Illegal Drug Use

 ILLEGAL DRUG USE

Drugs, popularized by rock stars and mass media, and other means, have taken a hold of the lives of millions in our world today. According to a 2008 United Nations' report, worldwide, an estimated 208 million people, between the ages of fifteen and sixty-four, use drugs illegally. 1 Cannabis is consumed by an estimated 162 million adults and is the most abused drug, after alcohol, followed by amphetamine type drugs (35 million), opiates (16 million) and cocaine (13 million). Abuse of alcohol and drugs costs society an estimated 276 billion dollars per year. As a whole, substance abusers run up medical expenses 300 times greater than non-abusers.

If illegal drugs are such a danger, why is it that people are using them? Usually, people begin using illicit drugs because of peer pressure. They want to fit in with others who also use drugs, or they use drugs to relax or to escape boredom or simply to rebel. Whatever the reason, drugs quickly go from being a means of relaxation, or a thrill, to putting people in horrible bondage. Drugs are essentially poisons. Small amounts will either stimulate or sedate their users but too large a quantity will kill them. Drugs do more than stimulate or sedate users. Illicit drugs damage the mind. They greatly affect the mental processes and cause memory loss. Drugs distort their user's perception of reality, leading them to act irrationally or even violently. Despite claims to the contrary, drugs also destroy a person's creativity. Dealers will tell you that it is okay to try drugs out, that they will make you popular and that their damaging effects are greatly exaggerated. However, dealers don't care about your life; they care about your money. If they can get you hooked, they soon will have great sums of your money.

What different types of drugs are sold today and what are their effects? Marijuana, also known as weed, blunt, grass, herb, reefer, pot, smoke, skunk, Mary Jane, bloom, gangster, quiff, chronic, dope and super skunk, is usually rolled up into a cigarette, or joint, and smoked. According to an American National Household Survey On Drug Abuse, children who use marijuana have been found to be nearly four times more likely to become violent than children who don't and they are five times more likely to steal than those who don’t. Many people think of marijuana as being a soft drug but the truth is that this drug is being made more potent through new growing techniques. Short-term effects may include loss of co-ordination and disorientation. Long-term effects can result in psychotic symptoms, lung damage, heart damage and, possibly, weakening of the immune system.

Ecstasy, also known as E, XTC, X, Adam, hug, beans or love drug, is a synthetic drug made in a laboratory. It causes chills, sweating, impaired discernment, confusion, blurred vision, and more. The long-term effect of this drug is long-lasting, or permanent, brain damage. The drug becomes even more dangerous if mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Hallucinations are common. It is called the love drug because some have said that it enhances romantic feelings but the truth is that this drug is very harmful to one's emotional well-being. It causes depression, anxiety and paranoia, as well as long-lasting brain damage.

Cocaine and crack, also known as coke, snow and snuff, is an extremely addictive drug which can be snorted, injected or, in the case of crack, inhaled. Cocaine gives a short high, followed by a crash. It can leave its user with feelings of paranoia, anger, violence, anxiety and depression. It also can produce muscle spasms. Long-term use can cause paranoia and hallucinations as well as intense depression. It is responsible for many heart attacks, strokes and breathing problems and it also causes injury to the kidneys and the liver. It causes severe tooth decay, infertility and sexual problems. Cocaine is one of the most destructive drugs known to mankind. It is sometimes mixed with other drugs and this recipe can be fatal. Crack is the most potent form of cocaine and the deadliest.

Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, speed, crank, quartz and tweak, is inhaled, smoked or injected. It is highly addictive and often results in psychotic behaviour. In the short-term, it may cause hyperactivity, insomnia, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. Long-term affects include damage to blood vessels, increased heart rate, heart damage, liver and kidney damage and memory loss. It is considered to be one of the hardest drug habits to treat. It speeds up aging dramatically.

Inhalants, also called poppers, laughing gas, rush, etcetera, are chemical poisons which people inhale. These cause brain damage and, sometimes, lung and kidney damage. They also can lead to muscle damage. They are poisonous and can result in immediate death.

Heroin, horse, skog or junk is a drug that is usually injected, smoked or snorted and it produces mental fuzziness, heart rate slowing and upset stomach. Long-term effects produce scarred or collapsed veins, bacterial infections and liver and kidney disease. This drug is responsible for countless overdose deaths. It is very potent and just one use can lead to being addicted.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), also called acid or purple heart, is a very potent mood-changing drug derived from an extremely poisonous fungus. Effects of the drug can vary and are unpredictable but may include high body-temperature, dry mouth, terror and despair. Long-term effects may include flashbacks and long-lasting psychoses.

All of these substances ruin the lives of those who are addicted to them. That is why it is so important to avoid using them or, if you do use them, to break free from your addiction. Jesus Christ can set a man or woman free from drug addiction. There are countless testimonies of those who have put their lives into His hands and found deliverance. Don't let illicit drugs rob from you the happiness and freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

If you have not done so already, turn to Him today. Many who have been bound by addiction to drugs are free today because they made the courageous choice to surrender their lives to Christ and begin rehabilitation. Whether you are an addict or someone who is contemplating starting the addict lifestyle, I plead with you to, instead, give your life to Jesus Christ Who loves you more than you realize. God bless you. 

Shawn Stevens


ENDNOTE

1. The Truth About Drugs (Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008) 

REFERENCES : 

The Truth About Drugs. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Marijuana. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Ecstasy. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Cocaine. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Inhalants. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Heroin. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About LSD. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Crack Cocaine. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.

 

The Truth About Crystal Meth. Los Angeles: Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2008.