You might associate marijuana with negative consequences such as short-term memory loss, accelerated heartbeat, increased blood pressure, difficulty concentrating or processing information, lapses in judgment, or problems with perception and motor skills. Years of marijuana use can lead to a loss of ambition, and an inability to function effectively.
- This fact sheet about marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse describes how marijuana affects the brain and other negative health effects that result from marijuana use.
- Marijuana Anonymous World Services is a support group that helps its members recover from marijuana abuse.
Barbiturate & Cocaine Abuse
Both barbiturates and cocaine are heavily addictive because they activate regions of the brain that produce both physical dependence and the pleasurable sensation of “reward.” Together, these actions account for the user’s loss of control and the drug’s habit-forming action.
- This fact sheet about cocaine and crack from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse describes how cocaine and crack negatively affect the brain, and the health risks associated with cocaine and crack abuse.
- You can download a free version of a pamphlet about heroin use in young adults from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The pamphlet summarizes how heroin use affects the human body, and offers advice for the young adult who wishes to help a friend with a heroin problem.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs make complex surgery possible, relieve pain, and enable many individuals with chronic medical conditions to control their symptoms and lead productive lives. Most people who take prescription medications use them responsibly. However, the non-medical use of prescription drugs is a serious public health concern. Nonmedical use of prescription drugs like opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants can lead to abuse and addiction, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provides the NCAA Banned Drug List for student athletes.
- This fact sheet about steroids from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse describes the effects of steroid use on both the brain and on the rest of the human body. It also discusses options for steroid abuse treatment.
- Addictioncenter.com presents this article about the use of prescription stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Dexedrine on college campuses.
Designer or “Club” Drug Abuse
Young adults use club drugs at all-night dance parties (raves or trances), dance clubs, and bars. MDMA (ecstasy), GHB, rohypnol, ketamine, methamphetamine, and LSD are some of the popular club or party drugs. NIDA-supported research has shown club drug use can cause serious health problems and in some cases even death. These drugs can be even more dangerous when combined with alcohol. No club drug is benign.