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Health Risks

The impaired judgment and coordination resulting from the use of drugs are associated with DUI/DWI arrests, falls, drowning and other injuries, acquaintance assault and rape, the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS and unwanted or unplanned sexual experiences and pregnancy. Following is a brief description of several drugs and the health risks associated with them.

Alcohol affects most systems of the body and can have negative effects on the central nervous system, the digestive system and circulatory system. Alcohol abuse can also lead to significant liver damage and cirrhosis.

Marijuana users often suffer from high blood pressure, dry mouth, increased appetite, decreased body temperature, chronic bronchitis and increased risk of lung cancer. Other side effects associated with chronic use include chromosome damage, decreased levels of the male sex hormone and brain damage.

Cocaine abusers often suffer from stuffy, runny nose with eczema around the nostrils and the possibility of perforating the nasal septum. In addition, cocaine can cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, hallucinations, convulsions, kidney damage, seizures, strokes, and cardiac arrest or respiratory failure resulting in death.

Amphetamines can cause irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and possible death from heart failure or ruptured blood vessels in the brain.

Narcotics cause drowsiness, nausea, and diminished pain reactions. The risks include shallow breathing, clammy skin, tremors, cramps, panic, depression of male and female sex hormones, chronic constipation and slowing of the heart rate to the point of coma or death.

Prescription drugs are not illicit if they are used in accordance with the prescription. Sharing prescription medications with someone else and/or using them in other than the prescribed manner is both illegal and dangerous.

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