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Teenagers’ DRUG Abuse Renaissance College Hong Kong www.renaissance.edu.hk


Drug Facts Learn The Truth Cocaine is an intense, euphoria-producing stimulant drug with strong addictive potential. The intensity of cocaine depends on how quickly the drug reaches the brain, which depends on the dose and method of abuse. Powdered cocaine can be snorted or injected into the veins after dissolving in water. Cocaine base (crack) is smoked, either alone or on marijuana or tobacco. Cocaine is also abused in combination with an opiate, like heroin, a practice known as "speedballing." Meth is a stimulant. It始s common street names in Hong Kong is Ice or crystal. Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white "rocks" of various sizes, therefore crystal meth is known as Ice or crystal in Hong Kong .Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system stimulant properties. A rush, is reported by those who smoke or inject it. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.

Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug, produced by the Cannabis plant. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals. It is commonly known as Dope, Ganja, Grass, Hash, Joint, Weed and Smoke, in Hong Kong. Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe or bong. When marijuana is smoked, the chemicals passes from the lungs and into the bloodstream, which leads to the organs throughout the body, including the brain. It

affects receptors which are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.


Drug Facts Learn The Truth DXM is a cough suppressor found in cold medications, either alone or in combination with other drugs. It is commonly known as cough medicine in Hong Kong. It is very accessible for DXM abusers, this is because it can be bought in local drug stores without a doctor始s prescription. DXM abusers takes a high dose of cough medicine to experience the euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations. The effects associated with high-dose DXM include confusion, inappropriate laughter, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and other sensory changes, including the feeling of floating and changes in hearing and touch.

Inhalants are invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapors that are inhaled to induce psychoactive or mind altering effects. It can be common household products such as glue, lighter fluid, cleaning fluids, and paint all produce chemical vapors that can be inhaled. Inhalant abuse can cause damage to the parts of the brain that control thinking, moving, seeing and hearing. Cognitive abnormalities can range from mild impairment to severe dementia.

Ecstasy acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment of tactile experiences. Ecstasy is mainly distributed in tablet form. These tablets are sold with logos, creating brand names for users to seek out. The colorful pills are often hidden among colorful candies. MDMA may increase the risk of long-term, perhaps permanent, problems with memory and learning. MDMA causes changes in perception, including increased sensitivity to touch, euphoria, increased energy, increased sensual and sexual arousal.


True Stories Life Changing Events Irma was a 14 year old girl from Belmont , California who took an Ecstasy pill on April 23, 2004. She became sick immediately---vomiting and writhing in pain---yet her friends did not seek medical help for her. Instead, they gave her marijuana, thinking it would relax her and possibly help her because they had heard it had medicinal qualities. Irma suffered for hours and when she was finally taken to the hospital the next morning, she was in terrible shape. Five days later she was taken off life support and died. After her death, several of her organs were donated to five other people. Dr. Leslie Avery and Dr. Peter Benson, a forensic medical expert, say that Irma's brain swelled from a lack of oxygen. "Her cerebellum dissolved as her brain tried to escape its confined space," Benson said. (quoted in the San Mateo Daily Journal article "Teen's Torment Revealed" by Michele Durand, September 2, 2004).

Seth Bramley had a lot of talent. He was an artist, liked crafts, played the saxophone, could cook a wonderful shrimp scampi, and had been on the football team. When he changed high schools, his new friends introduced him to alcohol and marijuana. That was also when he started to get into trouble. His mom and he thought it would be a good idea to change his environment and go to Arkansas. But after a month, Sethʼs dad caught him smoking pot and sent him back home.

Seth realized that he had a drug problem, and went to rehab. He did well, and graduated and went to a halfway house. But the grip of addiction was still there. He told his mom, “Mom, I want to live….I donʼt want to get high, but I just canʼt stop.” Giving up wasnʼt Sethʼs way, so he told his mom he wanted to get his life back on track and go back to southern California to live with his grandmother. He was there for two days. He went to dinner with his mom and grandmother on Friday night. On Sunday morning, he died after snuffing a can of shaving gel. His family didnʼt know anything about inhalants. The rehabs didnʼt address the issue of “huffing,” where users inhale the propellants in aerosol products. Seth just wanted to get high again. He was 19 years old.


Possible Consequences Life changing events You Become Addicted When you use drugs, you put yourself at risk of becoming addicted. Some people have a higher risk of drug addiction than others, but itʼs hard to predict who will become addicted because there are many factors in play. Your biology, environment, and development all have a hand in determining your risk for addiction.

Your drink is Drugged Sometimes taking drugs isnʼt a choice you get to make, like when someone slips drugs into your drink. Whether you're at a party or just hanging out, it's possible that someone —someone you know or someone you don't —may slip something into your drink that causes you harm. For example date rape drugs, it can cause you to pass out and sexual predators can get control over their victims.

You test positive for Drugs Testing positive for drugs can have major consequences, like getting fired from a job, not being hired for a job you want, or being suspended from your sports team or other school activities. Drug testing has become a fact of life at many high schools1. It also impacts job applicants and employees of companies choosing to maintain a drug-free workforce. Drug testing is allowed in all colleges in Hong Kong.

Overdose Intentional or accidental, taking too much of a drug can lead to an overdose. And if that happens to your friend, you have to think twice about your responsibilities. A drug overdose can be hard to identify, because symptoms vary based on the drug, symptoms can include trouble breathing, convulsions, vomiting, and unconsciousness. And on top of being unsure about your friendʼs condition, youʼre also scared: “I donʼt want my parents to know I was around drugs.” “I wasnʼt even supposed to be at this party—I said I was at the library.” “But what if my friend just needs to sleep it off?” The harsh truth is: even if youʼre going to get in trouble, if you donʼt do the right thing, your friend could be critically injured or die.

You are caught with Drugs If youʼre using drugs, selling drugs, or spending a lot of time around people who do, you may have to face legal consequences. A drug-related conviction can have a major impact on your future. With a drug-related offense on your record, you may not be able to get the job you want, join the military. And one of the biggest consequences of being caught with drugs is being sentenced to time in prison. Hong Kong has clear, explicit drug abuse laws.


Find Help Life Savers Hong Kong Government Narcotics Division: http://www.nd.gov.hk/en/list_tr_services.htm Caritas Lok Heep Club: http://www.caritaslokheepclub.org.hk/ The Hong Kong Council of Social Services: http://www.hkcss.org.hk/index_e.asp Anti-Drug website from Hong Kong Council of Social Services: http://drugaids.socialnet.org.hk/c_mainpage.htm Kely Support Group: http://www.kely.org/en/index.html Life Education Activity Program: http://www.leap.com.hk/ Community drugs advisory council: http://www.cdac.org.hk/ Drug Addicts Counselling and Rehabilitation Services (DACARS) Hotline: 8104 2188 & 2673 8272


Drug Abuse Brochure