Are You Drug Smart? Test Your Chemical IQ

Title: Are You Drug Smart? Test Your Chemical IQ
Author: Jim Parker
Publisher: Do It Now Foundation
Publication Date: 2/02
Catalog Number: 103


1. (a) strange, but true. Various users of the dissociative anesthetic ketamine (AKA "K" or "Special K") — including early researcher Dr. John Lilly — have reported that they felt in telepathic contact with extraterrestrials while under K’s influence. None has produced autopsy photos or other forms of proof, though, despite the fact that Fox would probably pay a fortune for the TV rights.

2. (a) true. In nearly all cases, hash oil really is just that, a concentrate of hashish in an alcohol solution.

3. (d) all of the above. Although only heroin and other injectable drugs are linked directly to transmission of the AIDS virus (through the sharing of contaminated needles), alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs can lead to high-risk sex, which can increase risk of infection.

4. (c) alcohol. Although the sleeping pill Rohypnol was labeled the date-rape drug by the media in the mid-’90s (since it could be slipped undetected into an unsuspecting woman’s drink and caused full or partial amnesia in victims), all the drugs listed (and perhaps all drugs period) have been linked to date rape. Still, alcohol figures into more reports of date rape and sexual assault than any other drug.

5. (b) ephedrine. The main ingredient in most forms of herbal ecstasy is the natural bronchodilator ephedrine, with other natural stimulants (including caffeine) thrown in to impress the gullible. The natural antidepressant St. John’s wort hasn’t turned up in herbal "E" yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t, given the tight new controls the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has imposed on over-the-counter sale of ephedrine.[If you guessed (c) you’re right, too — maybe even more right. Give yourself full credit.]

6. (a) an amphetamine-based hallucinogen. "Ecstasy" is known pharmacologically as MDMA. Its chemical structure is similar to both mescaline and amphetamine.

7. (a) mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Making the victim of a heroin overdose throw up not only doesn’t help, it can even make things worse. Since most heroin users inject the drug, there’s no good reason to induce vomiting.

8. (a) yes. Like other potent stimulant drugs, cocaine can cause serious dependence.

9. (c) peyote. The peyote cactus, which grows in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, is still used in ceremonies of the Native American Church. Religious use of peyote dates back thousands of years.

10. (b) hallucinogens. While hallucinogens do not cause addiction or withdrawal, all opiates and barbiturates do.

11. (b) copycat chemicals designed to mimic illegal drugs. Designer drugs are designed to simulate such controlled drugs as heroin and amphetamine. Since they’re usually untested, they can pose serious risks to unwitting human guinea pigs.

12. (c) 200. Beverage alcohol contains about 200 calories per ounce. Add mixer, a pineapple slice, and a little straw umbrella, and you come up with lots of calories — but no nutrition. (Unless you eat the pineapple or the umbrella.) 

13. (a) hashish. Ganja and kif are common names for marijuana in India and the Middle East.

14. (c) barbiturates. In combination, alcohol and other depressant drugs can produce a deadly synergism, with effects more multiplicative than additive. Translation? Mix alcohol and downers, and 3 + 3 doesn’t add up to 6, but something more like 9. And for some people, it can add up to a lot more than that.

15. (d) all of the above. Synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone, steroids can cause a number of side effects, including heart disease, acne, and impotence. Need any other reasons to leave them alone?

16. (c) alcohol. The No. 1 cause of birth defects in America is alcohol. Babies born to women who drink during pregnancy can suffer permanent defects known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Even occasional drinking can cause problems, and may increase chances of stillbirth, growth retardation, and miscarriage.

17. (a) Xanax . Although Valium held the top spot for years (and, for a while, was the most widely-prescribed drug of all), Xanax rules the roost today. Both are members of the drug family known as benzodiazepines.

18. (e) b and d. Both "crack" and "rock" are the same thing — a form of cocaine sold in small chunks, which are smoked by users. But no matter what you call it, crack has made a name for itself as the king of street drugs — and a real mother of an addiction. 

19. (d) all of the above. Even though PCP is used medically only as an animal tranquilizer, that hasn’t stopped people from wolfing it down. The reason it often travels under aliases is that it’s so unpredictable and so often unpleasant that users don’t exactly clamor for it or ask it for it by name. Large doses can cause hallucinations, delusions, amnesia, and overdose.

20. (a) methamphetamine. A concentrated form of crystal methamphetamine, "ice" is smoked, just like crack cocaine. It carries all the risks of traditional amphetamine use, and then some, due to the rapid onset of its effects and the intensity of its high, plus the unknown hazards of direct exposure of lung tissue to meth vapors.

Scoring Guide

19-20 right. Drug eggs-pert! Congratulations! You’re a real drug information egghead. Still, you did mess up the grading curve for everyone else.

16-18 right. Over easy! Eggs-cellent score, dude/dudette! If drug information really were money, you’d be rolling in it. Keep up the good work!

13-15 right. Soft-boiled. Not bad, but your drug info quotient is slightly runny, and could stand improvement. Just don’t try to catch up by experimenting on yourself, or you could end up fried.

10-12 right. You must be yolking! Take two drug education pamphlets and call us in the morning. Otherwise, you could eggs-acerbate a bad situation.

Less than 10? Egg-ads! Run — don’t walk — to the nearest telephone and dial (480) 736-0599 to request our free DrugSmart information sampler. Or check out our web site at

And no matter how well you did, remember: What you don’t know can hurt you, and that’s especially true when what you don’t know about happens to be drugs and alcohol.

Take care. And be careful of what you take.

This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health published by Do It Now Foundation.
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