|As of 1990 health survey
||Estimated number of illicit Canadian drug users
speed - Cadillacs
downers - reds
There is a total of approximately 26 million Canadians using drugs in one
form or another. Some of them using more than one drug at a time.
To walk around in a daze not knowing where you are, what you're doing, or
even who you are is not what you call a good time.
Let's talk about the drugs that you have probably heard the most about.
Alcohol is the drug of choice of more people than any other drug. That's
right! Alcohol is a drug. Its chemical name is ethyl alcohol (ethanol). This
drug comes in various forms such as beer, wine, whiskey, brandy, gin, vodka,
etc. Alcohol is a legal Drug and, if you're old enough, you can do this drug
as much as you want. Most people who use alcohol drink responsibly, limiting
their intake, not becoming intoxicated (drunk) and losing control of themselves.
The long-term heavy use of alcohol is both physically and mentally destructive.
Physical damage can include appetite loss, stomach pain, convulsions,
hallucinations, and death. This is in addition to the destruction of a multitude
of brain cells with each drink you take.
Everybody smokes "weed," right? Ain't nothin' wrong with weed, right? It's
better than shooting heroin or toot'n coke, right? Wrong! Getting high On
marijuana impairs short-term memory, logical thinking, and ability to drive
a car or perform other complex tasks. Co-ordination is impaired. What's dangerous
about weed is that too many people believe that there is nothing wrong with
it. In the long run, weed becomes the focus of the user's thoughts, emotions,
and activities. If someone you know offers you a marijuana cigarette, also
known as a joint, all you have to do is say "no" or "no, thank you. I don't
Cocaine was the glamour drug of the 80's. Movies, tv shows, books, and
conversation are all preoccupied with the subject of cocaine.
For years, cocaine was considered to be relatively safe from undesirable
side effects. With so many celebrities dying from cocaine use, this idea
is quickly fading. Just listen to this list and see if you recognize any
of these names.
|The People listed here are celebrities or related to
||Role call of death from drug overdoses
|Len bias 22 years old
Promising basketball star
June, 1986 died
|Don Rogers 23 years old
|cocaine-induced heart attack
June, 1986 died
Son of the late senator Robert Kennedy
|cocaine, demerol and mellaril overdose 1984 died
Son of Oral Roberts The evangelist
|suicide resulting from drug abuse
|heroin and cocaine overdose
British rock star, Who killed his girlfriend
Son of actor Paul Newman
|alcohol and pill overdose
Sister of Mary Tyler Moore
|overdose of unspecified drugs
Leading female, Vocalist of the 60's
|sleeping pill overdose
Daughter of art Linkletter
|jumped to herdeath while on LSD
Comedian who influenced a generation
|overdose of unspecified narcotics
|barbiturate and alcohol overdose
Cocaine is not harmless--cocaine kills! Cocaine now kills people much
easier because of the way people are using it. You've probably heard of "crack"
or "rock." By smoking cocaine, you increase your chances of becoming dependent
of it Greatly. The more of this drug you do, the more you want. It becomes
your whole life. The things that were important to you, i.e., sports, friends,
job, school, etc. all become secondary to getting and using cocaine.
Facts about drugs
Let's give you some facts that you may or may not know about drugs.
1. What are the drinking and driving laws in Canada?
the legal limit for impaired driving in Canada is .08, meaning that a driver
is impaired if there is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
in the body. This is called bac (blood alcohol concentration) and is determined
by analyzing breath or blood samples.
drinking and driving offences are governed by the criminal code in Canada.
offences not involving injury or death include: driving while impaired by
alcohol or drugs; operating a motor vehicle while blood alcohol concentration
is over .08; failing to provide a breath or blood sample.
offences involving injury or death include: impaired driving causing bodily
harm; impaired driving causing death; criminal negligence causing bodily
Manslaughter; criminal negligence causing death.
driving while disqualified or suspended due to any of the above is also a
2. What are the penalties for drinking and driving offences that do not
involve injury or death?
those under the age of 18 are charged under the young offender's act and
can be fined up to $1,000.00, ordered to do community work, prohibited from
driving, placed on probation, or placed in custody.
over the age of 18, the maximum penalties include up to a $2,000.00 fine,
six months in gaol, and a 3-year prohibition from driving for a summary
conviction. For an indictment the maximum penalties are five years imprisonment
and 3 years prohibition from driving, and the courts can impose a fine, of
any amount, in addition.
