Tuesday, 28 June 2011


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The word drug is defined as any substance, other than food, that can affect the body and or mind in any way. Drugs are used in every culture in the world. There are hundreds of types of drugs, each of which affect the bodies’ nervous system in its own way, whether good or bad. Some drugs are developed for medical uses and are approved by the federal government before they are available to the public. The drugs are legal if taken by the one that they are prescribed to. Some drugs are made up of various chemicals which have altered affects on the body. These drugs include the ever so popular names such as Cocaine, Crack, PCP, Ice, and LSD. These drugs illegally produced usually under poor circumstances and of cheep and dangerous household cleaning products. Unstable drugs are responsible for killing thousands of young people each year. Not all drugs are illegal. These drugs include tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and several other everyday items. All drugs can be abused.

The topic of drug abuse is a broad one among the American leaders. Young kids are experimenting with drugs. Drug abuse can be hard to spot. According to the D.A.R.E. Manual signs to look for, for people getting into drugs, are dramatic changes in behavior, signs of physical deterioration, identification with drugs culture, signs of paraphernalia, dramatic changes in school performance; these are just a few signs to look for. We are taught as a child to “just say no”, however it sometimes does not set in till the end. Many people suffer from drug abuse and addiction. They blame the drugs for their problems when they are the ones putting the drugs into their own bodies.

Drugs can have bad effects on the economy. Every dollar spent on illegal drugs is one less dollar that our economy has to pay for better schools, for better roads, or for better health care. The buying of these illegal drugs helps put crime on the street and guns in the hands of youth.

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According to Rosen, the author of Everything You Need to Know about Drug Abuse, the number one drug of choice in the United States is Alcohol. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States. Although it is illegal to drink if you are under the age of twenty-one, one out of every five teens has a drinking problem. This means that about million teens have trouble with alcohol. There are many types of drinks which have alcohol in them. They are divided into beer, wine, and liquor. Although they are divided into categories, they still have the same potent ingredient in them, Ethel Alcohol. Ethel Alcohol, when put into the body, causes the brain to send mixed messages to the body. These mixed messages could make you angry or happy. These messages also could slur your speech, or make you stager when you walk. Alcohol not only effect the visible aspects of the body it also effect parts of the body that are unseen. It makes the blood vessels expand causing more blood to flow through the veins. This causes the body to loose heat and may cause one to freeze to death. The liver is also greatly affected by alcohol. The liver is an organ that is responsible for filtering the alcohol out of the blood and riding the body of it. The alcohol makes the liver work harder than normal this causes the liver cells to turn fatty and harden. Drinking for a long time can cause cirrhosis of the liver and could kill. The use of alcohol impairs ones ability to judge between right and wrong. Many crimes are committed while using alcohol.

Alcohol is a very addictive drug. It is socially accepted, making it easier to become an alcoholic. Alcoholism is very common among today’s world. Alcohol can take control of ones life. The body builds a tolerance for the alcohol and becomes used to the effects. It takes a little more each time to get the desired effects. When the body gets use to the alcohol, it needs it to work. It is very hard to stop. One who drinks everyday can not stop at one time. The body will start to tremble and shake. Group homes are set up for those trying to quit drinking. Some of these homes are set up by the state and use state taxes to operate. Private homes are also available. These homes offer professional help for those in need of help.


Tobacco is another American drug of choice. Unlike alcohol it is grown not produced. Tobacco is a legal drug if used by a person the age of eighteen years of age or older. Tobacco is very addictive. Tobacco contains several agents that are dangerous. These agents are tar and nicotine. Nicotine is the most dangerous of them all. Nicotine has the ability to enter the blood stream faster than heroin. It affects the brain and central nervous system. Nicotine is a stimulant and a depressant. It stimulates the nerves in the spinal cord slowing reactors; it also affects the heart and lungs. The use of tobacco products over a period of time can cause physiological dependence. This makes it very difficult to stop using the product. The cost of tobacco is much more than just the price of a pack of “smokes.” It is estimated that the cost of tobacco products cost the economy 1. million dollars in indirect costs. This is according to Dr. Dorothy Rice of the University of California. Prolonged use of tobacco can cause lung cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer.

