Color And Microcrystalline Tests

Many drugs produce characteristic colors when they react with certain chemicals. For instance, in the Marquis test, a certain chemical mixture will turn purple in the presence of heroin or other opioids but orange-brown in the presence of amphetamines and methamphet-amines. Color tests are useful only for screening a positive result is not considered definitive evidence of the presence of drugs. Microcrystalline tests are considerably more specific than color tests for identifying drugs. In...

Codependence

When a teen is addicted, the drug becomes the single greatest source of pleasure in his or her life. Getting an addicted teen off drugs requires denying him or her this pleasure. This process can be so difficult that professional assistance is required to beat the habit. Drug dependence does not usually happen overnight but rather is the result of a progression of use over time. However, the progression of drug dependence not only involves the users themselves but also their families and...

Workplace drug abuse

Use of illegal drugs while on the job. Drug abuse in the workplace is a real problem in the United States. For example, coworkers may have to work harder to pick up the slack for workers who are using drugs. Absenteeism may rise, requiring employers to add staff to cover for absent employees. Also, those who take drug utilize health benefits more frequently than other employees, raising insurance rates for everyone. In addition, roughly half of all workplace accidents are drug-related. Because...

Effects Of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse has profound effects not only on the user but also the user's family, friends, community, and workplace. Drug abuse is associated with a wide variety of negative consequences such as shattered families, gang activity, neighborhood decay, and crime. Law enforcement agencies spend billions of dollars per year combating drugs and drug-related crime, and thousands of people are sentenced to prison each year for drug offenses. Scientists have noted many adverse physical and psychological...

A positive attitude can pull a teen out of depression

The Facts Depression is not just a short-term reaction to a temporary disappointment. It is a serious medical condition that can be caused by many factors including stress, chronic disease, and drug or alcohol abuse. Research has shown that optimistic people are healthier than pessimistic ones, and that pessimism is related to depression. However, there is no evidence that pessimism causes depression or that optimism relieves it. Overcoming depression requires counseling and medication. Some...

Rates of injuries and deaths

Teens in the United States are more likely to be killed as the result of a motor-vehicle crash than by any other single activity. Although little is known about what percentage of teens drive under the influence of drugs, the statistics for the percentage of teenagers who drive after drinking alcohol are well established. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2007 10.5 percent of teens nationwide drove a car or other vehicle after drinking. The rate for males...

Drugs And CriMiNAL ACTiViTY

Illegal acts such as theft, assault, homicide, or drug use. When people think of drugs and criminal activity, they often picture gang-related crime associated with dealing drugs. However, while youth gangs are a significant threat to public safety, gang violence represents only a small portion of the criminal activity tied to drug use. Drugs are also related to crime through the effects they have on the user's behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activity in conjunction with...

Drugs and family breakup

Drug and alcohol abuse can also lead to divorce or severe family disruption. According to Psychiatric Disorders in America The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study, in 1991, alcoholics represented 24.2 percent of all Americans who had been divorced or separated more than once. By contrast, only 8.9 percent of those in intact marriages were alcoholics. In 2006, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that families with children made up about 30 percent of the homeless, and that requests for...

Crimes committed under the influence

According to Violence and Drug Abuse, a 1995 publication by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 50 percent of violent crimes can be attributed to alcohol abuse. Some 30 percent of these violent crimes are homicides. Alcohol increases aggressiveness and decreases inhibitions, an explosive combination that can lead to violence. Cocaine and methamphetamines also have the reputation of generating feelings of aggression and hostility. Statistics from the Federal Bureau of...

SUiCiDE

Suicide is the act of taking one's own life. It is often the result of long periods of depression. In 2006, the National Adolescent Health Information Center (NAHIC) reported that suicide was the third-leading cause of deaths among 10- to 24-year-olds. A study of data collected by the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey during the early 1990s found that people who were dependent on drugs or alcohol were more likely to attempt suicide. The study noted that drug use, even without dependence, was...

Children whose mothers smoke cigarettes and use alcohol are more likely to abuse drugs than children whose fathers do so

The Facts The 2001 SAMHSA report Parental Influences of Adolescent Marijuana Use and the Baby Boom Generation declares that cigarette smoking and alcohol use by fathers had no impact on their children's substance use. In contrast, mothers' cigarette smoking and alcohol use had a significant influence. Children whose mothers smoked cigarettes and used alcohol were likely to be lifetime users of marijuana. From an early age, long before they have much exposure to their peers, children pick up on...

Prevalence of cigarette smoking

The percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes has declined steadily since the government first began compiling statistics on smoking in the mid-1960s. In 1965, nearly 45 percent of all adult Americans and more than half of all adult men smoked cigarettes. At that time, antismoking advocates began to voice the first public concerns about the health risks of smoking. The media and tobacco industry, however, portrayed smoking as glamorous, sexy, and sophisticated. Many of the biggest Hollywood...

