Illegal Drugs Essay

940 Words 4 Pages
What You Need To Know About Illegal Drug Use and Dependence, Youth

Illegal drugs are chemicals and substances that are illegal to use, sell, and possess. Health care providers and pharmacies typically do not use or carry these types of drugs to treat medical problems because they can cause serious side effects, including death. Examples of illegal drugs include:
• Cocaine or crack.
• Heroin.
• LSD or acid.
• PCP
• Ecstasy.
• Methamphetamine.

WHAT IS DRUG DEPENDENCE?
Using illegal drugs often leads to dependence or addiction. When you use certain drugs multiple times, your brain chemistry changes and your brain can no longer function normally without that drug. This is called dependence. Drug dependence can cause you to:
• Have
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This is called addiction. People who are addicted tend to seek out the drug over and over so that they can get the feelings they want from it. Addiction and dependence can be difficult to overcome.

HOW DOES ILLEGAL DRUG USE AND DEPENDENCE AFFECT ME?
Using an illegal drug only once can have a major impact on your life. It is possible to die from drug side effects after using it just once. If you use an illegal drug repeatedly, you can become dependent or addicted. Drug dependence or addiction may:
• Negatively affect your performance in sports, school, and hobbies.
• Cause withdrawal if you stop using the drug.
• Cause you to avoid or neglect relationships.
• Cause your friends and family to mistrust you.
• Lead to lying and crime, such as stealing to get money for drugs.
If you become addicted to an illegal drug, you may need to take larger and larger doses of the drug to experience the feelings you want, which can lead to an overdose. A drug overdose is a dangerous situation that requires hospitalization, and often leads to death.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AVOIDING ILLEGAL DRUG USE?
Avoiding illegal drug use
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Find activities that you can do with friends instead of using illegal drugs.
• Do not be afraid to say no if someone offers you an illegal drug. Speak up about why you do not want to use drugs. You can be a positive role model for your friends, and set a good example for those around you.
• Get help if you or someone you know is using or addicted to an illegal drug. Talk with a trusted adult, such as a counselor, teacher, coach, or health care provider.

WHERE CAN I GET SUPPORT?
If you or someone you know has a problem with using illegal drugs, get help from a trusted adult such as a parent, school teacher or counselor, coach, or health care provider.
Drug dependence is often associated with mental illness and may increase the risk of suicide. If you or someone you know is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
• National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens: http://www.teens.drugabuse.gov
• Office of National Drug Control Policy’s “Above the Influence” campaign: http://www.abovetheinfluence.com

WHEN SHOULD I SEEK MEDICAL

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