Drug Free World Health Notes
The Truth About Drugs • Our Drug Culture: The music we listen to, shows we watch, and other forms of mass media have been contaminated by drugs. It has almost become socially acceptable to do drugs especially by teens. 8% of the American population use illegal drugs daily. • Why do people take drugs? To fit in, escape or relax, relieve boredom, to seem grown up, to rebel, and to experiment • How do they work? They interact with receptors in your cells this distorts your mental and physical capabilities. • How do they affect the mind? They blur your memory, make you feel stupid, and they destroy creativity
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Heroin • Classification: Sedative/ Opioids • Street Names: H, Junk, Horse, Smack, Hell Dust • Methods of use: Injected, Smoked, Sniffed • How does it affect the body? After the first time each hit breaks down the immune system more and more making the user sickly, extremely thin and bony, and in due course dead. • Short-term effects: “Rush,” slow breathing, nausea, sedation, and hypothermia • Long-term effects: Bad teeth, coma, itching, weakening of the immune system, inability to achieve orgasm, and depression • Statistics: • An estimated 13.5 million people in the world take opioids (opium-like substances), including 9.2 million who use heroin • In 2007, 93% of the world’s opium supply came from Afghanistan. (Opium is the raw material for heroin supply.) Its total export value was about $4 billion, of which almost three quarters went to traffickers. About a quarter went to Afghan opium farmers. • The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported 153,000 current heroin users in the US in 2007. other estimates give figures as high as 900,000. • Opiates, mainly heroin, were involved in four of every five drug-related deaths in Europe, according to a 2008 report from the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction. • Opiates, mainly heroin, account for 18% of the admissions for drug and alcohol treatment in the US. • How addictive is it? It is extremely addictive, people experience withdraws after the first use.
Heroin Real Life Stories "Heroin cut me off from the rest of the world. My parents kicked me out. My friends and my brothers didn't want to see me anymore. I was all alone."— Suzanne "From the day I started using, I never stopped. Within one week I had gone from snorting heroin to shooting it. Within one month I was addicted and going through all my money. I sold everything of value that I owned and eventually everything that my mother owned. Within one year, I had lost everything. "I sold my car, lost my job, was kicked out of my mother's house, was $25,000 in credit card debt, and living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. I lied, I stole, I cheated. "I was raped, beaten, mugged, robbed, arrested, homeless, sick and desperate. I knew that nobody could sustain a lifestyle like that very long and I knew that death was imminent. If anything, death was better than a life as a junkie."— Alison "Drugs equal death. If you do nothing to get out, you end up dying. To be a drug addict is to be imprisoned. In the beginning, you think drugs are your friend (they may seem to help you escape the things or feelings that bother you). But soon, you will find you get up in the morning thinking only about drugs. "Your whole day is spent finding or taking drugs. You get high all afternoon. At night, you put yourself to sleep with heroin. And you live only for that. You are in a prison. You beat your head against a wall, nonstop, but you don’t get anywhere. In the end, your prison becomes your tomb." — Sabrina
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Ecstasy • Classification: Hallucinogens • Street Names: Scooby Snacks, California Sunrise, Hug, Beans, Snowball • Methods of use: Injection , Orally • How does it affect the body? It heightens your senses yet is becomes emotionally damaging. • Short-term effects: Confusion, paranoia, muscle tension, blurred vision, and severe anxiety • Long-term effects: Long lasting brain damage, hemorrhaging, convulsions, kidney failure, and psychosis • Statistics: • Taking Ecstasy can cause liver failure, as in the case of a 14-year-old girl who died of this, despite an attempt by doctors to save her with a liver transplant. • Ecstasy is sometimes mixed with substances as rat poison. • Young people have died from dehydration, exhaustion, and heart attack as a result of taking too much Ecstasy. • Ecstasy can cause kidney, liver, and brain damage, including long-lasting lesions (injuries) on the brain tissue. • Even a small amount of Ecstasy can be toxic enough to poison the nervous system and cause irreparable damage. • How addictive is it? Many think it is addictive
