Drug Abuse

The effects and stages of drug abuse vary depending on the drug.

  • Marijuana impairs short-term memory, concentration, coordination, vision, and reaction time. Prolonged use can cause coughing, and lung infections the same as cigarettes.
  • Cocaine makes the heart beat faster and increases the risk of heart failure. It also leads to physical exhaustion,
    poor concentration, malnutrition, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Ecstasy increases energy and sensuality, hence its popularity. It also increases heart rate and blood pressure, and causes confusion, depression, memory loss, and exhaustion.
  • Heroin produces feelings of profound well-being, followed by drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and, at worst,
    convulsions, coma, and death. Injecting it can result in blocked arteries and infection from contagious
    diseases.
  • Amphetamines (“speed, “uppers”) increase energy and alertness. They also increase heart rate and blood pressure, decrease appetite, and produce dizziness, restlessness, headaches, and mood swings.
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP) produce different effects depending on the user and whether they’re combined with other drugs. Reduced inhibitions, insensitivity to pain, and hallucinations can occur.
  • Many chronic drug users seem anxious and afraid. Calm words and a nonjudgmental attitude by others generally will make them feel more cooperative and more likely to give good information. Accusations, moralizations, and critical comments tend to heighten anxiety and hostility.