Youth Drug Awareness Reference Guide
Millions of people have a problem with alcohol and illicit drugs. These problems are not only common, but can happen to anyone. People struggling with drugs are individuals who come from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. The best way to protect yourself is to know the truth about drugs. What would you do to protect yourself from the effects of drugs?
What is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive, uncontrollable drug craving that persists even when knowing the extremely negative consequences. Addiction becomes compulsive due to the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functions and behavior.
How Quickly Do You Become Addicted?
There is no easy answer. If and how quickly addiction develops depends on the drug and factors like individual sensitivity, genetics, and biology. While one per-son may use a drug many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may be vulnerable and overdose with the first use. All drug abuse is potentially harmful and has life-threatening consequences.
I'm Not Sure I Can Talk To My Parents...
One of the hardest things is to admit you might have a problem. Don’t be scared. Breach the subject in an easy manner. No matter what you think, your parents care about you and your well-being. If you can’t talk with them, try a school counselor, clergy, family doc-tor, older relative, close friend’s parent or a teen help hotline. Someone can provide solid advice and another point of view. Most young people report feeling better after talking to someone.
Can Drug Users Get Help?
Definitely! But first, they must admit there might be a problem and they want help so THEY can do the work to kick the habit. People do not have to hit “rock bottom” before successfully getting help.
Is My Friend Out of Control?
Most users are secretive about their dependency and it’s hard to tell. Watch for any of the following signs:
Gets drunk or high on drugs on a regular basis
Lies about the amount of drugs they use
Avoids you to get drunk or high alone
Stops activities that were a big part of their life(sports, homework, or hanging out)
Constantly talks about and plans drinking or drug use in advance
Must drink or use more drugs to get the same high
Doesn’t have “fun” unless drunk or stoned
Has lots of hangovers and “blackouts”
Is withdrawn, depressed, tired, and cares little about personal appearance
Rapid weight loss and changed sleeping patterns
Has difficulty concentrating
Red-rimmed eyes or runny nose not related to cold or allergies
Pressures others to drink or use drugs
Feels run-down, hopeless, depressed or suicidal
Doesn’t care about others
Gets in trouble with the police
Drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Gets suspended from school for drug-related problems