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Drug Addiction

Drugs (specific information on specific drugs)

Click on one of the options below to find out more information/statistics about the specific drug.


Amphetamines CLICK HERE  Ketamine CLICK HERE

AnalgesicsCLICK HERE    MarijuanaCLICK HERE

Barbiturates CLICK HERE MethadoneCLICK HERE

BuprenorphineCLICK HERE   MethamphetaminesCLICK HERE


Cocaine  CLICK HERE    Opiates/NarcoticsCLICK HERE

Crack CocaineCLICK HERE   Phencyclidine(PCP)CLICK HERE

Depressants CLICK HERE    Prescription Drugs CLICK HERE

Designer Drugs CLICK HERE    Dextromethorphan(DXM) CLICK HERE    Psychedelics CLICK HERE

Ecstasy CLICK HERE           Rohypnol CLICK HERE

Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate(GHB) CLICK HERE   Steroids CLICK HERE

Hallucinogens CLICK HERE   Stimulants CLICK HERE

Heroin/Morphine CLICK HERE    Vicodin CLICK HERE

Inhalents CLICK HERE  Methylphenidate CLICK HERE

Anorectics CLICK HERE OxyContin/Oxycodone CLICK HERE


*Alcohol and drug abuse disorders constitue one of our society's greatest health concerns.


*Alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction are major problems for the nation's youth, adults, and families.


*According to the 199 National Household Survey on drug abuse, an estimated 14.8 million Americans are current users of illict drugs such as sedative-hypnotics or barbiturates, opiates, hallucinogens, and stimulants. (SAMHSA 2000)


*An esitmated 3.6 million people met the diagnostic criteria for dependence on illicit drugs (SAMHSA 2000).


*Alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction are major social problems.


*They affect both men and women, impact all cultures, and are experienced by people of all ages.


*In the U.S., the rates are lower in women than in men, higher in young adults(8-29) than in seniors(65 or more).


*The incidence of addiction and other substance abuse related problems, as well as the types of substances abused, vary among the major US ethnic groups.


*According to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, about 14.8 million Americans had used an illicit drug--a stimulant(upper), a sedative(downer), or a hallucinogen--within the thirty days prior to the survey.


*Drug addiction could have been diagnosed at that time in about 3.6 million people over the age of 12, including 1.5 million people addicted to both illicit drugs and alcohol.


*The causes of alcohol or OTHER drug abuse and addiction are complex, with heredity, enviroment, and social factors all playing a part.


*However, some specific risk factors are associated with substance abuse by youth.



~A chaotic home enviroment(children of alcohol and OTHER drug dependent parents are at hiigher risk for developing substance abuse, mental health, and related problems).


~Ineffective parenting


~A lack of rewarding and nurturing relationships


~Poor social and coping skills


~Failure in school


~Inappropriately shy and/or aggressive behavior


~Affiliation with deviant peers


~the perception that parents, teachers, and other key adults in the community approve of drug abusing behavior



*It is particularly important to address risk factors early.


*The younger a person starts drinking or using drugs, the more likely that person is to develop an addiction.


*In fact, young peopple who begin to drink or use drugs before the age of 15 are 4X more likely to become addicted than if they wait until they are 21 to drink, regardless of other hereditary or enviromental factors.




*Although a professional assessment is necessary to accurately diagnose a substance abuse or addiction problem, the CAGE instrument provides a self-administered tool for alcohol and OTHER drug abuse screening in educational and primary care settings.


*The CAGE is comprised of four questions related to behavior surronding drinking, not directly to clicnical diagnostic issues.


C--Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on your drinking/drug use.


A--Do you get Annoyed at criticism by others about your drinking/drug use?


G--Have you ever felt Guilty about your drinking/drug use or something you have done while drinking/using OTHER drugs?


E--Eye-opner: Have you ever felt the need for a drink/drugs early in the morning?


*One positive answer provides an indication that the person may be at risk for developing a problem with alcohol or other drugs.


*Feedback about this potential problem can provide valuable information to an individual, especially if that person has a family history of alcoholism/OTHER drug addiction or has other risk factors for his/her own substance abuse problems.



*Alcoholims and substance abuse tear at the fabric of the whole community, hurting families, businesses, and neighborhoods, disrupting education, and choking the criminal justice, health, and social service systems.