3. What are the penalties for drinking and driving offences involving
injury or death?
the penalty for injury is up to 10 years in prison and 10 years driving
prohibition. The court may impose a fine as well, of any amount. For death,
up to life in prison and up to lifetime prohibition from driving. The court
can also impose a fine of any amount.
4. Can drinking-driving charges be laid if bac is below .08?
yes. Although bac over .08 is sufficient to obtain conviction, the criminal
code states that you must not drive when your abilities are impaired by alcohol
or drugs. Based on physical evidence of impairment, you can be charged at
levels below .08.
refusing a breathalyzer is a criminal offence with the same penalties as
being charged with impairment.
5. How many teenage casualties result from impaired driving?
although teens are not the only group at risk from drinking-driving, motor
vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Alcohol and high
speeds are two factors that contribute to this result.
more fatal motor vehicle crashes occur on Fridays than any other day for
teens aged 16 and under. Saturdays and Sundays are almost as high.
male drivers 18 to 19 years of age are more likely than any other age group
to have consumed alcohol prior to a collision involving fatalities or serious
in 1990 there were 1,239 fatally injured drivers, of which 1,162 were tested
for blood alcohol content. 497 had alcohol in their system and 314 of them
had a bac of over 150 mg.
there were a total of 140,068 federal drinking and driving offences in 1991.
1. What is marijuana?
marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil are obtained from a plant called cannabis
sativa. The major active chemical ingredient in marijuana is THC
marijuana is a psychoactive (mind-altering) drug. It can alter perceptions,
moods, and sensations.
2. What are the short-term effects of marijuana use?
the three major areas of functioning that are affected by marijuana use are
the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and psychological
effects on the nervous system include impairment of intellectual functioning,
short-term memory, and the ability to speak clearly. Both physical co-ordination
and visual concentration also become impaired.
effects on the cardiovascular system include increased heart rate and changes
in blood pressure, often associated with changing positions from sitting
or lying to standing.
effects on psychological functioning include feelings that range from well-being
and exhilaration to anxiety and fear. In some cases, panic and disorientation
3. What are the long-term effects of marijuana use?
long-term effects of marijuana use are still under investigation. Dangerous
effects seem to be associated mostly with heavy chronic use.
both psychological and physical dependence can occur with regular use. Habitual
use can also precipitate or worsen symptoms of mental illness or emotional
marijuana smoke contains many of the same irritants that are found in tobacco
smoke. As such, chronic marijuana smoking can cause sinus and bronchial tubes
to become inflamed.
although there is no conclusive proof that marijuana causes lung cancer,
there is growing evidence that it does. Also, current research suggests that,
when both tobacco and marijuana are smoked, there is a greater potential
to produce cancer than with either substance alone.
4. What is the law in Canada concerning marijuana?
marijuana use is controlled by the narcotic control act. Under this act,
an individual can be charged with possession, trafficking, possession for
the purpose of trafficking, cultivation, and importing or exporting.
5. How many people use marijuana?
a 1990 survey revealed that about 422,660 of 15 to 24 year olds in Canada
use marijuana. Approximately 1,032,150 Canadians currently use marijuana.
6. How many drug offences are marijuana-related?
in Canada, 32,551 drug offences were related to marijuana. (58% of drug
1. What is cocaine?
cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It is prepared from
the leaves of the erythroxylam coca bush found primarily in Peru and Bolivia.
After coca paste is extracted from the bush, it is purified to produce an
odourless, white, crystalline powder called cocaine hydrochloride.
2. How is cocaine used?
cocaine is usually sniffed or snorted through the nostrils, where it is absorbed
through the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract.
other methods of use include smoking or injecting.
