Substances

We all know it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to buy, be in possession of, or drink alcohol, but we also know many kids under the legal age do. We know, too, that many adults drink too much. After all, being “legal” doesn't mean you’re all of a sudden smart! Drinking too much is also against the law if you are driving, no matter how old you are! As a result, in addition to breaking the law, you are making yourself vulnerable to the many problems that alcohol can cause in your life.

For example, whether you're a student or an adult, some people who are normally shy in social situations use alcohol to help them loosen up, relax, be "cool". Unfortunately, most of them also end up making fools of themselves by doing or saying things that they might regret the next day! Here are some facts that might help us make better choices when it comes to alcohol.

 

                 WHAT EFFECTS CAN ALCOHOL HAVE ON ME?
 

  1. Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream and effects every system in your body.
     

  2. Heavy drinking can permanently damage your liver, causing cirrhosis and even cancer.
     

  3. Children who are raised in an alcoholic family are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics.
     

  4. Too much alcohol can lower the amount of testosterone in a male body and can eventually cause impotence.
     

  5. Heavy drinking over a long period of time can really play a number on the entire body. Loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, sexual impotence, liver damage, stomach problems, damage to the heart and central nervous system and memory loss are some of the things prolonged drinking can cause.
     

  6. And, if that isn't bad enough, alcohol is one of the leading causes of serious injuries and death.
     



          HOW WOULD I KNOW IF SOMEONE I LOVE HAS A PROBLEM?
 

If you are even asking the question, chances are you already know most of the facts we have listed below. But, just in case, we’ve listed some ways to help you become more aware.

  1. If a party or special occasion is not “special” without the presence of alcohol to help you celebrate.
     

  2. If, once you begin to drink, you can’t stop - “just one more, then I’ll stop. . . .”
     

  3. If you use alcohol to escape problems or calm your nerves.
     

  4. If you use alcohol to help change how you think others might perceive you.
     

  5. If you have a high tolerance level - are you the person who can drink everyone under the table?
     

  6. If you don’t remember too much from the night before - remember driving home last night?
     

  7. If your friends or family are always concern for your safety when you are getting ready to leave.
     



                        MORE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL
 

Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, affecting virtually every organ in the human body. An addiction to alcohol can lead to diseases that would otherwise not be a problem in your life, including HIV/AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. Alcohol lowers you inhibition and impairs your judgment - for example, an unwanted pregnancy is usually the result of risky behaviors and unhealthy choices made while under the influence.

Alcohol “dumbs” you down - you are less coordinated, your reaction time is slower, your senses that help you taste, see, feel, and hear are dulled down when you consume alcohol. Despite all the information that is easily available to us today, alcohol still remains the number one substance used and abused by students from 8th through 12 grades. It is directly related to many of the traffic deaths that occurred to those between the ages of 15 to 20
.

 

ALCOHOL

 

OK! So what is it? It’s a chemical that affects the brain just like any other drug. Inhalants refer to substances that are either sniffed or huffed to give the user an immediate “head rush” or feeling of being high. They also come in such forms as aerosols and cleaning solvents. According to a recent study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, inhalant use among all grades has risen steadily over the last few years.

Nearly 20 percent of all adolescents report using inhalants at least once in their lives. Current use is highest among eighth and ninth graders. Inhalant use can cause a number of physical and emotional problems, and even one-time use can result in death. Educate yourself and then ask the question: Don't you have better things to do than sniff glue?



           USING INHALANTS EVEN ONE TIME CAN PUT YOU AT RISK FOR:

  1. sudden death
     

  2. suffocation
     

  3. visual hallucinations and severe mood swings
     

  4. numbness and tingling of the hands and feet



PROLONGED USE CAN RESULT IN:

  1. headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain
     

  2. decrease or loss of sense or smell
     

  3. nausea and nosebleeds
     

  4. hepatitis
     

  5. violent behavior
     

  6. irregular heartbeat
     

  7. liver, lung, and kidney impairment
     

  8. brain damage
     

  9. damage to the central nervous system
     

  10. dangerous chemical imbalances in the body which could bring on depression
     

  11. lose control of your bladder and bowel movements

 


HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY DIE FROM USING INHALANTS?

According to medical experts, death can occur in at least five ways:

  1. Asphyxia - solvent gases can significantly limit available oxygen in the air, causing breathing to stop
     

  2. Suffocation - typically seen with inhalant users who use bags
     

  3. Choking on your own vomit
     

  4. Careless and dangerous behaviors in potentially dangerous settings
     

  5. Sudden sniffing death syndrome, presumably from cardiac arrest.

 


ARE INHALANTS ADDICTIVE?

When inhalant use continues over a period of time, a user will probably develop a tolerance to them. This means the use will need more frequent use and greater amounts of substance to achieve the same desired “high”. This, in turn, leaves the user at a much greater risk of liver, ling and kidney damage as well as damage to the nervous system and even the risk of death.


Physical dependence can also result in withdrawal symptoms when the user tries to give up the habit. Hallucination, headaches, chills, delirium tremors, and stomach cramps are some of the withdrawal symptoms that may occur until the body has completely cleaned itself of the chemical pollution. If you or someone you know has a habit of using inhalants, there is help available. Talk to a school counselor , a friend, or a parent. Help others help themselves!

INHALANTS

 

Hallucinogenic drugs are substances that distort the way you see, hear and think about things. It gives you a false sense of reality. The most well-known hallucinogen are phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP, angel dust, or loveboat; lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD or mescaline and peyote; and psilocybin, or "magic mushrooms".
 

Under the influence of hallucinogens, the senses of direct distance and time become disoriented. These drugs can produce unpredictable, erratic, and violent behavior which can be uncharacteristic of most users, and sometimes lead to serious injuries and death. Drownings, burns, falls, and automobile crashes have also been reported as being caused while under the influence of hallucinogens. In a recent study, hallucinogens were associated with suicides or attempted suicides in teens. In one year almost 10,000 hospital emergency room visits and approximately 200 deaths were directly attributed to hallucinogen use.


LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS TYPE OF DRUG.

DID YOU KNOW?
 

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING HALLUCINOGENS?

  1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure, which could lead to a stroke
     

  2. Sleeplessness and tremors
     

  3. Lack of muscular coordination
     

  4. Sparse, mangled, and incoherent speech
     

  5. Decreased awareness of touch and pain that can result in self-inflicted injuries
     

  6. Convulsions, which could cause brain damage
     

  7. Coma
     

  8. Heart and lung failure

 

WHAT ARE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING HALLUCINOGENS?

  1. A sense of distance and estrangement from family and friends
     

  2. Depression, anxiety and paranoia
     

  3. Violent behavior
     

  4. Confusion, suspicion, and loss of control
     

  5. Flashbacks
     

  6. Behavior similar to schizophrenic psychosis
     

  7. Catatonic syndrome whereby the user becomes mute, lethargic,

    disoriented, and becomes spastic in their movements

 

Everyone reacts differently to hallucinogens - - there is no way to predict if you can avoid a ‘bad trip”. The effect of hallucinogens can last for 12 hours or longer! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LOSE CONTROL OF YOUR BODY AND MIND FOR THAT LONG?

 

MORE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HALLUCINOGENS - THINK ABOUT IT!

 

HOW DO THESE DRUGS AFFECT MY BODY?
 


The effects of LSD, for example, are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken. Usually the user feels the first effects of the drug within 30 to 90 minutes. These effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating , loss of appetite, feeling “wired”, dry mouth, and tremors. Sensations and feeling change much more dramatically than the physical signs.

 

The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. Depending on the dose, the drug can produce delusions and visual hallucinations which can be frightening and cause panic. These effects typically last for about 12 to 24 hours, depending on the body weight of the user and the amount of drug taken. Terror, fear of insanity and death, injuries, and fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication. Some users have jumped from windows or bridges, thinking that they can actually fly!

 

I’VE HEARD THAT HALLUCINOGENS AREN’T EVEN ADDICTIVE.

SO, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?
 

LSD does not produce compulsive drug seeking behavior like cocaine, alcohol, or nicotine ( Yes, even the cigarette is a drug!) . But, like cigarettes, LSD users who take the hallucinogens repeatedly must take progressively higher and higher doses in order to achieve the same sensations and this can become very dangerous given the unpredictability the drug has on the human body. The user stops thinking about what he is taking, and only looks forward to the results it produces. Repeated usage can result in an increased risk of convulsions, coma, heart and lung failure - all which could lead to death.

Hallucinogens

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