*Drug abuse kills 14,000 Americans every year.


*The monetary costs also are astounding.


*In 1992, additional health care, extra law enforcement, auto accidents, crime, and lost productivity cost taxpayers enforcement, auto accidents, crime, and lost productivity cost taxpayers about $256 billion.


*Alcoholism accounted for most of that amount ($148 billion); the remaining $98 billion cost is attributed to the abuse of other drugs.



*Effective prevention programs teach skills and promote the development of factors that are known to help reduce the risk of drug use.


*These protective factors include having strong bonds with family, involved parents who communicate rules clearly; success in school; strong bonds with institutions that support society(such as family, school, and religious organizations);and a belief that drug use is unacceptable.



*Achieving abstinence from using drus is the primary goal of recovery.


*The recovery process is enhanced for some people by involvement in individual and group therapy to increase understanding of the addiction process, behavior and motivations, enhance self-esteem and teach life skills.


*Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offer the recovering person a supporting network of peers struggling with similar issues.


*Al-Anon and Alateen groups assist family member in dealing with the issues resulting from the impact of addiction and the changes that take place during recovery.



*New instruments and techniques have given scientists a better understanding of the effects of alcohol and drug use on the brain, and clearly established addiction as a disorder with significant changes in the brain function that persist long after drug taking has stopped.


*Medications have been designed that may improve the treatment of slcoholism and drug addiction and abuse, although there is ongoing debate about the wisdom of treating substance abuse with other substances.


*Research continues and promises to change the landscape of addiction treatment in years to come.



*Co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorders are common.


*More than half (52 percent) the people surveyed who had ever been diagnosed with alcohol abuse or dependence had also expeirenced a mental disorder at some time in his/her life.


*An even larger proportion(59 percent) of people with a history of other dru abuse or dependence also had experenced a mental disorder.


*Mental health problems often predate substance abuse problems by 4-6 years.


*Alcohol or OTHER drugs may be used as a form of self-medication to alleviate the symptoms of the mental disorder.


*In some cases, substance abuse precedes the development of mental health problems.


*For instance, anxiety and depression may be brought on as a response to stressors from broken relationships, lost employment, and other situations directly related to a drug-using lifestyle.


IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN CRISIS NOW, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. CALL 1-800-273-TALK(8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.


Drug Information According to the National Drug Threat Assement of 2009 (NDIC)

*More than 35 million individuals used illict drugs or abused prescription drugs in 2007.

*In 2006 individuals entered public drug treatment facilities more than 1 million times seeking assistance in ending their addiction to illicit or prescription drugs

*More than 1,100 children were injured at, killed at, or removed from methamphetamine laboratory sites from 2007 through Sep. 2008.

*for 1009 the federal government has allocated more than $14 billion for drug treatment and prevention, counterdrug law enforcement, drug interdiction, and international counterdrug assistance.

*In Sept. 2008 there were nearly 100,000 inmates in federal prisons convicted and sentenced for drug offenses, representing more than 52% of all federal prisoners.

In 2007 more than 1.8 million drug-related arrests in the US were carried out by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

*Mexican and Colombian DTOs generate, remove, and launder between $1 billion and $39 billion in wholesale drug proceeds annually.

*Diversion of controlled presctiption drugs costs insurance companies up to $72.5 billion annually, nearly 2/3 of which is paid by public insurers.



*Cocaine trafficking is the leading drug threat to the US.

*GOOD NEWS: Counterdog agencies have made measurable progress against cocaine production, transportation, and distribution, contributing to a reduction in cocaine availability in the US.

*Cocaine availability decreased in many areas during the first 1/2 of 2007 and remained below 2005 and 2006 levels in many drug markets through mid-2008.

*Coca eradication, large cocaine seizures, increased pressure on DTOs in Mexico, intercartel violence, expanded cocaine markets in Europe, and border security have contributed to sustained decreases in cocaine availability in some ares of the US.


*Analysis of law enforcement reporting as well as national drug threat, availability, demand, and treatment data indicates that cocaine trafficking is the greatest drug threat to the US.

*Worldwide cocaine production declined slightly in 2007, primarily because of successful coca eradication in Colombia.

