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Substance Abuse :: BMAD

BMAD offers alcohol and drug assessment for those needing one in order to comply with the court system or at the urging of defense attorneys.

Alcohol Information - e.g. Beer, wine, spirits, etc and the UK legal Drink Drive Limit

Although alcohol is a legal substance used by many, there is clear and undisputed evidence that it impairs the user. Accordingly, there is a legal drink-driving limit of 80 mg/dl or 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) enforced by law in the UK and USA.

Alcohol is broken down by the liver at the rate of approximately one unit per hour (a pint of normal strength beer being two units). Consequently, it is possible to still be under the influence the following morning if you drank excessively the night before. In fact, every year in Britain over 25,000 people lose their driving licences the morning after a night's drinking.

To exercise caution, the following calculation can be used to estimate your level of risk, after drinking the night before.

1 Unit of alcohol = 1/2 Pint ordinary strength beer        or...
1 standard glass of table wine        or...
1 standard glass of sherry        or...
1 single measure of spirits

It is advised that you allow a minimum of 1 hour per 1 unit of alcohol before driving or operating heavy machinery or electrical equipment in order to ensure that you are not under the influence of alcohol.

This simple formula will help:

Number of units consumed - Number of hours since last drink = Alcohol content

For example: A person drinks 6 pints of an ordinary strength beer (12 units) finishing drinking at 11pm. They start work at 8am the following day.. (9 Hours later).

12 Units - 9 hours = 3. In this scenario, the person could still have 3 units of alcohol left in their body whilst driving to work the following day - risking both Police prosecution and the safety of others. On average, 3-4 Units will bring most people to the UK / USA legal driving limit. Please exercise caution.

Controlled substances Overview - Illegal drug information

Controlled substances come in a variety of forms, (each carrying different lengths of prison sentence for possession if not under prescription from a qualified medical professional). They all induce different effects and are classified by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The main classes of controlled drugs you may come across are:




Amphetamines / Amphetamine Information- e.g. Speed, Meth, Ice, Crystal, Uppers, Ecstacy:

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that give the user increased energy, reduced appetite and an overall feeling of wellbeing. Found in the form of white pills or powder, Amphetamines may be inhaled, injected, or swallowed. Street names include uppers, wake ups, bennies, dexies, speed, crank, meth, ice, and whiz. Short-term effects include an increase in talkativeness, aggressiveness, breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure, reduced appetite, dilated pupils, visual and auditory hallucinations, sweating and compulsive, repetitive actions.

Barbiturates / Barbiturate Information - e.g. Barbs, Block-Busters:

Barbiturates are prescription sedatives. Commonly abused Barbiturates include amobarbital (Amytal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal). Typically in the form of multicoloured tablets and capsules, this class of drug has numerous street names including syrup, lean, barbs, red devils, goof balls, yellow jackets, block-busters, pinks, reds and blues. When abused, Barbiturates mimic alcohol inebriation causing mild euphoria, reduction of inhibitions, relief of anxiety and sleepiness. Higher doses cause impairment of memory, judgement and co-ordination, irritability, and paranoia.

Benzodiazepine / Benzodiazepines (tranquillisers) Information - e.g. Benzos, Tranx:

Benzodiazepines (otherwise known as tranx or benzos) are a group of structurally related drugs widely prescribed for depression and sleeping disorders. They have sedative-hypnotic, muscle-relaxant, anti-anxiety & anticonvulsant effects and are usually administered orally in tablet or capsule form. The family of drugs include alprozolam (xanax), oxazepam, temazepam, diazepam (valium), chlorazepam (klonopin), prazepam, halazepam and chlordiazepoxide. Some street names for these drugs include: bars, sticks, footballs, blues, and v's . The associated brand names are also commonly used.

Please note that even when correctly prescribed by a Doctor, Benzodiazepines may interfere with the ability of some users to perform certain physical, intellectual and perceptual functions. For this reason, people who are prescribed benzodiazepines should consult with their Doctor before they operate a motor vehicle (or heavy machinery) or engage in tasks requiring concentration and good co-ordination. Such activities may become more dangerous if Benzodiazepines are used together with alcohol or antihistamines (found in many cold, cough and allergy remedies).

Buprenorphine (Subutex, Buprenex, Temgesic and Suboxone):

Buprenorphine is a potent analgesic often used in the treatment of opioid addiction. The drug is sold under the trade names Subutex™, Buprenex™, Temgesic™ and Suboxone™, which contain Buprenorphine HCl alone or in combination with Naloxone HCl. Therapeutically, Buprenorphine is used as a substitution treatment for opioid addicts. Substitution treatment is a form of medical care offered to opiate addicts (primarily heroin addicts) based on a similar or identical substance to the drug normally used. In substitution therapy, Buprenorphine is as effective as Methadone but demonstrates a lower level of physical dependence. Concentrations of free Buprenorphine and Norbuprenorphine in urine may be less than 1 ng/ml after therapeutic administration, but can range up to 20 ng/ml in abuse situations.

