Your Drug Awareness. Table of Contents. Sample file. Unit 3 Tobacco. Unit 1 Drugs & You. Unit 4 Street Drugs. Unit 2 Alcohol

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1 Your Drug Awareness and Prevention Guide Table of Contents Unit 1 Drugs & You Thriving Under Pressure Be assertive when you face peer pressure. Unit 3 Tobacco Avoid the Nicotine Trap Here s how to escape the trap. Drug Users Are Losers Drug addiction can make everyone a loser. Inhalants: Dangerous Drugs Under Your Nose Common products can damage the body. Success with Stress Here are some ways to manage stress. Smokeless Tobacco and Other Fads Alternative tobaccos are not an answer. How to Dump the Addiction Here s how to break the habit. Getting the Smoke Out What you can do about secondhand smoke. Unit 2 Alcohol Alcohol: Truth & Consequences Know the facts about alcohol. BAC & You Here s what BAC means. Binge Drinking Dangers Extreme behavior means disaster. Alcohol and Violence Recognize how anger can lead to violence. Unit 4 Street Drugs Marijuana: Fact and Fiction Find out why weed is bad news. The Effects of Crack and Cocaine on Crime How you can fight drugs. Club Drugs: Little Pills, Big Dangers Know the dangers of club drugs. Steering Clear of Steroids Develop a healthy, drug free body image. Copyright 2001, 2005, 2006 by Weekly Reader Corporation. All rights reserved. Weekly Reader is a federally registered trademark of Weekly Reader Corporation. Publishing, Executive, and Editorial Offices: 200 First Stamford Pl., P.O. Box , Stamford, CT Subscription Offices: 3001 Cindel Drive, Delran, NJ Printed in U.S.A. Material in this book may not be reproduced; stored in a retrieval system; or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or other, without special permission from the publisher. ISBN: /

2 UNIT 1 DRUGS & YOU Thriving Under P eer pressure can be very powerful. At times, teens give in to peer pressure to do drugs because they want to belong, to fit in with a group. They think going along with the group will make them cool or more popular. It never does. However, teens who learn to thrive under pressure and resist drugs thrive in life, too. When you train in sports, you have to develop the individual skills of the game. When you train to be a drug-resister, one important skill you ll need is assertiveness. Don t confuse being assertive with being aggressive. An aggressive person gets what he or she wants by fighting, threatening, and generally pushing people around. That doesn t work when you re trying to tell your best friend that you don t want the cigarette or beer he or she just offered you. Assertive behavior allows you to get what you need without violating the rights of other people. Assertive behavior is appropriate in almost every situation, and it doesn t always mean saying no. Here s the play-by-play on being assertive: Be aware of your position. You ve made a decision not to use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, but what about other tough questions? For example: Will you accept a ride from someone who has been drinking? Are you willing to lie to cover for a friend who has been using drugs? Don t wait until it s time to take a stand to figure out what you would say or do. Be aware of what you want as well as what you don t want. For example, you could say, I want to come to your party, but I don t want to be around people who are using drugs. Will there be drugs at your party? Be aware of your own feelings. For example, if a friend wanted you to smoke a cigarette and you did it even though you didn t really want to, you may feel angry later. Are you angry at your friend or angry at yourself for getting talked into doing something you didn t want to do? If you re angry at yourself, admit it and plan to do something different next time. Be aware of your own body language. If your mouth is saying no, but your body is saying maybe, people 2 Your Drug Awareness and Prevention Guide

3 Pressure might take advantage of your mixed messages. Assertive body language includes: making eye contact; speaking in a strong, confident voice; and having a facial expression that matches what you re saying. Mumbling, slouching, or giggling when what you re saying is serious, or staring at the floor while you re talking, are all signals that you re not sure you really mean what you re saying. Be aware of the feelings and needs of others. For example, someone who offers you a beer at a party may not know any other way to start a conversation with you. You can turn down the beer and still accept the offer of friendly conversation. Say No, thanks without making a big deal about it; then start a conversation about something else. Putting on the Pressure Think of a way to turn the situation below into a positive example of peer pressure. Write down your thoughts. Then team up with one or more classmates and choose one situation to role-play, using assertiveness and refusal skills. Sometimes peer pressure makes people do things that hurt themselves or other people, but peer pressure can also be a positive force. For example, peer pressure has helped make sexual harassment and prejudice less acceptable in our society. Read the situation below and decide how you think it was handled. Kathy recently became friendly with Jenny, who was very popular. The next week Kathy was invited to a party given by a friend of Jenny s. Kathy saw this as an opportunity to make a good impression with Jenny s friends. When she arrived, she noticed some kids were drinking beer. She didn t want to drink. Jenny approached her with a beer in hand. What do you think Kathy did? Drugs & You 3

