estimations show that 8% of the population in the USA currently uses drugs. Among industrialized countries, teenagers in the United States possess the highest illicit drug use rates. In a study done by Murphey et al. in 2011, 50% of teenagers interviewed admitted to have used an illicit drug at least once by the time they were in 12th grade. 8% of 12th graders admitted to using inhalants or hallucinogens while 46% reportedly had used marijuana at least once during their lifetime (2). The substances that were reported to have been most frequently used by adolescents in grades 8-12 were inhalants, marijuana, hallucinogens and amphetamines. Thus, drug use tops the list for social issues that command a lot of public attention and concern.
Illicit drugs can be categorized in several groups. Depressants such as alcohol, which impairs judgment, lowers inhibitions and affects brain function, memory, reflexes, coordination and vision. Hallucinogens such as cannabis, popularly known as hashish, marijuana, weed, ganja or pot, which grows wildly and can either be eaten or smoked. It is the most commonly used. Users of hallucinogens often have distorted reality perceptions including time, distance and direction and often exhibit violent, erratic and unpredictable behavior. Narcotics include heroin, opium, morphine and codeine. They are generally smoked, injected intravenously or subcutaneously or sniffed. The writers note that subcutaneous injection has a slow absorption but longer-lasting effects.