Education

Recreational Marijuana: 

1/3 of 12th grade students have used Marijuana within the last 30 days (SERAC  School Survey 2019) “Marijuana is linked to problems in school. Marijuana dulls your attention, memory, and learning skills. These effects can last for days and sometimes weeks, depending on how often you use marijuana. Compared with teens who don’t use, students who use marijuana are more likely not to finish high school or get a college degree. Marijuana also affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.” 

To learn more, visit National Institute on Drug Abuse

Tobacco/Nicotine

Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed. Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs. 

To learn more, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Alcohol Misuse

 86% of underage drinkers have consumed alcohol in their own home or someone else’s (SERAC School Survey 2019) “Underage drinking is drinking alcohol before a person turns age 21, which is the minimum legal drinking age in the United States. Underage drinking is a serious problem, as you may have seen from your friends’ or your own experiences. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance of abuse among young people in America, and drinking when you’re underage puts your health and safety at risk.“ 

To learn more, visit National Institute on Drug Abuse

Rx Drug  

Rx misuse is defined as simply not following the specific guidelines to taking medication, once prescribed (or over the counter) by your qualified Physician. Due to their potential for abuse and addiction, many prescription drugs have been categorized by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the same category as opium or cocaine. These include Ritalin and Dexedrine (stimulants), and the painkillers OxyContin. Many illegal street drugs were at one time used or prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists but were later banned when the evidence of their harmful effects could no longer be ignored. Examples are heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. 

To learn more, visit Norwich Unhooked

Opioids 

Heroin and prescription opioids are chemically similar and can produce a similar high. Heroin is often cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids, so some people switch to heroin instead. The majority of Americans using heroin (including those in treatment) reported misusing prescription opioids prior to using heroin. While prescription opioid misuse is a risk factor for starting heroin use, only a small fraction of people who misuse pain relievers switch to heroin, suggesting that prescription opioid misuse is just one factor leading to heroin use. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It’s typically used to treat patients with severe pain and patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids. 

To learn more, visit DrugFreeCT.org