Tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana are the drugs that young people use most often. Each of these is destructive in its own right. Plus, the use of any one of them seems to “open the door” to involvement with other drugs.
- Smoking, chewing, and dipping all involve the use of nicotine.
- The nicotine in tobacco is one of the most addicting of drugs.
- Nearly 400,000 lives are lost each year to cigarette-related diseases.
- Long-term use of tobacco results in high blood pressure, heart attack, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and cancer of the lungs, throat, and mouth.
- Like cocaine or marijuana, alcohol is a drug. It can alter moods, cause changes in the body and become habit forming.
- The most widely used drug among teenagers, and among Americans in general, is alcohol.
- Drinking is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer.
- Alcohol is responsible for well over half of the fire deaths, drownings, injuries, traffic fatalities, and murders in the U.S.
- Long-term use of alcohol can result in loss of memory, high blood pressure, enlarged heart, liver ailments (severe swelling, hepatitis, cirrhosis), impotency, and ulcers.
Marijuana (“Pot”) Weed
- Today’s marijuana is 10-20 times more potent than that used in the 1960s.
- The active ingredient in marijuana (THC) accumulates in the body.
- It takes 3-6 weeks for the body to get rid of the chemicals in just one marijuana joint. Those who smoke more continue to build up those chemicals.
- Long –term use of marijuana adversely affects the lungs, heart, brain, reproductive system, and the body’s immune response to infections and disease.
- The younger the user, the more damaging the effects.
- It is rare for young people to use any other illegal drugs without having first used marijuana.
PARENTS MUST BE AWARE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ESPECIALLY SENSITIVE AND SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE CHEMICALS IN DRUGS. PARENTS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT EXPERIMENTATION WITH ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS MAY PROGRESS FROM CASUAL USE TO HEAVIER USE AND FINALLY TO DEPENDENCY.
DON’T BE MISLED BY: “I’ve only tried it once.” | “It’s not mine. I was just holding it for a friend.” “Everyone is doing it.” | “It’s only a little beer.” | “I’ve quit.”