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The Effects of Heroin and Marijuana

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on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of The Effects of Heroin and Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. If the substance is smoked, it begans to effect the user almost immediately lasting around one to three hours. When digested, the effects take longer to begin, but usually last longer. However, there are some marijuana users who strongly believe smoking pot has no negative effects, scientific research has shown that marijuana use can cause many different health problems. Short Term Effects:

Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
Problems with memory and learning
Loss of coordination
Trouble with thinking and problem-solving
Increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure
Sometimes marijuana use can also produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. Effects on Brain:

The active ingredient in marijuana is THC. THC acts on cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. The areas on the brain with more cannainoid receptors get influenced more than others. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.
When high doses of marijuana are used, usually when eaten in food rather than smoked, users can experience the following symptoms:

Impaired memory
Disorientation Effects on the Heart:
Minutes are smoking, the heart begains beating more rapidly and as a result, blood presure drops. Marijuana can easily cause the heart to beat an additonal 20 to 50 beats per minute, and can increase even more if other drugs are used at the same time.
The lower blood pressure and higher heart rate also is a huge risk for a heart attack, up to four times more likely. Effects on the Lungs:

Smoking marijuana, even if you are infrequently, can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, and cause heavy coughing. It has been discovered that regular marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers.

•Daily cough and phlegm production
•More frequent acute chest illnesses
•Increased risk of lung infections
•Obstructed airways

Smoking Marijuana is more dangerous than smoking tobacco because of the tendances that marijuana smokers inhale deeper and hold the smoke in their lungs longer. Other Health Effects:

Research has shown that THC impairs the body's immune system from working properly, which can cause a multitude of health problems
Studys have shown that marijuana increases the chance of developing bacteria infections and tumors. Effects of Exposure During Pregnancy:
Several studies have found that children born to mothers who have been smoking marijuana during pregnancy show some problems with neurological development. According to these studies, prenatal marijuana exposure can cause:
•Altered responses to visual stimuli
•Increased tremulousness
•Problems with sustained attention and memory
•Poor problem-solving skills The Effects of Marijuana Heroin has both short-term and long-term effects. If it is injected, snorted, or smoked, heroin will begin to affect the body’s central nervous system almost immediately after it is used. The Effects of Heroin Short-Term Effects:

Shortly after the heroin is used, a feeling of "Joy" will come over users.
They will often get a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth and the feeling of having "heavy" arms and legs. After the initial rush, "On the nod" happens, in which users will go into an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Heroin can actully cause the user to reach respiratory failure because they begin to breathe at slower rates caused by the suppressing of the central nervous system, the user will experience "cloudy" mental function. Long-Term Effects
Repeated and constant heroin users who fail to use sterile technique or share equipment will begin to experience the long-term effects of such practices
These long terms effects include:
Infection of the heart lining and valves
Liver disease - approximately 70-80% of new hepatitis C infections in the U.S. each year are the result of injection drug use, and even sharing snorting straws has been linked to hepatitis transmission
Kidney disease.
Skin infections and abscesses, especially among chronic injectors who suffer scarred or collapsed veins
In addition to the risk of contracting the hepatitis virus, heroin users also have an increased risk of catching human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other blood-borne viruses. Overdose:
The most serious and worse outcome/effect of heroin is death due to overdose.
Because Heroin is traded through ingredients before it gets on the street, the user has no idea how potent the substance is until they use it. Addiction:
Another dangerous effect of heroin use is the highly addictive nature of the drug. All heroin users, even those who only snort or smoke the drug, can become addicted with repeated use.
As time goes by, the user develops a tolerance for the drug and must increase the amount to keep the same feeling. After a while, the dug has no effect but the addiction continues - they must take the drug just to feel normal, they become physically dependent upon the drug. Withdrawal:
The Withdrawal of heroin when addicted, causes extreme sysmptoms.
These include:
•Extreme craving for the drug
•Muscle and bone pain
The most severe heroin withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after stopping use and can last up until a week. The Effects of Marijuana and Heroin By Nick Chao, Ethan Cheng, Mike Ketchum and Phil Sutanto
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