Effects of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

Effects of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

Effects of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

The abuse of alcohol and use of other illegal drugs can be detrimental to the health of the user. Further, the use of drugs and alcohol is not conducive to an academic atmosphere. Drug use can impede the learning process and can cause disruption for other students and disturb their academic interests. The use of alcohol or drugs in the workplace may also impede the employee's ability to perform in a safe and effective manner, and may result in injuries to others. Early identification and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse is in the best interests of the student, employee and the university.

The effects of any drug depend on the amount taken at one time, the past experience of the drug user, the circumstances in which the drug is taken (place, feelings, activities of the user, presence of other people, simultaneous use of other drugs), and the manner in which the drug is taken. The list below identifies some effects experienced by those who use the substance described. Not all legal or illegal drugs are covered in this brief section.

Alcohol: Effects may include loss of inhibition and judgment, increased hostility and aggression, depression of the central nervous system, loss of motor coordination, speech and vision, slowed or stopped respiration and heart rate, tolerance and addiction, malnutrition, cirrhosis of the liver and death.

Marijuana and Hashish: Effects may include euphoria, slowed thinking and reaction time, confusion, impaired balance and coordination, cough, frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks, tolerance and addiction (recent studies indicate that marijuana and hashish do carry the potential for addiction, contrary to popular belief).

Hallucinogens: Effects may include altered states of perception and feeling, nausea, chronic mental disorders and persisting perception disorder (flashbacks).

Opioids: Effects may include pain relief, euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance and addiction.

Stimulants: Effects may include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, feelings of exhilaration, energy, increased mental alertness, rapid or irregular heart beat, reduced appetite, weight loss and heart failure.

Additionally for nicotine - effects may include tolerance, addiction, adverse pregnancy outcomes, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.

Anabolic Steroids: Effects may include hypertension, blood clotting and cholesterol changes, liver cysts and cancer, kidney cancer, hostility and aggression, acne; in adolescents: premature stoppage of growth; in males: prostate cancer, reduced sperm production, shrunken testicles, breast enlargement; in females: menstrual irregularities, development of beard and other masculine characteristics. There are no intoxication effects.

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