Cocaine affects your brain.
The word “cocaine” refers to the drug in both a powder (cocaine) and crystal (crack) form. It is made from the coca plant and causes a short-lived high that is immediately followed by opposite, intense feelings of depression, edginess, and a craving for more of the drug. Cocaine may be snorted as a powder, converted to a liquid form for injection with a needle, or processed into a crystal form to be smoked.
Cocaine affects your body.
People who use cocaine often don’t eat or sleep regularly. They can lose weight quickly. They can experience increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions. If they snort cocaine, they can also permanently damage their nasal tissue.
Cocaine affects your emotions.
Using cocaine can make you feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious, even when you’re not high. When the initial high has passed, most people experience a depressed mood and loss of motivation.
Cocaine is addictive.
Cocaine interferes with the way your brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so you need more and more of the drug just to feel normal. People who become addicted to cocaine start to lose interest in other areas of their life, like school, friends, and sports.
Cocaine can kill you.
Cocaine use can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. People who share needles can also contract hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases.
Know the law.
Cocaine-in any form-is illegal.
Even first-time cocaine users can have seizures or fatal heart attacks.
Know the risks.
Combining cocaine with other drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. The effects of one drug can magnify the effects of another, and mixing substances can be deadly.
Cocaine is expensive. Regular users can spend hundreds and even thousands of pula on cocaine each week and some will do anything to support their addiction, including stealing for the money needed to support the addiction.
Stay in control.
Cocaine impairs your judgment which may lead to unwise decisions around sexual activity. This can increase your risk for HIV/AIDS and other diseases, as well as rape and unplanned pregnancy.
THE EFFECTS OF INHALANTS
Inhalants affect your brain.
Inhalants are substances or fumes from products such as glue or paint thinner that are sniffed or “huffed” to cause an immediate high. Because they affect your brain with much greater speed and force than many other substances, they can cause irreversible physical and mental damage before you know what’s happened.
Inhalants affect your heart.
Inhalants starve the body of oxygen and force the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly–that can be dangerous for your body.
Inhalants damage other parts of your body.
People who use inhalants can experience nausea and nosebleeds; develop liver, lung, and kidney problems; and lose their sense of hearing or smell. Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone and strength.
Inhalants can cause sudden death.
Inhalants can kill you instantly. Inhalant users can die by suffocation, choking on their vomit, or having a heart attack.
Know the risks.
Chronic inhalant abusers may permanently lose the ability to perform everyday functions like walking, talking, and thinking.
Look around you.
The vast majority of teens aren’t using inhalants. According to a 2002 study, only 1.2 percent of teens are regular inhalant users and almost 90 percent of teens have never even tried inhalants.
How can you tell if a friend is using inhalants?
Sometimes it’s tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may be using inhalants:
• Slurred speech
• Drunk, dizzy, or dazed appearance
• Unusual breath odor
• Chemical smell on clothing
• Paint stains on body or face
• Red eyes
• Runny nose
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