From TeensHealth website: These days, drugs can be found everywhere, and it may seem like everyone’s doing them. Lots of people are tempted by the excitement or escape that drugs seem to offer.
But learning the facts about drugs can help you see the risks of chasing this excitement or escape. Here’s what you need to know.
The Deal on Substances
Thanks to medical and drug research, there are thousands of drugs that help people. Medicines can cure, slow, or prevent disease, helping us to lead healthier and happier lives. But there are also lots of illegal, harmful drugs that people take to help them feel good or have a good time.
How do drugs work? Drugs are chemicals or substances that change the way our bodies work. When you put them into your body (often by swallowing, inhaling, or injecting them), drugs find their way into your bloodstream and are transported to parts of your body, such as your brain. In the brain, drugs may either intensify or dull your senses, alter your sense of alertness, and sometimes decrease physical pain.
A drug may be helpful or harmful. The effects of drugs can vary depending upon the kind of drug taken, how much is taken, how often it is used, how quickly it gets to the brain, and what other drugs, food, or substances are taken at the same time. Effects can also vary based on the differences in body size, shape, and chemistry.
Although substances can feel good at first, they can ultimately do a lot of harm to the body and brain. Drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking illegal drugs, and sniffing glue can all cause serious damage to the human body. Some drugs severely impair a person’s ability to make healthy choices and decisions. Teens who drink, for example, are more likely to get involved in dangerous situations, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex.
Why do people use drugs?
Can come from complicated emotions, relationships…feeling scared or helpless… a way to cope…a way to fit in and be more socially accepted…
What to do if someone is pressuring you to use drugs?
Think about why you don’t use. Think about what you like about yourself – maybe you like that you don’t use drugs.
What about “I’m just ‘experimenting’”?
Even just trying drugs to see what they are like is not good…you can easily get “hooked” to using more often and even using once can hurt your body.
What do you do if you think you have a “problem”?
Talk to someone close to you, a parent/teacher
What if your friend has a problem?
Talk to someone who can help, like an adult…even if you “promised you would never tell” sometimes asking for help can be the best thing.
Above the influence offers up answers to the sticky questions of why people take drugs
NIDA for Teens is a website all about the science behind drug abuse, where there are questions and answers from Dr. Nida herself
TeensHealth has a section on what you should know about drugs
SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. There is a publications section which allows people to download FREE and helpful brochures, posters, and other informational documents.
Want to hear more from other youth who know what you’re going through? Check out our blog posts on Drugs.