Only for teens: all about drugs – part two

Continued

Depressants

Depressants, such as tranquilizers and barbiturates, calm nerves and relax muscles. Many are legally available by prescription (such as Valium and Xanax) and are bright-colored capsules or tablets.

Street Names: downers, goof balls, barbs, ludes

How They’re Used: Depressants are swallowed.

Effects & Dangers:

  • When used as prescribed by a doctor and taken at the correct dosage, depressants can help people feel calm and reduce angry feelings.
  • Larger doses can cause confusion, slurred speech, lack of coordination, and tremors.
  • Very large doses can cause a person to stop breathing and result in death.
  • Depressants and alcohol should never be mixed — this combination greatly increases the risk of overdose and death.

Addictiveness: Depressants can cause both psychological and physical dependence.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

This is a designer drug created by underground chemists. It comes in powder, tablet, or capsule form. Ecstasy is a popular club drug among teens because it is widely available at raves, dance clubs, and concerts.

Street Names: XTC, X, Adam, E, Roll

How It’s Used: Ecstasy is swallowed or sometimes snorted.

Effects & Dangers:

  • This drug combines a hallucinogenic with a stimulant effect, making all emotions, both negative and positive, much more intense.
  • Users feel a tingly skin sensation and an increased heart rate.
  • Ecstasy can also cause dry mouth, cramps, blurred vision, chills, sweating, and nausea.
  • Sometimes users clench their jaws while using. They may chew on something (like a pacifier) to relieve this symptom.
  • Many users also experience depression, paranoia, anxiety, and confusion. There is some concern that these effects on the brain and emotion can become permanent with chronic use of ecstasy.
  • Ecstasy also raises the temperature of the body. This increase can sometimes cause organ damage or even death.

Addictiveness: Although the physical addictiveness of Ecstasy is unknown, teens who use it can become psychologically dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress.

GHB

GHB, which stands for gamma hydroxybutyrate, is often made in home basement labs, usually in the form of a liquid with no odor or color. It has gained popularity at dance clubs and raves and is a popular alternative to Ecstasy for some teens and young adults. The number of people brought to emergency departments because of GHB side effects is quickly rising in the United States. And according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), since 1995 GHB has killed more users than Ecstasy.

Street Names: Liquid Ecstasy, G, Georgia Home Boy

How It’s Used: When in liquid or powder form (mixed in water), GHB is drunk; in tablet form it is swallowed.

Effects & Dangers:

  • GHB is a depressant drug that can cause both euphoric (high) and hallucinogenic effects.
  • The drug has several dangerous side effects, including severe nausea, breathing problems, decreased heart rate, and seizures.
  • GHB has been used for date rape because it is colorless and odorless and easy to slip into drinks.
  • At high doses, users can lose consciousness within minutes. It’s also easy to overdose: There is only a small difference between the dose used to get high and the amount that can cause an overdose.
  • Overdosing GHB requires emergency care in a hospital right away. Within an hour GHB overdose can cause coma and stop someone’s breathing, resulting in death.
  • GHB (even at lower doses) mixed with alcohol is very dangerous — using it even once can kill you.

Addictiveness: When users come off GHB they may have withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety. Teens may also become dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress.

Heroin

Heroin comes from the dried milk of the opium poppy, which is also used to create the class of painkillers called narcotics — medicines like codeine and morphine. Heroin can range from a white to dark brown powder to a sticky, tar-like substance.

Street Names: horse, smack, Big H, junk

How It’s Used: Heroin is injected, smoked, or inhaled (if it is pure).

Effects & Dangers:

  • Heroin gives you a burst of euphoric (high) feelings, especially if it’s injected. This high is often followed by drowsiness, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting.
  • Users feel the need to take more heroin as soon as possible just to feel good again.
  • With long-term use, heroin ravages the body. It is associated with chronic constipation, dry skin, scarred veins, and breathing problems.
  • Users who inject heroin often have collapsed veins and put themselves at risk of getting deadly infections such as HIV, hepatitis B or C, and bacterial endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) if they share needles with other users.

Addictiveness: Heroin is extremely addictive and easy to overdose on (which can cause death). Withdrawal is intense and symptoms include insomnia, vomiting, and muscle pain.

Inhalants

Inhalants are substances that are sniffed or “huffed” to give the user an immediate rush or high. They include household products like glues, paint thinners, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, felt-tip marker fluid, correction fluid, hair spray, aerosol deodorants, and spray paint.

How It’s Used: Inhalants are breathed in directly from the original container (sniffing or snorting), from a plastic bag (bagging), or by holding an inhalant-soaked rag in the mouth (huffing).

Effects & Dangers:

  • Inhalants make you feel giddy and confused, as if you were drunk. Long-time users get headaches, nosebleeds, and may suffer loss of hearing and sense of smell.
  • Inhalants are the most likely of abused substances to cause severe toxic reaction and death. Using inhalants, even one time, can kill you.

Addictiveness: Inhalants can be very addictive. Teens who use inhalants can become psychologically dependent upon them to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress.

to be continued

source:   http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/drugs/know_about_drugs.html#

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