Anti Drug Movement


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Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, is a compound that was initially used by body builders to stimulate muscle growth. In recent years it has become popular as a recreational drug among club kids and partygoers.


This “designer” drug is often used in combination with other drugs, such as Ecstasy. GHB is synthesized from a chemical used to clean electrical circuit boards, and is available in clear liquid, white powder, tablet and capsule form.
GHB is odorless and nearly tasteless. Users report that it induces a state of relaxation. The effects can be felt within 5 to 20 minutes after ingestion and the high can last up to four hours.

The Food and Drug Administration banned GHB in 1990 after 57 cases of GHB-induced illnesses (ranging from nausea and vomiting to respiratory problems, seizures and comas) were reported to poison control centers and emergency rooms. The drug was only permitted under the supervision of a physician. Since then, the drug has been implicated in several deaths and was subsequently added to the Schedule I list of drugs in the Controlled Substance Act. Anyone who possesses, manufactures or distributes GHB could face a prison term of up to 20 years.

GHB users risk many negative physical effects including vomiting, liver failure, potentially fatal respiratory problems, and tremors and seizures, which can result in comas.

GHB has reportedly been used in cases of date rape. Because GHB is odorless and tasteless, it can be slipped into someone’s drink without detection.

For information on how you can instruct your teen to protect him/herself from GHB exposure, click here>>

Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Anti Drug Movement



Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. Individuals who have tried cocaine have described the experience as a powerful high that gave them a feeling of supremacy. However, once someone starts taking cocaine, one cannot predict or control the extent to which he or she will continue to use the drug. The major ways of taking cocaine are sniffing or snorting, injecting, and smoking (including free-base and crack cocaine).

Health risks exist regardless of whether cocaine is inhaled (snorted), injected, or smoked. However, it appears that compulsive cocaine use may develop even more rapidly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted. Smoking allows extremely high doses of cocaine to reach the brain very quickly and results in an intense and immediate high. The injecting drug user is also at risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV infection/AIDS if needles or other injection equipment are shared.

Health Hazards

Physical effects. Physical effects of cocaine use include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Some cocaine users report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety, both while using and between periods of use. An appreciable tolerance to the high may be developed, and many addicts report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure.

Paranoia and aggression. High doses of cocaine and/or prolonged use can trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine can produce particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users. When addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they may become depressed. This depression causes users to continue to use the drug to alleviate their depression.

Long-term effects. Prolonged cocaine snorting can result in ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose and can damage the nasal septum enough to cause it to collapse. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

Added Danger. When people mix cocaine and alcohol, they are compounding the danger each drug poses and unknowingly causing a complex chemical interaction within their bodies. Researchers have found that the human liver combines cocaine and alcohol to manufacture a third substance, cocaethylene, which intensifies cocaine’s euphoric effects and possibly increases the risk of sudden death.

Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Anti Drug Movement


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MDMA, called “Adam,” “ecstasy,” or “XTC” on the street, is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. Its chemical structure is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which are known to cause brain damage.

Beliefs about MDMA are reminiscent of similar claims made about LSD in the 1950s and 1960s, which proved to be untrue. According to its proponents, MDMA can make people trust each other and can break down barriers between therapists and patients, lovers, and family members.

Health Hazards

Physical and psychological symptoms. Many problems users encounter with MDMA are similar to those found with the use of amphetamines and cocaine. They are:

*Psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia during and sometimes weeks after taking MDMA (in some cases, psychotic episodes have been reported).
*Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating.
*Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease.

Long-term effects. Recent research findings also link MDMA use to long-term damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought and memory. It is believed that the drug causes damage to the neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons.

MDMA is also related in structure and effects to methamphetamine, which has been shown to cause degeneration of neurons containing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Damage to dopamine containing neurons is the underlying cause of the motor disturbances seen in Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms of this disease begin with lack of coordination and tremors, and can eventually result in a form of paralysis.

Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

What are kids saying about ecstasy? Click here to find out their thoughts.

Ecstasy: Getting the facts on the not-so-wonder drug.

Ecstasy: Goodbye Fun… Hello Depression

Anti Drug Movement

Over-the-Counter Drugs Abuse Where You Least Expect

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Think that drug abuse among teens is limited to illegal substances like marijuana and club drugs such as Ecstasy? Think again.

If you’re like most parents, you’re probably not aware that a number of over-the-counter (OTC) products can potentially be abused by teens looking to get high. But it’s important to educate yourself about the potential abuse of consumer products found right in your home. It is important to know the facts about OTC product and medication abuse and make a habit of closely monitoring the use of certain household substances. Talk with preteens and teens about the proper use of all medications (including those that are available over the counter) and the health risks associated with their abuse.

