A drug is a substance which may
have medicinal, intoxicating, performance
enhancing or other effects when taken or put into
a human body or the body of another animal and is not
considered a food or exclusively a food.
1. Stimulants (uppers) – Speed up the brain and
central nervous system. Examples are caffeine
(coffee, tea) nicotine
(cigarettes), amphetamines, speed, cocaine and
2.Depressants (downers) – Slow down the brain
and central nervous system. Examples are
alcohol, beer, wine, vodka, gin etc
heroin, tranquilizers, sleeping pills.
3.Hallucinogens – These drugs
alter the user’s state of consciousness. (Distort
auditory and visual sensations). Examples are
LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, marijuana.
A legal drug or intoxicants are drugs which are not
prohibited by the United Nations Single Convention on
Narcotic Drugs. This classification therefore enables
legal drugs to be sold over the counter in various retail
stores or food-suppliers throughout the world and the
Illegal drugs are drugs which have controls on them
by a government and are illegal in certain situations
(a person is not allowed to have them). A drug is
any chemical designed to affect the human body.
Alcohol goes directly from your digestive system
into your blood and within minutes spreads to
entire body, including brain.
It spreads evenly throughout body-except brain
which gets the highest concentration because it gets
more blood than any other part of body.
More blood equals more alcohol.
Intoxication (drunkenness) starts in the brain.
pressure, damage to
If drinking when
when mixed with
Mental and Emotional
Behave in ways that
Increase in aggressive
Problems with school
Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used drug in
About two-thirds of Grade 6 students say they have
experimented with alcohol.
By Grade 10, over 90% of young Canadians have
Leading cause of death for teens and young adults
in Canada is motor vehicle accidents-many of
which involve alcohol use.
Most addictive drug.
Causes more long term health problems than any
Adults are smoking less, younger people under 18
When someone stops smoking they have
2.irritability (everything gets on nerves)
thoughts of it-can’t stop thinking about it.
-What it does to your body, brain and
skin becomes thinner and wrinkled.
Marijuana is the most common illegal drug around.
Comes from a plant called “cannabis.”
Some people call it pot, weed, grass, hash, smoke or
Cannabis has the chemical “tetrahydrocannabinol”
When you smoke a joint the THC goes into the
lungs, then into the heart which pumps into the
bloodstream which takes it directly to brain.
Only takes few minutes for THC to get to brain
when you smoke marijuana.
Eating takes longer to get to brain-passes through
digestive system first.
In brain, activates “receptors” gives you the feeling
of being high.
Marijuana changes physical and chemical balance in
Short Term Effects:
• Increase in heart
rate, lead to anxiety
• Distorted concept of
time and space.
• Decrease in
• Feeling tired after the
“high” wears off.
• Increase in
appetite, weight gain.
Long Term Effects:
Damage cells and
tissues in the body
that fight disease.
Lack of motivation.
Marijuana and cigarette smoke have some of
the same cancer-causing substances.
Benzopyrene (cancer-producing agent)
higher in marijuana.
400 chemicals in marijuana smoke affect
lungs, throat and esophagus.
Ecstasy is a slang term for an illegal drug MDMA
MDMA is synthetic-doesn’t come from a plant but
made in secret labs
Other chemicals or substances are added to it such as
caffeine, amphetamines, dextromethorphan (in some
cough syrups), or cocaine.
Hallucinogen-acts on the mind to cause people to
see or feel things that aren’t really there.
Hallucinogens mix up pictures in the mind and
throw people into scary or sad experiences in the
Ecstasy is called “love pill” increases perception of
color, sound and sensations.
“Hit” of ecstasy lasts 3-6 hrs.
Once swallowed takes 15 min to enter
bloodstream and reach brain.
45 min later user reaches peak level high.
It’s downhill from there unless user takes more
Feeling of sadness
Increased touch of sense
Suppresses need to eat or sleep
Moist skin or dry mouth.
Form of a liquid that has no color or odour.
Known as a designer drug-made for purpose of getting
Swallowed in liquid or powder form, mixed in
water, or as tablets.
Causes euphoric high-intense rush of happy feelings
Killed more people than ecstacy.
3.Dangerously decreased heart rate
Processed from morphine – obtained from
“downer” affects brain’s pleasure systems –
interferes with brains ability to feel pain.
white to dark brown powder or tar-like
is cut with other drugs or substances
(sugar, starch, powdered milk).
abusers don’t know actual strength of drug or
true contents = high chance of overdose or
sharing needles and equipment cause other
diseases and problems for users.
leads to flushing of skin, dry mouth, collapsed
veins, liver disease.
additives don’t dissolve leading to clogs in blood
vessels that lead to lungs, liver, kidney or brain.
tolerance develops with regular use – user needs
more heroin to achieve same intensity.
People take drugs because they want to change something
about their lives.
Here are some of the reasons young people have given for
To fit in
To escape or relax
To relieve boredom
To seem grown up
They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs
become the problem.
Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the
consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem
one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the
facts and not to take drugs in the first place.
WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS?
When drugs get into the bloodstream they are carried to all
parts of the body and some reach the brain. The quicker the
drug reaches the brain, the more intense the effects. The
quickest way to get a drug into the brain - and also the most
dangerous way of using any drug - is to inject it
intravenously, or into the vein. Almost as quick is smoking a
drug. followed by sniffing or snorting and then by mouth.
Eating or drinking a drug is the slowest route, because the
drug has to pass through the stomach first.
Once in the brain drugs affect chemicals called
neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals that control the
flow of information within the brain between the neurons or
brain cells, forming a synapse.
Once drugs are taken and enter the bloodstream the
heart pumps blood containing the drug to the brain
where it will affect how people feel.
Drugs can also have an affect on the heart directly
and exacerbate heart disease. Heavy drinking of
alcohol, for example, can weaken the heart's ability
to pump blood and lead to heart failure although
some studies have suggested that moderate
consumption may be better for the heart than not
drinking alcohol at all.
The liver breaks down or alters the chemical
structure of drugs, gradually neutralising the
affects of the drug.
Excessive, long term drinking of alcohol can
result in damage to the liver, including
cirrhosis, which can be fatal.
Suggestions that ecstasy use can damage the
liver have been made but research is, so
Because the lungs provide the oxygen directly and
very effectively to the body, anything that is
inhaled similarly enters the blood and ultimately
the brain very quickly. This is most promounced in
drugs that are normally snorted but are chemically
altered to make them more smokable, such as
cocaine into crack and amphetamine into
methamphetamine. The lungs' ability to absorb
large amounts of these drugs in a short space off
time, roughly 8 seconds, mean that the effects can
be almost instant and very powerful.
Realize that abusing drugs may lead to devastating
events in people's lives.
Think about what other things in life you can
achieve such as activities that are more fulfilling
Examine all activities broadly, to help you Discover
What You Really Want from a New Career
Compare the results, long term and short term, of
your new lifestyle
•Realize that enjoying life and pursuing new interests is more satisfying
and EASIER (long term anyway) than abusing drugs.
•Prepare yourself for occasions where strangers may offer drugs to you.
•Try to associate with people who do not use drugs, and avoid situations
where they will be used and given to you.
•Have a good friend who you can talk to about any situation where you
are tempted to take drugs.
•Remember that the future is full of promise and abusing drugs might rob
you of those beautiful things in life.
•Look at the list of people who have been destroyed, even killed, by
•Forgive yourself if you feel you made a mistake by trying drugs.
•Just say NO and Walk away
•Change the subject.
•State a fact.
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