Tobacco not only affects the person using it but it effects the people in the environment around it. Because of its ability to enter the blood stream, the use of tobacco products by an expecting mother can harm the unborn child. Tobacco causes the blood vessels to tighten up. This makes the blood flow slower and could cause a blood clot. A blood clot is a thick mass of blood. It can break loose from the spot it was formed and make its way through the body. This is dangerous. If it reaches the brain it will cause one to have a stroke. Prolong use of tobacco can also cause emphysema. Emphysema is deadly. People with sever emphysema have to use oxygen just to breath. Without the oxygen they would die.


Cocaine is derived from a plant. The cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the cannabis plant. It is often white as snow. Cocaine gives a feeling of euphoria like no other drug. It makes one feel happy and the feeling that he or she can do anything. The feeling does not last long. When the person comes down from the high, they are usually in a state of depression. One gets the feeling that they are hopeless and worthless. They will do anything to get the high back. Although cocaine is not physically addictive, your mind craves it. You want cocaine all the time. It takes over and will ruin your life. Cocaine will make some people do anything to get the money to buy it. People will sell themselves to get it. They will steal from anyone without a feeling of remorse for doing so.

Cocaine speeds up the heart and could cause one to have a heart attack. Many successful people have died from the drug. Len Bias had signed a contract to play for the Boston Celtics. His friend gave him some cocaine to try for the first time. He died moments later. His great career as a basketball player ended the same day it started. Some people can not stand the feeling of high they get from cocaine so they add heroin to it. When cocaine is this way, it is called a speedball. It is very harmful and can kill. The comedian John Belushi died while injecting a speedball into his arm.


The number one drug on the streets today is crack. Crack is three-quarters cocaine. However unlike cocaine, crack is addictive. Crack takes just seconds to get to your brain and take its effect. Crack gives one an intense high that last for only a few minutes. When the rush goes away, the crash begins. The crack addict goes down so fast that energy is lost, control is lost, and feeling desperate for more crack. The addict will do almost anything to get more crack. The search for more becomes the life work for the addict. It can lead to crimes such as drug dealing, stealing, and prostitution.


Heroin comes from morphine. Morphine was used by doctors to ease the pain of surgery. Morphine is very addictive so doctors made heroin out of it but soon found that heroin was more addictive than morphine. It was stop being used but not before people on the streets found out about it. It produces a powerful high. It slows the heart beat and breathing. It is injected into the skin with a needle. The heroin then inters the blood stream and produces the high. Addicts often inject heroin several times a day. This leaves tiny sores on the arms or legs where the needle was inserted. These sore often get infected. Many diseases are passed through the needles. Often the same needle is used by several people. Hepatitis, a serious blood disease, is very common among heroin addicts. AIDS can be passed when the needle are shared. Heroin stops all the body cells from working properly. They can not get the needed nutrition to stay healthy. The heroin makes the body loose calcium causing the bones to break easily and the teeth to rot. Addicts stop caring how they look and go days without washing.

Maybe you have heard the saying “Just say no.” This is a misleading saying. It implies that when someone asks you to take drugs that all you should do is ay no. By just saying no, you do not help the people around you or the ones that are already addicted. Rather than just saying no you should try to reason with other people and give support to maybe help them get off drugs too. There are many ways to help people cope with a drug problem for example

Lisa notice that her brother was sleeping all the time. When he was awake, he looked tired and out of energy. She had remembered from her health class that lack of motivation and constant tiredness was signs of drugs use. She thought that maybe Steve was smoking dope but was not sure how to help. She thought about telling her parents but did not. She knew that Steve would be mad at her and probably not trust her again. She was worried about his health and knew that she had to act fast. She called a friend of Steve’s. Ironically he was a recovering drug addict. He was thankful that she had called him. He felt that he could be good help to Steve. He called Steve to talk with him about how he felt after quitting the drugs. He told him how his health was better. He let Steve know that he had his support if he ever needed it.

Lisa was creative in finding a way to get help for the one that she cared about who had a problem with drugs. There are a lot of solutions available for those who are addicted to a drug, and you can be the one they need to help them. Do not give up. Help is out there.

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