Ecstasy Real Life Stories "I hear a lot of people talking about Ecstasy, calling it a fun, harmless drug. All I can think is: If they only knew. "In five months, I went from living somewhat responsibly, while pursuing my dream, to be a person who didn't care about a thing. And the higher I got, the deeper I sank into a dark, lonely place. When I did sleep, I had nightmares and the shakes. I had pasty skin, a throbbing head, and the beginnings of feeling paranoid, but ignored it all thinking it was normal. Until the night I thought I was dying. "Ecstasy took my strength, my motivation, my dreams, my friends, my apartment, my money, and most of all, my sanity. I worry about my future and my health every day. I have many mountains ahead of me, but I plan to keep climbing because I'm one of the lucky ones."— Lynn "Luckily, I am alive, but I'm left with the days, months and years after the trauma. I have to deal with what it's done to me for my whole life—I've been experiencing everything, you name it. "Depression, anxiety, stress, [recurring] nightmares of the night, and bad headaches were a few things that affected me after I took Ecstasy. I almost died. It only took me one night, a few [Ecstasy] pills, and drinking alcohol. This drug is very fatal, and I'm so thankful I'm alive. I can't describe how hard it is coping with these nightmares all the time. I wake up in a sweat just thanking God, and being so thankful it's just another nightmare. I pray that in time the nightmares will fade away. No drug is worth the toll or high."— Liz "Rave parties are okay, so long as you don't take Ecstasy. But as soon as you start, you think people who advise you to stop are idiots. You start to believe you have found something great and others must not try to tell you the contrary. When you start liking Ecstasy, it's too late, you're sunk."— Pat
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Ritalin • Classification: Narcotics/ Stimulant • Street Names: Skittles, Smarties, Diet Coke, Kiddie Coke, Poor Man’s Cocaine • Methods of use: Orally, Snorting • How does it affect the body? It gives the heart problems. It also changes a person’s behavior and personality. • Short-term effects: Loss of appetite, erratic behavior, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and psychosis • Long-term effects: Physical dependence, depression, kidney damage, respiratory problems, and malnutrition • Statistics: • In the US, the number of stimulant prescriptions soared from around 5 million in 1991 to nearly 35 million in 2007. • In 2004, methylphenidate (Ritalin) was involved in an estimated 3,601 hospital emergency department visits, compared to 271 in 1990. • From 1990 to 2000, 186 deaths in the US were linked to Ritalin. The risk is highest for those who snort large amounts of the drug. • Since 1995, it has ranked on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of “most-stolen” medications • 13 times more Ritalin abusers checked in to emergency rooms in 2004 than in 1990 • How addictive is it? It gradually becomes more and more addictive.
Ritalin Real Life Stories "Now, I have built up a tolerance to taking two to three 20 mg pills to get the high. I recognize my dependence…. I have become ‘cracked-out’ or zombie-like.” —Veronica "I ended up doing a lot of stronger amphetamines that brought me down pretty quick, and I don't know if I would have gotten interested in them if I had not started using Ritalin."— Andy “I first tried Ritalin when I was in 7th grade. It was prescribed to me, they thought I had slight ADD [attention deficit disorder], because I pretended to, so I could have an excuse for not doing well in school (I was just lazy). I never realized that I was getting myself addicted, and then I was no different than any other habitual drug user. "I took about 40 mg a day and I felt it put me at the top of my game. I would stay up for days in a row, to the point I suffered a severe psychotic episode. It was terrifying! Everything seemed to be melting and morphing and I was terrified."— Andrea
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Painkillers • Classification: Narcotic • Street Names: Juice, Demmies, Footballs, Vikes, Hillbilly Heroin • Methods of use: Oral, Injections • How does it affect the body? The temporarily relieve the pain the user feels with some ultimately ugly side effects. You become dependant on them. • Short-term and Long-term effects: Constipation, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, increased risk of heart attack, coma, and death • Statistics: • One in ten high school seniors in the US admits to abusing prescription pain killers. • Methadone, once used in addiction treatment canters and now used by doctors as a painkiller was found as the cause of 785 deaths in one state alone, Florida, in 2007. • Prescription drug abuse is also climbing in older Americans, particularly involved anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax and painkillers such as OxyCotin. • In the UK, tens of thousands of people are said to be dependant on painkillers such as Solpadeine and Neurofen Plus. • Doctors and rehabilitation therapists report that prescription painkiller abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to treat. • How addictive is it? They are extremely addictive. The painkillers hide the p.ain they don’t get rid of it
