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Drug Addiction

Planning 10

Jatin Jassi

on 27 April 2014

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Transcript of Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction
What is it?
Drug addiction is a serious health problem that involves taking illegal or prescription drugs. It's basically a brain disease. You feel this big urge to keep taking drugs even though they are harmful. Once addicted to drugs, it's hard to control yourself from taking more. If you do keep giving your body these horrible substances, you can experience terrible symptoms that harm your mental health and your physical health. Therefore, if you don't control your drug abuse, your physical health and your mental health will eventually be at extreme risk; which may lead to death.
Why do people do drugs?
People do drugs for multiple reasons such as:

To be cool and/or fit in because of the media and others
To get high (the feeling is good)
To prevent stress
To have fun (relax and chill)
To feel older and more mature
To be rebellious
To try it out - because they're bored
People are supposed to use prescription drugs for medication since that is what they are meant to be used for. However, some people use them for a different reason. These people are usually taking drugs for medication, but taking their medication can become a habit; even with illegal drugs. Normally because it makes them feel good. When it becomes a habit, they tend to take them more with larger doses. After a while, they will feel the need to take more in order to get high. At this point their drug use may continue to increase and they may find it hard to live life without taking them. It's way better to control your drug abuse and stop before it becomes a really critical habit because it can be very hard to stop when it has become a bad habit. Attempting to stop at a critical point may cause physical illness and intense cravings.
Symptoms and Behaviors
Feeling of using the drug regularly (daily, several times a day, etc)
Failing to stop taking the drug
Making sure that you have a supply of the drug
Spending money for the drug even when you can't afford it
Doing things you normally wouldn't do in order to get the drug such as stealing
Feeling that you need to take the drug to solve your problems
Doing risky and dangerous activities while being on the drug
Being more focused on getting the drug
Drug Abuse and Signs
Recognizing Drug Abuse in Teenagers
Possible indications that teenagers like you are using drugs include:

Problems at school:
Missing classes, missing school, suddenly disliking school or school activities or low grades.
Physical health issues:
Lack of energy and motivation.
Lack of interest in appearance:
A lack of interest in clothing and their appearance.
Behavioral changes:
Ignoring family members or keeping a distance from your family, being very private, keeping secrets from your parents, drastic changes in behavior with family or friends.
Spending money:
Sudden need for money from others, large amounts of spending, stolen money from safe places at home.
Recognizing Signs of Drug Use and Dependence
Signs and symptoms of drug use and dependence vary from the type of drug. You might be able to tell if someone is using a drug by their physical and behavioral signs and symptoms caused by it.
Marijuana and hashish:
Cannabis (also known as marijuana) contains a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that makes the drug very addictive; and it can give you that 'high' feeling.

Signs of use and dependence:

A heightened sense of seeing, hearing and tasting
Poor memory
Increased blood pressure and heart rate
Red eyes
Lack of coordination
Lack of concentration
Increased appetite
Slower reaction time
Paranoid thinking
Barbiturates and benzodiazepines:
These drugs are prescription central nervous system depressants. Examples of barbiturates are phenobarbital, amobarbital (Amytal) and secobarbital (Seconal). Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers. Some examples are diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin) and chlordiazepoxide (Librium). These drugs can be very dangerous so if these drugs are prescribed to you, take them exactly as ordered.

Signs of use and dependence:

Slurred speech
Lack of coordination
Memory problems
Slow breathing and decreased blood pressure
Methamphetamine, cocaine and other stimulants:
Amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine and methylphenidate (Ritalin) are some examples of stimulants. Methamphetamine (also known as 'meth') is a dangerous drug. It's very addictive and it can cause a lot of health problems. Methamphetamine isn't considered expensive as it is widely available.

Signs of use and dependence:

Decreased appetite
Rapid speech
Depression (when drug wears off)
Nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose to users who snort these drugs
Weight loss
Increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature
Club drugs:
Club drugs are drugs commonly used by teenagers or young adults at clubs, parties and concerts. These drugs are Ecstasy (MDMA), GHB, Rohypnol (roofies) and ketamine. These drugs don't fall in the same category but they are similar and they are club drugs. GHB and Rohypnol are highly dangerous and high doses can cause seizures, a coma and death. These two type of drugs are commonly used as date-rape drugs because they worsen consciousness and memory and they're easy to give. A dangerous thing about this drug is that club drugs in the form of liquid, pill or powder that are found on the streets usually contain unknown substances that can be harmful.

Signs of use and dependence:

Reduced inhibitions
A heightened sense of seeing, hearing and tasting
Lack of coordination
Poor judgment
Memory problems
Increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure
Drowsiness and loss of consciousness (with GHB and Rohypnol)
The most common hallucinogens are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP). Hallucinogens make you crazy and you start seeing things. LSD is colourless and odorless. A single drop can make you go nuts for 10 hours. If you take high doses, you can forget who you are and what's going on. LSD can effect your mood, what you see, what you hear, what you think and different parts of your brain. While under the influence of this drug, you can think that you're capable of doing a lot of things that may be very dangerous and crazy. PCP makes you feel no pain so people tend to feel like they have a lot of strength.

Signs of LSD use:

Highly reduced perception of reality (hearing colours)
Permanent mental changes
Rapid heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Flashbacks or a re-experience of the hallucinations
Signs of PCP use:

Loss of appetite
Aggressive, violent behavior
Inhalants such as aerosols, gases, glue, paint thinners, correction fluids, felt tip marker fluids and cleaning fluids are dangerous chemicals. Inhalants are chemicals that people inhale to get high and have a heavy buzz. These chemicals destroy and cut off the oxygen in the brain as they reach it very quickly. They can also effect your lungs and other parts of your body. Inhaling volatile substances is called huffing.

