Drugs And Alcohol

.. aches the brain in 15 to 30 seconds while smoked heroin reaches the brain in 7 to 10 seconds. Once the person begins using heroin, he/she quickly develops a tolerance to the drug and needs more and more to get the same effects. “Heroin is named after the German word for hero, heroisch” (Heroin, 1/2). The substitute of Heroin, Methadone, “was initially christened Dolphine in honor of Adolf Hitler” (1/2). After, in 1897, Bayer advertised Heroin as “the sedative for coughs” (1/2).

According to Health Organization (see also Appendix 20), ? Heroin is sometimes used in combination with other drugs. Therefore one person could have a heroin mention and a mention of another drug during the same episode. Heroin-related emergency department episodes increased by 27 percent (from 30,000 to 38,100) between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995. ? Between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995, heroin-related episodes increased by 32 percent (from 16,100 to 21,100) among persons aged 35 years and older and by 27 percent (from 9,900 to 12,600) for persons aged 26-34 years. Since the second half of 1990, heroin-related episodes have increased 173 percent among persons aged 35 years and older (from 7,700 to 21,100). No changes were observed among persons aged 12-17 years or 18-25 years.

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? Between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995, the number of heroin-related episodes rose by 39 percent for whites (from 10,800 to 15,000). No statistically significant differences were found among blacks or Hispanics. Since the first half of 1988, heroin-related episodes have about doubled for both whites and blacks. ? Between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995, the number of heroin-related episodes increased by 30 percent for men (from 20,400 to 26,500) and by 17 percent for women (from 9,400 to 11,000). ? Among heroin-related episodes, “dependence” was the most commonly reported motive for drug use (30,500) in the first half of 1995.

? The most frequently recorded reasons for an emergency department visit among heroin-related episodes in the first half of 1995, were “chronic effects” (10,200), “seeking detoxification” (9,000), and “overdose” (7,700). Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a potent brain stimulant and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. Cocaine can be used occasionally, daily, or in a variety of compulsive, repeated-use “binges”. It can produce a surge in energy, a feeling of intense pleasure, and increased confidence.

The effects of powder cocaine last about 20 minutes, while the effects of “crack” last about 12 minutes. Heavy use of cocaine may produce hallucinations, paranoia, aggression, insomnia, depression, and even death. Cocaine effects are short lived, and once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a “coke crash” that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue. Powder Cocaine cannot be smoked unless chemically altered using dangerous “freebasing” technique. Late summer of 1985, New York City drug dealers put an end to the need for “freebasing” powder cocaine.

These same drug entrepreneurs would revolutionize the sale of cocaine and bring terror to the streets of America (“Cocaine” 1/2). The exact inventors of crack cocaine are unknown, but the lasting effects of their discovery are well documented. The benefits of cocaine base (crack) for the drug dealers have only been surpassed by the problems it has created in general. In many ways, crack is the perfect drug. Powder cocaine is messy and hard to handle, crack however is a hard rock-lite substance easy to handle and conceal. Powder cocaine has to be inhaled or injected. Inhaling cocaine creates a variety of sinus and nasal problems.

Inhaling also takes longer for the drug to take effect. Injecting powder cocaine to get a better and faster high became very unpopular with advent of the A.I.D.S. crisis. Powder cocaine is frequently cut or mixed with a variety of substances in order to raise profit margins of drug dealers. This made purchasing powder cocaine more hazardous for the drug abuser as they cannot be sure of the content of the drug they are buying. Finally, freebasing was thought too dangerous a prospect for most cocaine users.

Crack cocaine overcame all these detractors to cocaine usage. According to many studies, crack is easily manufactured from powder cocaine without dangerous solvents, using common household ingredients. Crack can be smocked, creating an intense and immediate high. There is no need for needles, nor is there the damage to nasal and sinus passages associated with”snorting” cocaine. Crack cocaine is nearly pure cocaine. Dosages of crack are smaller, meaning there is no need for diluting the cocaine with various substances.