Painkillers Real Life Stories “I realized after about a year I was addicted. When I decided to quit, I went through withdrawals physically, psychologically, and emotionally. I thought when I was on the pills full time,(up to 4 a day) that I could do anything. They actually seemed to keep my mood steady and balanced. Ever since I have been off the pills, I feel more alive, alert and more capable of walking through life with confidence. I did not realize I had kept myself in an illusion or haze with the pills of false happiness."— Jason “At the age of 20, I became an addict to a narcotic which began with a prescription following a surgery. In the weeks that followed [the operation] in addition to orally abusing the tablet, crushing it up enabled me to destroy the controlled release mechanism and to swallow or snort the drug. (It can also be injected to produce a feeling identical to shooting heroin.) The physical withdrawal from the drug is nothing short of agonizing pain.” — James "I didn't think I had a 'drug problem' — I was buying the tablets at the chemist [drug store]. It didn't affect my work. I would feel a bit tired in the mornings, but nothing more. The fact that I had a problem came to a head when I took an overdose of about 40 tablets and found myself in the hospital. I spent 12 weeks in the clinic conquering my addiction."— Alex
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: LSD • Classification: Hallucinogen • Street Names: Loony Toons, Acid, Boomers, Hippie, Zen • Methods of use: Orally • How does it affect the body? It takes the user on a “trip” where they experience either intense bliss or a “bad trip” where they experience terrifying thoughts or feelings. • Short-term effects: Hallucinations • Long-term effects: Flashbacks(reoccurring hallucinations) • Statistics: • In Europe as many as 4.2% of those aged 15 to 24 have taken LSD at least once. When surveyed, the percentage of people in this age group who had used LSD in the past year exceeded 1% in seven countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, and Poland). • In America, since 1975, researchers founded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse have annually surveyed nearly 17,000 high school seniors nationwide to determine trends in drug use and to measure the students’ attitudes and beliefs about drug abuse. • Between 1975 and 1997, the lowest period of LSD use was reported by the class of 1986 when 7.2% of high school seniors reported using LSD at least once in their lives. • The percentage of seniors reporting LSD Use at least once over the course of the prior year nearly doubled from a low of 4.4% in 1985 to 8.4% in 1997. In 1997, 13.6% of seniors had experimented with LSD at least once in their lives. • A study released in January 2008 found that about 3.1 million people in the US aged 12 to 25 said they had used LSD. • How addictive is it? It is extremely addictive. The user looks to return to a place of enlightenment that they “visited” their first time.
"I started drinking at the age of 15. Then I progressed to taking Ecstasy, speed, cocaine and LSD. "I found it difficult to hold down a job and became depressed and thought I would never overcome my obsession with drugs. I attempted suicide twice by overdosing on pills. I was put under psychiatrists who gave me even more drugs, antidepressants and tranquilizers, which just made matters worse. "As an outlet for my feelings, I turned to "self-harm" — I started cutting and burning myself."— Justin LSD Real Life Stories "At 13 years of age I took my first drink and soon after was introduced to marijuana. Then LSD quickly fell into my hands and I became addicted, eating it like candy. "One night during one of my binges I blacked out and awoke with blood all over my face and vomit coming out of my mouth. By some miracle I pulled myself awake and cleaned myself up. I got into the car, shaking, drove to my parent's house. I climbed into bed with my mom and cried. "By the age of 21, I checked into my first rehab."— Donna "I started hanging out at strip clubs, casinos and became very promiscuous, visiting brothel after brothel and was soon to be introduced to other drugs. I had now lost all my inheritance and had to move into a crack-house where I stayed for a year watching people die, losing my business and becoming a thief. "I was arrested in November 2003 for attempted hijacking and went to prison. I had hurt and lost everyone that loved me and I was disowned. I ended up homeless and on the streets living and sleeping in a cardboard box by the ]train] station, begging and struggling to find ways to get my next meal."— Frederick
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Marijuana • Classification: Hallucinogen • Street Names: Weed, Pot, Mary Jane, Dope, Hemp • Methods of use: Smoked • How does it affect the body? It raises their heart rate, lessened coordination and balance, and unreal state of mind . • Short-term effects: Panic, poor coordination, lowered reaction time, increased heart beat, and sensory distortion • Long-term effects: Reduce resistance to common illnesses, study difficulties, inability to understand things clearly, and rapid destruction of lung fibers • Statistics: • Over 94 million people in the US have admitted using it at least once. • According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2.1 million people in the US abused marijuana for the first time that year. • Among 12-to 17-year-olds, 6.7% were current marijuana users in 2007. • In 2005, 242,200 emergency room visits in the US involved marijuana. • Next to alcohol, marijuana is the second most frequently found substance in the bodies of drivers involved in fatal automobile accidents. • How addictive is it? It is less addictive than some of the stronger drugs. It can lead to the use of other drugs that’s why it is know as a gateway drug.