Signs and effects of volatile solvents:

Burning of skin
Signs and effects of aerosols:

Lung and braing damage
Led poisoning
Signs and effects of gases:

Intoxicating if drank or inhaled
Heavy buzz
More signs:

Lung damage
Brain damage
Stuffy nose
Throat damage
Damage of eyes
Skin breakouts
Liver damage
Speech is different
Vision loss
Sudden collapsing
Sudden sniffing death
Heart failure
Loss of sensation
Loss of movement of fingers and toes
Memory loss
Narcotic pain killers and other opiates:
Opioids are narcotic and painkilling drugs. These types of drugs include heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone (OxyContin). These drugs are highly common as prescribed drugs by doctors in order to decrease your pain; which is why they're known as pain killers. However, these drugs are very addictive and can be very dangerous so it's important that these drugs are taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. There are different ways of taking these drugs. You can inject them with a needle (injection), snort them (snorting) or smoke them (smoking).

Signs of narcotic use and dependence:
Reduced sense of pain
Slow breathing
Needle marks (if injected)
Light headed
Drug Addiction Causes
Drug addiction is caused by two things:

Family beliefs and attitudes or involvement with a group that encourages drug use.
As soon as you take a drug, you become addicted right away. Possibly by inherited traits.
Life-Changing Complications
Drugs can cause many life-changing complications such as:

Health Problems:
Drug addiction can cause both long-term and short-term mental and physical health problems depending on what type of drug is taken.
Unconsciousness, coma and sudden death:
Some drugs can be very risky to take. If you take high doses or even combine them with other substances, drugs or alcohol, 1 of these 3 complications might occur.
Getting a disease:
The tendency of getting a disease increases when addicted to drugs. You can get HIV either through unsafe sex or by sharing needles.
While under the influence of a drug, you're more likely to do dangerous things such as driving.
Addicted drug users are more likely to commit suicide than people who aren't addicted to drugs.
Family problems:
Behavioral changes can cause family problems such as family strife and custody issues.
Work issues:
Behavioral changes, being late or absent or work performance can cause work issues.
Problems at school:
Behavioral changes, being late or absent, lack of effort in work, not handing in assignments, bullying and many more can cause problems.
Legal issues:
Stealing or driving while being high can cause legal issues.
Financial problems:
Spending money for drugs can cause debt, stress and more financial problems.
The best way to prevent drug addiction to an illegal drug is probably to never take it. However, when taking a prescription drug, you have to be careful not to take too many or to take it more often than ordered because that can cause addiction.
Preventing Drug Abuse in Teenagers
Talk to others (parents, friends) about the dangerous aspects of drug use.
Always listen to those who tell you about drug addiction causing problems and not to take illegal drugs because of their dangerous effects and causes.
Be smart and healthy:
Try your best to stay away from these dangerous drugs and to stay away from alcohol and smoking in order to be healthy and to live a good lifestyle.
Strengthen the bond:
Have a good and safe relationship with your parents in order to reduce the risk of drug addiction.
1: Did you know that cannabis was used to pay taxes from 1631 - 1800?
It was used as currency between this time period all because of the British. The English navy was dependent on cannabis hemp fibers in order to make ropes and sails. Farmers started to grow cannabis because of its popularity. Even George Washington (1st president of the United States) and Thomas Jefferson (3rd president of the United States) grew cannabis on their plantations!
2: Heroin was once sold in stores as a cough suppressant.
Bayer, the pharmaceutical company marketed heroin as a substitute for morphine and cough suppressant. Around 1898, tuberculosis and pneumonia were the leading causes of death because coughs and colds were fatal at this time. Everyone was desperate for a cough medicine and heroin was considered to do the job; and it did. It was a huge success. However, people started to get really addicted to it. Because of this, it stopped being a cough suppressant.
3: Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886), wrote the entire book in 6 days and 6 nights while being on a cocaine binge (doing cocaine continuously to excess).
Stevenson managed to put 60,000 words on paper in just under 1 week. That is a lot of words for 1 entire book written in almost 1 week knowing that the famous writer, Stephen King, only writes about 1,000 words a day and was also a cocaine addict!
4: The psychedelic drug chemist and inventor of LSD Albert Hofmann, passed away in 2008 at the age of 102!
LSD was discovered in 1938 while studying a fungus found on wheat and other grains at a pharmaceutical firm. The drug started to get noticed on April 16, 1943 when he accidentally took a bit of the LSD from his fingertips. He immediately left home on his bike from his lab because he felt a sudden feeling of discomfort and minor dizziness. During his bike ride home, everything he saw was distorted just from a tiny amount of the drug! He was fascinated by it so he eventually took 250 micrograms of LSD to test it out and that turned out to be a horrific experience!
5: Bayer AG is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company (best known for their discovery of aspirin) which bought prisoners from Auschwitz to test drugs.
This happened because another German pharmaceutical company IG Farben, used slave labor and tested drugs and chemicals on people from concentration camps in Germany. So, when they bought Bayer AG, they continued to test drugs on humans. After finding out that Bayer AG did such a thing, the company's executive Fritz ter Meer, was sent to prison for crimes against humanity!
By: Jatin Jassi
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