*The estimated amount of cocaine that departed S. America toward the US in 2007 was only slightly higher than the revised 2006 estimate; however, several exceptionally large seizures of cocaine in transit removed a significant amount of cocaine from the supply chain in short periods of time.

*Cocaine seizure data indicate that cocaine smuggling through S.Texas decreased from 2007 throug mid-2008 and increased in California, most likely because of difficulty on the part of DTOs in moving cocaine through Mexico to the S. TX border.

*Cocaine availability in the US was lower in 2007 and early 2008 than it had been in 2005 and 2006, and prolonged cocaine shortages occurred in many US drug markets.




*National law enforcement and drug use surveys show that the adverse impact to the nation's communities, families, and individuals caused by the distribution and abuse of powder and crack cocaine exceeds that caused by all other drugs.

*NDIC NDTS data for 2008 show that 41% of state and local law enforcement agencies in the US identify powder cocaine or crack as the greatest drug threat in their area, a higher % than for any other drug. NDTS data also show that state and local law enforcement agencies identify powder cocaine or crack as the drug most contributing to violent and property crimes in their areas, 50% and 39%, respectively, higher than for any other drug. The agencies ranked cocaine higher than any other drug in nearly every drug threat category.



*Cocaine is white powder made from coca leaves. Crack is another form of cocaine that is usually smoked. Crack and cocaine are stimulants that give an immediate high that lasts a few minutes.

*Cocaine and crack cause sweating, loss of appetite, and increased heart and pulse rate. At higher dose levels users may feel very anxious and panicky.



*Cocaine and crack affect the body and emotions.

*After using cocaine/crack, many people feel tired and depressed.

*Cocaine/crack use can cause heart attacks and strokes. They can also make you stop breathing.



*Regular cocaine/crack users can become very paranoid.

*Mixing alcohol and cocaine increases your risk of sudden death.

*Cocaine can cause heart attacks even amog YOUNG users.

*Cocaine can kill you the first time you use it.

*Cocaine/crack is highly addictive.

*Cocaine use can cause damage to your nose. Regularly snorting cocaine, for example, can lead to loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarsness, and a choronically runny nose.



What is it?

*Ecstasy is a chemical that is usually taken orally as a capsule or tablet. It is a man-made drug that is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens.

*Taking ecstacy causes chemical changes in the brain that affect your mood, appetite, and sleep.

*While taking ecstasy some people experience muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

*Some people also experience confusion, depression, sleep problems, and severe anxiety while taking ecstacy, even for days or weeks after.



*Ecstasy has been shown to damage nerve cells in the brains of animals. The cells most vulnerable are those that are involved with mood, appetite, sleep, and memory.

*Animal research has shown, that ecstasy is also linked to long-term damage to neurons that are involved in mood, thinking, and judgment.

*Ecstacy can make it difficult for your body to control its temperature. This can cause hyperthermia, which is an increase in body temperature that can lead to liver, kidney, and heart failure.

*Although this is a rare event, it is also unpredictable.



*Ecstacy can be addictive.

*Even limited use of ecstacy can cause nausea, increased temperature, teeth clenching, etc.

*It can cause you to become dehydrated or to drink too much water without realizing it. This can be deadly because it interfers with the salt balance in your body.




GHB(gamma hydroxybutyrate, or gammahydroxybutric acid) is a depressant that is usually avaliable in odorless and tasteless liquid form. It can also be sold as a powder or pill. It takes effect 10-20 min. after it is ingested and its effects typically last up to four hours.

People who use GHB(particualarly when combined with other substances, such as alcohol)may experience nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and breathing problems.



*Coma and seizures can occur following use of GHB.

*Combining use with other drugs such alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties.

*Chronic use of GHB may also produce withdrawl effects, includingg insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating.

*GHB has been involved in poisonings, overdoes, date rapes, and deaths.



*GHB can cause people to lose consciousness.

*Different amounts of GHB have different effects on people. In other words, no amount is safe.

*GHB affects your self-control. It is used in date rape and othe assaults because it is a tasteless, odorless substance that can be unknowingly ingested.



What are they?

*Hallucinogens are strong mood-changing drugs with unpredictable psychological effects.

*LSD, or "acid," is sold as tablets, capsules, liquit, or on absorvent paper.

