Health Risks Associated With Illicit Drug Use, Tobacco Use, and Alcohol Use
Health risks are numerous involving illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. Many of these health risks overlap due to the fact that if a person is involved in one area of addictive behavior, he/she usually engages in all three.
Alcohol is a depressant which slows body systems, sometimes causing aggressive and argumentative behavior. Over indulging in the use of alcohol can result in short term effects such as headache, nausea, and vomiting. The long term effects of alcohol consumption can include deterioration of vital body organs such as the heart, brain, liver, and stomach as well as emotional issues, depression, change in personality and memory loss.
Illicit drugs are classified as a stimulant or a depressant, depending on the type of drug. A stimulant drug will increase blood pressure and heart rate, which over time can damage major body systems. A depressant drug slows down the body function, which can result in oxygen deprivation and cause irreversible damage to vital organs such as the heart, brain, liver and kidneys.
Tobacco use in any form is very harmful attributing to a large number of deaths yearly. Heart diseases, along with lung capacity decreasing from large amounts of tar in the lungs, as well as an increased amount of carbon monoxide in the blood stream are all due to smoking. Smokeless tobacco use continues to increase contributing to dental disease, nicotine dependence, and oral cancer.
Illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco impact the user as well as others though job performance, socialization, and family life. The harm illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco do not only affect the user physically and emotionally, but also sometimes result in criminal and financial consequences for the individual as well as their families.
Resources for Help
A comprehensive site for research-based information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students. www.factsontap.org Preventative initiatives for high school and college students.
QuitAlcohol.com is an initiative with the Alcohol Abuse Counsel and a trained group of volunteers. Alcoholism is a widely spread disease and we feel that it is our public duty to educate folks around the world about the problem.
A self assessment to help determine whether your drinking patterns are safe, risky or harmful.
An interactive website that aims at helping college students make safe and responsible decisions
A website designed to help you identify alcohol abuse symptoms, signs and addition treatment
A website designed to get you help and/or family and friends to quit smoking for good.
The official website of the American Lung Association