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Addictive drugs are rewarding and reinforcing. Drug addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive, out of control drug use, despite negative consequences.
Given that drugs are illegal and therefore not subjected to health standards, requirements or inspections, users often don't know what's in their drug. This can lead to unexpected complications, overdose, and death.
Drugs come in several forms.
Cannabis sativa is the most commonly used drug. The plant known as pot, weed, herb or grass, produces THC, the active ingredient associated with intoxication. The drug is usually smoked, but can also be eaten. Its smoke irritates the lungs more than tobacco smoke, and contains cancer-causing chemicals. Effects includes pleasure, relaxation, impaired memory, and impaired coordination. On October 17, 2018 recreational use of marijuana became legal in Canada.
Marijuana is associated with increased risk of progressing toward more powerful drugs. The risk of progressing to cocaine is much higher if someone has taken marijuana than if they haven't.
Chabad Lifeline helps anyone affected by marijuana addiction, offering one on one support as well as group therapy for both the addict and anyone affected by the user. Marijuana Anonymous meetings take place at our centre on a weekly basis.
Cocaine is widely popular among drug users. Known as crack, coke, rock or snow, it comes from the coca plant and can be snorted, smoked, injected or eaten. Regardless of how cocaine is taken, it causes increased alertness and pleasure.
In the short term, cocaine can cause paranoia, an irregular heartbeat, and constriction of blood vessels. Withdrawal often is accompanied by severe depression and reduced energy. Both short and long term usage of cocaine has been connected to heart, liver, lung, and brain damage.
Chabad Lifeline helps anyone affected by cocaine addiction, offering one on one support as well as group therapy for both the addict and anyone affected by the user. Cocaine Anonymous meetings take place at our centre on a weekly basis.
We are in the midst of what is known as the "Opioids Crisis." More than 42,000 Americans died of opiod overdoses in 2016, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a 28% increase over the previous year. Of those deaths, over 15,000 were using heroin, up nearly 20%.
Known as smack or horse, heroin is taken to achieve, pleasure, drowsiness and relaxed breathing. Heroin withdrawal can be intense and often includes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomit, physical aches, sweating, and excessive sweating. Heroin is usually injected and can result in respiratory arrest. Given that dirty needles are often used, heroin can trigger other complications such as HIV, infections, botulism, tetanus, and destruction of heart valves.
Chabad Lifeline helps anyone affected by heroin addiction, offering one on one support as well as group therapy for both the addict and anyone affected by the user.
A powerful stimulant that decreases one's appetite, and increases alertness as well as pleasure, it is also known as speed, meth, ice, crank, or crystal. Methamphetamine can be snorted, eaten, injected or smoked and has similar effects as cocaine, with the additional long term effects of severe weight loss, teeth destruction, hallucinations and heart damage.
Chabad Lifeline helps anyone affected by Methamphetamine addiction, offering one on one support as well as group therapy for both the addict and anyone affected by the user.
Many young people in the party scene believe "club drugs" are harmless or even healthy. This cannot be further from the truth. Common party drugs include:
Ecstasy: Used to improve mood and energy, use of ecstasy can, in the long term, cause damage to the brain's ability to regulate emotions, pain, sleep, memory and body temperature and, in the short term, induce hallucinations
GHB: Often used as a date rape drug, GHB can cause mild relaxation, coma, or death
Rohypnol: Another date rape drug with effects that includes impaired memory, low blood pressure, dizziness, abdominal cramps, and confusion
Ketamine: An anaesthetic which can be eaten or injected and can impair attention and memory, cause hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia, difficulty breathing, and depression
LSD and Mushrooms: In the short term, these can cause hallucinations, increased heart rate, nausea, and numbness. Long term effects includes flashbacks, psychosis, mood disturbances, and delusions
PCP: An anaesthetic used by veterinarians with effects similar to Ketamine, except stronger. It is often smoked
Chabad Lifeline helps anyone affected by an addiction to any or all of the above club drugs, offering one on one support as well as group therapy for both the addict and anyone affected by the user.