Truth about-drugs-booklet-en


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Truth about-drugs-booklet-en

  1. 1. DRUGS The truth  about Drugs destroy Ecsta and ruin millions syof lives every year. L SD SpeedWhat should YOU Cocaineknow about them? Marijuana
  2. 2. WHY THIS BOOKLET WAS PRODUCED T here is a lot of talk about drugs in the world—on the streets, at school, on the Internet and TV. Some of it is true, some not. Much of what you hear about drugs actually comes from those selling them. Reformed drug dealers have confessed they would have said anything to get others to buy drugs. Don’t be fooled. You need facts to avoid becoming hooked on drugs and to help your friends stay off them. That is why we have prepared this booklet—for you. Your feedback is important to us, so we look forward to hearing from you. You can visit us on the web at and e-mail us at
  3. 3. Our Drug CultureD rugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century. Popularizedin the 1960s by music and mass media,they invade all aspects of society.An estimated 208 million peopleinternationally consume illegal drugs.In the United States, results from the2007 National Survey on Drug Use andHealth showed that 19.9 million Americans(or 8% of the population aged 12 or older)used illegal drugs in the month prior to thesurvey.You probably know someone who has beenaffected by drugs, directly or indirectly. 3
  4. 4. The most commonly used—and 45% of high school students nationwideabused—drug in the US is alcohol. drank alcohol and 19.7% smoked pot duringAlcohol‑related motor accidents are the a one‑month period.second leading cause of teen death in the In Europe, recent studies among 15- andUnited States. 16‑year‑olds suggest that use of marijuanaThe most commonly used illegal drug is varies from under 10% to over 40%, with themarijuana. According to the United Nations highest rates reported by teens in the Czech2008 World Drug Report, about 3.9% of Republic (44%), followed by Ireland (39%),the world’s population between the ages of the UK (38%) and France (38%). In Spain15 and 64 abuse marijuana. and the United Kingdom, cocaine use among 15‑ to 16‑year-olds is 4% to 6%. Cocaine useYoung people today are exposed earlier among young people has risen in Denmark,than ever to drugs. Based on a survey by Italy, Spain, UK, Norway and France.the Centers for Disease Control in 2007,4
  5. 5. M y goal in life wasn’t living . . . it was getting high. Over the years, I turned to cocaine, marijuana and alcohol under a false belief it would allow me toescape my problems. It just made things worse. I keptsaying to myself, I’m going to stop permanently afterusing one last time. It never happened.”  — JohnI t started with the weed, then the pills (Ecstasy) and acid, making cocktails of all sorts of drugs, even overdosing to make the rushes last longer. I had abad trip one night . . . I prayed and cried for this feelingto go away, I had voices in my head, had the shakes andcouldn’t leave home for six months. I thought everyonewas watching me. I couldn’t walk in public places.Man! I couldn’t even drive.“I ended up homeless and on the streets, livingand sleeping in a cardboard box, begging andstruggling to find ways to get my nextmeal.”  — Ben
  6. 6. Why Do People Take Drugs?P eople take drugs because they want to change something about their lives. They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.Here are some of the reasons young people Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems,have given for taking drugs: the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem one is trying to• To fit in solve with them. The real answer is to• To escape or relax get the facts and not to take drugs in• To relieve boredom the first place.• To seem grown up• To rebel• To experiment6
  7. 7. Drugs block off all sensations, the desirableHow Do Drugs Work? ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short‑term help in the relief of pain, theyDrugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.A small amount acts as a stimulant Medicines are drugs that are intended to(speeds you up). A greater amount acts as speed up or slow down or change somethinga sedative (slows you down). An even larger about the way your body is working, to tryamount poisons and can kill. to make it work better. Sometimes they areThis is true of any drug. Only the amount necessary. But they are still drugs: they actneeded to achieve the effect differs. as stimulants or sedatives, and too much can kill you. So if you do not use medicinesBut many drugs have another liability: they as they are supposed to be used, they candirectly affect the mind. They can distort be as dangerous as illegal drugs.the user’s perception of what is happeningaround him or her. As a result, the person’sactions may be odd, irrational, inappropriateand even destructive. 7
  8. 8. Drugs Destroy CreativityDrugs Affect the Mind One lie told about drugs is that they help aNormally, when amindhimvery fast But something, the person remembersinformation comes to is quickly. and person become more creative. The truth is quite different. Someone who is sad might use drugs todrugs blur memory, causing blank spots. get a feeling of happiness, but it does notWhen a person tries to get information work. Drugs can lift a person into a fakethrough this cloudy mess, he can’t do it. kind of cheerfulness, but when the drugDrugs make a person feel slow or stupid wears off, he or she crashes even lowerand cause him to have failures in life. And than before. And each time, the emotionalas he has more failures and life gets harder, plunge is lower and lower. Eventually, drugshe wants more drugs to help him deal with will completely destroy all the creativity athe problem. person has.8
