You’re hanging out with your friends at your house, and your parents are gone. You’re bored. You guys wanna do something kinda different and fun, a little rebellious. You can’t get any alcohol because you aren’t 21, and you don’t know anyone who is that would buy you some. Weed is pretty hard to get a hold of if you don’t know any dealers. But, you could always go through your parents medicine cabinet… There’s definitely something in there that can get you high.
That’s how easy it is, and that’s why so many teens take prescription drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else and/or uses it for something other than what the doctor intended it for. So, like taking pills that are supposed to be for your mom, or taking Adderall to help you get through a late night study session.
After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older. Teens get it from friends and relatives, and most of the time they steal it.
A lot of people use prescription drugs to get high because they believe them to be safer than street drugs. They figure that if doctors give them to people, they must not be bad and do any harm. But the reality is that they are VERY DANGEROUS if taken in the wrong way. When doctors prescribe medicine, they consider all kinds of things like how healthy the person is, their height and weight, how old they are, how much they should take, how often they should take it, what other health issues the person may have, and all kinds of things. You can’t just take a random amount of some random medicine and expect that to be okay for your body.
So what exactly are the effects of taking prescription drugs?
- Difficulty breathing
- High body temperature
- Fast heartbeat
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Changes in your mood, perceptions, and behavior
People also take prescription drugs to commit suicide. So, it’s pretty scary that if you take it to get high, you could accidentally take too much and it could kill you.
There are different types of prescription drugs that teens take for different reasons. Opiois, like Vicodin and Oxycontin, are painkillers. Depressants, like Valium and Xanax, are used to help you sleep or relieve anxiety. Stimulants, like Adderall or Ritalin, help people with ADHD focus. Or, you could take any of these to feel high. People even take too much cough and cold medicine to get high.
Think about it. Taking these drugs is so, so scary. You really don’t know what it could do to you… it’s so easy to overdose with these. Also, it’s illegal. Do you really want to throw your future away and get in trouble with the law? Just for a “high” feeling that won’t even last that long? Is it really worth it?
These drugs are also super addicting. People don’t think they’re as addicting as street drugs, but they are.
If you’re taking prescription drugs, you need to stop. You might even need to get help. If you or a friend have a problem with prescription drug abuse, tell a trusted adult like a parent, teacher, coach, or counselor. You can also called 1-800-662-HELP or 1-888-4-AL-ANON, and they’ll tell you what steps to take to get over your addiction. Take action and make a change before it’s too late.
Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs out there. Teens think it’s cool because it’s a stimulant drug, meaning it gives you tons of energy so you can stay up all night long and party and hang with friends. But it can also kill you.
Stimulants are drugs that elevate your mood, give you more energy, and increase your feelings of well-being. Basically, they cause your body to speed up… which means they also elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, which is incredibly dangerous.
Cocaine is available in two different forms. It can be in powder form, which people can either snort or inject with a needle (if they mix it with water); or it’s sometimes in the form of small white rocks, otherwise known as “crack cocaine,” and can be smoked. Some street names for cocaine are coke, coca, snow, blow, flake, candy, or rock; it’s also called “speedball” when it’s mixed with other drugs.
Here are some of the short-term effects of cocaine:
- faster heartbeat
- body feels hot
- shaking and twitching
- can’t sleep or eat
- feelings of anger, nervousness, paranoia, and fear
- stomach pain
- weight loss
- after the high wears off, you will crash and feel tired and sad for days (and crave it)
And here are some of the long-term effects:
- built up tolerance (so you crave more and need more to feel the same high)
- strange unpredictable behavior, like panic attacks and feeling paranoid
- snorting can lead to hoarseness, loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, and a constant runny nose
- respiratory problems
- heart attack
- brain damage
- violent behavior
- sudden death (even for first time users)
If you suspect that one of your friends may be using cocaine, you definitely need to get them help. It could save their life. You can usually tell that something sketchy is going on when friends start acting really weird, and not like themselves: if they’re starting to not do as well in school, hanging out with a different crowd, if they seem depressed and have lost weight, lost their motivation, and aren’t taking care of their appearance and hygiene. People using drugs are also very moody, might have changed their sleeping pattern, and have bloodshot, tired looking eyes. They also might always be asking for money, or even stealing money.
Try talking to your friend and ask if something’s going on. In some cases, they may actually open up and be honest with you about what they’ve been doing. But sometimes, probably in most cases, teens can be afraid or embarrassed to admit that they’re using drugs, and will lie to even their closest friends. They might get angry with you. If that happens, you need to tell an adult. You aren’t telling on them, or getting them in trouble… you’re literally saving their life by telling someone. It’s nothing to feel bad about. Tell a trusted adult, like a parent, school counselor, teacher, or coach. They can help you confront your friend and get them the help they need.
You could also have your friend call either 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-662-HELP. By calling these hotlines, your friend can talk to a professional about the steps they should take to get over their cocaine addiction. Or, you can go online with them and visit http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment and find a local treatment center where they can receive help.
