In additional to legal, vocational, and educational consequences, the use of alcohol or other drugs can result in the following immediate and ongoing health concerns:
- Alcohol – Risk of overdose causing illness, injury, comatose state, and death. Risks increase when combined with the heavy use of caffeine, or the use of other drugs. Long-term use may lead to dependence, addiction, or death.
- Anabolic Steroids – Use of anabolic steroids can causes changes to the brain and body that lead to serious injury or death. Long-term use can result in damage to the cardiovascular system.
- Benzodiazepines/Sedatives – Risk of overdose causing memory impairment, loss of reflexes, illness, injury, comatose state, and death. Risks increase with the use of alcohol.
- Cocaine – High risk of overdose resulting in seizures, cardiac arrest, stroke, comatose state, and death. Long-term use can result in increased hostility, paranoia, and profound addiction and dependence.
- Ecstasy/MDMA – Risk of overdose causing greatly increased body temperature, hypertension, kidney failure, exhaustion, and death. Long-term use may lead to damage to serotonin receptors in the brain.
- Hallucinogens – Belladonna drugs carry the risk of overdose causing seizures, coma, psychosis, and death. Non-belladonna drugs carry the risks of dehydration, diarrhea and nausea. Hallucinations from use may result in long-term psychological problems.
- Heroin – High risk of overdose resulting in decreased heart rate and breathing, illness, injury, comatose state, and death. Risk of withdrawal is very high, causing loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, shivering, sweating, cramps, and extreme sensitivity to pain. Even minimal use can develop dependence and addiction.
- Marijuana – Use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety, impaired decision making, and complications to the cardiovascular system (particularly with individuals at-risk for heart disease). Long-term use is linked with impairment of certain brain functions (e.g. memory retention, reaction times) and decreased motivation.
- Methamphetamine – High risk of overdose resulting in lethal cardiac arrest, extreme hyperthermia, and death. Long-term use can result in loss of teeth, blemishes on the skin, dependence, and addiction.
- Nicotine – Risk of overdose is possible, but rare, resulting in dizziness, weakness, nausea, tremors, and convulsions. Even short-term recurrent use of nicotine can lead to addiction.
- Prescription Medications – Risk of overdose causing nausea, vomiting, and death. Long-term use may lead to lethargy, dependence, and addiction. Use of prescription medication also carries risks of the related side effects of that prescription medication
Thank you for your time in reviewing this important information. If you have any questions regarding alcohol or other drug use, you may contact Prevention Education & Advocacy Services at (970) 351-1136 or visit the program website.