|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 do that."
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 celebrities
||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
- 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 harm;
- Manslaughter; criminal negligence causing death.
- driving while disqualified or suspended due to any of the above is also a criminal
- 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
- 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
- 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 injuries.
- 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 (tetrahydrocannabinol).
- marijuana is a psychoactive (mind-altering) drug. It can alter perceptions, moods, and
- 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 functioning.
- 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 may occur.
- 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 problems.
- 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
- 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 offences).
- 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
- additional effects include increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate.
- at higher doses, users may experience rapid and weak pulse, nausea and vomiting, and
- 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 concentrations.
- 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,
- 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 in Canada.
- 1. What types of products contain solvents or inhalants which are abused?
- many industrial, commercial, and household products contain solvents that are commonly
- in addition, aerosol containers with pressurized liquids or gases are subject to abuse
- 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, and diarrhea.
- 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 solvent.
- 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 deaths.
- 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 they seek.
- 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 users.
- 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 or opiate.
- 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
- 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
- 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 by insects.
- the virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn child.
- 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
- 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 diagnosis.
- 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