3. What is free base cocaine?
free base cocaine is cocaine hydrochloride that has been chemically converted
through an extraction process using flammable solvents. The resulting product
vaporizes more readily than cocaine hydrochloride and can therefore be smoked.
4. What is crack?
crack is a free base form of smokeable cocaine. It is made by adding baking
soda to cocaine hydrochloride and heating the mixture. The dried residue
forms clumps known as crack or rock, which is then smoked.
5. What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?
short-term effects of cocaine use include decreased appetite and decreased
need for sleep, euphoria followed by agitation and anxiety, exaggerated reflexes,
and pupil dilation.
additional effects include increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, and
at higher doses, users may experience rapid and weak pulse, nausea and vomiting,
and shallow respiration.
6. What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?
chronic cocaine use may lead to agitation, excitability, mood swings, and
hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, sometimes resulting in hallucinations.
Other effects include sleep disorders, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction.
depending on the method of administration, some users may develop respiratory
problems, destruction of nasal tissue, or infections such as hepatitis and
aids from injecting the drug with non-sterile needles and syringes.
7. Is crack more dangerous than cocaine?
smoking crack or other forms of free base is more dangerous than snorting
cocaine because the drug gets to the brain much more quickly and in higher
sharp and drastic rises in cocaine blood levels put the user at increasingly
greater risk for acute toxic overdose reactions including seizures, hypertension,
heart attack, and stroke.
8. Is cocaine addicting?
studies indicate that the drug is physically and psychologically addicting.
The craving for the drug experienced by regular users is thought to be due
to physiological changes in brain chemistry brought on by the drug. This
craving makes it very difficult for users to stop using cocaine.
9. How many people use cocaine?
based on a health promotion survey, in 1990 there were 206,430 cocaine users
1. What types of products contain solvents or inhalants which are
many industrial, commercial, and household products contain solvents that
are commonly abused.
in addition, aerosol containers with pressurized liquids or gases are subject
to abuse as inhalants.
2. What are the short-term effects of solvent or inhalant use?
early effects may include dizziness, numbness, and feelings of weightlessness,
followed by decreased motor co-ordination, muscle weakness, slowed reflexes,
impaired judgment, visual disturbances, and ringing in the ears. Bizarre
behaviour, perceptual distortions, and severe depression may occur.
other effects include increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, headache,
sneezing, coughing, nasal inflammation, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting,
a prolonged period of inhalation can result in coma or seizures. Reduced
oxygen supply to the brain can cause unconsciousness and brain damage.
3. What are the long-term effects of solvent or inhalant use?
many chronic solvent users have experienced psychological problems including
apathy, mood swings, depression, and paranoid thinking. There is increasing
evidence that brain damage can occur.
other effects may include reversible impairment of the liver, kidneys, lungs
and heart, and blood abnormalities.
4. Can solvent or inhalant use be fatal?
one cause of death among solvent users is "sudden sniffing death." Death
results from heart failure brought about by severely irregular heartbeat,
usually associated with some stress or vigorous activity after inhaling the
if a user lapses into sleep or unconsciousness while a bag remains over the
nose and mouth, there is a substantial risk of death from asphyxiation.
accidental or intentional overdose of solvents has resulted in a number of
5. What is methyl alcohol?
methyl alcohol is a very dangerous poison and cannot be made safe to drink.
Some people may try to get high using products that contain this poisonous
substance. However, they are poisoning themselves without getting the high
drinking an ounce or less of methyl alcohol can cause blindness, nerve damage,
coma, convulsions, and death from respiratory arrest.
methyl alcohol (methyl hydrate, wood alcohol) is used chiefly as an industrial
solvent. Common household products that contain methyl alcohol include paint
removers, antifreeze, and liquid fuel.
