Substance Use and Abuse

Marijuana is a substance derived from the dried flowers, stems, and leaves of the plant Cannabis sativa (often called “hemp”). It is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in the world today. Normally ingested through smoking, marijuana usually gives off a distinct sweet-and-sour odor. Most marijuana users smoke it in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, while others use pipes or water pipes called “bongs.” The substance can also be used to brew tea or mixed into foods. It also goes by a variety of common names, including pot, grass, weed, MJ and reefer.

Some of the signs or symptoms that can be noticed in individuals using marijuana may include:

  • marijuanaMucus filled coughs that occur frequently
  • Increased appetite, sometimes called “munchies”
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapidly beating heart
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Poor memory, forgetful in conversation
  • Poor concentration and coordination
  • Loud, rapid speech and laughter outbursts in early stages of intoxication
  • Aroma resembling burnt rope on breath or clothing
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia, such as roach clips, rolling papers, pipes or bongs

Physical Effects of Marijuana Substance Use and Abuse

Contrary to what many people think, marijuana has a powerful chemical makeup which renders it a high risk drug to Continue Reading

Substance use and abuseSubstance use and abuse is something that cannot be taken lightly since it affects individuals involved and those close to them. Methamphetamine is one substance that has particularly adverse effects. This substance is also known by a number of other names including: Meth, Crystal Meth, Ice, Glass, Shabu, Trash, Tina, Tweak, Speed, Ventana, Uppers, Yellow Bam and Vidrio. Taking a close look at the effects of using this drug will reveal just why it is one of the most dangerous substances in the world today.

Methamphetamine is highly addictive. Even casual use can lead to fast addiction and withdrawal symptoms lasting months.

Side-Effects of Small Doses of Methamphetamine

This substance can be ingested a number of ways including swallowing, snorting, smoking and injecting. Once a person has taken this Continue Reading

Steroids, such as cortisone, prednisone and hydrocortisone, are legitimate drugs used to treat medical conditions. Anabolic steroids are drugs that replicate human sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), which are often taken illegally and abused in an effort to alter physical appearance.

When used exactly as prescribed by a doctor, steroids can be helpful in a number of ways. Examples of cases that may lead to a doctor prescribing anabolic steroids can include delayed puberty, cancer and AIDS.

If someone decides to take steroids to the point of substance use and abuse, however, a number of complications can arise. In such cases, steroids abusers are taking from 10 to 100 times more than would normally be prescribed by a doctor to treat a condition or illness.

No Matter What You Call Them…

Steroids are also known by a number of common names, including:

  • steroidsJuice
  • Gym candy
  • Pumpers
  • Arnolds
  • Roids
  • Stackers

There are various side effects that can be noted in both male and female steroid users. These include: stunted growth, hostile and aggressive behavior, severe acne, irritability, high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and high risk of blood clotting. It is also worth noting that different people may experience other effects, depending on their lifestyle and the amount of steroids used.

Additional Risks of Steroid Substance Use and Abuse

Anabolic steroid use in an effort to bulk up is not uncommon among teenage athletes. When improperly used, steroids are Continue Reading

Taking medicine without regard for the instructions given by a qualified prescribing doctor and the specific directions of the dispensing pharmacist is normally considered prescription drug abuse. This form of substance use and abuse can be manifested in a number of ways, such as:

  • substance use and abuseTaking a smaller or larger dose of medicine than the doctor instructed.
  • Using medicine that was intended for someone else.
  • Using prescription drugs for something rather than medical purposes.
  • Taking drugs in a manner that is unusual. An example may be snorting drugs that are supposed to be swallowed.

The substance use and abuse of prescription drugs can lead to a number of serious consequences, including addiction.

Effects of Prescription Substance Use and Abuse

If an individual continues to take prescription medicines without heeding the doctor’s instructions, he or she is likely to develop health related complications. While some drugs may appear relatively harmless in the initial stages of Continue Reading

The shortened name for the highly addictive stimulant called methamphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant, is simply “meth.” In its crystalline form, the drug is commonly called “crystal meth,” or any number of other street names, some of which are noted below.

What is Methamphetamine and How Is It Used?

crystal methMuch like crack cocaine, crystal meth is usually smoked in glass pipes. It can also be injected (either dry or dissolved in water), snorted, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or urethra. Some of the reasons that may lead people to use or abuse crystal meth include curiosity, peer pressure, pain relief, stress, and entertainment.

Because of its high potential for substance use and abuse, Methamphetamine is available only through a non-refillable prescription. Although the drug can be prescribed by a doctor, its medical uses are limited, with prescribed doses being significantly lower than those typically abused.

The ABCs of Crystal Meth Street Names

No matter what you call it, substance use and abuse involving crystal meth is a dangerous game. These are only some of the street names you may hear used for this destructive drug: Continue Reading

Ecstasy is prevalent in places that promote the party lifestyle, such as bars, clubs and hard core musical events. Regardless of the danger of the drug and the serious harm it can cause to a person’s mental and physical health, Ecstasy users who end up getting hooked find it hard to kick the habit and will very likely need skilled help in order to succeed.

Substance Use and Abuse of Ecstasy: Some Common Indications

You may suspect that someone you know is endangering themselves by abusing Ecstasy. If so, here are some specific signs to look for: 

substance use and abuseIncreased Sensory Perception – Symptoms of Ecstasy substance use and abuse can include a heightened sensory perception. Users of the drug tend to hear or see things more clearly than when in their normal state. Ecstasy users will also go out of their way to touch things that might feel “nice” to them.

Irregular Sleeping Habits – Another sign of Ecstasy use to be on the alert for is irregular sleeping patterns. A good example would be if a person who usually goes to sleep at night regularly suddenly and inexplicably shifts to sleeping in the early morning without any change in their work schedule or overall basic routine.

Overly Excited and Energetic – Ecstasy takers are known to very easily get overly excited, even over the smallest of things, to the point where they will become almost manic in telling you about whatever made them happy. Aside from being excited to an excessive degree, those engaged in the substance use and Continue Reading

cocaine effectsIndependently, alcohol and cocaine are both dangerous substances. But there’s more to it. Over the last three decades, researchers have discovered that the combined substance use and abuse of alcohol and cocaine creates a third extremely dangerous drug in the body. Learn more about cocaine effects and the particular dangers of using this drug along with alcohol.

 

Cocaine and Booze: A Dangerous Mixture

A lot of users like to combine cocaine use with alcoholic drinks, likely because the mixture may be perceived to create a lifting effect when Continue Reading

Heroin Addiction Although heroin isn’t as popular among teenagers in comparison with other drugs, it is still a significant problem. Heroin substance use and abuse gravely affects all users, regardless of age, and it is important that parents and other family members of teenagers and young adults are aware of this.

Statistics for substance abuse compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that in 2010, the average age for first time users was 21.3. This is significantly lower than 2009, when the average age was 25.5 years. The data shows that in 2011, 1.6% or 42 million Americans age 12 and above had tried heroin at least once during their lifetime.

How is Heroin Used and How Can Addiction be Treated?

Heroin can be used in many ways. Some choose to inject it, while others opt to inhale it through smoking, sniffing, or Continue Reading