"The teacher in the school I went to would smoke three or four joints a day. He got lots of students to start smoking joints, me included. His dealer then pushed me to start using heroin, which I did without resisting. By that time, it was as if my conscience was already dead."— Veronique Marijuana Real Life Stories “I was given my first joint in the playground of my school. I'm a heroin addict now, and I’ve just finished my eighth treatment for drug addiction."— Christian "I started using on a lark, a dare from a best friend who said that I was too chicken to smoke a joint and drink a quart of beer. I was fourteen at that time. After seven years of using and drinking I found myself at the end of the road with addiction. I was no longer using to feel euphoria, I was just using to feel some semblance of normality. Then I started having negative feelings about myself and my own abilities. I hated the paranoia. I hated looking over my shoulder all the time. I really hated not trusting my friends. "I became so paranoid that I successfully drove everyone away and found myself in the terrible place no one wants to be in — I was alone. I'd wake up in the morning and start using and keep using throughout the day."— Paul
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Cocaine • Classification: Narcotic/ Stimulant • Street Names: Dust, Toot, Snow, Mojo, Aunt Nora • Methods of use: Snorting, Injection, Inhalation, Ingestion, Rubbed into the gums • How does it affect the body? It is so addiction that once you have had it you cannot get off of it. It is both physically and mentally “gripping.” • Short-term effects: Convulsions, disturbed sleep patterns, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, and dilated pupils • Long-term effects: Tolerance, delirium, irritability, sexual problems, and respiratory failure • Statistics: • Cocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world. The most recent statistics show that international seizures of cocaine have continued to increase and now total 756 metric tons, with the largest quantities of the drug intercepted in the South America, followed by North America. • According to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, cocaine is also the second most commonly used illegal drug in Europe. Among young people (15 to 34 years), an estimated 7.5 million have used cocaine at least once in their life, 3.5 million in the last year and 1.5 million in the past month. • In the US, the 2006 National survey on Drugs and Health reports that 35.3 million Americans aged 12 and older reported having used cocaine. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the past-year use rate was 6.9%. Among high school students, 8.5% of 12th graders had used cocaine at some point in their young lives, according to the 2006 Monitoring the Future Study by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. • In the US, Cocaine continues to be the most frequently mentioned illegal drug reported to the Drug Abuse Warning Network by hospital emergency departments. There were448,481 emergency department visits involving cocaine reported in 2005. • Surveys show that roughly half of European dance club patrons have been high on cocaine. • How addictive is it? It is the most addictive drug.
