Where do Drugs Come From?

Where do drugs come from?
Drugs come in three main forms: raw plant, refined plant or synthetic. Drugs are cultivated and produced all over the world, with certain regions specializing in specific drugs.

What drugs are the worst or most problematic in the United States?
The most problematic drug in the U.S. is cocaine. In fact, 36% of people getting treatment for drug abuse are cocaine users. The second runner up is marijuana.

What drug is used the most worldwide?
Marijuana, with an estimated 190 million users, is thought to be the most widely used drug in the world.

What is an Opiate?
An opiate is any drug that comes from narcotic opioid alkaloids, which is naturally occuring in the opium poppy plant. It can also be synthetically made.

Will you fail a drug test if you eat poppy seeds?
Actually it depends on who is doing the testing. Standard over the counter tests won’t pick up on it but the labs that probation offices and other court ordered urinalysis tests go to will read it, and it doesn’t take much!

Is there a difference between opium and heroin?
Both can be injected, sniffed, and/or smoked. Heroin is made from opium, which is the fluid that is contained in the unripe seed pod of the opium poppy.

How many people worldwide use opiates?
20 million people, or .3% of the global population use opium or heroin. Some consider this drug to be the worst of the worst.

What countries are the main producers of opiates such as heroin and opium?
The award for top heroin and opium production goes to Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Tailand.

What is cocaine?
Cocaine is an extremely addictive stimulant that is made from the leaves of the coca plant. This drug was a huge hit during the 1980s and ‘90s. It is one of the oldest known drugs. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been an abused substance for more than 100 years and coca leaves, the source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years.

For thousands of years, peasants in the Andean mountains of Peru and Bolivia have used cocaine leaves as a tea to help them overcome altitude sickness, called ‘soroche’ in Spanish.

Do cocaine and chocolate come from the same plant?
Nope! Although cocaine and chocolate come from the plants with similar sounding names, they are distinctly different. Chocolate is made from the fruit of the Cacao tree, Theobroma cacoa in the plant family Sterculiaceae. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the Coca tree, Erythroxylon coca in the plant family Erythroxylacea. But don’t worry, chocolate’s only real problematic side effect is the widening of your waist line.

Was Cocaine really used in the original Coca-Cola?
Yes! When launched, Coca-Cola's two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine, both stimulants. The cocaine was derived from the cola leaf and the caffeine came from the nut of the kola tree. To this day, Coca-Cola uses a cocaine-free coca leaf extract.

Where is cocaine made?
Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru, all South American countries, are the main producers of cocaine.

How many cocaine users are there worldwide?
There are approximately 21 million cocaine users worldwide, or .4% of the global population.

Is marijuana really a drug?
Yes. Marijuana, which comes from the Cannabis plant, is a psychoactive drug. It contains THC, a chemical compound found in the plant that can lead to an altered perception of time and space, feelings of happiness, or feelings of fatigue.

How harmful is marijuana?
Although some users may report mild side effects, this drug alters a person’s perception. It can lead to delayed response, which can be particularly dangerous if the user is operating a vehicle. Marijuana, also known as weed, has been labeled by some to be a “gateway” drug, leading users towards more dangerous and addictive substances. On the other hand, Colorado and California have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, and many states’ law enforcement officers have stopped arresting people for having marijuana.

Where is marijuana grown?
Morocco and Mexico are two of the largest producers of marijuana; however, large portions of the earth are suitable for growing this drug, so many countries have large crops, including the United States. California and Colorado have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, so many people grow it legally there.

How do you use marijuana?
Marijuana needs to be ingested or smoked in order to feel its effects. The most common method is to smoke the dried leaves wrapped in paper, similar to a cigarette.

How many marijuana users are there worldwide?
There are approximately 190 million marijuana users worldwide, or 4.4% of the global population.

What is meth?
Meth is a type of amphetamine. It is a chemical drug that is produced in nearly all parts of the world. Ecstasy is also another type of amphetamine.

What do amphetamines do?
Amphetamines are a group of drugs that produce all sorts of hyper-active behavior. Ranging from euphoria, wakefulness, and increased motivation, these types of drugs are highly addictive stimulants that usually kill the user before they are able to get clean.

Are amphetamines grown somewhere?
No, these kinds of drugs are chemically produced. Production areas are often called “meth labs” or “meth houses”. Nearly all of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia have active production areas.

How many people use meth worldwide?
There are a reported 60 million meth users in the world, or 1.2% of the world’s population.

Is it true that meth houses are highly explosive?
Approximately 15 percent of meth labs are discovered as a result of a fire or explosion. Careless handling and overheating of highly volatile hazardous chemicals and waste and unsafe manufacturing methods cause solvents and other materials to burst into flames or explode. Improperly labeled and incompatible chemicals are often stored together, compounding the likelihood of fire and explosion.

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