Motor and physical development

Cocaine exposure can affect not only a child's cognitive development but also his or her motor development. Research conducted at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has shown links between prenatal cocaine exposure and decreased motor development in children at age two. According to the 1999 study Motor Development of Cocaine-Exposed Children at Age Two Years, exposed children performed significantly poorer than nonexposed children on tests of both fine and gross motor development....

Music and videos

Music is an important aspect of a teen's life. A study published in the February 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine estimates that teens are exposed to music 25 hours per day. Think about the times when you have music playing in the background, while in the car, or doing homework, and it's easy to see where those hours come from. During that time, the average adolescent is exposed to 84 explicit references to substance abuse in popular songs. According to that same...

Q A

Answer A crack baby is an infant that experiences physical and behavioral problems as a result of the use of crack by his or her mother during pregnancy. A 1996 article titled Maternal Exposure to Crack Cocaine Produces Stressed Newborns (Brown University News Bureau) reported that babies exposed to crack while in the womb showed abnormal patterns of both excitability and lethargy (sluggishness) compared with nonexposed infants. In addition, babies exposed to crack appeared more stressed. They...

Fact Or Fiction

My friend smokes menthol cigarettes because he claims that they are not as bad for you as regular cigarettes. Is that true The Facts Contrary to what many people believe, menthol cigarettes are just as bad for your health as regular cigarettes. According to a 2005 article in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that menthol cigarettes seem to be equally harmful per cigarette smoked in terms of atherosclerosis and pulmonary function decline. What's more, the study...

Marijuana

Marijuana is the popular name of Cannabis sativa, a plant that produces psychoactive effects when ingested. It is native to the mountainous areas in tropical regions such as Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia, but it grows wild under most climatic conditions. As a result, it has spread throughout most of the world. Today, marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and Europe. The active ingredient in marijuana is a chemical known as...

School Performance And Drug Abuse

Academic Abuse

Relationship between academic and social performance in a school setting and drugs. Various studies have found that drug and alcohol use can have a negative impact on school attendance and performance. Drug use by peers and peer pressure are risk factors for teen drug abuse. Roughly 60 percent of high school teens report that drugs are used, kept, or sold at their schools. Students at these schools are three times more likely to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs than students whose schools are...

Barbiturates

Barbiturates, such as mephobarbital (Mebaral) and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), are central nervous system depressants used to treat anxiety, tension, and sleep disorders. They typically are taken in pill form. When consumed in small doses, they result in a lack of responsiveness and muscular coordination. In higher doses they can cause slurred speech, decreased rate of breathing, slowed heart rate, unconsciousness, and death. If taken with alcohol even in small doses, the combination can...

Morbidity And Mortality

Morbidity, the frequency of illness or injury caused by a particular substance or action, in this case a particular drug and mortality, the death rate in a given population as the result of taking drugs. Tracking trends in teen drug abuse can be difficult because of the secrecy that often surrounds illegal drug sales. However, morbidity and mortality figures from a wide range of sources can provide a valuable tool for identifying future issues and trends that may impact drug abuse prevention...

Dopamine Effects

Research suggests that repeated dopamine stimulation caused by substance abuse appears to increase the user's motivation to continue using the substance. This does not occur with experiences that naturally increase dopamine production. This seems to be because some drugs can produce five to 10 times as much dopamine as natural triggers such as food or sex, and these effects also last much longer than those produced naturally do. Interestingly, increases in dopamine appear to occur in response...

My Best Friend Got Hooked on Drugs

When Joe got hooked on drugs, I was really ticked off. I knew he smoked cigarettes and had tried some weed occasionally but I never thought he would try crack cocaine, let alone get hooked on it. We both knew about gateway drugs and how using cigarettes or drinking beer can lead to more dangerous drug use, but we never thought it would happen to us. After all, we never did drugs. What really makes me angry is that he never talked with me about it and we were best friends. We shared so much...

Hotlines And Help Sites

ET, Mon.-Fri.) Affiliation Part of Al-Anon, an organization of relatives and friends of alcoholics Mission To help young people deal with problems of alcohol in their families or among friends Program Provides regular meetings of young people to discuss their problems and help each other to face them Phone I-8OO-ALCOHOL (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Phone 1-800-342-AIDS (24 hours 7 days) 1-800-344-SIDA (Spanish) (8 A.M.-2 p.m., 7 days) 1-800-AIDS-TTY (TDD)...

Effects And Risks Of Smoking

People smoke cigarettes primarily as a way to obtain nicotine, a drug that stimulates the central nervous system, enhancing the user's energy, alertness, and concentration. Smoking rapidly introduces the drug into the bloodstream, where it is carried to the brain almost immediately. As a result, many people find that smoking cigarettes gives them a quick energy boost during the day. Unfortunately, nicotine is also highly addictive the user needs to continue smoking to maintain the same level of...