Cocaine Real Life Stories "My friend was on drugs for four years, three of which were on hard drugs such as cocaine, LSD, morphine and many antidepressants and painkillers. Actually anything he could get his hands on. He complained all the time of terrible pains in his body and he just got worse and worse till he finally went to see a doctor. "The doctor told him that there was nothing that could be done for him and that due to the deterioration of his body, he would not live much longer. Within days — he was dead." – Wayne "You believe that coke will increase your perceptions, that it will allow you to surpass yourself, that you will be able to control things. It's bloody nonsense. After a while you don't pay your bills anymore, you don't wash yourself anymore, you give up your friends, your family. You will become defenseless and alone." – Nigel "Don't touch cocaine. I spent two years in jail because of this drug. And when I got out, life was so hard I started taking the drug again. I know 10 girls who became prostitutes because of coke. It's much more extreme and degrading than we believe. At the time we don't realize to what degree it destroys us." – Shawne
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Crack • Classification: Narcotic / Stimulant • Street Names: Paste, Dice, Devil Drug, Gravel, Jellybeans • Methods of use: Smoked • How does it affect the body? It raises your heart rate and causes paranoia. • Short-term effects: Nausea, hallucinations, depression, convulsions, and loss of appetite • Long-term effects: High blood pressure, severe chest pains, tooth decay, delirium, and infectious diseases • Statistics: • In US Federal courts in 2007, 5,477 individuals were found guilty of crack cocaine-related crimes. More than 95% of these offenders had been involved in crack cocaine trafficking. • The situation is different I Europe. The European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction reports abuse of crack cocaine is commonly restricted to minority communities in the large cities with high levels of unemployment and poor living conditions. In 2006, 20 European countries reported that crack cocaine abusers represented only 2% of all drug users entering substance abuse treatment, and most of them were reported by the UK. • The 2007 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 8.6 million Americans aged 12 and older reported having used crack. Among those 18 to 25, 6.9% of those surveyed said they has used crack within the last year. The 2007 US Government’s Monitoring the Future survey found that among high school students, 3.2% of 12th graders had used crack cocaine at some point in their lives. • In the US crack was the primary drug of abuse in 178,475 admissions treatment in 2006, 71% of that year. • In Hawaii 11.6% of the people who were arrested used crack in the last week. • How addictive is it? It is highly addictive because it makes you have physiological dependence.
Crack Real Life Stories "In sixty years I had never done drugs and drank only socially, but never to excess. I retired as a successful corporate exec who had put two daughters through college and had earned my retirement. My retirement party was however the beginning of five years of hell. That was when I was introduced to crack cocaine for the first time. Over the next five years, I would lose my home, my wife, all my financial resources, my health and almost my life. I also spent two years in prison."— William "I lived with a crack addict for nearly a year. I loved that addict—who was my boyfriend, with all my heart, but I couldn't stick [with] it any more. "My 'ex' stole incessantly and couldn't tear himself away from his pipe. I think crack is more evil than heroin — one pipe can be all it takes to turn you into an immoral monster."— Audrey "I was introduced to smoking crack cocaine, and that was when everything stopped functioning. I was out with some people who at that time I considered real close friends. You know, it is true what they say about crack: 'when you take that first hit, that high you will never get again'. It ruined me completely. It took total control over me. Crack cocaine has ruined my reputation, my self-worth and my self-respect."— Dennis
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Crystal Meth • Classification: Stimulant • Street Names: Ice, Tina, Ventana, Blade, Glass • Methods of use: Snorting, Smoking, Injecting, Orally • How does it affect the body? It gives the user a rush of confidence, hyper activeness, and energy. • Short-term effects: loss of appetite, nausea, bizarre behavior, hallucinations, and panic • Long-term effects: Liver damage, Depression, psychological dependence, malnutrition, and kidney damage • Statistics: • In 2007, 4.5% of seniors reported using meth at least once in their life. • The percentage of drug treatment admissions due to meth went from 3% in 1996 to 9% in 2006. • Nearly 500 metric tons of meth is produces in a year. • In 2008 13 million people over the age of 12 have used meth. • In a year there are about 24.7 million abusers of meth. • How addictive is it? It is highly addictive because the drug rids the body of its resources and the user finds that the drug is now the source of “everything” and that’s the only way to revive ones self.
