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Cardinal Ambrozic CSS. sUBSTANCE USE and abuse-2. “Gateway drugs”: Alcohol and tobacco. “ Gateway Drugs ” (Theory). The concept of “ gateway drugs ” implies that the use of certain drugs ( eg . alcohol, tobacco, cannabis) lead to the use of other harder drugs ( eg . cocaine, heroin).

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sUBSTANCE USE and abuse-2

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Cardinal Ambrozic CSS

sUBSTANCE USE and abuse-2

“Gateway drugs”:

Alcohol and tobacco

“Gateway Drugs” (Theory)

  • The concept of “gateway drugs” implies that the use of certain drugs (eg. alcohol, tobacco, cannabis) lead to the use of other harder drugs (eg. cocaine, heroin).

  • Tobacco and Alcohol are often the first two mood-altering (psychoactive) drugs that young people try or use.

  • There are reasons why these drugs are tried first:

    • Availability – they are sold in many locations

    • Affordability – they are relatively inexpensive

    • Accessibility – they are not difficult to access


  • Tobacco is the shredded, dried leaf of the tobacco plant which can be smoked in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or chewed.

  • NICOTINEis the addictive substance/drug naturally found in tobacco.

Anatomy of a Cigarette

Did You Know??

- There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 40 of them are known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing).

Disturbing Facts & Findings:

  • In Canada, the average age at which a person smokes his/her first cigarette is now 13 yrs.

  • The percentage of students who smoke increases significantly from Gr.7-12 (eg. daily use in Ontario ranges from 3% in Gr.7 to 22% in Gr.12).

  • Smokers are more likely to lose all their natural teeth, have remaining teeth that are decayed, and have serious gum disease.

Disturbing Facts & Findings:

  • More than 50% of adolescent smokers will die before age 70 and suffer a reduced quality of life due to their tobacco use

  • In Ontario alone, 44 people die daily as a direct result of smoking = 16, 000/year.

  • In Canada, tobacco companies are required by lawto indicate directly on tobacco packages how much of each of the chemicals is found in tobacco emissions (the exhaled smoke).

  • No advertising of smoking is allowed by law.

  • Even with SO MUCH clear evidence, some teens are continuing to avoid the facts OR choosing to make bad decisions regarding smoking…WHY?


Why teens DO NOT smoke:- ---

Why teens DO smoke:- ---

  • It is often said that:

    “Once You Start, It’s Hard to Stop”

  • Smoking is a hard habit to break because of the addictive nature of the nicotine in cigarettes.

  • The body and mind quickly become used to it and feel that they need it to function daily.

  • “Smoking is an ADDICTION”

Short-Term Health Effects of Smoking Tobacco

Smoking ONE cigarette causes:

  • Increased heart rate & blood pressure

  • Increased breathing rate

  • Diarrhea (for some)

  • Irritated throat and coughing (for some)

  • Reduced fitness and athletic ability (affects lung power)

  • Smelly clothes and hair (smell of stale smoke lingers)

  • Smoker’s bad breath…….ewww….turn off!!

Long-Term Health Effects of Smoking Tobacco

Some of the major long-term risks of smoking are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease (heart attack, stroke)

  • Respiratory Diseases (emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia)

  • Cancer (lung, mouth, and throat)

  • Dental Health Problems (loss of teeth, gum disease)

  • Fertility problems

  • Osteoporosis (due to loss of bone density)

As an ADOLESCENTand/or an ATHLETEthat smokes you can experience:

  • Bad SKIN: smoking restricts blood vessels, thus reducing oxygen and nutrients to the skin = pale/unhealthy/wrinkled.

  • Bad BREATH: smoker’s breath can develop into Halitosis(persistent bad breath).

  • Bad ODOUR: clothes, hair and skin often retain the smell of stale lingering smoke.

  • Bad TEETH & FINGERS: smoke can cause yellow & brown staining on teeth and hands.

  • Reduced ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE: shortness of breath and reduced lung power puts young smokers at a disadvantage.

  • Risk of INJURY & poor HEALING: common sports injuries to ligaments and tendons heal slower in smokers. Skin wounds also heal slowly.

  • Risk of ILLNESS: young smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis & pneumonia due to reduced immune system function.

  • Bad NUTRITION: young smokers tend to eat non-nutritional meals which can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Benefits of Quitting

  • reduced chances of developing heart disease, lung cancer, breathing problems, and infections

  • increased quality and length of life

  • improved LOOKS (reduced wrinkles, reduced yellowing of fingers and teeth), BREATH, and sense of smell & taste.

  • increased overall energy and activity

  • increased $$$$ in your pocket


Quitting the Nasty Habit

Different approaches work for different people:

  • Quitting Cold Turkey

  • Gradually weaning off (cutting down slowly)

  • Joining Support Groups

  • Seeking Medical Assistance (Doctor)

  • Utilizing Gums and Patches (prescribed and over-the-counter)

  • WILL POWER…………

Second-Hand Smoke

Second-Hand Smoke = Environmental Tobacco

Smoke (ETS)= “Passive Smoking” = exhaled

smoke from a smoker, or from a smoldering cigarette is

inhaled by another person (non-smoker)

  • The known effects of ETS have lead to laws being passed that limit where people can smoke.

