Drug Abuse

What Are Drugs?

A drug is a chemical that you take into your body, which changes your mood and the way you feel. There are drugs that your doctor gives you to make you better when you are ill, and there are drugs which are against the law to take.

 

Why do people take drugs?

There are many reasons why people might take drugs.

Some of the reasons that people give include:

  • To look grown up or good in front of people.
  • They like the thought of doing something dangerous
  • Their friends are doing it
  • Wanting to escape feelings of sadness of hopelessness
  • To escape problems at home or school
  • They enjoy the feeling they get from taking drugs

 

Is taking drugs dangerous?

There are always risks involved in taking any kind of drug. Even taking prescribed drugs from your doctor or bought in shops can have side effects which should be explained to you. Illegal drugs may be mixed with other substances and know exactly how they will affect you. If you are unsure or worried about anything, you might feel better to talk to someone about it.

 

The risks in taking drugs are:

  • Addiction (when you have to have it) and chemical dependence which often control our lives and may be very difficult to get rid of.
  • Damage to physical ‘body’ and mental health ‘mind’
  • Accidents while you are not in control of what you are doing.
  • Not knowing what the drug will do to you
  • Taking too much in one go
  • Becoming dependent on drugs
  • Spending too much money
  • Missing out on school work
  • Falling out with family and friends
  • Getting in trouble with the police
  • Owing money to drug dealers who may become violent or dangerous if you can’t pay.

 

Signs to Look for as Evidence of Drug Abuse

  • Signs in the Home
    • loss of interest in family activities
    • disrespect for family rules
    • withdrawal from responsibilities
    • verbally or physically abusive
    • sudden increase or decrease in appetite
    • disappearance of valuable items or money
    • not telling you where they are going
    • constant excuses for behaviour
    • spending a lot of time in their rooms
    • lies about activities

     

  • Signs at School
    • sudden drop in grades
    • loss of interest in learning
    • sleeping in class
    • not doing homework
    • lack of respect to authority
    • poor attitude towards sports or other extracurricular activities
    • reduced memory and attention span

 

  • Physical and Emotional Signs
    • changes friends
    • smell of alcohol or marijuana on breath or body
    • unexplainable mood swings and behaviour
    • negative, argumentative, paranoid or confused, destructive, anxious
    • overreacts to criticism
    • acts rebellious
    • sharing few if any of their personal problems
    • doesn't seem as happy as they used to be
    • overly tired or hyperactive
    • drastic weight loss or gain
    • unhappy and depressed
    • cheats, steals
    • always needs money, or has excessive amounts of money
    • untidy or does not take pride in appearance

 

Local Resources for drug abusers

Families in Action (Counselling)

Maraval Road, POS

628-2333

 

Mount Saint Benedict’s (Addiction treatment)

St Augustine

662-1797

 

Rebirth House (Counselling & treatment)

624-2144 or 637-1466

 

Additional Information

Listing of drug assessment and treatment facilities in Trinidad and Tobago

http://www.saynotodrugs.org.uk/

http://www.dare.com/home/default.asp

http://www.theantidrug.com/drug-information/commonly-abused-drugs/default.aspx

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