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Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational purposes rather than for work, medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear (often spiritual use is considered recreational).
Psychopharmacologist Ronald K. Siegel refers to intoxication as the "fourth drive," arguing that the human instinct to seek mind-altering substances has so much force and persistence that it functions like the human drives for hunger, thirst and shelter.
Responsible drug use
- Main article: Responsible drug use
The concept of responsible drug use is that a person can use recreational drugs with reduced or eliminated risk of negatively affecting other parts of one's life or other peoples lives. Advocates of this philosophy point to the many well-known artists and intellectuals who have used drugs, experimentally or otherwise, with few detrimental effects on their lives. Critics argue that the drugs are escapist--and dangerous, unpredictable and sometimes addictive, and have negative and profound effects in geographic areas well beyond the location of the consumer. It should be noted that these criticism can apply to a number of non drug related addictions and behavioral abuse disorders. According to medical literature, responsible drug use only becomes drug abuse when the use of the substance significantly interferes with the user's daily life.
Drugs popularly used for recreation
Most Popular Psychoactives
The drugs most popular for recreational use worldwide are:
- Ethanol (commonly known as alcohol) - Legal in most parts of the world.
- Caffeine - Most widely used legal psychoactive substance.
- Theobromine - Caffeine-related substance found in chocolate.
- Cannabis (Cannabinoids, primarily Tetrahydrocannabinol) - Most widely used psychoactive that is illegal in many parts of the world.
- Tobacco (nicotine) - Legal in most parts of the world.
- Amobarbital (Sodium Amytal)
- Aprobarbital (Alurate)
- Butalbital (Fiorinal, Fioricet)
- Methylphenobarbital (Mebaral)
- Sodium thiopental (Sodium Pentothal), truth serum
- Pentobarbital (Nembutal)
- Phenobarbital (Luminal)
- Secobarbital (Seconal)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Bromazepam (Lexotanil)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Clonazepam (Rivotril, Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium), mommy's little helper
- Lorazepam (Temesta, Ativan)
- Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
- Midazolam (Dormicum)
- Nimetazepam (Erimin)
- Nitrazepam (Mogadon)
- Oxazepam (Seresta)
- Temazepam (Normison, Restoril)
- Atropine (Tropane alkaloid), found in datura, angel's trumpets
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex, Unisom, Nytol)
- Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
- Scopolamine (Tropane alkaloid), found in datura, angel's trumpets
Dissociative anaesthetics, including
- Nitrous oxide, laughing gas, whip-its
- Dextromethorphan (DXM), dex, dextro, skittles, robo
- Triple Cs, CCC refers to a mixture of this and Chlorpheniramine maleate
- Ketamine (Ketaset, Ketanest, Ketalar), K, Special K
- Phencyclidine (PCP), angel dust
- Buprenorphine (Temgesic, Transtec, Subutex), Temies, Subbies
- Purple drank refers to a mixture of this and Promethazine
- Dextropropoxyphene (Depronal, Darvocet)
- Diacetylmorphine (Heroin)
- Dihydrocodeine (DHC), (DF 118)
- Fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze, Actiq)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin), (Lortab)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), (Palladon)
- Meperidine, or Pethidine (Demerol)
- Methadone (Symoron, Methadose)
- Morphine (MS Contin, Oramorph, Kapanol)
- Nicomorphine (Morzet)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, OxyNorm, Roxicodone)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
- Pentazocine (Fortral)
- Tramadol (Ultram, Tramal, Tramagetic)
Phenethylamines, including, but not limited to
- 2C-B, nexus, bees
- 2C-I, substance sometimes sold as mescaline
- DOC, substance sometimes sold on blotter paper as LSD
- MDMA, ecstasy
- Mescaline (found in peyote, peruvian torch, san pedro and other cacti).
- Nutmeg, the active constituents of such are metabolized by the body into phenethylamine compounds, including PMA
For more information see: PiHKAL.
- BZP and other piperazine-based drugs (mCPP, TFMPP), party pills
- Cathinone (found in the khat plant)
- Cocaine, coke
- Crack refers to a freebase, cut form of the substance made for smoking
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall), speed
- Methamphetamine (Desoxyn), meth, ice)
- Methcathinone ("cat", chemically related to, but not to be confused with khat/qat/cathinone)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
- Propylhexedrine, OTC stimulant chemically similar to methamphetamine
Indole alkaloids, including, but not limited to
- Tryptamines, including, but not limited to:
- LSA (Lysergic acid amide/ergine, found in Morning Glory seeds)
- LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) (Delysid), acid
- Ibogaine (found in the Tabernanthe iboga plant)
For more information see: TiHKAL.
NOTE: In regards to chemical classification, several psychoactives without effect-based classification also fall into this category including yohimbe and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the active constituent of kratom.
- gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
- MAO inhibitors (Harmala, Harmaline), to potentiate certain other drugs
- Muscimol and Ibotenic acid, the psychoactive constituents of Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, toadstools
- Salvinorin A, found in Salvia divinorum, diviner's sage
- Carisoprodol (Soma)
- Yohimbine, found in energy/weight-loss supplements/drinks and used traditionally as an aphrodisiac
- Methaqualone, "Quaalude"
Drug use has increased in all categories since prohibition. Since 1937, 20% to 37% of the youth in the United States have used marijuana. One in four high school seniors has used the drug in the past month; one in ten 8th graders has done so. Between 1972 and 1988, the use of cocaine increased more than fivefold. The usage patterns of the current two most prevalent drugs, methamphetamine and ecstasy, have shown similar gains.
- 86% Drink alcohol (the legal alcohol purchase age and public drinking age is 18.)
- 51% binge drink (defined as five drinks or more at occasion) at least once a month.
- 19% Binge drink once a week.
- On a typical drinking occasion, the average amount of alcoholic beverages consumed is 5.75 pints.
- The average age for taking a first alcoholic drink is 13½.
- 50% Have used illegal drugs at least once.
- 41% Have used cannabis at least once.
- The average age of first illegal drug use is 14½.
Usage rates around the world:
- Adult lifetime cannabis use by country
- Annual cannabis use by country
- List of countries by alcohol consumption
- 420 (cannabis culture)
- Arguments for and against drug prohibition
- Cannabis culture
- Club drug
- Demand reduction
- Drug abuse
- Drug subculture
- Hard and soft drugs
- Harm reduction
- Intravenous drug use (recreational)
- Opium den
- Party and play
- Prohibition (drugs)
- Psychoactive drug
- Responsible drug use
- Spiritual use of cannabis
- Stoner film
- Siegel, Ronald K (2005). Intoxication: The universal drive for mind-altering substances, vii, Vermont: Park Street Press.
- Lingeman, Drugs from A-Z A Dictionary, Penguin ISBN 0 7139 0136 5
- Lingeman, Drugs from A-Z A Dictionary, Penguin ISBN 0 7139 0136 5
- Erowid.org, Erowid Psychoactive Vaults, http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/psychoactives.shtml
- DEA Drug Database, http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/concern/concern.htm
- WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008
- Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004
- Monitoring The Future
- Charles Whitebread: The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States
- Controlling Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand Programs
- RTÉ News - Half of young people use drink, drugs
- Walton, Stuart (2002). Out of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication, Penguin Books.
- The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture by Richard DeGrandpre, Duke University Press, 2006.
- Dale Pendell, Pharmakodynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions and Herbcraft: Excitantia and Empathogenica, San Francisco: Mercury House, 2002.
- Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft, San Francisco: Mercury House, 1995.
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