  • A person exposed to ETS is more likely to have respiratory problems (eg. coughing, phlegm).

  • ETS has been found to lead to heart disease in non-smokers and severely irritate people with allergies.


  • Alcohol is the product of fermenting or distilling various fruits, vegetables, or grains.

  • Why is alcohol considered a drug?

    Because it changes the way a person

    thinks, feels, and acts.

  • Aside from caffeine, alcohol is the most used substance in Canada and around the world.

Just How Alcoholic Is It?

  • The effects of any alcoholic drink depend on the amount of ethyl alcohol consumed.

  • A standard drink contains the same amount of ethyl alcohol – 17 ml (0.6 oz) regardless of the type of beverage.

  • Each of these is equivalent to one standard drink:

    - Regular Beer (5%) – 340 mL (12 oz)

    - Wine (12%) – 142 mL (5 oz)

    - Spirits (40%) – 43 mL (1.5 oz)

    - Coolers (5%) – 340 mL (12 oz)

  • About 20% of the alcohol consumed is absorbed by the stomach and the remainder is absorbed through the small intestine.

  • 2-10% of alcohol consumed escapes through lungs, kidneys and the skin.

  • The remainder of the alcohol is

    oxidized (broken down) by the liver.

  • Long-term alcohol abuse can

    lead to cirrhosis (scarring) of

    the liver.

Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC)

  • BAC = the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream and is a measure of how much a person will be affected by the alcohol consumed.

  • BAC (level of intoxication) depends on:

    * amount of alcohol consumed at one time

    * size, gender, and age

    * rate of alcohol metabolism

    * circumstances in which alcohol is consumed

    (eg. empty/full stomach or angry/depressed mood)

    * other substances (eg. drugs) used in conjunction

    with alcohol

  • The amount of alcohol in the breath is directly related to the amount of alcohol in the blood….thus a person’s BAC can be measured using a “Breathalyzer”.

Stages of Intoxication

  • BAC

  • 0.05 (50 mg alcohol/100 mL blood)

  • (0.05 g alcohol/100 mL blood)

  • - enforced legal limit in nearly all provinces (except Quebec) = suspended license.

  • 0.08 (80 mg alcohol/100 mL blood)

  • - true legal limit (enforced limit in Quebec)

  • - above 0.08 = criminal offence

  • 0.10 (100 mg/100 mL blood)

  • 0.15-0.2 (150-200 mg/100mL blood)

  • 0.4-0.6 (400-600 mg/100 mL blood)

  • - fatal = alcohol blocks the brain’s control of breathing

  • - Alcohol Poisoning

Consequences of Drinking and Driving in Ontario

  • The drinking age is 19 years old in all provinces and territories, except for Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta, where the age is 18 years old.

  • Selling alcohol to underage, intoxicated, or disruptive persons is prohibited.

  • Restaurants and bars must obtain a liquor license and follow the above regulations.

MADD is an organization that focuses not only on preventing drunk driving fatalities, but also on ceasing impaired driving of any kind.

MADD Canada has 70 chapters.

  • Each day in Canada there are ~4 deaths and ~190 injuries

  • from crashes involving alcohol and drugs.

  • Each year, close to 75,000 Canadians have their lives changed

  • in some way by impaired drivers.

Short-Term Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is classified as a depressant. Its first effects

are to “depress” a persons system causing:

  • Initial relaxation, euphoria, loss of anxiety and care

  • Impulsiveness

  • Impaired co-ordination

  • Slower reaction time, reflexes, and mental processes

  • Changes in attitude – increased risk-taking to the point of bad judgments

  • Speech (slurring of words) and Vision (seeing double) impairment

Long-Term Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Some of the major long-term risks of alcohol are:

  • Dependence (Alcoholism)

  • Liver Damage (Cirrhosis)

  • Inflammation of the Stomach or Pancreas

  • Heart Disease

  • Cancer (certain types – eg. Stomach and Intestine)

  • Brain and Nerve Damage

  • Sexual Difficulties – eg. suppression of sex hormone


Alcoholism(Alcohol Dependency Syndrome)

Signs of Alcoholism:

  • Drinking in large amounts over extended periods of time.

  • Neglecting daily activities due to drinking or obtaining alcohol.

  • Steady drinking, even in the absence of appearing to be drunk.

  • Withdrawal symptoms include: insomnia, vomiting, tremors, seizures, hallucinations…..or DEATH.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  • There are serious risks associated with drinking during pregnancy.

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) – can result from exposing a fetus to alcohol

  • Children with FAS are known to have:

    • Reduced growth

    • Mental disabilities

    • Facial deformities

    • Life-long problems

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