HCl is snorted - addiction is very strong - “free-based cocaine” (cocaine HCl + baking soda) forms cracks (“crack” cocaine) - results in lower doses required. Crack is usually smoked - cocaine = dopamine reuptake - side effects: seizures, psychiatric disturbances, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, death Amphetamines - low dose = stimulant - high dose = euphoric - Benzedrine inhaler = put in Coke to get full dose (prisoners used to do this) - used to treat depression, prescribed to rich and famous (Capote, Warhol, JFK, Rolling Stones) by Max Johnson (Dr “Feelgood”) - S
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