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Facts about Drugs
Other Question and Answers About Drugs and Alcohol
These Questions were posed by 8th graders. Click on the file below.
What is a drug?
A drug is any chemical you take that affects the way your body and mind work. Alcohol, caffeine, aspirin and nicotine are all drugs. A drug must be able to pass from your body into your brain.
What is addiction?
When a drug user can't stop taking a drug even if he wants to (compulsive behavior), when they continue to use the drug despite knowing the negative consequences, it's called addiction. The continued use of the drug interferes with daily life and still they do not stop taking it. When people start taking drugs, they don't plan to get addicted. A person who is addicted might do almost anything—lying, stealing, or hurting people—to keep taking the drug.
What do we mean by “cutting” in relation to drugs?
A cutting agent is a chemical used to "cut" (dilute, water down) drugs with something less expensive than the drug itself to make “more” of the drug. Sometimes cutting is used to add to the drug to hook customers even more on the drug. These adulterants (cutting agents) look like or have other characteristics of the drug to disguise that they are there. Sometimes these chemicals can be just as dangerous or even more so than the original drug.
What is drug withdrawal?
Withdrawal refers to the physical problems and emotions you experience if you are dependent on a substance (such as alcohol, prescription medicines, or illegal drugs) and then suddenly stop or drastically reduce your intake of the substance. All drugs have emotional withdrawal – anxiety, depression, restlessness, etc. Many drugs also have a physical withdrawal such as – increased sensitivity to pain, Sweating, hot flashes, flu-like symptoms, lack of or increased appetite, etc.
Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Tightness in the chest
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms
Grand mal seizures
Delirium tremens (DTs)
What is a drug overdose?
Many substances can cause harm when too much is taken, including alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs and some herbal remedies.
The risk is increased when more than one drug is taken at the same time (a cocktail) or the body is not used to taking a certain drug. An overdose occurs when a toxic (poisonous) amount of a drug or medicine is taken. Permanent brain damage or death may occur.
A person’s likeliness to overdose varies with age, state of health, how the substance was consumed and other factors. Permanent brain damage or death is a risk in some cases. This may be instant or may follow more slowly if organs are permanently damaged.
Symptoms of drug overdose
A wide range of signs and symptoms can occur when a person overdoses, and everyone responds differently. Signs and symptoms depend on a variety of factors including which drug is taken, the amount taken and the person’s state of health at the time.
General symptoms of a drug overdose may include:
loss of balance
breathing difficulties/not breathing
Pink: Stronger Than Heroin, But Legal In Most States
by ANDREW BLANKSTEIN
Two 13-year-old boys in the ski town of Park City, Utah died within 48 hours of each other in September, likely overdosing on a powerful heroin substitute that had been delivered — legally — to their homes by the U.S. mail, and is now turning up in cities across the nation. For the Full Story Click Here
Legalized Marijuana Cited for Increase in Drugged Driving Accidents
Oct 27 2015
By: Ashley Halsey III, The Washington Post
Drunk drivers have long been the scourge of the roadways, and they still are, but now drivers on drugs are becoming a menace that rivals them, according to a new federal report.
A quadrupling use of prescription drugs since 1999, and legalization of marijuana use in some states are cited among the reasons drug use has become an increasing threat to roadway safety, according to a report released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization of state highway safety officers.
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New Report Urges National, State Action on Drugged Driving
First look at drugged driving, its impact on traffic safety and what states can do.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Drug use by drivers is a mounting concern, particularly in light of more permissive marijuana laws (now legal for medical use in D.C. and 23 states and recreational use in four states and D.C.1) and an increase in prescription drug abuse (the amount of prescription painkillers dispensed in the U.S. has quadrupled since 19992). Any drug – whether illegal, filled by a prescription, or over-the-counter – can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. To read the rest of this story Click Here
“Keeping Youth Drug Free”
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"Lower Drinking Age May Bring High School Dropouts"
September 29, 2015
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"Not for Human Consumption: Spice and Bath Salts"
Eighteen-year-old Kurtis Hildreth likely had no idea how dangerous and deadly Spice was, but in 2013 he smoked a fatal dose of the synthetic cannabinoid. His family has since spoken out publicly, raising awareness of the legal drug, marked “not for human consumption.” A recent SAMHSA report revealed emergency department visits resulting from the synthetic marijuana more than doubled in just one year. To read the rest of this story Click Here
"Dying To Be Free"
This article was sent to us by: John Christensen
The last image we have of Patrick Cagey is of his first moments as a free man. He has just walked out of a 30-day drug treatment center in Georgetown, Kentucky, dressed in gym clothes and carrying a Nike duffel bag. The moment reminds his father of Patrick’s graduation from college, and he takes a picture of his son with his cell phone. Patrick is 25. His face bright, he sticks his tongue out in embarrassment. Four days later, he will be dead from a heroin overdose. To read the rest of this story Click Here
By Tara Haelle
"More U.S. Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal: Study"
SUNDAY, April 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of U.S. infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units to treat symptoms of drug withdrawal has nearly quadrupled since 2004, researchers report.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome -- a drug-withdrawal syndrome that often occurs after exposure to prescription narcotic painkillers during pregnancy -- affected only seven babies for every 1,000 admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in 2004. By 2013, that number had jumped to 27 infants for every 1,000 babies in the NICU, the study revealed. To read the rest of this story Click Here