Alcohol and other Drugs Social & Health Consequences

Alcohol and other Drugs
Social & Health Consequences
Use, Misuse, Abuse and Addiction
• Use – Ingestion of Alcohol or other Drugs without the
experience of negative consequences
• Misuse – Ingestion of Alcohol or other Drugs
experiencing negative consequences such as: DWI,
• Abuse – Continued use of Alcohol and other Drugs in
spite of negative consequences
• Addiction - A habitual repetition of excessive behavior
that a person is unable and unwilling to STOP
regardless of negative and harmful consequences.
Addiction is a “chronic brain disorder and not
simply a behavioral problem.”
• Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward,
motivation, memory and related circuitry.
• Addiction affects neurotransmission and interactions
within reward structures of the brain.
• Memory of previous exposures to rewards leads to a
biological and behavioral response to external cues, in
turn triggering craving.
Treating Addiction must go beyond just fixing
the brain chemistry
• Alcohol is the drug most commonly used, misused and abused
among youth and adults.
• Motor vehicle crashes. Every day, 28 people in the United States
die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired
• Intimate partner violence. About 2 of 3 incidents of intimate
partner violence are associated with alcohol.
• Risky sexual behaviors. Excessive drinking increases risky
sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex and sex with
multiple partners.
• Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Any alcohol use by a pregnant
woman can cause harm to a developing fetus.
• Chronic conditions. Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol
dependence, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart attack,
stroke, and certain kinds of cancer.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2013
CDC stats for 2011 -
Alcohol and Drugs have a great
impact on Brain Development
• Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15, are five
times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who
wait until they are 21.
• Alcohol can cause permanent brain damage while brain is under its
developmental stages.
• Exposure to substances that inhibit cell growth can have a
devastating effect on the developing brain.
• Alcohol and other Drugs limits the Brain’s ability to form new
pathways and connections that are essential to learning and
• Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly,
remembering, and paying attention.
Alcohol and Adolescent Brain Development
The frontal lobes, responsible
for reasoning and thinking are
the last areas of the brain to
develop fully.
Paul Thompson, Ph.D. UCLA
Laboratory of Neuroimaging
Brain Developing from ages 5 to 20
Brain affected by Alcohol
Drinkers have less Active Brains
Brain scans of two females. Top view of the brain.
Note Differences
In back of the Brain
Colored areas show active brain areas during memory task.
Alcohol primarily interferes with the transfer of information from short - term to
long - term storage.
Drinking Alcohol while pregnant:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
• Each year between 1,300 and 8,000 babies in the United States are
born with FAS.
• FAS include retardation, behavior problems, ADHD, seizures, and
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Drug Facts
• Thanks to medical and drug research, there are
thousands of drugs that help people.
• But there are also lots of illegal, harmful drugs that
people take to help them feel good or have a good time.
• In the brain, drugs may either intensify or dull your
senses, alter your sense of alertness, and sometimes
decrease physical pain.
• Some drugs severely impair a person's ability to make
healthy choices and decisions.
National Survey on Drug Use & Health
• Opponents of legalization assert that it will have a
significant, negative impact on public health, leading
to an increase in marijuana-related accidents and
widespread addiction.
• Many marijuana users believe smoking pot has no
negative effects, scientific research indicates that
marijuana use can cause many different health
Long Term effects of Marijuana Use
• Marijuana has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive
safely – Short term and long term use.
• Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
• Suppression of the immune system.
• Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body.
• Reduction of male sex hormones.
• Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain
could be permanent.
• Reduced sexual capacity.
• Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information.
• Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation.
• Inability to understand things clearly.
Long term effects of Marijuana on the Brain
Surface SPECT of
a healthy brain.
Effects of smoking marijuana use
typically cause decreased activity in
the posterior temporal lobes bilaterally.
Prescription Drugs
One Death Every
24 Minutes
Center of disease Control - CDC
• Prescription Meds are now The
number ONE accidental killer in
the U.S.
• 40 people die every day from
overdoses involving narcotic pain
relievers .
• New Mexico has the highest overall
drug overdose death rate in the
• According to newly released
numbers by the New Mexico
Department of Health, 486 people
died in New Mexico in 2012 of
prescription drug overdose.
Prescription Drug Abuse - Facts
• Nonmedical use of prescription drugs remains high,
while teens’ perception of the risk of such abuse is low.
• After alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, prescription and
over-the-counter medications account for most of the top
drugs abused by 12th graders in the past years
• The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over
who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using
a prescription drug non-medically.
NIDA / PeerX-
Heroin on the rise among New Mexican Teens
• New Mexico had the second highest drug overdose mortality rate in
the United States.
• In 2012 there were 486 drug overdose deaths in New Mexico.
• The small town of Espanola is in the grips of a heroin epidemic. In
2009, for example, the city saw 42.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000
• As Heroin keeps increasing in popularity and easy access young
adults have to it, the problem doesn’t seem to be slowing down
anytime soon.
• Once you get involved with heroin – you have to fight your way out.
Not a “back alley” drug anymore.
Philip Seymour Hoffman. Cory Monteith. Janis Joplin. River Phoenix. John Belushi.
Synthetic Drugs (a.k.a. K2, Spice, Bath Salts)
• Synthetic drugs represent a dangerous trend in
substance abuse.
• Teens who use synthetic marijuana, also called K2 or
spice, could end up in the emergency room experiencing
some serious side effects such as seizures,
hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting or even death
from overdose.
• Bath salts are probably more dangerous than synthetic
cannabis and can cause psychotic breaks and suicidal
Using Drugs while pregnant:
• Babies exposed to
legal and illegal
drugs in the womb
may be born
premature and
• Drug exposure can
slow the child's
development and
affect behavior
later in life.
NIDA – National Institute of Drug Abuse
Alcohol Poisoning / Overdose
National Center for Health Statistics - National Vital Statistics - New Mexico Department of Health
• A person with Alcohol Poisoning / Overdose Cannot Sleep it Off.
• Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) continues to rise even after person
stops Drinking.
• It takes about one hour for the liver to metabolize one drink. (In
the female this number will be about 20% longer, regardless of
body weight.
• Forced Fluids like Coffee, Cold Showers, Walking it Off or
Sleeping it Off is a Myth.
• Drugs combined with alcohol accounts for increasing numbers of
drug overdoses and emergency room visits.
• New Mexico leads the Nation in Drug overdose deaths, second to
car crashes.
• Never Leave The Victim Alone!
Know The Signs of an Alcohol Overdose.
Cannot Follow Directions or is Unconscious.
Slow or Irregular Breathing.
Very Low or Very Rapid Pulse Rate.
Vomiting While Passed Out.
No Response to Shaking or Pinching.

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