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Drugs are derived from a range of sources. Many are found in plants, for example nicotine in tobacco; caffeine in coffee; and cocaine from the coca plant. Morphine and codeine are derived from the opium poppy, while heroin is produced by the chemical modification of morphine. Marijuana is the leaf, buds and seed heads of the cannabis plant, whilst hashish and hash oil are the plantís resin.

Alcohol is produced by the natural process of fermentation, which happens when fruit, grain or vegetables decompose. Certain fungi, such as magic mushrooms and cactus plants are considered drugs because of their hallucinogenic properties. Medicines can be manufactured from both natural and artificial chemicals (Bathgate, 2000:30).