A first step in drug awareness and prevention and protection against drug abuse (http://www.drugabuse.gov/), is to know what drugs are, how they change your behavior and what makes them physiologically and physically addictive. A “drug” is a common name used for a substance which chemically influences performance, has intoxicating effects or is used in medicinal purposes. The word “drug” is used to describe many various substances, which other than the name have very little in common. In medical vocabulary, a drug is defined as a chemical substance used to enhance health through diagnosing, treating and curing illnesses and disorders of human health. Coffee and alcohol, natural substances widely used in our diet, are also forms of psychoactive drugs. Recreational drugs are substances that affect our nervous system, change our perception, ability to think and feel, change our minds, behavior and personality.
Understanding what drugs are and how they affect our bodies is crucial for our protection against drug abuse. Here are some useful facts to know about recreational drugs:
-Drug effects vary. Some are used to feel energized, uplifted, strong and restless. These addictive drugs, such as ecstasy, cocaine and speed produce enormous pressure on the heart. Long term use irreparably destroys nerves, leaves a permanent chemical imbalance in the brain, changes personality, and creates strong withdrawal symptoms once their effect wears off. Deaths by heart attack and stroke are common while under influence of these so called “uppers” drugs. Other drugs, the “downers” – such as alcohol and heroin, create calming and relaxing effects. They also cause depression, suicidal thoughts, lethargy and cause body’s systems to shut down, often resulting in death. Hallucinogens (i.e. LSD or mescaline) cause strong hallucinations and distort perception of reality. Each body reacts differently to the same type of drug; you will never know what kind of effect it will create in you. Never trust someone else’s experience with drugs and never force someone to take them based on your personal experience. Drug production is profit-driven industry; substances mixed with them often turn out to be even more poisonous than the drug. You can never be sure what a drug contains.
– Drugs can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, inhaled or taken intravenously. It’s a common mistake to assume frequent drug abuse creates a tolerance in the body. Overdose is the number one reason of all drug-caused deaths; the more drugs you take, the more you will need to feel the same strong reaction as previous time. Drug addiction has many consequences and it destroys your ability to understand life values. Some people lead tragic lives of crime, prostitution and other high risk behavior, just to be able to gather money to ”keep feeding the habit.”
Some people manage to cease drug use before it develops into addition. You may not be one of these fortunate people. Each person has a different experience and getting off drugs is frequently a constant fight. When under the influence of drugs, you are no longer in control of yourself, your response to situations, or the consequences. Whatever your problems, drug use will amplify them.
Prevention of drug abuse is a key step in keeping away from drug addiction. Stay well informed and updated with latest drug awareness news and communities (http://www.drugfree.org/), policies, legislation, resources and research (http://www.cadca.org/).