  9. 9. D I uring the whole time I felt that I was more fun when I was drunk. was on drugs I thought Soon after [I started drinking] I was introduced I had control over my to marijuana . . . . Later, I was hanging out at alife and that I had it great. friend’s house smoking marijuana when someoneBut I destroyed everything pulled out a bag of cocaine. Snorting cocaine quicklyI had built up and fought for became a daily habit. I was stealing money fromin my life. I cut ties to all my my parents’ business and from my grandparentsdrug‑free friends and my on a daily basis to support my alcohol, cocaine,family, so I hadn’t any friends marijuana and LSD habits. Then I was introducedbut my drug mates. Every to OxyContin and began using it on a regular revolved around one By the time I realized I was addicted, snortingthing: my plan for getting the OxyContin was part of my daily routine. I neededmoney I needed for drugs. I something stronger—and was introduced to heroin.would do everything possible I would stop at nothing to get high. My addiction wasto get my amphetamine—it winning. And every time I tried to kick it, the physicalwas the only thing in my craving would send me back for more.”  — Edithlife.” — Pat 9
  10. 10. basic facts about commonly10 abused drugs
  11. 11. T he facts about these commonly abused drugs have been compiled from the references at the end of this booklet. They are included here to provide you with the truth about what these drugs are and what they do.• Marijuana............................................................................................. Page 12• Alcohol................................................................................................. Page 14• Ecstasy................................................................................................. Page 16• Cocaine & Crack Cocaine........................................................................ Page 18• Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine......................................................... Page 20• Inhalants.............................................................................................. Page 22• Heroin................................................................................................... Page 24• LSD....................................................................................................... Page 26• Prescription Drug Abuse........................................................................ Page 28 11
  12. 12. MarijuanaMarijuanaaisteaor amixedItwith in a cigarette usually rolled up called a joint nail. can also be to a National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, kids who frequently use marijuanabrewed as or food, or are almost four times more likely to actsmoked through a water pipe called a bong. violently or damage property. They are five times more likely to steal than those whoCannabis* is number three of the top do not use the drug.five substances which account foradmissions to drug treatment facilities Marijuana is often more potent todayin the United States, at 16%. According than it used to be. Growing techniques and selective use of seeds have producedStreet Names: a more powerful drug. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in the number of• Weed • Smoke • Ganja marijuana‑related emergency room visits• Blunt • Mary Jane • uper S by young pot smokers.• Grass • Skunk Skunk• Herb • Boom • urple P Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana• Pot • Gangster Haze can lead users to consume stronger drugs• Reefer • Kiff • Dope to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to • Chronic • Nederweed * cannabis: any of the different drugs that come from12 Indian hemp, including marijuana and hashish.
  13. 13. more potent drugs to rid himself of theunwanted conditions that prompted him to Long‑term Effects:take marijuana in the first place. Marijuana Long‑term use can causeitself does not lead the person to the other psychotic symptoms. It candrugs: people take drugs to get rid of also damage the lungs and theunwanted situations or feelings. The drug heart, worsen the symptoms of(marijuana) masks the problem for a time bronchitis and cause coughing(while the user is high). When the “high” and wheezing. It may reducefades, the problem, unwanted condition the body’s ability to fightor situation returns more intensely than lung infections and illness.before. The user may then turn to strongerdrugs since marijuana no longer “works.”Short‑term Effects:Loss of coordination and distortions inthe sense of time, vision and hearing,sleepiness, reddening of the eyes,increased appetite and relaxed muscles.Heart rate can speed up. In fact, in thefirst hour of smoking marijuana, a user’srisk of a heart attack could increasefivefold. School performance is reducedthrough impaired memory and lessenedability to solve problems.