Cannibis / Cannibis Information - e.g. Weed, Pot, Grass, Hash:

Cannabis is the most commonly abused illegal drug. It is a derivative of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) and can take several physical forms including dried plant material (a green or grey mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves), blocks of resin and small containers of Cannabis oil. Slang terms include weed, pot, grass, green, smoke, fire, ganja, hash, hashish, herb, skunk, draw and gangster. Most users roll loose Cannabis into a cigarette called a "joint". It can be smoked in a water pipe, called a "bong", or mixed into food or brewed as tea. If someone is intoxicated by Cannabis, he or she may have balance problems and have trouble walking. Their eyes may appear red and bloodshot and he or she may exhibit memory difficulties. When the early effects fade, over a few hours, the user can become hungry and later sleepy.

Cocaine Information - e.g. Coke, Crack, Charlie:

Cocaine, otherwise known as coke, charlie, snow, blow, big C, white, nose candy, crack, rock, and freebase is derived from coca leaves whose properties include increased energy and an overall feeling of euphoria. It is a potent stimulant and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. It comes both in the form of a white powder that is snorted and white crystals (freebase or crack) that are smoked. Visible signs of cocaine use include dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, feelings of restlessness and anxiety. Cocaine's effects are relatively short lived, and once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a "coke crash" that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue.

Heroin (a member of the opiate family) Information - e.g. H, Smack, Dope, Junk:

With such street names as H, dope, junk, skag, brown and smack; Heroin is an addictive narcotic drug derived from the opium poppy. It comes in the form of a light brown or white powder that can be heated and injected or smoked in a rolled joint or cigarette. Heroin interferes with the brain's ability to perceive pain and activates the brain's pleasure system.

When injected or smoked, users report a surge of pleasurable sensation or "rush." Often, the rush is accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling in the limbs. Nausea and vomiting may also ensue.

Inhalants are ordinary household or industrial products that are inhaled or sniffed by solvent abusers to achieve intoxication. There are hundreds of household products on the market today that can be misused as inhalants, including glue, nail polish remover, cleaning fluids, hair spray, petrol, the propellant in aerosol cans and correction fluid. When inhaled via the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxicating effects that can last a few minutes or several hours if inhalants are taken repeatedly.

Ketamine Information - e.g. Ketaject, Special K, Vitamin K:

Ketamine hydrochloride is a central nervous system depressant and a fast-acting general anaesthetic with sedative-hypnotic, analgesic, and hallucinogenic properties. Used as a general anaesthetic in both human and veterinary medical practice, Ketamine is normally found in injectable form. However, it can be converted into a white powder (for snorting or smoking) and re-packaged in small sealed bags or capsules. Street names include Special K, Vitamin K, new Ecstasy, psychedelic heroin, Ketaject, and Super-K.

LSD Information- e.g. Acid, Trips:

LSD is the most common hallucinogen and is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is often in the form of printed blotting paper that is placed on the tongue. Other forms include coloured tablets, clear liquid, and thin squares of gelatine. Slang terms include Acid, doses, trips, hits, or sugar cubes. The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken, the user's personality, mood, and expectations and the surroundings in which the drug is used. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. However, sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. LSD is found in the body in concentrations too low to be detected by a visually read diagnostic test kit. Consequently, laboratory tests are needed to screen for LSD.

Magic Mushrooms Information - e.g. Shrooms, Caps:

Certain types of naturally occurring mushrooms contain hallucinogenic chemicals that can be released when eaten. The mushrooms produce a syndrome similar to alcohol intoxication (sometimes accompanied by hallucinations). Once ingested, magic mushrooms generally cause feelings of nausea and other physical symptoms before the desired mental effects appear. The intoxication from using mushrooms is mild and consists of distorted perceptions. Effects may include different perceptions of stimuli like touch, sight, sound and taste. The onset of symptoms is usually rapid and the effects generally subside within 2 hours. Physical effects can include sweating, a feeling of nervousness and paranoia. Common nick-names include shrooms, caps and magic mushrooms.

MDMA, or Ecstacy Information - e.g. E, XTC, X:

MDMA or Ecstasy (3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic drug with amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. Known as E, Adam, ecstasy, XTC, and X, MDMA often comes in tablet form that is branded, e.g. Playboy bunnies, Nike logo, Mitsubishi logo, etc. This is commonly considered to be a dance or 'rave' drug used by younger people. External physical symptoms of use include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness and chills or sweating.

MDMA, or Ecstasy is detectable in urine.

Methadone Information:

Methadone is prescribed to people who take heroin (or other opiates) to help reduce the risks of their illicit drug use. Methadone is usually prescribed as a green liquid for oral consumption but it also comes in injectable and tablet forms. When taken, methadone creates a sense of well-being and absence of stress which is much less intense but much longer acting than that produced by heroin. Other side effects include constipation, small pupils, sweating and itchy skin. Please note: if used by someone who is not opiate dependent this drug can prove fatal.

Phencyclidine / PCP Information - e.g. Angel Dust:

Phencyclidine or PCP is a white crystalline powder with a distinctive bitter chemical taste. It is a drug only occasionally found in Britain and is much more common in America. It is illegally manufactured and sold on the street with such names as angel dust, ozone, wack, peace pill, elephant tranquilizer, dust and rocket fuel. At high doses, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration. Nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, drooling, loss of balance and dizziness may accompany this. Psychological effects at high doses include illusions, hallucinations and inability to feel physical pain.

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