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The Effects of Drug Use. Ecstasy. BBC News Monday, 18 December, 2000, Ecstasy brain damage link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1076381.stm Evidence is mounting that regular use of the drug Ecstasy may cause long-term brain changes .

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The Effects of Drug Use

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The effects of drug use l.jpg

The Effects of Drug Use


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Ecstasy


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BBC NewsMonday, 18 December, 2000, Ecstasy brain damage link

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1076381.stm

Evidence is mounting that regular use of the drug Ecstasy may cause long-term brain changes.

Studies in monkeys have already suggested that the drug is toxic to the neurons in the brain, but human evidence has been mainly anecdotal.


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All were subjected to tests involving the supply - or lack - of tryptophan, a chemical which is key to the production of seratonin, another chemical known to have profound effects on mood and memory.

It was the ex-users who stood out in the tests, performing much worse when they were deprived of the chemical, and much better when it was given.


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Professor Curran told BBC News Online:

"When combined with the animal studies, the evidence is certainly growing that there are long-lasting effects.

"We know it has these effects on the brains of monkeys, and human brains are not that different.

"It's certainly a worrying finding."


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Medical News TodayArticle Date: 06 Aug 2005 - 0:00 PST

Drug addiction - Death by Ecstasy

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=28694

Scientists have identified a key protein involved in one of the most lethal side effects of the popular but illegal drug ecstasy.

Most ecstasy-related deaths are caused by an increase in body temperature, or hyperthermia, which leads to organ failure.


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Coroners report: 18-year-old female who attended a RAVE PARTY between the hours of 2230 and 0230 hours at a vacant lot.

Mother of decedent picked her up at which time the decedent appeared to be under the influence. Mother drove straight to Good Samaritan Hospital where decedent told staff that she had taken 3 Ecstasy pills at the party.  


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Decedent kept in ER and monitored until about 0800 when she was released with doctor telling the mother that she would probably sleep for 18 hours and wake up with a headache. Decedent unable to get to car on her own and seemed to sleep the entire trip home to Sylmar. Decedent put to bed and checked on every 30 minutes or so by family. When checked on at about 1600 hours she was found not breathing so family called 911. Decedent taken to Olive View Hospital where she was declared dead in the ER at 1701 hours.


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In this story the young girl died after being sent home from the hospital. The doctors failed to realize the actual lasting effects of ecstasy and thus were unable to help this girl. If our own doctors don't even know how to handle a drug like ecstasy, just imagine the state of affairs our youth are in. They need the correct knowledge in order to make the right decisions.


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…,often the drug has other things added into it. Things like rat poison, sedatives and other chemical combinations. While it is the drug ecstasy itself that does the most damage, nowadays kids don't know what they are taking.


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About 8% of high school seniors surveyed had tried Ecstasy at least once in their lives.

About 5.5% of 19-22 year-olds surveyed had used Ecstasy in the previous year.

Ecstasy-related emergency room incidents increased nationwide from 250 in 1994, to 637 in 1997, to 1,142 in 1998, to 2,850 in 1999.


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Links Human psychopharmacology of Ecstasy (MDMA): a review of 15 years of empirical research

byParrott AC.Department of Psychology, University of East London, UK.

http://www.mdma.net/toxicity/damage.html

Abstinent regular Ecstasy users often display reduced levels of 5-HT, 5-HIAA, tryptophan hydroxylase and serotonin transporter density; functional deficits in learning/memory, higher cognitive processing, sleep, appetite and psychiatric well-being, and, most paradoxically, 'loss of sexual interest/pleasure'. These psychobiological deficits are greatest in heavy Ecstasy users and may reflect serotonergic axonal loss in the higher brain regions, especially the frontal lobes, temporal lobes and hippocampus. These problems seem to remain long after the recreational use of Ecstasy has ceased, suggesting that the neuropharmacological damage may be permament.


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Ecstasy Effects

http://www.ecstasy-effects.com/

Ecstasy, a street name given for the chemical MDMA, is a synthetic, psychoactive , neurotoxic drug with many negative effects. Ecstasy has similar structure to stimulants, like cocaine, and hallucinogenics like LSD.

…Here are a few [negative effects] that may come as quickly as the first dose and increase with continued usage.


