Illicit and Illegal Drug Information

In this section you will find information on the health effects of using marijuana, methamphetamine, and prevention tips of date rape drugs. Marijuana

(Source: http://www.samhsa.gov/

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Marijuana

Slang--Weed, Pot, Grass, Reefer, Ganja, Mary Jane, Blunt, Joint, Roach, Nail

Get the Facts

Marijuana affects your brain. THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed.

Marijuana affects your self-control. Marijuana can seriously affect your sense of time and your coordination, impacting things like driving. In 2002, nearly 120,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms suffering from marijuana-related problems, an increase of more than 139 percent since 1995.1

 

Marijuana affects your lungs. There are more than 400 known chemicals in marijuana. A single joint contains four times as much cancer-causing tar as a filtered cigarette.2

Marijuana affects other aspects of your health. Marijuana can limit your body's ability to fight off infection.3 Long-term marijuana use can even increase the risk of developing certain mental illnesses.4

Marijuana is not always what it seems. Marijuana can be laced with other dangerous drugs without your knowledge. "Blunts"--hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana--sometimes have substances such as crack cocaine, PCP, or embalming fluid added.

Marijuana can be addictive. Not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, but some users do develop signs of dependence. In 1999, more than 220,000 people entered drug treatment programs to kick their marijuana habit.5

Before you Risk It

Know the law. It is illegal to buy or sell marijuana. In most States, holding even small amounts of marijuana can lead to fines or arrest.

Get the facts. Smoking any substance--tobacco, marijuana, or crack cocaine--increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other illnesses.6

Stay informed. It has not yet been proven that using marijuana leads to using other drugs. But very few people use other drugs without first using marijuana. Teens who smoke marijuana are more likely to try other drugs, in part because they have more contact with people who use and sell them.

Know the risks. Using marijuana or other drugs increases your risk of injury from car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and other accidents.

Keep your edge. Marijuana affects your judgment, drains your motivation, and can make you feel anxious.

Look around you. Most teens aren't smoking marijuana. According to a 2002 study, about four out of five 12- to 17-year-old youths had never even tried marijuana.7

Know the Signs

How can you tell if a friend is using marijuana? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may be using marijuana:

  • Seeming dizzy and having trouble walking
  • Having red, bloodshot eyes and smelly hair and clothes
  • Having a hard time remembering things that just happened
  • Acting silly for no apparent reason

What can you do to help someone who is using marijuana or other drugs? Be a real friend. Encourage your friend to seek professional help. For information and referrals, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686.

Q. Isn't smoking marijuana less dangerous than smoking cigarettes?

A. No. It's even worse. One joint affects the lungs as much as four cigarettes.8

Q. Can people become addicted to marijuana?

A. Yes. Research confirms you can become hooked on marijuana.

Q. Can marijuana be used as a medicine?

A. While the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, can be manufactured in a pill available by prescription to treat nausea and vomiting associated with certain cancer treatments, scientists say that more research needs to be done on its side effects and other potential medical uses.9

To learn more about marijuana or obtain referrals to programs in your community, contact one of the following toll-free numbers:

SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

800-729-6686

TDD 800-487-4889

linea gratis en español

877-767-8432

Curious about the TV ads of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign? Check out the Web site at www.freevibe.com or visit the Office of National Drug Control Policy Web site at www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

The bottom line: If you know someone who smokes marijuana, urge him or her to stop or get help. If you're smoking marijuana--stop! The longer you ignore the real facts, the more chances you take with your health and well-being.

It's never too late. Talk to your parents, a doctor, a counselor, a teacher, or another adult you trust.

 

Do it today!

 

Footnotes

  1. The DAWN Report. Major Drugs of Abuse in ED Visits, 2002 Update. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), May 2004.
  2. Effects of Marijuana on the Lungs and Its Immune Defenses. University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine Study, 1997.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know (Revised). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2002.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Mueller, M.D. NIDA Notes, Vol. 12, No. 1. NIDA, Jan/Feb 1997.
  7. 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. SAMHSA, 2002.
  8. Effects of Marijuana on the Lungs and Its Immune Defenses. University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine Study, 1997.
  9. Marijuana: Facts For Teens (Revised). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2003.

Methamphetamine

Source: http://www.samhsa.gov/

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Methamphetamine

Slang--Speed, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Tweak, Go-fast, Ice, Glass, Uppers, Black Beauties

Get the Facts

Methamphetamine affects your brain. In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria, and depression. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, and permanent psychological damage.