*PCP is illegally manufactured as tablets, capsules, or colored powder and can be snorted, smoke, or eaten.

*Other hallucinogens can come in many forms, including plants and cough suppressants.



*Because hallucinogens alter you brain, they can affect the way you move, react to situations, think, hear and see. These drugs skew your perception of time, reality and the enviroment around you.

*Hallucinogens affect your self-control and emotions.

*They can cause you to mix up your speech, lose control of your muscles, make meaningless movements and do aggressive or violent things.

*These drugs can make you feel confused, suspicious and disoriented.

*Hallucinogens powerfully affect the brain, distorting the way the senses work and changing impressions of time and space.

*People who use these drugs a lot may have a hard time concentrating, communicating, or telling the difference between reality and illusion.

*Using hallucinogens increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This rapid increase can lead to heart and lung failure, possible causing coma or even death.

*At low to moderate doses, PCP use causes breathing to become shallow, and flushing and profuse sweating occur.

*Generalized numbness of the extremities and loss of muscular coordination can occur.



*Hallucinogens can cause flashbacks.  Effects of hallucinogenic drugs can occur weeks, months, even years after use.

*Originally manufactured as an IV anesthetic in 1950, PCP use in humans was discontinued because of its intensely negative psychological effects.

*LSD is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.



What is it?

*Heroin is a white or brown powder made from opium poppies.  Users may snort, smoke or inject it.  Heroin is a depressant.  It also impairs the thinking process, which affects the way you act and make decisions.

*Heroin is highly addictive, and because of the way people use it, it enters the brain almost immediately.  Users build up a tolerance very quickly and need more and more of the drug to feel the same high they did the first time they used it.

*Because the strength of heroin varies and its impact is more unpredictable when used with alcohol or illicit drugs, the user never knows what might happen with the next dose.



*Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, particularly in users who inject the drug.

*Heroin is commonly associated with fatal overdose and is a highly addictive drug.



What are they?

*Inhalants are substances or fumes from products such as glue or paint thinner that are sniffed or “huffed” to cause a high.  Inhalants affect your brain with great speed and force and keep oxygen from reaching your lungs.  Animal and human research shows that most inhalants are extremely toxic.  Perhaps the most significant toxic effect of chronic exposure to inhalants is widespread and long-lasting damage to the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

*Neurons in a part of the brain called the hippocampus can also be damaged by inhalants.

*The damage occurs because the cells don't get enough oxygen.  Since the hippocampus helps control memory, someone who repeatedly uses inhalants may lose the ability to learn new things, may not recognize familiar things, or may have a hard time keeping track of simple conversations.



*Inhalants can cause sudden death.  “Sudden sniffing death” can happen when a person uses inhalants even in a single session.  Users can die by suffocation, choking on their vomit, or having a heart attack because the heart beats irregularly and more rapidly.

*Other risks include: nausea, seizures and fatal accidents.  Chronic use can lead to liver, lung, and kidney problems as well as muscle weakness.  Prolonged abuse can negatively affect a person's cognition, movement, vision, and hearing.

*In addition to these physical and mental health problems, recent research shows that inhalant use is associated with symptoms of depression. Between 2004 and 2006, an estimated 218,000 youths aged 12-17 used inhalants and also experienced depression in the past year.

*The same research showed that depressed teens were more than three times as likely to start using inhalants than teens with no symptoms of depression. The reverse is also true, showing that teens often started using inhalants before depression began.



*Among youths aged 12-17 who used inhalants and had also experienced depression in the past year, 28 percent used inhalants before their depression started and 29 percent started using inhalants at the same time as their depression began.

* "Huffing" concentrated amounts of chemicals from paint and gas can directly induce heart failure and death. Long term effects of chronic abuse include brain, liver and kidney damage.

*Research shows that inhalant use is associated with symptoms of depression. Between 2004 and 2006, an estimated 218,000 youths aged 12-17 used inhalants and also experienced depression in the past year.

*Inhalants can kill you the very first time you use them.



What is it?

*Ketamine is an odorless, tasteless drug that is found in liquid, pill and powder form.  Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic for veterinarians to use on animals.

*Ketamine distorts sounds and sensations and makes users feel detached from reality.  Users report sensations ranging from a feeling of floating to being separated from their bodies.  Some ketamine experiences involve a terrifying feeling of almost complete sensory detachment that is likened to a near-death experience.



*Ketamine can impair your senses, memory, judgment, and coordination.  Users can experience hallucinations and disconnection from everything around them.

*Certain doses of ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. In high doses, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.



*Because you don't feel any pain while high on ketamine, you can seriously injure yourself without knowing it.

*Ketamine causes delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.



What is it?

*Marijuana has a chemical in it called tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.  A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana, too—about 400 of them, some of which are carcinogenic.



*Pot affects a user’s judgment, motor coordination, and short-term memory.  Weed can cause increased heart rate and make some users extremely anxious or paranoid.  Smoking marijuana also causes some changes in the brain similar to those caused by long-term use of cocaine and heroin.

*Research found that students with an average grade of “D” or below were more than four times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year as students who reported an average grade of “A.”

*Students who have smoked marijuana within the past year are more than twice as likely to have cut class than those who did not smoke, while health problems associated with using marijuana can keep students from attending school due to illness.

*Regular marijuana users often have shortened attention spans, decreased energy and ambition, poor judgment, high distractibility, and impaired ability to communicate and relate to others.  Young people who use marijuana weekly have double the risk of depression later in life.



*Marijuana is illegal.

*Smoking pot affects alertness, concentration, perception, coordination and reaction time, many of the skills required for safe driving and other tasks.  These effects can last several hours after smoking.

*Teens age 12 to 17 who regularly smoke marijuana were shown to be three times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts.

*Can you become addicted to marijuana?  Actually, yes.  More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.

*Marijuana has some of the same cancer-causing substances as tobacco.  One joint can deliver four times as much cancer-causing tar as one cigarette.



What is it?

*Methamphetamine, or meth, is a synthetic chemical that acts as a stimulant. It is snorted, injected, smoked or swallowed.  Users experience an initial rush that lasts only a few minutes. Oral or intranasal use produces euphoria-a high, but not a rush.

*Creating a sense of energy, meth can push the body faster and further than it’s meant to go.  It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and the risk of stroke.



*In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes, often making the user feel very anxious.  Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, hallucinations and mood disorders.

*Meth is very powerful and highly addictive.  Users can become tolerant to its effects, and need to increase the amount they take to feel the same way they did the first time they took it.

*Meth increases heart rate, blood pressure, and the risk of stroke.  It can kill you the first time you take it.  An overdose of meth can result in heart failure.  Long-term physical effects such as liver, kidney, and lung damage may also kill you.



*Meth can kill you by causing overheating, convulsions, and coma.

*Meth users may have cracked teeth due to extreme jaw-clenching during a methamphetamine high.

*Meth can cause a severe "crash" after the effects wear off.

*Meth can damage blood vessels in the brain, leading to strokes (which can produce irreversible damage).

*Meth can be made from lethal ingredients like battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, and antifreeze.



*Prescription drugs are medicines that are prescribed to a patient by a doctor to treat or cure a health condition such as diabetes, cancer, or common infections. These drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are shown to have medical benefits when prescribed and taken exactly as directed by a health provider. For people who are suffering, these drugs allow them to control their symptoms, cure or treat their diseases, control pain, or fight an infection. However, these medicines are only safe when taken exactly as directed by a doctor, healthcare provider, or as indicated on the packaging. This includes following directions on dosages, how often to take these drugs, and never taking any drug that is not prescribe for you.

*To ensure the safety of the patient, the FDA requires prescriptions — and sometimes detailed directions on the packaging — to make sure the patient takes these drugs as intended and understands the risks involved. The very reason that these drugs require a prescription or detailed directions is because these drugs can be dangerous if they are not taken as instructed.



*Prescription drugs can be dangerous and even lethal when taken without medical supervision, or when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Prescription drug side effects and withdrawal symptoms from these drugs vary from drug to drug, but common effects include poor concentration, disorientation, apathy, feelings of confusion, addiction, anxiety, hostility and aggression, respiratory failure or slowed breathing, dizziness, slurred speech, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, tremors, convulsions, lack of energy, increased heart rate and breathing, heart attacks, coma, and death.

*Taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you — or taking them in any way other than directed by a doctor — is considered non-medical use or abuse and can be as dangerous as taking an illegal drug such as cocaine or heroin. When misused, many prescription drugs can be as dangerous and addictive as “street” drugs. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of poisonings and even deaths associated with the abuse of prescription drugs, including prescription painkillers and anti-depressants.

*In other words, even if a medication is prescribed to you, taking larger doses than prescribed, taking it more often than directed, or using it in a way that is it not intended, is considered abuse and can also lead to severe health consequences and addiction. Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for dependence on prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin) grew more than 300 percent.



*Taking prescription drugs without a prescription or not taking them as directed is unsafe and potentially deadly, but mixing these drugs with alcohol or illegal drugs can be lethal. A 2008 study based on 224,355 U.S. death certificates for which people died from medication errors showed thatthere was a 3,196 percent increase between 1983 and 2004 in deaths at home from combining prescription drugs with alcohol and/or street drugs.



*Additonally, getting prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal and may put you at risk for arrest and prosecution. Regardless of how you acquire a prescription medication, using these types of drugs withouth a valid prescription--written for you--is unsafe and illegal.



*Unintentional drug poisoning death rates increased substantially in the United States during 1999-2004. This increase can primarily be attributed to increasing numbers of deaths associated with prescription opioids (painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.)

*More than 29 percent of teens in treatment are dependent on tranquilizers, sedatives, amphetamines, and other stimulants (all types of prescription drugs).

*Painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin are opiates and are very powerful medications that need to be taken under the close supervision of a doctor. These medications, when taken inappropriately, can cause addiction because they impact the same areas of the brain as heroin.

*Abusing prescription drugs for the first time before age 16 leads to a greater risk of dependence later in life.

*Unintentional poisoning deaths involving narcotics and hallucinogens (primarily prescription painkillers) grew 55 percent from 1999 to 2004.

*Unintentional poisoning deaths involving psychotherapeutic drugs, such as sedative-hypnotics and anti-depressants, grew 84 percent from 1999 to 2004.

*Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for dependence on prescription painkillers grew more than 300 percent.



What are they?

*Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medications that can be purchased at a pharmacy, grocery, or convenience store without a prescription to treat the symptoms of common colds or pains, such as a headache. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that these medications have medical benefits for common ailments and are safe for general consumption if taken exactly as prescribed by the packaging.

*However, all drugs, including over-the-counter medications, change the body’s function or chemistry from its natural state and can be harmful if they are not taken as directed. For example, the common painkiller Ibuprofen (more commonly known as Advil®) can cause kidney damage if taken for prolonged periods or in excessive dosages.



*As is the case with any drug, overdoses from over-the-counter medications, can occur. One type of over-the-counter medication that is especially dangerous when abused is Dextromethorphan (DXM), which is found in many types of cough syrup. From 1999 to 2004, there was a seven-fold increase in cases of poisoning and overdoses related to the abuse of DXM reported to poison control centers nationwide. Most of these were among 15- and 16-year-olds.

*An overdose on over-the-counter drugs can vary greatly, depending on what other drugs they are mixed with, the amount of drugs taken, how quickly they are taken, and the individual’s body chemistry. Some over-the-counter drugs can even cause death if used incorrectly.

*The health risks of abusing over-the-counter drugs include impaired judgment and mental functioning, loss of coordination, increased heart rate and blood pressure, numbness, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, hot flashes, agitation, psychosis, brain damage, seizure, and death.

*The only safe way to take over-the-counter medications is to do so exactly as directed by a doctor or as directed on the packaging and to treat the symptoms for which they are intended.



*At levels above the recommended dosage, DXM (the main ingredient in many cough syrups) is a dangerous dissociative like PCP (angel dust) and ketamine (animal tranquilizer).

*Some cough syrups that contain DXM often also contain decongestants, which , when abused, can cause hypoxic brain damage (not getting enough oxygen to the brain), due to the combination of DXM with decongestants.

*DXM-based cough remedies contain many other ingredients that, when taken in excessive dosages, can cause serious health effects such as liver damage due to toxic side effects of those other ingredients. Overdoses of acetaminophen, reportedly cause more than 56,000 emergency room visits a year.

*Over-the-counter drug abuse also occurs with laxatives, diuretics, emetics, and diet pills. Ephedrine, caffeine, and phenylpropranolamine are in diet pills and act as stimulants to the central nervous system and can have serious and potentially fatal side effects.



