ТОП 10:

VI. State the difference between the words below. Give examples to illustrate their usage.

To fight with – to crack down on.


VII. Interpret the idea.

1. The brain was shot through with holes where its neurons should have been busy making serotonin.

2. At least two groups weren’t so quick to embrace Ricaurte’s results.

3. “Obviously you can’t compress 40 years of depletion into a week,” says Ricaurte.

4. But as the beat goes on, it’s not clear if anyone really does.


VIII. Sum up the main points of the article and formulate the author’s key idea.

IX. Points for discussion.

1. Do you believe drugs might cause serious brain damage?

2. Do all partygoers take drugs?

3. Have you ever tried out any drugs? Did you like it?/Would you like to?

4. What’s the right penalty for drug pushers, do you think?




A wave of potentially lethal drugs, one of which can be concocted in the home kitchen, is sweeping through Britain’s dance clubs.

A magazine survey indicates a tenfold increase in the use of the powerful tranquilliser ketamine and the antidepressant GHB, which police say is also being used as a drug. The two drugs are being offered openly for sale over the Internet, along with instructions how to make GHB.

Police say that they are aware of the increase in use of both drugs and are investigating the Internet suppliers.

A third of clubgoers had tried Special K, as ketamine is known, and another third had taken GHB in the past year for the first time. A year ago, just over 3 per cent of Britain’s regular 500,000 clubbers had used ketamine.

Neither ketamine nor GHB is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which means that possession for personal use is not illegal. However, those manufacturing them can be prosecuted under the Medicines Act.

Although no British coroner has brought in a verdict of death caused by GHB, there are believed to have been five cases where the victim used it with another substance. The American authorities report that 117 people have died through abusing the drug since 1996.

The worry is that it is being sold under different names in the clubs and those using it don’t have the information of what to do and not to do, like staying away from alcohol.

GHB, properly called gamma hydroxybutyrate, releases dopamine in the brain to relieve stress and induce sleep and was banned in America by the Food and Drug Administration in 1990. Until a few months ago commercial production was legal in South Africa, where most British supplies have been coming from.

The increased use of both drugs is causing alarm among enforcement agencies because they are usually taken in conjunction with Ecstasy, exacerbating the potentially harmful effects. Extreme users have been known to take a triple cocktail of ketamine, GHB and Ecstasy.

A police spokesman said: “The risk is that a lot of people buy them believing they are Ecstasy. The strength of the drug varies massively.”

Ketamine arrived in Britain as a recreational drug in 1992 and is officially described as a disassociative anaesthetic because it causes a division between reality and the senses. It is used as an anaesthetic in veterinary operations and in its medical form comes as a liquid that is injected into the muscles.

Dealers microwave the liquid until it turns into a powder which can be crushed and “snorted”. Ketamine is widely available in most areas of the country in one-gram wraps, costing between £40 and £50.

The growing popularity of GHB is causing greater concern. Drug agencies fear a growth in domestic laboratories after the professional-grade supplies dried up as the South African laboratories were forced out of business.

The difference between a recreational dose and a dangerous one is often mere guesswork. Flooding the market with home-made GHB of varying strengths could keep the coroner’s office a lot busier in 2001.

Stephen, 20, a regular clubgoer from Brixton in South London and a first-time user of ketamine, said that he had taken it by mistake. Within 30 minutes he had “started to go a bit mad.” He went outside and found that he had no sense of perspective, believing that he could pick up items that were several hundred yards away.

Stephen said that after his experience he would be reluctant to try it again. “I’m scared what will happen.”

“Papa Smurf”, a 24-year-old South African chemist and self-confessed GHB dealer, said the first time he tried the drug he was violently ill. He decided to manufacture a batch for himself and began by ordering the two basic ingredients over the Internet. He had no scales so used approximate quantities of the mix and produced such a powerful drug that he passed out. Once he had perfected the mixture he sold it legally.

`His worry is that unregulated GHB is now flooding the market and young, uninformed people are trying it without realizing how strong it is.

Jane Crane

/From “The Times”, Nov. 25, 2007/


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