Drug addiction

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome. This is the disease. AIDS is caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), -this is the pathogen that causes the disease- . What does the HIV affect the body? It invades the body and kills the cells that are in charge of our immune system. HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED? HIV is transmitted when blood or body fluids from an infected person are passed to another person through direct contact, or through contact with objects that have been contaminated by infected blood or other body fluids.

Methods of transmission include: a) intimate sexual contact, b) contaminated intravenous needles, c) and blood-to-blood contact, such as through transfusions of contaminated blood. A pregnant woman infected with the virus can transmit it to her fetus.

The virus can also be transmitted through breast milk. HOW TO AVOID AIDS? Abstinence from (avoid of) intimate sexual contact provides protection from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Among illegal drug users, HIV transmission can be prevented by not sharing needles. Having blood transfusions careful screened in hospitals. INTERESTING FACTS: The virus can remain inactive for months, and then after 5 to 8 years, the disease (AIDS) can appear.

The first symptoms of AIDS may not appear for 8 to 10 years after initial infection of HIV Africa is the continent with the major population suffering from AIDS. DRUGS A drug is a chemical which may have medicinal, intoxicating, performance enhancing or other effects when taken or put into the body. Drugs are classified into: a) stimulant drugs (that increase the activity of the nervous system), b) depressant or sedative drugs, (that lower or depress the activity of the nervous system. c) hallucinogens, (considered psychoactive, that cause subjective changes in perception, thought, emotion and consciousness).

Drug abuse is the inappropriate self-administration of a drug for non-medical purposes. It may involve the use of an illegal drug, such as cocaine, heroin, or use of an illegally obtained medicine, such as someone else’s prescribed drugs; or excessive use of a legal drug, such as alcohol or nicotine. When a person believes he or she needs a drug in order to fell good or function normally, that person is psychologically dependent on the drug. When a person’s body develops a chemical need for the drug in order to function normally, the person is physiologically dependent.

Psychological and physiological dependence are both forms addiction. Once a person has become addicted to a drug, breaking the habit can be very difficult, and they need both medical and psychological therapy. Drug abuse causes great problems to the individual, the family, society and government. In the case of injected drugs, sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment can greatly increase the risk of contracting blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus—the virus that causes AIDS).

COMMONLY ABUSED DRUGS AND POTENTIAL HAZARDS.MARIJUANA or MARIHUANA Marijuana is derived primarily from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. It can act as both a stimulant and a depressant. Other common names: weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, hash, herb. Some of the effects are: depression, anxiety and personality disturbances, as well as compromising the ability to learn and remember information.

When smoked, the effects of marijuana last 2-3 hours. When ingested in foods, the effects may last up to 24 hours and are very difficult to predict or control, because it is stored in fatty tissue.

Long-term marijuana use is addictive for some people. Marijuana contains over 50% more carcinogenic tars than tobacco and can cause severe lung damage. TOBACCO Tobacco is a product processed from the dried leaves of the plant Nicotiana tabacum It is a legal drug with stimulant effects. Tobacco products may be cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hooka, and smokeless tobacco. Common names for tobacco are: “smokes,” “cigs,” or “butts. ” Smokeless tobacco is often called “chew,” “dip,” “spit tobacco,” “snus,” or “snuff. ” People may refer to hookah smoking as “narghile,” “argileh,” “shisha,” “hubble-bubble,” or “goza.

Many smokers begin during adolescence or early adult, because of peer pressure or positive reinforcement. With each puff of a cigarette, a smoker pulls nicotine and other harmful substances into the lungs, where it is absorbed into the blood. It takes just 8 seconds for nicotine to hit the brain. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90% of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90% of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.

Nicotine increases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration (breathing), and it is the primary addictive component in tobacco. The list of diseases caused by smoking includes: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, throat, cervical, kidney, stomach and pancreatic cancers, infertility and peptic ulcer disease. ALCOHOL Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant substance, and it is legal. Drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses and blackouts.

Over 40 percent of kids have consumed alcohol by the 8th grade. That number climbs even higher to 75 percent by the end of high school. Other common names for alcohol are: shot, jag, booze, brew, cold one, “trago”, “copa”, “vino”.

METHAMPHETAMINES. Amphetamine and methamphetamines are central nervous system stimulants. ? In powder form these drugs are often called ‘speed’, ‘goey’ or ‘whiz’ and the paste form is often called ‘base’ or ‘paste’, among other names. All forms of methamphetamine are synthetically made and chemically related, and they are highly addctive.

Crystal methamphetamine is also known as ice, shabu, crystal meth, or glass. Methammphetamines are generally swallowed, injected or smoked. They are also snorted. Some use the drugs to get ‘high’ and dance all night. Others use them to help stay awake for long periods, to improve performance in sport or at work, or to boost their self-confidence. They can reduce tiredness and increase endurance. The effects may be felt immediately (through injecting or smoking) or within 30 minutes (if snorted or swallowed).

Immediate effects: euphoria, excitement, increased heart rate and blood pressure, or irregular heart beat, increased confidence and motivation, power or superiority over others, repetition of simple acts, nervousness, anxiety… Long term effects: malnutrition, sleeping problems, reduced immunity, increased infections, cracked teeth (meth mouth), heart problems, and mental impair. COCAINE Cocaine belongs to a group of drugs known as ‘stimulants’ and hallucinogens. Cocaine is extracted from leaves of the coca bush (Erythroxylum coca), which is native to South America.

The coca leaf extract is then processed to create cocaine hydrochloride, freebase and crack. It is a highly addictive drug. The leaves of the coca bush have long been chewed and brewed into tea by indigenous people in South America for its stimulant and appetite suppressant properties. Other names are: Blow,coke, crack. Rock, Bernie, Snow White, bump, candy, White lady, Charlie… It is most commonly ‘snorted’. It can also be injected. Some people rub it into the gums, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Others add it to a drink or food. Freebase and crack cocaine are usually smok.

The effects of cocaine can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how the cocaine is taken. It causes: increased heart rate and blood pressure, or irregular heart beats, immediate ‘rush’, feelings of euphoria, paranoia, feelings of invincibility, self confidence , physical strenght and mental capacity. A high dose of cocaine can cause a person to overdose, and negative effects on the body include: anxiety, sleep disorders, tremors, chest pain, heart attack, kidney failure, seizures, hallucinations, mental impair, brain damage.

?Addiction When many people think of addiction dependences on alcohol or drugs often come to mind. There are a vast number of other activities however, that can be just as addicting if abused. Here in America, we are taught at …

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According to a study carried out in the Maritime Provinces, marijuana, stimulants, mescaline and amphetamines were the most commonly abused drugs used by the teenagers in the North America particularly in distinct parts of Canada. In addition, number of cases …

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