4 UNIT 1 DRUGS & YOU A Drug Users Are Losers ddiction is a problem for many people. Consider these statistics: More than 600,000 people in the United States are addicted to heroin. 120,000 people enter treatment each year for marijuana addiction. More than 62 million Americans are addicted to the nicotine in the cigarettes they smoke. Being addicted to a substance means that people keep using it even if they want to quit and it is damaging their lives. They are physically and psychologically dependent on it and believe they can t function without it. They have developed a tolerance to it, which means they have to use more and more of it to get the same effect. When they stop using it, they experience withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting, headaches, and depression. What does trying a cigarette, just once, have to do with addiction and brain damage and the other bad things about using drugs? To find the answer to that question, you have to look deep inside the human brain. Whether a drug is smoked, swallowed, inhaled, or injected, it eventually reaches the brain. Drugs produce their effects by changing the way neurotransmitters in the brain function. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. Different kinds of drugs affect the brain in different ways. Some drugs make nerve cells release neurotransmitters in larger amounts than normal. These drugs are called stimulants. Methamphetamine ( speed ) is an example. Other drugs make nerve cells carry fewer signals to one another. These drugs are called depressants, because they slow down body functions. Alcohol is a depressant. Some drugs lock onto nerve receptors so that natural neurotransmitters can t do their job of stimulating the cells. This prevents messages from being transmitted or received by the nerve cells. PCP ( angel dust ) is an example of a drug that does this. The drugs most likely to be 4 Your Drug Awareness and Prevention Guide

5 addictive are the ones that create a flood of pleasurecausing chemicals in much larger amounts than would occur naturally. That s what creates the rush that drug abusers describe. Because there s no mechanism to turn off the pleasure cycle when it s triggered by drugs, there is never a feeling of having enough only an urge to get more. That s called addiction. No one knows why some drug users get addicted and others don t. Research suggests that a tendency to become addicted may be inherited, but there s no way to know who has the tendency. What we do know for sure is that people who never use drugs never get addicted to them. When people abuse drugs, they put everything on the line their families, friends, education, money, health, and lives. And some end up losing everything. Are you willing to take that chance? What You ll Lose If You Use Many people who become addicted to drugs say they never realized how much they had until they lost it all to drugs. One way to avoid making that mistake is to take stock of what matters most to you. In Column A below, list the things in your life that are most important to you. They can be specific things (like your dog) or things that are harder to define (like the respect of your parents). Be sure to consider these parts of your life: family, friends, feelings of well-being (happiness), school successes, hobbies and interests, sports. Next, fill in the blanks in Column B with the things you could lose by using drugs. Column A The most important things in my life Column B The things I could lose by using drugs Now write three reasons why using drugs is not worth the risk of losing all the things you care about Drugs & You 5

6 UNIT 1 DRUGS & YOU Inhalants: Dangerous Drugs Under Your Nose C ocaine marijuana heroin You probably recognize those as drugs that are illegal to use or possess. But what about these: nail polish remover, spray paint, lighter fluid, correction fluid? Are they drugs? Technically, these products aren t drugs, but they are drugs of abuse to people who inhale their fumes as a way to get high. The official name for inhalant abuse is volatile substance abuse. You re more apt to hear it called huffing, sniffing, snorting, or bagging. A volatile substance is one that goes into a gas-like state, or vaporizes, easily. These substances include: solvents and gases, nitrites, and anesthetics. Nitrites are used in room odorizers. You may hear them referred to as poppers or rush. Nitrous oxide is an anesthetic used for dental procedures. It is also known as laughing gas, because it tends to cause uncontrolled giggling. Solvents and gases are the inhalants most often abused, because they are readily available. Examples include: adhesives (airplane glue, rubber cement) aerosols (spray paint, hair spray, spray deodorant, air freshener) solvents (nail polish remover, paintremover, correction fluid, lighter fluid) cleaners (dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, degreaser) Inhalant abuse can kill in sudden, unpredictable ways. Even longtime abusers of cocaine and LSD stay away from inhalants because the risk of death while sniffing is so high. The actual number of deaths due to inhalant abuse is unknown, because many of the deaths are categorized as suicides or accidents. There are many ways inhalant abuse kills. One way is through asphyxiation, or suffocation. Inhalants replace oxygen in the blood, and in large enough amounts, they cause death due to respiratory failure. Coming down from an inhalantinduced high often causes depression. Some abusers have committed suicide while in that state of mind. 6 Your Drug Awareness and Prevention Guide

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