  14. 14. Alcohol A lcohol depresses your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), lowers inhibitions* and impairs judgment. Drinking large amounts can lead to a coma and even death. Mixing alcohol with medications or street drugs is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Alcohol influences your brain andStreet Names: leads to a loss of coordination, slowed reflexes,• Booze distorted vision, memory lapses and blackouts.• Sauce Teenage bodies are still growing and alcohol• Brews has a greater impact on young people’s• Brewskis physical and mental well‑being than on older• Hooch people.• Hard Stuff• Juice Short‑term Effects: Feeling of warmth, flushed skin, impaired judgment, lack of coordination, slurred speech, memory and comprehension loss. Heavy drinking usually results in a “hangover,” headache, nausea, anxiety, weakness, shakiness and sometimes vomiting.14
  15. 15. Long‑term Effects:Tolerance to many of the unpleasanteffects of alcohol and a resulting ability todrink more. This leads to a deterioratingphysical condition that can include liverdamage and increases the risk of heartdisease. A pregnant woman may givebirth to a baby with defects that affectthe baby’s heart, brain and other majororgans. A person can become dependenton alcohol. If someone suddenly stopsdrinking, withdrawal symptoms may set in.They range from jumpiness, sleeplessness,sweating and poor appetite to convulsionsand sometimes death. Alcohol abusecan also lead toviolence and conflictsin one’s personalrelationships.* inhibitions: ideas or rules that tend to stop a person from doing something. 15
  16. 16. Ecstasy E cstasy is usually taken orally in pill, tablet or capsule form. Taking more than one at a time is called “bumping.” Ecstasy is a synthetic (man‑made) drug made in a laboratory. Makers may addStreet Names: anything they choose to the drug, such as•E • Hug • over’s L caffeine, amphetamine* and even cocaine.• XTC • Beans Speed Ecstasy is illegal and has effects similar•X • Clarity • Love Drug to hallucinogens and stimulants. The pills• Adam are of different colors and are sometimes marked with cartoon‑like images. Mixing Ecstasy with alcohol is extremely dangerous and can be lethal. The stimulative effects of drugs such as Ecstasy enable the user to dance for long periods, and when combined with the hot, crowded conditions found at raves, can lead to extreme dehydration and heart or kidney failure.16
  17. 17. E cstasy made me crazy. One day I bit glass, just like I would have bitten an apple. I hadShort‑term Effects: to have my mouth full of pieces• Impaired judgment • Drug craving• alse sense F • Muscle tension of glass to realize what was of affection • nvoluntary I happening to me.• Confusion teeth clenching Another time I• Depression • Nausea• Sleep problems • Blurred vision tore rags with• Severe anxiety • aintness F my teeth for an• Paranoia† • Chills or sweating hour.”  — AnnLong‑term Effects:• rolonged use causes long‑lasting and P perhaps permanent damage to the brain, affecting the person’s judgment and thinking ability.* amphetamine: a central nervous system stimulant, often called “speed.”† paranoia: suspicion, distrust or fear of other people. 17
  18. 18. Cocaine Crack Cocaine C ocaine and crack cocaine can be taken orally, through the nose (snorted), injected with a syringe or, in the case of crack, through inhalation of the fumes from heating it. The terms used to describe ingestion include chewing, snorting, mainliningStreet Names: (injecting into a large vein) and smoking.• Coke • Snow• Crack • Charlie The word cocaine refers to the• Flake • Sniff drug in a powder form (cocaine)• Rocks and a crystal form (crack).18
  19. 19. It is made from the coca plantand, next to methamphetamine,*creates the greatest psychologicaldependence of any drug. Long‑term Effects: In addition to those effects already mentioned, cocaine can cause irritability, mood disturbances, restlessness, paranoia and auditory (hearing) hallucinations.Short‑term Effects: Tolerance to the drug develops so thatCocaine causes a short‑lived intense more is needed to produce the samehigh that is immediately followed by the “high.”opposite—intense feelings of depressionand edginess and a craving for more of Coming down from the drug causesthe drug. People who use it often don’t severe depression, which becomes deepereat or sleep properly. They can experience and deeper after each use. This can getgreatly increased heart rate, muscle so severe that a person will do almostspasms and convulsions. The drug can anything to get the drug—even commitmake people feel paranoid, angry, hostile murder. And if he or she can’t get cocaine,and anxious, even when they aren’t high. the depression can get so intense it can drive the addict to suicide.* methamphetamine: a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. 19
  20. 20. Crystal Meth Methamphetamine C rystal meth and meth are inhaled, smoked or injected. Low doses are in pill form. Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine that resembles small fragments of glass or shiny blue‑white rocks. On the street, it is known as “ice,” “crystal,” “glass” and other names. It is a highly powerfulStreet Names: and addictive man‑made stimulant that causes aggression and violent or psychotic• Speed • Tweak • Tina• Meth • Go‑fast • Quartz behavior. Many users report getting• Crystal • Ice hooked (addicted) from the first time they• Crank • Glass use it. It is one of the hardest drugs to treat.20