Methamphetamine affects your body. Over “amping” on any type of speed is pretty risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it's meant to go. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.

Methamphetamine affects your self-control. Meth is a powerfully addictive drug that can cause aggression and violent or psychotic behavior.1

Methamphetamine is not what it seems. Even speed drugs are not always safe. Giga-jolts of the well-known stimulants caffeine or ephedrine can cause stroke or cardiac arrest when overused or used by people with a sensitivity to them.

Methamphetamine can kill you. An overdose of meth can result in heart failure. Long-term physical effects such as liver, kidney, and lung damage may also kill you.

Before you Risk It

Know the law. Methamphetamine is illegal in all states and highly dangerous.

Get the facts.

The ignitable, corrosive, and toxic nature of the chemicals used to produce meth can cause fires, produce toxic vapors, and damage the environment.

Stay informed.

In 2001, methamphetamine use sent more people to the emergency room than use of any other club drug. Over half of these cases involved meth in combination with another drug, such as alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.2

Know the risks.

There are a lot of risks associated with using methamphetamine, including:

Meth can cause a severe “crash” after the effects wear off.

Meth use can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain.

Meth users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.

Look around you. Not everyone is using methamphetamine. In 2003, only 3.2 percent of 12th graders reported having used methamphetamine.3

Know the Signs

How can you tell if a friend is using meth? It may not be easy to tell. But there are signs you can look for. Symptoms of methamphetamine use may include:

Inability to sleep

Increased sensitivity to noise

Nervous physical activity, like scratching

Irritability, dizziness, or confusion

Extreme anorexia

Tremors or even convulsions

Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke

Presence of inhaling paraphernalia, such as razor blades, mirrors, and straws

Presence of injecting paraphernalia, such as syringes, heated spoons, or surgical tubing

What can you do to help a friend who is using meth? Be a real friend. You might even save a life. Encourage your friend to stop or seek professional help. For information and referrals, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686.

Q.Isn’t methamphetamine less harmful than crack, cocaine, or heroin?

A. Some users get hooked the first time they snort, smoke, or inject meth. Because it can be made from lethal ingredients like battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, and antifreeze, there is a greater chance of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or serious brain damage with this drug than with other drugs.

Q. Isn’t using methamphetamine like using diet pills?

A. No. Though it is easily attainable, methamphetamine is dangerous and addictive. From 1998 to 1999, deaths due to meth rose 38 percent.4 In 2002, meth was involved in 17,696 emergency room visits.5

To learn more about methamphetamine or obtain referrals to programs in your community, contact one of the following toll-free numbers:

SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

800-729-6686

TDD 800-487-4889

linea gratis en español

877-767-8432

Curious about the TV ads of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign? Check out the Web site at www.freevibe.com or visit the Office of National Drug Control Policy Web site at www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

The bottom line: If you know someone who uses meth, urge him or her to stop or get help. If you use meth--stop! The longer you ignore the real facts, the more chances you take with your life.

It's never too late. Talk to your parents, a doctor, a counselor, a teacher, or another adult you trust.

Do it today!

 

Footnotes

  1. “NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin--Club Drugs.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, updated 2004.
  2. The DAWN Report: Club Drugs, 2001 Update. Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2002.
  3. Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2003. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2004.
  4. Prevention Alert: Meth: What’s Cooking in Your Neighborhood? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2001.
  5. The DAWN Report: Major Drugs of Abuse in ED Visits, 2002 Update. Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2004.

Date Rape Drugs

Source: www.streetdrugs.org

Rohypnol, GHB (and it's analogs), and Ketamine are considered date rape drugs because of their sedative effects. These drugs are also referred to as "predatory" drugs.

These drugs are often undetectable as they are odorless and colorless when mixed with water. The drugs tend to have a salty taste, but, when mixed with alcohol, soda, or other beverages, they are virtually undetectable. The drugs also metabolize quickly in the body leaving little physical evidence that an attack occurred. These drugs can also cause "blackouts" or anterograde amnesia where a person is unable to recall what happened to them.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

Do not take a beverage from someone you do not trust.

Do not leave your beverage unattended.

Do not take a drink from a punch bowl.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE BEEN DRUGGED?

Get help right away by requesting a drug screen. Date rape drugs are metabolized in the body very quickly and may be difficult to detect (in as little as 12 hours).

Resources: