Drugs and Side Effects

Popular Drugs and Side Effects

When it comes to talking about drugs your kids will have questions. Begin the dialogue about drugs and see where that leads you in your conversation. Here are some facts about the drugs on the street these days and what they can do.

* Heroin – This drug comes from the opium plant. It is extracted from the dried milk of the opium poppy. Highly addictive, heroin is injected, smoked or inhaled. It has different street names (horse, smack). A small dose can leave you feeling euphoric as if you have left your body. But, once you come down from your high, you may feel drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and cramps. It is easy to overdose if you are not careful.

* Cocaine – It’s also called snow, crack and nose candy. Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the cocoa plant. It can be inhaled, smoked or injected. The drug is mixed or cut with other substances to gain the purest drug. Some of these chemicals that cocaine can be laced with can lead to overdose or a bad experience (trip) that can leave you physically and mentally damaged. Crack cocaine is a stimulant that can lead to heart attacks even in first-time users.

* Alcohol – This is classified as a drug even though it is not illegal. If you are under 21, you are not allowed to buy it, but many kids find ways around that. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. Driving under the influence is one of the number one killers of teenagers. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning and possibly death.

* Designer drugs – This list includes Ecstasy, PCP, LSD, GHB and crystal meth. They were created to give the same feelings as the drugs above without using illegal substances. These drugs have proved just as deadly, as a bad batch can lead to brain damage and death.

* Cough medicine – Over-the-counter medications are being used to get high. The active ingredient, dextromethorphan, can lead to paranoia, dizziness as well as an “out of body” experience some kids are looking for. Chronic usage can lead to brain damage, seizures and possible death.