When I was in elementary school, I got a lesson from my teachers every year about saying no to drugs. To be honest, I didn’t quite understand what drugs were. I knew about ibuprofen and stuff like that, but the idea of recreational substances was foreign to me (even though I knew I was always supposed to say no to whatever people offered me). To strengthen my resolve against drugs, my parents discouraged using (even experimentation) at every possible opportunity. By the time I reached middle school, I knew that drugs were bad and I was never going to use them.
It’s a good thing that I decided it too, because it was in middle school that some of my friends started going that route. By that time, they knew my values (I was raised in a very religious home, and made it a point to live by those standards) and didn’t bother inviting me to participate with them. It made me sad to see, but those same friends that started using in middle school are still doing so. They haven’t gone all that far in life, and I don’t know what they plan on doing for their future.
For all those worried parents who don’t think they can keep up with the ever-increasing drug presence in America, I’m here to shed some light on it.
Let’s start with the most-used recreational drugs for last year.
Cocaine: Cocaine is a crystalline powder that is mainly used by snorting it up the nose (it can also be smoked in rock form). Once in the blood stream, it goes to the brain and affects the natural flow of dopamine in the brain. Cocaine use causes an excessive buildup of dopamine in the brain; thus the pleasurable affect.
If someone is using cocaine, they will start to have frequent mood swings, nose bleeds, rapid or irregular heartbeat, irritability, insomnia, bloodshot eyes, anxious anxiety attacks, dilated pupils, speech irregularities and rapid weight loss.
Cocaine is powerfully addictive. If you smoke crack (crack is cocaine in rock form), you can get very sharp chest pains, lung trauma and bleeding. Powder-based cocaine causes death by cardiac arrest, seizures and respiratory arrest.
Ecstasy: Ecstasy is known by many different names (MDMA, X, XTC, Rolls, Beans, Adams, etc). It comes in the form of a pill and can have lots of different things imprinted on top of it (brands, words, the Nike Swoosh, the playboy bunny insignia, etc.); thus the different names. When someone takes ecstasy, a number of things happen to them: there is an involuntary grinding of the teeth, temperature variations, blurred vision, nausea, increase in sights and sounds, liver failure, cardiovascular issues and kidney failure. Long-term affects are varied, but include the following: loss of memory, loss of appetite, loss of ability to feel, etc.
Marijuana: Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most popular drug in the world by a long shot. It is estimated that between 129 and 191 million people use marijuana. Marijuana has being legalized in areas like the Netherlands, and people in the United States are trying to legalize it as well. Because marijuana is the “softest” drug of the three, it’s easier to handle.
Therefore, it is more available.
Marijuana use can cause the following effects: impairment of memory, impairment of cognitive functions, difficulty breathing and bloodshot eyes. Use has also been linked to the development of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
There is hope, and there is early prevention. The best way to prevent those sorts of things is to talk to your kids now. Let them know that even experimenting with drugs is a bad idea. Make it clear that drugs aren’t to be messed with. My parents did that, and I’ve never touched the stuff. Talking works, make it a priority.
About the Author
- Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com.
My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online schools they can choose from to reach their goals and start top careers.
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What Parents Need To Know About Dangerous Drugs
Well, it might as well be said, some of you are thinking about it. The same applies to guns, guns are not dangerous, and the people who carelessly misuse guns are dangerous. Drugs are not dangerous until people misuse them. That is going to be the point of this discussion.
Probably the most dangerous drug our children will encounter is curiosity and listening to peers. The need for children to experiment or whether it be for financial gain, either way, it is a growing concern regarding the misuse of drugs. Read more