Crack is more profitable for the dealer because of the smaller dosages. These units also mean it is cheaper for the user to purchase a small amount and get high. The cheaper price per unit also makes it available to broader market. But there is a greater asset crack provides for the dealer. Crack cocaine can be instantly addictive. The symptoms of abuse are consistent to those of powder cocaine, except crack provides a more intense high.

Heavy perspiration and ear ringing are also not uncommon when smoking crack. Again, the intense addictive properties of crack often cause the abusers to go on binges during which they continuously smoke crack until they drop from fatigue or run out of money to purchase more. Marijuana is likely to be mentioned in combination with other substances, particularly alcohol and cocaine. Between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995, marijuana/hashish-related episodes rose from 19,100 to 25,200, an increase of 32 percent. During this time period, statistically significant increases were found in the following age groups: among persons aged 18-25 years, a 25 percent increase (from 6,400 to 8,000); among persons aged 26-34 years, a 39 percent increase (from 5,300 to 7,300); and among persons aged 35 years and older, a 37 percent increase (from 4,100 to 5,600). No change was observed among persons aged 12-17 years (“Marijuana” 2/4). Between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995, the number of marijuana/hashish-related episodes rose by 43 percent for blacks (from 6,900 to 9,800), by 28 percent for whites (from 8,900 to 11,400).

There was no change for Hispanics. During the same time period, marijuana/hashish-related episodes increased by 34 percent for men (from 13,100 to 17,500) and by 26 percent for women (from 5,800 to 7,300). Methamphetamine is a drug from Amphetamines group. Between 1988 and 1991, there was a decrease in methamphetamine (speed)-related emergency department episodes; however, from the second half of 1991 through the first half of 1995, methamphetamine (speed)-related episodes increased 346 percent (from 2,400 to 10,600). The number of methamphetamine (speed)-related episodes continued to increase between the first half of 1994 and the first half of 1995 (from 7,800 to 10,600).

Drug use for non-medical purposes occurs throughout society. For this reason the 1978 Presidents Commission on Mental Health did not recommend health and mental-health assistance except to persons whose drug use was intense and compulsive. The commission identified heroin as the number one drug problem because heroin addiction may lead to criminal behavior to pay for the drug. Adding to the problem is the fact that chemically similar drugs can be synthesized and sold on the street because they are not yet classified as controlled substances (“Encarta” np). Bibliography “Drug Addictions and Drug Abuse.” Internet Nov.

13, 1998. Available at: www.addictions.org/drugad.htm Cocaine Co. “Cocaine.” Internet Dec. 04, 1998. Available at: www.cocaine.co Health Org. ” Heroin.” Internet Dec.

03, 1998. Available at: www.health.org Health Org. ” Marijuana.” Internet Dec. 03, 1998. Available at: www.health.org Heroin Co. ” Heroin.” Interent Dec.

04, 1998. Available at: www.heroin.co.uk Mediconsult.com. “Alcohol and Drugs.” Internet Nov. 18, 1998. Available at: www.mediconsult.com/liver/shareware/liver info/infoalcdrugs.html Mental Health – Teens. “Alcohol and Other Drugs.” Internet Nov.

11, 1998. Available at: www.cmhc.com/factsfam/teendrug.htm Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia (2CDs). “Effects of Aging.” Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia (2CDs). “Alcoholism.” Minnesota Institute of Public Health. “Violence and Crime & Alcohol and Other Drugs.” Internet Nov. 13, 1998.

Available at: www.miph.org/fs2.html National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. “Youth, Alcohol and Other Drugs.” Internet Nov. 13, 1998. Available at: www.ncadd.org/youthalc.html National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. “Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace.” Internet Nov. 13, 1998. Available at: www.ncadd.org/workplac.html The Council On Alcohol & Drug Abuse – Houston.

“Drinking & Driving.” Internet Nov. 13, 1998. Available at: www.council-houston.org/driving.htm.


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