Posts Tagged illegal drugs

Risks of Marijuana Use

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In my earlier posting I spoke about the legalization of marijuana. But as a counselor it is my responsibility to sensitize people on the risks associated with its use. It is high time that people understand that smoking pot is not as harmless as it is thought to be.

This is specially for kids and their parents since contrary to the popular belief that marijuana is not popular among kids, the fact is the number of teens in treatment for marijuana dependency is more than that for all other illegal drugs. Teenage is the age of experimentation which might lead to addiction. Research shows that the potency of today’s marijuana is very high and is thus highly addictive. It also serves as a gateway drugs for teenagers who might gradually switch over to other extremely harmful substances like heroine, cocaine, etc.

Smoking pot has hazardous effects on the health of the smoker. Marijuana smoke destroys and leads to abnormal functioning of the lung tissue. The amount of carbon monoxide absorbed and tar inhaled is 3-5 times greater than cigarette use. Loss of motor co-ordination, increased heart rate, heightened anxiety and panic attacks are short term effects of the drug.

Marijuana also affects the brain activities. It impairs the attention, memory and learning capacities leading to poor academic performance. Pot smoking creates a trance like state which impairs judgment leading to risky decision making and involvement in unsafe behavior.

Longitudinal studies show that chronic use of the weed leads to deviant behavior patterns like aggression, delinquency, rebellious, poor relationship with parents.

Often we have found teens resorting to marijuana as a way to overcome depression. But pot can worsen the situation by increasing the level of depression and paving a path for other serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and even suicide.

Will you still believe that marijuana is not harmful?

Be on the guard. Spread the message, save children from using marijuana.

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Addiction to Prescription Drugs is on the rise

The untimely death of pop star Michael Jackson has once again raised the question “Are prescription drugs beneficial or harmful for health?” I believe that a majority of people will speak for the motion. But a few, like me who have had the opportunity to know the reality, will speak against it. Yes, addiction to prescription drugs is scaling up.

Such drugs are definitely useful when used as directed by the physician. But often they are misused – taken in larger doses.

A survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2007 has shown that around 15% of the US high school students abuse prescription drugs. Addiction to such drugs is prevalent mostly among young adults between 18 – 25 years who are unaware of the inherent danger.

The causes are easy availability and a common belief that such drugs are not harmful since they have been prescribed by doctors. “A safe way to get the high” said a senior student.

3 groups of prescribed drugs are generally abused –

• Opioids prescribed for relieving pain e.g. Morphine like Kodian and Avinza, Oxycodone like OxyContin and Percocet.

• Central Nervous System depressants that are used for treating anxiety, sleeplessness, e.g., Barbiturates like Mebaral and Nembutal, Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax.

• Stimulants that are prescribed to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), obesity, narcolepsy e.g. Detroamphetamine like Dexedrine and Adderall, Methylphenidate like Ritalin and Concerta.

So please be aware of prescribed drugs. Keep in mind the fine line that differentiates between using and abusing such drugs. Remember they are as dangerous as illegal drugs like brown sugar since they are highly addictive and dangerous. Consult a doctor immediately if you feel that someone in your family is abusing prescription drugs.

Take the Tour: http://www.theantidrug.com/drug_info/prescription_dangerZones.asp

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