Cocaine is highly addictive, so even if your friend has only tried it a few times, they’re still craving it. Or if they’ve been using for a long time, it’s going to continue to get worse. It’s only a matter of time until something happens to them. Get them the help they need NOW.
Have you heard of all those pro athletes that have gotten busted for using steroids? Steroids are drugs that make you bulk up and gain tons of muscle and testosterone without actually working for it. It’s illegal and it’s cheating. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of pro athletes that have used steroids to get stronger and better at their sport… But sometimes high school students even use steroids, too.
Although the percentage of high school students who use steroids is relatively low (1% of female students and about 12% of male students), that number is growing. People use steroids to either improve their sports performance or the way they look, but usually it’s for sports.
The type of steroids that people use to gain tons of muscle are called anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anabolic refers to the steroids ability to develop muscle, and androgenic refers to their role in promoting the development of male sexual characteristics (testosterone). These steroids are usually made up of synthetic substances similar to testosterone, which is how they cause people to build so much muscle, grow more facial hair, get deeper voices, etc. In some cases, doctors do prescribe steroids to people who have unusually low levels of testosterone. But otherwise, they’re illegal.
A couple of “street names” for steroids are juice and roids, and they’re taken either from pills or needles. People who use steroids illegally usually take doses that are 10-100 times higher than what doctors prescribe patients for medical reasons.
So, what exactly is so bad about steroids? Here are some of the health consequences:
- stunted growth
- weight gain
- sleeping problems
- greater chance of getting injured
- blood clots
- kidney impairment/failure
- damage to the liver
- cardiovascular problems: enlargement of heart, high blood pressure, changes in cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke and heart attack
- weakened immune system
- for guys: reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts, increased risk of prostate cancer
- for girls: growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in menstrual cycle, permanently deepened voice
- possibly death
On top of all of that, steroids can always have a huge effect on your behavior. You could start experiencing mood swings, manic-like symptoms leading to violence, depression, irritability, paranoia, delusions, and impaired judgment.
If somebody you know is using steroids, here’s what you can do:
- Tell a trusted adult, like a parent, teacher, counselor, or coach.
- Talk to them. Tell them about the health risks that go along with using steroids, and that it’s really not worth it.
- Call the Treatment Referral Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP. They can refer you to local treatment facilities, support groups, and other organizations that can help.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. They can help you with all kinds of issues besides suicide.
If you want to be a star athlete, don’t cheat… you need to work for it! You just need to train, eat, and practice the healthy way. Don’t use drugs to help you reach your goals.
If thought about, it is agreeable that we, as human beings, make connections with a variety of people and objects. Some people we have not met, yet we have made a connection with them solely on the basis of seeing them on TV or hearing them on the radio. Any one person’s death is a tragedy to another, especially if they are a family member, but even if they are a celebrity. The cause of death can be vast, but one thing is clear: death steals.
Recently it was reported that Amy Winehouse, a famous singer and songwriter, died early this week. The autopsy was inconclusive as to the direct cause of death, but Winehouse openly admitted in interviews that she battled drug use. Whether or not Ms. Winehouse died from drugs is not the issue-although quite controversial, it is the importance of knowing and understanding the effects of drug addiction that we look at Winehouse’s life choices.
There are various thoughts about drug addiction in general and the majority of views point to it being a negative thing. Drug addiction or even alcoholism tears family apart, destroys trust and health, and leaves people desolate. According to treatment-centers.net people who become dependent on substances can be held by its grasp either mentally or physically, both showing outward signs. A lot of people believe that drug addiction and alcohol dependence is easily fixable, especially if you have lots of money, by going to treatment centers and making the decision to change. However, it is more complex than that because it is a disease that is dealt with by taking a step-by-step process each and every minute of every day.
Those who even have the strongest will power or a lot of money may not be able to overcome their addictions easily. If you have a friend who is dependent on drugs or alcohol, let them know that they are not alone in dealing with it. There are people who understand and can truly help them before it is too late. Don’t let addiction, to anything, take away their life from you and the ones who love them. Talk to them today about getting help.
We have all done it: the prank call. Many a middle school student has inquired of a random phone number whether or not his refrigerator was running just to tell him to go catch it. This type of prank should eventually die out with the invention of caller identification and other methods to track down telephone pranksters. Those that still attempt this time-honored tradition know that even during the most ridiculous of prank calls, there is a line that one just does not cross.
One young man in New York state crossed that line big time. According to a news report, he used a radio to call the local Sheriff’s Department and report an auto accident, claiming that a person was trapped. After authorities figured out that there was no accident, they tracked down the foolish 18-year-old and arrested him. His excuse for his horrible behavior? He had been smoking weed and was “not thinking clearly.”
The lesson to learn here, and the main point of this blog entry is this: drug use will cause you to do supremely stupid things. Far more dangerous than the effects of the drugs themselves are the insanely idiotic decisions one will make while high. One looses the ability to make good decisions and many times cannot control himself. This story is just another example of the endless accounts of drugs causing supreme stupidity. At least this story did not end with someone loosing his life; the next story you hear, maybe even your own story, may end that way.