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How Drugs Can Be Fatal: The Facts

How Drugs Can Be Fatal: The Facts


It is a given that drugs have become an integral part of everyday life for many people.  The aspect as to whether or not a drug is legal or socially acceptable would depend on the answers to three questions:

  • what is the drug used for
  • what the effects of the drug are
  • who is taking the drug

  The answers are very important since many drugs, legal or not, alter the mind and may be fatal in some cases.

  Drugs are chemicals or substances that changes the way the human bodies work.  When it is put into the body in any manner such as swallowing, inhaling or injecting, it finds its way into the bloodstream and gets transported to various parts of the body.  For example, drugs that reach the brain may intensify or dull the senses, alter the sense of alertness or decrease physical pain.  Any drug can be helpful or harmful depending on:

  • how much is taken
  • how often it is used
  • how quickly it gets to the brain
  • what other drugs, foods or substances are taken at the same time
  • the differences in body size, shape and chemistry

  Although substances of abuse can provide a good feeling at the start, they ultimately do a lot of harm to the body and brain.  Regular practices of drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking illegal drugs and sniffing glue can all cause serious damage to the human body.  Sometimes, an overdose of a particular drug needs only one instance to be fatal.

  Serious effects of drugs when abused may include the following:

  • poor judgment and coordination including slurred speech, confusion, depression, short-term memory loss and slow reaction time
  • pumped-up heart rate, breathing and blood pressure
  • sweating, shaking, headaches. sleepiness and blurred vision
  • hallucinations and intense paranoia
  • injecting drugs with contaminated needles can result to Hepatitis or AIDS
  • snorting drugs can put a hole inside the lining of the nose
  • first time users of drugs such as cocaine (especially teens), can result to stoppage of breathing or fatal heart attacks
  • high doses of even seemingly harmless drugs can cause serious injury or death
  • certain drugs can raise the temperature of the body which can cause organ damage or even death
  • sometimes, the difference between the dose to get high and the amount that can cause an overdose is very small that death is always a possibility
  • abused substances can cause severe toxic reaction that can kill

  Drugs and alcohol abuse shows several psychological and physical signs.  Psychological signs include the use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to relax; withdraw or keeping secrets from family and friends; loss of interest in activities that used to be important; problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences; changes in friendship such as hanging out only with drug-using friends; spending a lot of time figuring out how to get drugs; stealing or selling belongings to buy drugs; failed attempts to stop taking drugs or drinking; anxiety, anger or depression and mood swings.  Physical signs may include change in sleeping habits, feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop, needing to take more of the substance to get the same effect and changes in eating habits including weight loss or gain.  Quitting drugs or drinking is one of the hardest things to do but ensuring the quality of life as well as saving one’s life should be more than enough as an incentive to stop.



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