Drug Facts

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Created on Thursday, 03 March 2011 Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013

TCClogosmall

 

Education is the best prevention for substance abuse. 

 

 

 

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 Alcohol

A product that is only legal for those that are 21 years of age, alcohol is a depressant that comes from organic sources including grapes, grains and berries. These products are fermented and distilled into a liquid.

Alcohol affects every part of the body. It is carried through the bloodstream to the brain, stomach, internal organs, liver, kidneys, muscles - everywhere. It is absorbed very quickly (as short as 5 - 10 minutes) and can stay in the body for several hours.

Alcohol affects the central nervous system and brain. It can make users loosen up, relax, and feel more comfortable, or can make them more aggressive.

Unfortunately, it also lowers their inhibitions, which can set them up for embarrassing or dangerous behavior. In fact, each year approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. This statistic includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle accidents; 1,600 homicides; 300 suicides; and hundreds of others stemming from injuries such as falls, burns and drownings

 

Prescription Drugs

Prescription medications such as pain relievers, central nervous system (CNS) depressants (tranquilizers and sedatives), and stimulants are highly beneficial treatments for a variety of health conditions. Pain relievers enable individuals with chronic pain to lead productive lives; tranquilizers can reduce anxiety and help patients with sleep disorders; and stimulants help people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focus their attention. Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly. But when abused—that is, taken by someone other than the patient for whom the medication was prescribed, or taken in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed—prescription medications can produce serious adverse health effects, including addiction.

Patients, health care professionals, and pharmacists all have roles in preventing the abuse1 of and addiction to prescription medications. For example, patients should follow the directions for use carefully; learn what effects and side effects the medication could have; and inform their doctor/pharmacist whether they are taking other medications [including over-the-counter (OTC) medications or health supplements], since these could potentially interact with the prescribed medication. The patient should read all information provided by the pharmacist. Physicians and other health care providers should screen for past or current substance abuse in the patient during routine examination, including asking questions about what other medications the patient is taking and why. Providers should note any rapid increases in the amount of a medication needed or frequent requests for refills before the quantity prescribed should have been finished, as these may be indicators of abuse.

 Read this great article on prescription drug use at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/us/concerns-about-adhd-practices-and-amphetamine-addiction.html?_r=0


Marijuana

 

It's a plant, so it's natural, and natural is always good-right? Think again, because both natural and synthetic versions of marijuana can cause a long-lasting, negative impact on your developing brain.

AKA

Blunt, dope, ganja, grass, herb, joint, bud, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, green, trees, smoke, sinsemilla, skunk, weed, hash, tea, chronic, 420

What is it?

A green and brown mix of dried flowers, stems, seeds and leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa.39 The main active chemical is THC (tretrahydrocannabinol), which moves quickly through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs throughout the body.39 Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that can also act as a depressant or a stimulant.

The Risks

You may hear people ask, "If it's dangerous, why do so many people have medical marijuana cards?"40 It's true that scientists have determined that the cannabis plant has the potential for addressing a range of medical conditions. But it's also true that when you're young and your body is still growing, marijuana actually has the potential of inflicting a long-lasting, negative impact on your developing brain.

Using marijuana at a young age can result in structural and functional deficits of the brain. This could cause you to develop weakened verbal and communication skills, lowered learning capabilities and a shortened attention span.40

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

In addition to the possible effects on your brain, smoking marijuana may also be hazardous to your developing lungs. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.41

You may have heard people argue that marijuana is a "gateway drug" to harder drug use. Some say this is a myth, others insist it is a fact. The truth is that there is a link. Research shows that the earlier you start using marijuana, the more likely you are to become dependent on it or other types of drugs later in life.42

THE BOTTOM LINE

Some movies and music make "stoner" culture seem cool, natural and like it's not a big deal. But if being fit and getting good grades are some of your goals, using marijuana can become a big deal, fast. Marijuana limits your brain's effectiveness, slows your thinking and impairs your coordination. A number of studies have also shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. 41

 

Reprinted from www.abovetheinfluence.com

 

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