  21. 21. Short‑term Effects: Long‑term Effects:Negative effects can include Increased heart rate and blood pressure,disturbed sleep patterns, hyperactivity, damage to blood vessels in the brain,nausea, delusions of power, increased leading to strokes or irregular heart beataggressiveness and irritability. Can and cardiovascular (involving the heart andcause decreased hunger and bring blood vessels) collapse or death. Can causeon weight loss. In higher doses has a liver, kidney and lung damage. Users maygreater “rush,” followed by increased suffer brain damage, including memoryagitation and sometimes violence. Other impairment and an increasing inabilityeffects can include insomnia, confusion, to grasp abstract thoughts. Thosehallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. who recover are usually subjectCan cause convulsions leading to death. to memory gaps and extreme mood swings. C rystal meth was my drug of choice, but there were others too—cheap, easy to get, easy to become addicted to and, of course, easy to use. I tried it once and BOOM! I was addicted. One of the main things that this affected was my music career. I had a great band and played great music and had great members who weren’t only band members but best friends. That all changed when I started using meth.”  — Brad
  22. 22. Inhalants I nhalants include chemicals found in such household products as aerosol sprays, cleaning fluids, glue, paint, paint thinner, nail polish remover, amyl nitrite* and lighter fuel. They are sniffed or “huffed” (act ofStreet Names: inhaling vapors).• Poppers Inhalants affect the brain. When substances• Whippets or fumes are inhaled through the nose or• Laughing Gas mouth, they can cause permanent physical• Rush and mental damage. They starve the body of oxygen and force the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly. People who use inhalants can lose their sense of smell, suffer nausea and nosebleeds and may develop liver, lung and kidney problems. Continued use can lead to reduced muscle mass, tone and strength. Inhalants can22
  23. 23. make people unable to walk, talk and thinknormally. Much of the damage is caused tothe brain tissue when the toxic fumes aresniffed straight into the sinus.†Short‑term Effects:In addition to the above, inhalants can killa person by heart attack or suffocationas the inhaled fumes take the place ofoxygen in the lungs and central nervoussystem. Someone on inhalants may alsosuddenly react with extreme violence.Long‑term Effects:Can lead to muscle wasting andreduced muscle tone and strength. Canpermanently damage the body and brain.* amyl nitrite: a pale yellow liquid used to open or widen blood vessels, sometimes abused as a stimulant.† sinus: one of the open spaces in the front of the skull that a person breathes through with the nose. 23
  24. 24. Heroin H eroin is usually injected, snorted or smoked. It is highly addictive. Heroin enters the brain rapidly but makes people think and react slowly, impairing their decision‑making ability. It causes difficulty in remembering things. Injecting the drug can create a Street Names: risk of AIDS, hepatitis (liver • Horse disease) and other diseases • Smack caused by infected needles. •H These health problems • Skag can be passed on to sexual • Junk partners and newborns. Heroin • rown B is one of the three drugs most frequently Sugar involved in drug abuse deaths. Violence and crime are linked to its use.24
  25. 25. Short‑term Effects: Long‑term Effects:Abusers experience clouded mental Scarred and/or collapsed veins,functioning, nausea and vomiting. bacterial infections of the blood vessels,Awareness of pain may be suppressed. heart valves, abscesses and otherPregnant women can suffer soft‑tissue infections, and liver orspontaneous abortion. Cardiac (heart) kidney disease. Lung complicationsfunctions slow down and breathing may result. Sharing of needlesis severely slowed, sometimes to the or fluids may result inpoint of death. hepatitis, AIDS and other blood‑borne virus diseases. 25
  26. 26. LSD Street Names: LSD is sold in tablets, capsules or in liquid form. It is commonly added • Acid • urple P to absorbent paper and divided into small • Cid Heart decorated squares. Each square is a dose. • Blotter • alifornia C • eavenly H Sunshine LSD is still one of the most potent Blue • Tab mood‑changing chemicals and is derived • Microdot • ots D from the extremely poisonous ergot fungus, a mold which grows on rye and other grains. Its effects are unpredictable. A tiny amount can produce 12 hours or more of effects.26
  27. 27. Short‑term Effects:Dilated pupils, higher body temperature,increased heart rate and blood pressure,sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, drymouth and tremors. People can experiencesevere, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fearof losing control, fear of insanity and deathand feelings of despair while using LSD.Long‑term Effects:Flashbacks, or recurrences, of an LSD “trip”can be experienced long after the drug istaken and its effect has apparently worn off.The “trip” itself usually begins to clear upafter about 12 hours, but some users manifestlong‑lasting psychoses. 27