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Confusion

Sleep problems

Anxiety

Teeth clenching

Blurred vision

Acne like rash

Brain damage

Depression

Addiction

Paranoia

Nausea

Chills and sweating

Liver damage

Aggression


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In addition to these consequences, impaired memory and long term reduction of serotonin and dopamine can disrupt normal brain activity in the ecstasy user and cause learning disorders and emotional problems.. Erratic mood swings and depression can lead to isolation from friends and family that do not use. Often decreased performance on the job or in school occurs from ecstasy abuse and financial problems increase as well.


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The above brain scans show the amount of serotonin activity over a 40-minute period in a non ECSTASY user. Note the white color within the brain scans, indicative of serotonin activity.

Consider the following scan of ECSTASY users.


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The above is are brain scans of an ECSTASY user. Dark areas in the MDMA (ECSTASY) user's brain show damagedue to chronic MDMA use.

Note how little serotonin activity there is compared to the non user


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Non User

User


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Low levels of serotonin have been associated with several disorders, notably clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.

In short, psychiatric disorders


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Leah Betts (November 11, 1977 - November 16, 1995) was a schoolgirl from Latchingdon in Essex, England. She is notable for the extensive media coverage that followed her death several days after her 18th birthday, on November 11, during which she took an Ecstasy tablet, then collapsed four hours later into a coma, from which she did not recover.


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Cathy Isford was on the verge of realizing her dreams. About to graduate from high school, serving as a teacher's aide to help achieve her goal of a career in teaching, and caught up in the excitement of planning her wedding.


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She and her fiancée had given up raves and party drugs because one night, when they left a rave party they noticed a line of ambulances outside, waiting to rush drug victims to medical attention.For two years, she stayed away from anything unhealthy. But then, as her senior prom approached, against the wishes of her fiancée and friends, she decided to take Ecstasy one more time for prom.


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She was one of 38 prom-goers that night to take Ecstasy. The other 37 woke up the next morning to celebrate a new day. Not Cathy. Her desire to make her prom special by taking designer drugs sunk her into a coma four hours after she took the drug. She never regained consciousness. With her family, fiancé and friends at her side, shefought to survive, but by the second day she was declared brain dead, and there was nothing anyone could do but mourn.

She was buried in her prom dress.


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Ketamine (Special K, or K)


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http://www.voiceofthevictims.com/druginformation.htm

Ketamine (K, Special K, Vitamin K) was developed in the 1960s.  It is used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians and as anesthetic by physicians.  In the late 1970s, Ketamine emerged as a recreational drug.  Today, it has resurfaced on the rave scene and is popular with both teens and young adults.  It is a strong hallucinogenic drug that impairs perceptions, increases feelings of euphoria and distorts users' sense of time and place.


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http://www.dancesafe.org/documents/druginfo/ketamine.php

  • Ketamine belongs to a class of drugs called "dissociative anaesthetics," which separate perception from sensation. Other drugs in this category include PCP, and DXM.

Ketamine usually comes as a liquid in small pharmaceutical bottles, and is most often cooked into a white powder for snorting.


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WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS?


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At lower doses it has a mild, dreamy feeling similar to nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Users report feeling floaty and slightly outside their body. Numbness in the extremities is also common.

Higher doses produce a hallucinogenic (trippy) effect, and may cause the user to feel very far away from their body. This experience is often referred to as entering a "K-hole" and has been compared to a near death experience with sensations of rising above one's body.

While in a K-hole it is very difficult to move. People usually remain seated or lying down during the experience.


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http://www.voiceofthevictims.com/aboutketamine.htm

Along with GHB, Ketamine has long been a drug of choice for rapists.  It dissolves in any liquid and can be slipped into an unsuspecting victim's drink, after which he or she could be unconscious for hours.


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http://leda.lycaeum.org/?ID=9299

Brain Damage

  • Dissociatives definitely cause brain damage if used heavily.One sub-anaesthetic "line dose" of ketamineis probably at least as damaging to your brain as a few day "bender" on hard liquor, and possibly more so because it affects specific areas of the brain.


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The risk of brain damage is worse the longer you stay high at any given time; constant moderate-dose use is probably just as damaging as a brief, high-dose use.


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  • Reaching the anaesthetic level is exceedingly hard on your brain.

In addition to brain damage, these drugs can also trigger psychosis, limbic seizures, temporal lability, depression, and other neurological and psychological diseasesmuch more frequently than other types of drugs.