Crystal Meth Real Life Stories "Welfare money was not enough to pay for our 'meth' habit and support our son, so we turned our rented home into a meth lab. We stored the toxic chemicals in our refrigerator, not knowing that the toxins would permeate, (go into) the other food in the icebox. "When I gave my three-year-old son some cheese to eat, I did not know that I was giving him poisoned food. I was too stoned on meth to notice it until 12 hours later, that my son was deathly ill. But then I was so stoned it took me 2 hours to figure out how to get him to the hospital five miles away. By the time I got to the emergency room my boy was pronounced dead of a lethal dose of 'ammonia hydroxide', one of the chemicals used to make meth."— Melanie "My life spun out of control after a simple 'girls night out' to alleviate boredom. After being introduced for the first time at age 40, within 3 years I was shooting meth. I left my husband and three children (10, 12 and 15) and ended up living on the street."— Marie "Crystal meth was my drug of choice, but there were others too —cheap, easy to get, easy to become addicted to and, of course, easy to use. I tried it once and BOOM! I was addicted. One of the main things that this affected was my music career. I had a great band and played great music and had great members who weren't only band members but best friends. That all changed when I started using meth."-Brad
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Inhalants • Classification: hallucinogenic/ Depressant • Street Names: Medusa, Oz, Moon Gas, Satan’s Secret, Hippie Crack • Methods of use: Sniffed, Huffed • How does it affect the body? It gives the user an initial high and loss of reserve, then sleepiness, wooziness and agitation. • Short-term effects: Slurred speech, rashes around the nose and mouth, unconsciousness, belligerence, and delusions • Long-term effects: Muscle weakness, irritability, death from heart failure, hearing loss, and serious damage to vital organs • Statistics: • 22% of inhalant abusers who died of a Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome were first time users. • 20% of youth in Europe between 12 and 16 have tried inhalants at least once. • In Nairobi, Kenya< an estimated 60,000 children live on the streets, and almost all are addicted to some sort of inhalant. • In the Pakistani city of Karachi there are an estimated 14,000 street kids, of which 80% to 90% are sniffing or another solvent. • In North America, inhalants are the third most abused substance after alcohol and tobacco. • How addictive is it? They are mildly addictive.
Inhalants Real Life Stories "I actually found myself talking to what I call 'gas buddies' (the hallucinations). One day I was huffing and I thought my friend died because the hallucination of him came to me. I found myself huffing not only for the visuals, but for the company of these imaginary 'friends' that would come to me when I would start to huff. I have been struggling with this addiction for about 7 months now." —Erik "For 14 and a half years, it was a steady progression from glue sniffing, gas sniffing, magic mushrooms.... Then I started on cannabis. I was spending my money on as much cannabis as I could get my hands on. Then I was old enough to go into the clubs, so I started there on amphetamines and Ecstasy. "I began hanging out with people who were taking heroin, and soon I was using it more and more until I was addicted. I had no idea then, the damage it would cause me later. That I would be serving one prison sentence after another, burglarizing people's houses, stealing from my family. All the pain and heartache that I have caused was worse than stealing the material things from them."—Jamie "Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of our son Justin's death. He was 16. He died from inhaling air freshener, an act of inhalant abuse. His senseless death rocked the worlds of all who knew him. Justin was an honors student who loved life and embraced it with enthusiasm. (He was a source of inspiration for many) I will always be haunted by the question of whether Justin would be with us today had he known about the risks he was taking." —Jackie, parent
The Truth About Drugs • Drug Name: Alcohol • Classification: Depressant • Street Names: Booze, Liquor, Beer, Rum, Tequila • Methods of use: Orally • How does it affect the body? It gives a stimulant effect. • Short-term effects: Slurred speech, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches • Long-term effects: Unintentional injuries, increases family problems, alcohol poisoning, ulcers, and Permanent brain damage • Statistics: • Alcohol kills more teenagers than all other drugs combined. It is a factor in the 3 leading causes of death among 15 to 24 year olds: accidents, homicide, and suicides. • Youth who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use other illegal drugs and 50 times more likely to use cocaine than young people who never drink. One survey found that 32%of the heavy drinkers over 12 were also illegal drinkers. • In 2005, 66% of the U.S. population aged 12 or older, or 16 million people, reported heavy drinking (binge drinking on at least 5 of the past 30 days). • Of the 3.9 million Americans who received treatment for a substance abuse problem I 2005, 2.5 million of them were treated for alcohol use. • There are 1.4 million drunk driving arrests in the U.S. every year. • How addictive is it? It takes a long time to become to addicted to alcohol. Once you become an alcoholic you are always an alcoholic.