One category of products sometimes abused by teenagers that few parents know about is OTC cough and cold remedies. The OTC cough and cold medications available in your local pharmacy, supermarket or convenience store are safe and effective when used as directed. But some youth are drawn to an ingredient found in nearly half of these medications called dextromethorphan, or DXM. When taken in excessive doses, dextromethorphan can produce a high or cause psychoactive effects.

What is dextromethorphan or DXM?
Dextromethorphan is a cough-suppressing ingredient in a variety of OTC cold and cough medications. It is found in more than 125 OTC products and comes in various forms, most commonly in cough suppressants in caplet or liquid form.

Why are teens abusing products that contain dextromethorphan?

Dextromethorphan is a safe and effective cough suppressant when used as indicated on the product label. However, when taken in doses that far exceed the amount recommended, the ingredient may produce feelings of euphoria that some seek to get “high.” A teenager looking to get high or experiment with drugs may turn to OTC cough and cold preparations that contain dextromethorphan because they are readily available at home or the local drug store. Dextromethorphan can also be purchased in a bulk powder form on the Internet. Some Web sites encourage teenagers to abuse dextromethorphan and actually offer “recipes” for the best way to achieve a high.

What does dextromethorphan do?
Depending on the dose, DXM’s effects vary. Misuse of the drug creates both depressant and mild hallucinogenic effects. Users report a set of distinct dose-dependent “plateaus” ranging from a mild stimulant effect with distorted visual perceptions at low does to a sense of complete dissociation from one’s body. If a child consumes large doses of a product containing dextromethorphan, it may cause a number of adverse effects, including impaired judgment and mental performance, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea, hot flashes, dissociation, and hallucinations.

Another major concern is the risk incurred when abusers get high and engage in activities requiring reasonable judgment and quick reactions, like driving or swimming. The effects induced by overdose of DXM can make these activities deadly.

How can I tell if my child is abusing dextromethorphan?
You should be concerned if you notice that your child is taking excessive amounts of a cold and flu remedy, or if he or she continues to take medicine even after symptoms have subsided. Likewise, if cough and cold medications seem to disappear from the medicine cabinet or if you find packages of cough and cold preparations in the child’s room or backpack, he or she may be abusing the product.

What else can I do?
Talking with teens and staying in touch with their lives are the first steps to keeping them free from abusing consumer products and medications. Following are a few basic preventative steps that you can take to help your child understand the importance of using OTC medications responsibly and help discourage abuse of dextromethorphan.

Talk to your child. Speak with your children often about the importance of carefully following directions on the labels of all OTC medications. Help them understand the dangers of abusing OTC cough and cold medications.

Be mindful of the season. Your child can benefit from medicinal relief of cough, cold, and flu symptoms by taking OTC cough and cold preparations according to the instructions on the manufacturer’s label. But be aware if your child is using cough and cold medications outside of cold and flu season or if he or she continues to self-medicate after symptoms have subsided.

Check your home. Take a quick inventory of all consumer products kept in your home. Be aware of the products in your medicine cabinet, and ask questions if you notice that any products are used frequently or disappear.

Monitor your child’s Internet use. Unfortunately, there are Internet sources that sell dextromethorphan in a bulk powder form or encourage teens to share their experiences with abusing dextromethorphan. These individual sites are not regulated so it becomes increasingly imperative that you be aware of where your child is getting information on the Internet, what sites he/she is spending time on, or with whom he/she may be communicating. Ask them why they think the information that appears there is true or false. Do they think the source is credible? Ensure your child’s Internet time is properly supervised.

Source: Scientific information provided by The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Anti Drug Movement


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Usually smoked as a cigarette or joint, or in a pipe or bong, marijuana has appeared in “blunts” in recent years. These are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and re-filled with marijuana, sometimes in combination with another drug, such as crack. Some users also mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew tea.


The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Health Hazards

Effects of Marijuana on the Brain. Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain’s limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations have shown that THC suppresses neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus. In addition, researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, also deteriorate. Read More>>

Effects on the Lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.

Regardless of the THC content, the amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the lungs.

Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior. A study of college students has shown that critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily, even after discontinuing its use for at least 24 hours. Researchers compared 65 “heavy users,” who had smoked marijuana a median of 29 of the past 30 days, and 64 “light users,” who had smoked a median of 1 of the past 30 days. After a closely monitored 19- to 24-hour period of abstinence from marijuana and other illicit drugs and alcohol, the undergraduates were given several standard tests measuring aspects of attention, memory, and learning. Compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing, and using information. The findings suggest that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an alteration of brain activity produced by marijuana.

Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the non-users, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends.

.Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Learn more about the risks of marijuana and the dangers to kids.

Myths & Facts About Marijuana