1. What are amphetamines?
amphetamines are a group of central nervous system stimulant drugs. These
drugs produce short-term effects such as feelings of well-being, increased
alertness and energy, and increases in heart rate and breathing rate. Long-term
effects may include sleep disturbances, anxiety, appetite suppression, and
high blood pressure.
chronic use results in physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when the
drug is stopped. Psychological dependence can occur even among regular low-dose
2. What are barbiturates?
barbiturates are a group of central nervous system depressant drugs. At low
doses, these drugs produce relaxation and result in mildly impaired cognitive
and motor functioning. At high doses, effects range from severe impairment
and intoxication to anesthesia, unconsciousness, and respiratory arrest.
barbiturates are highly dangerous among drugs of abuse. Tolerance occurs
rapidly, so higher doses are needed to maintain desired effects. Higher doses
can lead to risk of death from overdose. Abrupt withdrawal after physical
dependence has occurred can lead to severe symptoms and possibly death.
3. What is LSD?
lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is the most powerful of the known hallucinogens.
Even in very small doses, its effects include changes in perception, mood,
and thought. Hallucinations and perceptions of the senses melding together
can occur. Users may experience a sense of wonder and joy, or they may feel
anxious and fearful. In some cases, psychotic episodes can occur. These are
characterized by bizarre behaviour, delusions, terror, and hallucinations.
tolerance to LSD develops quickly, so that with consecutive daily doses,
no amount of the drug can produce desired effects. Only after a period of
abstinence of three to four days does sensitivity return. Physical dependence
on LSD does not appear to occur. Some users may become psychologically dependent.
4. What is heroin?
heroin is a semi-synthetic drug produced by chemically modifying morphine,
which comes from the opium poppy. It is classified as a narcotic analgesic
heroin can be sniffed, smoked, or swallowed, but is often injected intravenously.
effects of heroin use include euphoria, tranquility, numbness, and pain relief.
Serious negative consequences are often related to the lifestyle of the user
and factors relating to intravenous drug administration, including risk of
developing hepatitis, aids, and other infections.
tolerance develops rapidly as do both physical and psychological dependence.
1. What is aids?
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a viral infection which causes
depression of the immune system resulting in the development of life-threatening
infections and/or cancers.
not all individuals exposed to the virus develop aids. Some develop no symptoms,
while others develop less severe forms of infection.
2. What causes aids?
AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus has been
found in blood, semen, breast milk, and urine. It has also been found in
small amounts in saliva and tears and in other body fluids and tissues.
3. How is AIDS transmitted?
the virus is transmitted primarily through sexual contact. It requires direct
entry to the bloodstream, such as through abrasions or tissue tears.
the virus is also transmitted through shared use of infected needles and
syringes, particularly by injection drug abusers. In countries where the
blood supply is not screened, the virus can be transmitted through administration
of infected blood transfusions and blood products.
there is no evidence that aids is transmitted through ordinary social or
occupational contact. Current evidence also indicates that it is not transmitted
the virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn
4. Who is at risk for contracting aids?
sexually active homosexual and bisexual men account for the majority of AIDS's
cases in Canada (6,368 cases). Intravenous drug users are another high-risk
group (185 cases). People involved in both the above activities constitute
the second largest number of AIDS's cases (293).
heterosexual partners of infected persons and children born to infected mothers
are also at high risk.
the risk of transmission to health care professionals appears to be low,
but the infectious nature of the syndrome does call for strict compliance
with infectious disease control procedures.
5. How many AIDS's cases have been reported?
Table 5: prevalence of aids
in Canada as of 1990
Number of cases: 8,232
Number of deaths: 5,520
6. How can aids be treated?
AIDS is still a fatal disease. Most patients die within three years following
medical treatment of HIV infections includes treatment with antiviral drugs,
attempts to stimulate the immune system, antibiotic treatment of specific
infections, and anti-cancer treatment for cancers associated with aids.
supportive counselling, information and drug treatment programs are important
components of treatment for persons with aids and those in high-risk
groups.Narcotics include heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, demerol,
darvon, etc. Better known as smack, scag, white stuff, schoolbag, and dolly--they
can all lead to addiction.
Most of these drugs are injected into the bloodstream by use of a hypodermic
needle and all can cause death.
If you haven't already, you probably will be approached by someone who will
try to get you to use drugs. It will be up to you to decide whether you will
or won't become involved in drugs.