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Cannabis (Marijuana – Hashish)

Marijuana or Hashish is usually rolled up in a cigarette. It can also be brewed as a tea or mixed with food, or smoked through a water pipe.

Short-term effects: Loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, vision and hearing, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite and relaxed muscles. Heart rate can speed up.
Long-term effects: Long term use can cause psychotic symptoms. It can also damage the lungs and the heart, worsen the symptoms of bronchitis and cause coughing and wheezing. If may reduce the body’s ability to fight lung infections and illness.
Risks: Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to more potent drugs. Marijuana masks the problem for a time (while the user is high). When the “high” fades, the problem or unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before. The user may then turn to stronger drugs since marijuana no longer “works”.

“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org


Alcohol is a flammable liquid which resides in the constituents of wine, beer, or other drinks that could cause intoxication if consumed in large doses. 
Short-term effects: Alcohol influences your brain and leads to a loss of coordination, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, impaired judgment, slurred speech, memory and comprehension loss and blackouts.
Long-term effects: Tolerance to many of the unpleasant effects of alcohol and a resulting ability to drink more. This leads to a deteriorating physical condition that can include liver damage and increases the risk of heart disease. A person can become dependent on alcohol. If someone suddenly stops drinking, withdrawal symptoms may set in. alcohol abuse can also lead to violence and conflicts in one’s personal relationships.
Risks: Alcohol depresses your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment. Drinking large amounts can lead to a coma and even death. Mixing alcohol with medications or drugs is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org


Ecstasy is usually taken orally in pills, tablets or capsule forms. The pills are of different shapes and colors. Mixing ecstasy with alcohol is extremely dangerous and can be lethal.
Short-term effects: Impaired judgment, confusion, depression, sleep problems, severe anxiety, paranoia, muscle tension, blurred vision, nausea, chills, or sweating.
Long-term effects: Prolonged use causes long-lasting and perhaps permanent damage to the brain, affecting the person’s judgment and thinking ability.
Risks: The simulative effects of drugs, such as ecstasy, enable the user to dance for long periods, and when combined with the hot, crowded conditions, can lead to extreme dehydration and heart or kidney failure.

“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org

Cocaine & crack

Cocaine and crack can be taken orally, through the nose (snorted), injected with a syringe or, in the case of crack, through inhalation of the fumes from heating it. The work cocaine refers to the drug in a powder form (cocaine) and a crystal form (crack).
Short-term effects: Cocaine causes a short-lived, intense high that is immediately followed by the opposite, intense feelings of depression, edginess, and a craving for more of the drug. People who use it can experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions.
Long-term effects: In addition to those effects already mentioned, cocaine can cause irritability, mood disturbances, depression and hearing hallucinations. Tolerance to the drug develops so that more is needed to produce the same “high”.
Risks: The drug can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile and anxious, even when they aren’t high. A person can overdose from his first try.
“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org

Crystal meth & methamphetamine

Crystal meth and meth are inhaled, smoked or injected. On the street, is it knows as “ice”, “crystal”, “glass”. 
Short-term effects: Hyperactivity, delusions of power, increase aggressiveness, and irritability. It can cause decreased hunger and sudden weight loss. Other effects can include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, and paranoia.
Long-term effects: Increased heart rate and blood pressure, damage to blood vessels in the brain, leading to strokes or death. Can cause liver, kidney and lung damage. Users may suffer brain damage.
Risks: It is a highly powerful and addictive stimulant that causes aggression and violent or psychotic behavior. Many users report getting addicted from the first time they use it. It is one of the hardest drugs to treat.
“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org


Heroin is usually injected, snorted, or smoked. It is highly addictive. Heroin enters the brain rapidly but makes people think and react slowly, impairing their decision-making ability. It causes difficulty in remembering things.
Short-term effects: Abusers experience nausea and vomiting a lot. Awareness of pain may be suppressed. Heart functions slow down and breathing is severely slowed, sometimes to the point of death.
Long-term effects: Collapsed veins, liver or kidney disease, lung complications may result.
Risks: Injecting the drug can create a risk of AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases caused by infected needles. Heroin is one of the deadliest drugs. Violence and crime are linked to its use.
“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org


LSD is sold in tablets, capsules, or liquid form. It is commonly added to absorbent paper and divided into small decorated squares. Each square is a dose.
Short-term effects: Dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth. People can experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death.
Long-term effects: Flashbacks of an LSD trip can be experienced long after the drug is taken.
Risks: LSD is still one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. A tiny amount can produce 12 hours or more of effects.
“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org

Prescription drug abuse

Abuse of prescription drugs has become a more serious problem than most street drugs. Painkillers, tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleeping pills and stimulants may appear “safe” due to being prescribed by doctors, but they can be just as addictive and dangerous as heroin or cocaine.
Risks: Continued use of painkillers, depressants, stimulants or antidepressants can lead to addiction and can lead to painful withdrawal symptoms for those who try to quit.

“The truth about drugs”  www.drugfreeworld.org

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R, 62 years old, father of M, M is now recovering from drug addiction

"I used to think that, as a father, it was my job to get the money for the house, school, university, and the gifts." - "What about now?" - "I made him eggs today" - "Last week, we went hiking. It was just him and me"