Personal dangers attributed to drug and alcohol abuse include memory loss; seizures; lung and brain damage; and death. Other dangers include loss of personal self-esteem, productivity and relationships; and psychological/emotional problems. Drug addiction is expensive and often results in the commission of crimes to support that habit. Use of drugs or alcohol in the workplace may make individuals careless, destroy their sense of time and space, cause lateness, absenteeism, errors and accidents.
- ALCOHOL is the most commonly abused drug. It causes thousands of deaths each year from diseases, motor vehicle accidents, and accidents at work and home. Even moderate use greatly increases the risk of a motor vehicle or other accident.
- COCAINE is an addictive stimulant with unpredictable effects. It may produce changes in blood pressure, heart and breathing rates. It may cause coma - or even death. Severe weight loss and liver damage may result from continued use.
- MARIJUANA affects coordination, short-term memory, visual tracking, and heart rate. Regular use produces changes in the reproductive system, damage to lungs, and may affect the immune system.
- PRESCRIPTION DRUGS include stimulants (uppers), depressants (downers) and some narcotics. Used illegally or improperly, they can cause physical and mental dependence, heart problems, malnutrition, even coma and death.
- OTHER DRUGS such as Ecstasy, PCP, LSD, heroin, mescaline, amphetamine and morphine have a wide variety of negative health effects - from hallucinations and mental confusion to convulsions and death.
- COMBINATIONS OF DRUGS make physical and mental effects unpredictable and often much more severe than if the same drugs were taken separately. Combining alcohol with depressants, cocaine or marijuana can be especially dangerous.