  28. 28. Prescription Drug Abuse A buse of prescription drugs has become a more serious problem than most as heroin and affects the body in the same way. Continued use of painkillers,street drugs. Painkillers, tranquilizers, depressants (“downers”), stimulantsantidepressants, sleeping pills and (“uppers”) or antidepressants can leadstimulants may appear “safe” due to being to addiction—and painful withdrawalprescribed by doctors, but they can be just symptoms for those who try to addictive and potent as the heroin or Just a few of the effects of these drugs arecocaine sold on the street. The painkiller given here.OxyContin, for example, is as powerful28
  29. 29. Painkillers: OxyContin, Fentanyl, morphine,Percodan, Demerol are a few of a long listof painkillers. Effects can include slowedbreathing, nausea and unconsciousness.Abuse can lead to addiction.Depressants: These drugs, which slowdown your brain and nervous system Antidepressants: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloftfunctions, include Xanax, Zyprexa, Amytal, and Celexa are some of the commonlySeconal, Valium and many others. Effects used antidepressants. Effects cancan include heart problems, weight gain, include irregular heartbeat, paranoidfatigue* and slurred speech. Continued use reactions, violent or suicidal thoughts andcan lead to addiction. hallucinations. Long‑term use can lead to addiction.Stimulants: These drugs speed up yourheart rate and breathing, similar to “speed” Painkillers, depressants andor cocaine. They include Ritalin, Adderall, antidepressants are responsible forConcerta and drugs known as “bennies.” more overdose deaths in the US thanEffects include increased blood pressure cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine andand heartbeat, hostility and paranoia. amphetamines combined.* fatigue: extreme physical or mental tiredness. 29
  30. 30. What Dealers Will Tell YouW hen teens were surveyed to find out why they started using drugs in thefirst place, 55% replied that it was due to They will tell you that “cocaine will make your life a party” and that “heroin is a warm blanket.” If you take Ecstasy, “you can bepressure from their friends. They wanted to with a lot of girls.”be cool and popular. Dealers know this. They don’t care if the drugs ruin your lifeThey will approach you as a friend and offer as long as they are getting paid. All theyto “help you out” with “something to bring care about is money. Former dealers haveyou up.” The drug will “help you fit in” or admitted they saw their buyers as “pawns“make you cool.” in a chess game.”Drug dealers, motivated by the profits they Get the facts about drugs. Make your ownmake, will say anything to get you to buy decisions.their drugs.30
  31. 31. Millions of copies of booklets such as this The Foundation provides educationalhave been distributed to people around materials, advice and coordination for itsthe world in 22 languages. As new drugs international drug prevention network.appear on the streets and more information It works with youth, parents, educators,about their effects becomes known, existing volunteer organizations and governmentbooklets are updated and new ones created. agencies—anyone with an interest in helping people lead lives free from drugThe booklets are published by the abuse.Foundation for a Drug‑Free World, anonprofit public benefit organizationheadquartered in Los Angeles, California. Office of National Drug Control Substance Abuse and Mental “CDC Survey: As Many TeensREFERENCES Policy Health Services Administrations, Smoke Marijuana as Cigarettes,European Monitoring Centre U.S. Department of Health and Cigarette Use Dropping Faster,” “New Initiative Harnesses Power Human Services 5 June 2008for Drugs and Drug Addiction, of Teens, Parents to Stop Teen2007 Annual Report Drug Use,” Media Campaign, UN Office of Drugs and Crime PHOTO CREDITS:“Drug Facts, Did You Know?” News Room, 29 January 2004 World Drug Report 2008 Page 8: Alamy (left); Page 15:Drugs and the Environment, Young; Office of National Drug Control European Monitoring Centre Page 26: Luke Peters.October 2004 Policy, National Youth Anti‑Drug for Drugs and Drug Addiction“Results from the 2007 National Media Campaign, 3 October 2004 Statistical Bulletin 2008Survey on Drug Use and Health: “Help for Parents: Is Your Child “Treatment Episode Data SetFact Sheet.” Using Drugs? How to Find Out,” (TEDS) Highlights—2006” Partnership for a Drug‑Free America, 12 October 2004 31
  32. 32. FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOWThis booklet is one in a series of publications that cover the facts about marijuana, alcohol,Ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth and methamphetamine, inhalants, heroin,LSD and prescription drug abuse. Armed with this information, the reader can make thedecision to live a drug‑free life. For more information or to obtain more copies of this or other booklets in this series, contact: Foundation for a Drug‑Free World 1626 N. Wilcox Avenue, #1297 Los Angeles, CA 90028 USA • e‑mail: TM Phone: 1‑888 NO TO DRUGS (1‑888‑668‑6378)© 2008 Foundation for a Drug‑Free World. All Rights Reserved. The Foundation logo is a trademark owned by theFoundation for a Drug‑Free World. Item #C6231 US-ENG