The following exercises are intended to assist and educate supervisors in recognizing the signs, symptoms, and paraphernalia of the five prohibited drugs. They will serve to familiarize the supervisor with:
A more detailed description on the physical appearance of each substance,
Prominent “street slang” terminology used to refer to each substance, and
Behavior, which might indicate illegal drug use.
Emphasis Point: Even though you (the supervisor) are not expected (nor should you try) to determine the exact drug an employee is using, you should be able to recognize the common: 1) physical, behavioral, speech, performance, and odor signs and symptoms associated with, 2) the physical appearance of, and, 3) the paraphernalia used to administer each of the five prohibited drugs. This will not only help you make a reasonable suspicion determination, but also add credence to your assessment.
Read each of the following paragraphs before completing the next exercises.
Cocaine energizes the entire central nervous system. “Snorting cocaine” (or cocaine hydrochloride) is a white-to-creamy granular or lumpy powder that is chopped into a fine powder before use. It is snorted into the nose, rubbed on the gums, or injected into the veins. Cocaine base is a small crystalline rock about the size of a small pebble. It boils at a low temperature, is not soluble in water, and is up to 90 percent pure. Common paraphernalia may include a single-edged razor blade and a small mirror/piece of smooth metal, a rolled up dollar bill, a half-straw or metal tube, or a small screw cap vial or folded paper packet. When vapors are inhaled, the effect is felt within seven seconds. Crack, a derivative of cocaine, looks like small rocks and is commonly smoked using a crushed aluminum can with pin holes, or occasionally from a glass pipe using a lighter, alcohol lamp, or small butane torch for heating. Trade or street names for cocaine are: Coke, Rock, Crack, Free Base, Flake, Snow, Smoke, and Blow.
Marijuana produces a mildly tranquilizing and mood and perception-altering effect. The leaves of the marijuana plant range in color from green to light tan, and are usually dried and broken into small pieces. Another less prevalent variety known as Hashish is a compressed, sometimes tar-like substance ranging in color from pale yellow to black. Marijuana has a distinctly pungent aroma resembling a combination of sweet alfalfa and incense. Common paraphernalia include cigarette papers, roach clips, and small pipes made of bone, brass or glass. Trade or street names for marijuana include Marinol, THC, Pot, Grass, Joint, Reefer, Acapulco Gold, Sinsemilla, Ganja, Thia Sticks, Hash and Hash oil.
Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that speed up the mind and body. The physical sense of energy at lower doses and the mental exhilaration at higher doses are the reasons for their use. Amphetamines are sold in counterfeit capsules or white flat, double-scored “mini-bennies.” One form of amphetamines (methamphetamine) is often sold as a creamy white and granular powder or in lumps and is packaged in aluminum foil wraps or sealable plastic bags. It may be taken orally, injected or snorted into the nose. Trade or street names for this drug include Biphetamine, Delcobese, Desotyn, Detedrine, Chetrol, Ritalin, Speed, Meth, Crank, Crystal, Monster, Black Beauties, and Rits.
Opiates, more commonly but inaccurately known as narcotics, are drugs that alleviate pain, depress body functions and reactions, and when taken in large doses, cause a strong euphoric feeling. In their natural form, opiates include opium, morphine, codeine and heroin. Opiates may be taken in pill form, smoked, or injected depending upon the type used. Trade or street names for opiates include Smack, Horse Emma, Big D, Dollies, Juice, Syrup, and China White.
Phencyclidine (PCP) was originally developed as an anesthetic, but the adverse side effects prevented its use except as a large animal tranquilizer. Low doses produce sedation and euphoric mood changes. A person’s mood can change rapidly from sedation to excitation and agitation. Larger doses may produce a coma-like condition with muscle rigidity and a blank stare with the eyelids half closed. Sudden noises or physical shocks may cause a “freak out” in which the person has abnormal strength, extremely violent behavior, and an inability to speak or comprehend communication. It is commonly sold as a clear liquid or a creamy, granular powder packaged in one-inch square aluminum foil or folded into packets. Trade or street names include Angel Dust, Dust, and Hog.