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People who have used dissociatives heavily have shown clear evidence of brain damage.

…one cannot ignore the fact that most everyone who uses dissociatives both frequently and heavily ends up with some sort of neurological or psychological problem, ranging from impaired memory to a schizophrenia-like syndrome. Many of the impairments correspond exactly to the areas of the brain damaged in lab animals.


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  • Ketamine can cause extreme physical and mental problems including delirium and amnesia.

  • It can have irreversible effects on the human motor system, impairing a person's ability to walk and perform simple tasks.


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http://www.cathysprom.com/designer_drugs.htm

  • Taking Ketamine just one time can cause fatal respiratory problems and severe brain damage.  Erin Rose's heart stopped for 18 minutes, leaving her with the mental capacity of a young child, impaired speech and damaged motor skills.  Through months of rehabilitation, she is finally able to walk and talk again.

  • Ketamine can be mixed with other street drugs, intensifying the dangerous nature of its effects.  Ketamine, which comes in a powder form, can be sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana or mixed with other powerful drugs like LSD or speed (Methamphetamines).


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DXM

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a hallucinogen most closely associated with ketamine and PCP. Unlike any other hallucinogen, DXM has different levels of effects, known as “plateaus” with different effects that range from the “drunk” and “stoned” feeling of the first plateau to complete body/mind disillusion and hallucination of the fourth plateau. The risks of injury or death from DXM raise with the levels of usage, making DXM a very dangerous drug.


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The risks

Nausea, itchy skin, hallucinations, disorientation, and loss of motor skills are the primary risks from DXM

Even with a small dose, DXM impairs a user’s motor skills, at higher doses it causes the user to be completely immobile, making it a popular choice with rapists.


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  • Like ecstasy, DXM impairs the body’s ability to control its temperature, DXM use can result in heatstroke, this risk is greatly increased when mixed with ecstasy.  

  • Permanent serious brain damage can occur from DXM including: impaired memory, control of your behavior, learning, visual perception, and multi-sensory thinking as well as other permanent damage including: psychosis, limbic seizures, temporal lability and depression.

  • DXM can result in coma or death.


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Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine(crystal meth) is a psychostimulantdrug used primarily for recreational purposes. It causes euphoria and excitement by acting directly on the brain's reward mechanisms, thus making it highly addictive. Methamphetamine rapidly enters the brain and causes a cascading release of norepinephrine and dopamine (and to a lesser extent, serotonin). Users may become obsessed or perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand-washing or assembling and disassembling objects.Withdrawal is characterized by increased sleeping and eating, and depression-like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug-craving.


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The Faces of Meth


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Marijuana


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http://www.marijuanaaddiction.info/effects-of-marijuana.htm

Effects of Marijuana on the Brain:

Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain's limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations have shown that neurons in the information processing system of the hippocampus and the activity of the nerve fibers are suppressed by THC. In addition, researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, also deteriorate.

Recent research findings also indicate that long-term use of marijuana produces changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse.


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The Psychological Effects of Marijuana

  • Erodes logical thinking.

  • Hallucination

  • Loss of Ambition

  • Personality Arrest

Let’s consider each one individually.


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  • Erodes logical thinking.

  • All XYT is M

  • WX is M

  • Therefore, WX is XYT

  • All Chickens are born from eggs.

  • All Turkeys are born from eggs.

  • Therefore, all Turkeys are Chickens.

  • Invalid reasoning. Bad logic.


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  • Hallucination

Auditory hallucinations can range from primitive noises such as bangs, whistles, claps, screams, ticks, and others to speech and music. Commonly people who have auditory hallucinations hear voices which utter short comprehensible phrases. Sometimes the person may recognize the voice as one of a family member or deceased friend and sometimes it may be the voice of a stranger or even God. The voices or sounds can be thought to originate from anywhere. The walls, the ground, trees, a shoe are all possible origins of hallucinatory sounds.


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Loss of Ambition

One becomes disenchanted with life. Bored easily. Would rather sit around and get high. Loss of desire to achieve.


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Personality Arrest

Otherwise known as “emotional retardation”.

One remains the psychological age at which one started to use.

43 year old user is 15 years old emotionally and psychologically.

As non users develop emotionally

The user suffers arrested emotional development


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