A Penn Freshman’s Guide to Substances

If you’re new to the University of Pennsylvania, you may also be new to its well-developed and highly nuanced drug scene. In order to avoid being dubbed a ‘square’, you may want to get acquainted with the substances on offer here in West Philadelphia. For example, when conversing with a friend describing his experience “rolling balls” over the summer, it might not be a good idea to respond with anecdotes of that time you scored a perfect 300 at your local bowling alley. To prevent such faux pas and in no way to endorse the use of these drugs we give you a simple, informational, harm-reduction guide.



Also known as: Weed, Reefer, Hash, The Devil’s Lettuce, Albanian Cough, ZYX, My Toddler’s Pertussis, & “Thomas Edison’s First Functioning Lightbulb”

Effects:  being high, giggling, attraction to Rick & Morty, tree branches sprouting from the mouth, neoliberalism



Also Known As: White, Blow,Baby Powder, Myocardial Infarction, In-Class Presentation, Laxative, OCR

Effects: euphoria, sweating, increased heart rate, punching through windows, nosebleeds, enhanced driving (sometimes), an affinity for the show Narcos

Fun Fact: Cocaine is actually derived from the dandruff of wild yaks in the Tibetan Plateau. Native Tibetans believe cocaine has mystical fertility properties for men, including the ability to impregnate up to 15 women a day, or 4-6 wild yaks.



Also Known As:  Acid, Lucy, L, Trident Layers, English Major, Lake Shore Drive, some dirt I found on the ground, Vladimir Putin’s opinion on cats with three legs

Effects: enhanced pattern recognition, sense of oneness with the universe, your hands look cool, sweating, sometimes you’ll convince yourself that you pooped your pants but then someone will tell you that you didn’t but then you’ll be like “is he messing with me?” and the cycle of personal turmoil will continue indefinitely, diarrhea

Be wary of the “bad trip,” which is the pharmacology term for what happens when you fall and it hurts.



Also Known As:  Molly, X, M, Mandy, Adam, George, Evan, Amy Gutmann, caffeine but like when all your serotonin dumps itself on your brain at once, my ex Stacy

Effects: euphoria, social bonding, chronic dry mouth, thirst, crazy eyes, temporary (?) insanity, enhanced perception of colors, desire to make a nice sauté for your significant other, controlling music with your thoughts

Fun Fact: In the popular song “All Gold Everything”, rapper Trinidad James appears to discuss his usage of MDMA with the line, “popped a molly, I’m sweating.” This is actually a reference to his accidental deflation of his beloved inflatable swimming pool he named Molly during a meth binge in 2011.

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