Risks of Drug Use

The following is a partial list of the adverse effects of drug use on the individual and society arranged by source.

Marijuana…It Can Leave You Breathless! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  • Marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals including THC.
  • “THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, remains in the fat cells of the body from 14 – 30 days.”
  • Marijuana use…
    1. Slows reaction time;
    2. Impairs thinking;
    3. Interferes with Coordination;
    4. Impairs recall (especially short-term recall)
    5. Impairs comprehension skills;
    6. Impairs mathematical skills;
    7. Impairs reading skills;
    8. Impairs verbal skills; and
    9. Can lead to psychological dependency.
  • Long term, regular use of marijuana can have a permanent, negative effect on attention span, concentration, memory, judgment and logical though
  • Smoking one marijuana cigarette is as harmful to the lungs as smoking approximately 4 – 5 regular cigarette Smoking both greatly increases the risk of developing emphysema, cancer and other lung diseases.
  • Regular use of marijuana can affect fertility in males as it can suppress testosterone production

Drugs & Pregnancy…No Way to Start a Life! and Drug Abuse & Pregnancy (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  • The use of marijuana during pregnancy may result in low birth weight and smaller length and head circumference in babies.
  • Babies whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy may have vision problems and shorter attention spans. Also, THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes the ‘high,’ accumulates in the mother’s milk and transfers to nursing infants where is could cause harm to the baby’s development.
  • The use of cocaine during pregnancy increases the risk of hemorrhage and premature delivery. Chronic use of cocaine causes increased risk of spontaneous abortion.
  • Nursing babies of cocaine abusers can also receive doses of cocaine through their mother’s mil
  • Mental retardation and abnormal facial features have been seen in babies whose mothers used inhalants or solvents in combination with alcohol while they were pregnant.
  • The use of solvents during pregnancy has also been linked to central nervous system defects in newbo
  • Heroin use during pregnancy increases the likelihood of stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and babies born to opiate-addicted mothers experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, tremulousness [tremors], sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, high-pitched crying, frantic fist sucking and seizures.

Inhalants…Deadly Fumes! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  • Products such as spray paint, glues, felt-tip markers, typewriter correction fluid, poppers and RUSH are considers inhalants.
  • The immediate effects of sniffing inhalants are disorientation, confusion, feelings of drunkenness, possible hallucinations, incoherence and loss of memory.
  • Sniffing inhalants can cause unpredictable or violent behavior in some person In other cases, it may cause someone to become withdrawn and isolated.
  • Inhalant abuse can cause permanent brain, liver, heart and lung damage.

Amphetamines…A Dead End Street! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  • Amphetamines are used to treat some forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy.
  • The term amphetamines refers to three related drugs: amphetamine, dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine.
  • Street names for amphetamines include: speed, white crosses, uppers, and crystal.
  • Health risks associated with amphetamine use:
    1. Brain damage;
    2. Skin Disorders;
    3. Lung Disease;
    4. Delusions;
    5. Paranoia;
    6. Malnutrition;
    7. Ulcers;
    8. Heart Disease; and
    9. Hallucination

Steroids (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  • Synthetic anabolic steroids are drugs which act like the male hormone, testosterone…Some athletes use steroids to increase their strength, muscle mass, and endurance. While not all athletes use steroids, many weight lifters and body builders do…Also, some non-athletes who want well-defined muscular shape and attractive over-all body appearance use steroids.
  • A partial list of the adverse side-effects experienced by male users includes:
    1. Enlarged breasts;
    2. Permanent premature hair loss;
    3. Shrinkage of the testicles;
    4. Risk of heart and blood vessel disease; and
    5. Sterility.
  • A partial list of the adverse side-effects experienced by female users includes:
    1. Male-sounding voice;
    2. Growth of permanent facial hair;
    3. Reduction in breast size;
    4. Male-like muscle growth;
    5. Increased sex drive; and
    6. Permanent sterility.
  • A partial list of the adverse side-effects shared by male and female users includes:
    1. Pimples & skin blemishes;
    2. Inability to release body heat through sweating;
    3. Abnormal blood clotting;
    4. Unusually aggressive behavior;
    5. Violent rages;
    6. High blood pressure;
    7. Liver dysfunction;
    8. Depression and frustration;
    9. Drug dependency; and
    10. Liver cancer