Alcohol Real Life Stories "When I was 13, friends would make fun of me if I didn’t have a drink. I just gave in because it was easier to join the crowd. "I was really unhappy and just drank to escape my life. I went out less and less, so started losing friends. The more lonely I got, the more I drank. I was violent and out of control. I never knew what I was doing. I was ripping my family apart. "Kicked out of my home at age 16, I was homeless and started begging for money to buy drinks. After years of abuse, doctors told me there was irreparable harm to my health. "I was only 16 but my liver was badly damaged and I was close to killing myself from everything I was drinking."— Samantha "My addiction built steadily and, before I realized it, I had become a morning as well as an afternoon drinker. I decided to stop drinking. I lay awake most of that night, and by noon the next day every bone in my body ached. In a blind panic, I nervously poured a glass full of gin, my hands shaking so violently that I spilled half the bottle. As I gulped it down, I could feel the agony gradually lessening. Then I finally knew the terrible truth: I was hooked. I couldn't quit."— Faye "This past year I have gone to work drunk, blacked out in clubs and bars and can't remember getting home. Ashamedly I slept with someone and could not even remember the person coming home with me until we bumped into each other the next day. "I have destroyed two relationships because I hurt them so much through my drinking, but I put drinking first. My family are so hurt that their daughter is killing herself for apparently no reason."— Jamie
Drug Name: Prescription Drugs • Classification: Depressants/Stimulants/Opioids/ Antidepressants • Street Names: Candy, Reds, Forget-me-pill, China Girl, Black Beauties • Methods of use: Orally, Snorted, Injected • How does it affect the body? They each have different affects on a person’s body. • Short-term effects: Fatigue, paralyzing effects, slowed breathing, exhaustion, and sweating • Long-term effects: Serious withdraw symptoms, cold flashes, hostility, suicidal thoughts, and comas • Statistics: • Everyday in the U.S. 2,500 youth abuse a prescription pain reliever for the 1st time. • In 2006 in the U.S., 2.6 million people abused prescription drugs for the 1st time. • A 2007 survey in the U.S. found that 3.3%of 12 to 17 year olds and 6% of 17 to 25 year olds had abused prescription drugs in the past month. • In 2005, 4.4 million teenagers in the U.S. admitted to taking prescription painkillers, and 2.3 million took a prescription stimulant such as Ritalin. 2.2 million abused over the counter drugs such as cough syrup. The average age for 1st time users is now 13 to 14. • Prescription drug abuse causes the largest percentage of deaths from drug overdosing. Of the 22,400 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2005, opioid painkillers were the most commonly found drug, accounting for 38.2% of these deaths. • How addictive is it? They gradually become more addictive when the person using them becomes dependant. The Truth About Drugs
"I realized I was using more Xanax on a regular basis. I took time off work to get off it. Without the knowledge I was 'addicted', I went off of it, cold turkey: For four days and nights I was bedridden. I didn't sleep or eat. I vomited. I had hallucinations. On about the third day without Xanax I started to become uncoordinated and unbalanced and bumped into things… On about the fourth day I became really worried when I started having twitching sensations."—Patrick Prescription Drugs Real Life Stories "I have overdosed twice off of prescription pills (Zyprexa) and had a close friend die of the same drug….There is no worse feeling than knowing that your friend is dead because you gave him pills that you knew relatively little about."—Linda "I realize that my interest in and resulting dependence on speed started when I was prescribed Ritalin… At first it was every weekend, then it was every day. It got to the point where on three occasions I stole my entire prescription and lied about ever getting it in the first place… My first real binge was a three-day long event where I experienced all the effects of sleep deprivation. "I began to get hallucinations of birds flying overhead, feelings of people in the same room as me when I was alone, and the beginnings of paranoia. I used up [my friend’s] entire Dexedrine prescription within a week. Then I went back to my Ritalin and went on from there. … "I don't remember much of 12th grade. The vast majority was spent in an incoherent, paranoid sleep-stupor. But I do remember overwhelming depression and an inability to understand what exactly was the reason I was doing worse than ever in school. … I barely graduated, and made absolutely no college plans. "At the last minute I enrolled in the local college. I was able to stay clean for about 17 days before the need for speed overcame all. As soon as I started using it again, I stopped going to class. I was too depressed to care. I attended class for one week, and failed miserably."—Sam