What is it?

*Rohypnol (AKA roofies, date rape drug) is a prescription sedative (not approved for use in the United States) that has no taste or odor when dissolved in a drink.

*It causes users to feel drowsy, forgetful and spacey.



*Rohypnol is more dangerous when mixed with alcohol.  Rohypnol can cause a kind of amnesia – users may not remember what they said or did while under the effects of the drug, making it easier for others to take advantage of them.

*You can become dependent on Rohypnol.

*Withdrawal symptoms range from headache, muscle pain, and confusion to hallucinations and convulsions.



*Because it has no taste or smell, Rohypnol can be put into your drink without you knowing it.

*Withdrawal seizures can occur a week or more after you stop using Rohypnol.

*Rohypnol may cause individuals under the influence of the drug to forget what happened.  Other effects include low blood pressure, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and upset stomach.



What are they?

*Anabolic (“muscle-building”) steroids are man-made substances closely linked to the male hormone testosterone.  These drugs are available by prescription only to treat certain medical conditions. They are only safe for use when a doctor monitors the person taking them.  Abuse of steroids – often in an attempt to gain more muscle mass – can lead to serious health problems.



*In both men and women, steroids can cause severe acne, male-pattern baldness, cysts and oily hair and skin.

*In males, steroid abuse can lead to shrinking of the testicles and breast development.  Side effects for females can include facial hair growth, menstrual changes and deepened voice.

*Using steroids can make you hostile, violent and angry for no reason.  You can experience uncontrollable outbursts of frustration and combativeness often referred to as “roid rage.”

*Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, even for athletes under the age of 30.



*Steroids can stop growth prematurely and permanently in teenagers.

*Steroids can make guys grow breasts and girls grow beards.

*Steroids have disfiguring effects: severe acne, greasy hair, and baldness (in both guys and girls).

*Some side effects of steroid use include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, fluid retention, high blood pressure, kidney tumors and trembling.

*Steroid abusers may also develop a rare condition called peliosis hepatis in which blood-filled cysts crop up on the liver. Both the tumors and cysts can rupture and cause internal bleeding.





-From 2007 to 2008 the percentage of 10th-graders reporting lifetime, past year, and past-month use of any illicit drug other than marijuana declined significantly. Lifetime percent, and past-month use decreased from 6.9 to 5.3 percent.

-Cigarette smoking continues to fall to the lowest rate in the survey's history. Between 2007 and 2008, declines were observed in lifetime, past-month, and daily cigarette use among 10th-graders. Although there were no 1-year declines for 8th and 12th-graders over the past year, all grades surveyed have continued a longer term trend of declining cigarette use. These findings are particularly noteworthy since tobacco addiction is one of the leading preventable contributors to many of our Nation's health problems.

-Overall, the use of stimulants declined. Lifetime,past-year, and past-month amphetamine use declined among 10th graders. Crystal methamphetamine("ice")use continues to decline-past-year use fell among 12th-graders, from 1.6 to 1.1 percent. Also, past-year crack cocaine use declined from 2007 to 2008 among 12th-graders, from 1.9 to 1.6 percent.

-The use of alcohol in all prevalence periods measured among 10th graders decreased. For example, past-year alcohol use by 10th graders declined from 56.3 percent in 2007 to 52.2 percent in 2008.



-Marijuana use across the three grades surveyed has shown a consistent decline since the mid-1900s, but appears it to have leveled off. Past-year use was reported by 10.9 percent of 8th-graders, 23.9 percent of 10th-graders, and 32.4 percent of 12th-graders.

-In 2008,15.4 percent of 12th-graders reported using a prescription drug nonmedically within the past year. This category includes amphetamines, sedatives/barbiturates, tranquilizers, and opiates other than heroin. Vicodin continues to be abused at unacceptably high levels. Many of the drugs used by 12th graders are prescription drugs or, in the case of cough medicine, are avaliable over the counter.

-Attitudes toward substance abuse, often seen as harbingers of change in rates of use, were mostly stable. However, among 12th-graders, perceived risk of harm associated with LSD continues to decrease. Additionally, perceived harmfulness and disapprobal or marijuana and inhalant use softened among 8th-graders this year.

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