Hallucinogens include LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide), DMT (dimethyltryptamine), mescaline, mushrooms (psilocybin), ecstasy, angel dust and PCP. They cause increased pulse rate and blood pressure, tearing of the eyes, visual hallucinations, illusions, sensory confusion, and altered time perception. The most common adverse effect is a panic reaction or "bad trip." Extreme agitation or delirium may occur. Some people have psychotic episodes or flashbacks, which may occur long after use. The major danger of this group of drugs is markedly impaired judgment and hallucinations, predisposing the individual to accidents and bizarre behavior that can result in death.
Marijuana can cause psychological dependence. It produces a feeling of relaxation, mild euphoria, and increased heart rate. However, altered perceptions and sensations can make a person more prone to accidents, making driving a substantial risk. An adverse effect of the drug is acute panic reaction. High doses may cause hallucinations, paranoia and delirium. Male chronic users can experience impaired production of male hormones, causing breast enlargement and a reduced sperm count. Female chronic users can have egg damage, suppression of ovulation, disrupted menstrual cycles, and altered hormone levels. The tars and other gasses in the smoke increase the risk of respiratory diseases and lung cancer, similar to those related to nicotine.
Steroids are used by some people to increase their body’s performance. Although performance is temporarily increased, the side effects are very harmful to the body. Long term effects include heart, kidney, and liver trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor healing after injury, muscle and tendon tears and psychological problems with aggression and depression. Short-term effects include impotence, balding, acne, decreased hormone levels and psychological problems such as increased aggressive behavior. Steroids may temporarily enlarge the body muscles, but without constant use and exercise, the muscles will decrease quickly.
It is illegal to purchase tobacco if under age 18. Nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco stimulates the central nervous system and is physically and psychologically addictive. Nicotine irritates lung tissues and increases blood pressure. One in 6 deaths in the United States is smoking related. The most common cause of cancer deaths is cigarette smoking. Smoking is the major cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema and also causes pneumonia, coronary heart disease, blood vessels disease and stomach ulcers.
Last Modified: March 25, 2010