Once a year there is a national “Drug Awareness Week”. There are all sorts of local events and learning activities that take place across the US. This is a great to learn about the dangers of drugs …. but how do you stay sober the rest of the year? I’m glad you asked because the government program that sponsors these events, has an excellent website that is maintained all-year around. The information is focused on promoting awareness around the dangers of drugs and alcohol. My favorite part is the test your knowledge quiz. Every year I write an article about the quiz.
I do this because it’s hard to keep up with all the trends, new information and creative ways to get high. Do you know the answers to these selected questions? Are you smarter than a drug-obsessed teen?
Which of the following is not an opioid drug?
Acetaminophen is a common pain medicine you can buy at the store without a doctor’s prescription (with brand names like Tylenol). It is not an opioid. The other three are brand names for opioid drugs, which are similar to heroin. With their risk for addiction and other side effects, they need to be prescribed by a doctor. When used as prescribed, these opioid drugs can help people in pain. When they are misused, they can be as addictive as heroin, even causing deadly overdoses. You can learn more about prescription drugs here.
How long does it take MDMA (“Molly” or “ecstasy”) to reach
A. 2 minutes
B. 15 minutes
C. About 1 hour
Once the pill or capsule is swallowed, it takes only 15 minutes
for MDMA to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. MDMA
produces its effects by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters
(the chemical messengers of brain cells) including serotonin,
dopamine, and norepinephrine. You can learn more about MDMA here.
Besides alcohol and marijuana, what is the next most
popular addictive drug used by high school seniors?
A. Non-cigarette tobacco
B. Anabolic steroids
C. “Bath salts”
Surprisingly, the third most-popular drug used by high school seniors is non-cigarette tobacco: hookah smoking and small cigars.
You can learn more about non-cigarette tobacco here.
DXM is the ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrup
that can make you feel “high” when used in large amounts,
but these other things can happen when you abuse cough syrup
(check all that apply):
A. You can experience confusion or hallucinations.
B. You can feel sick to your stomach.
C. Your heart may beat dangerously slower.
D. You can lose coordination.
A, B and D. When cough and cold medicines are taken as
directed, they safely treat symptoms caused by colds and flu. But
when taken in higher amounts or when you don’t have a cold, they may affect the brain in ways very similar to illegal drugs. DXM can actually make the heart beat dangerously faster. You can learn more about cough and cold medicine abuse here.
What are the ways you can die from using inhalants (sniffing
common household products)? Check all that apply:
A. Choking: You vomit from using an inhalant and choke on it.
B. Convulsions:Caused by abnormal electrical charges in the
C. Heart attack: Your heart stops suddenly.
D. Asphyxiation: Toxic fumes ll your lungs and you can’t get
enough oxygen into your body.
You should have checked all. All of these are ways people have
died after using inhalants to get “high.” Inhalants can be things
like household cleaning liquids such as solvents and aerosols, or
common gases found in things like cigarette lighters or propane
tanks. I had a friend who was addicted to inhaling Pam cooking spray. If you laughed when you read that, you share my twisted sense of humor. However, my “friend” didn’t think it was so funny, and we no longer speak. You can learn more about inhalants here.
Scientific studies have proven that medical marijuana can cure
which diseases? Check all that apply:
C. Muscular dystrophy
You should have checked none of these. Despite myths to the
contrary, science has not shown that marijuana actually cures any
kind of disease. However, there are some reports that ingredients
found in the marijuana plant can help relieve symptoms of some
diseases (make people feel better), like multiple sclerosis and
epilepsy. Currently, there are two Food and Drug Administrations’
approved pills made from THC (the ingredient in marijuana that
makes you “high”) that are used to treat nausea in cancer
chemotherapy patients and to increase appetite in some patients
with AIDS. Scientists are only beginning to study the potential
medicinal effects of marijuana, but based on what we’ve learned
so far, it’s unlikely that smoked marijuana will make a good
medicine due to its effects on the lungs. You can learn more about
medical marijuana here.
Another helpful government initiative is called Rethinking your Drinking — alcohol and your health. If you want to take a closer look at your drinking habits this site has tools, interactive worksheets and a drinking calculator. If you are binge drinking yourself into a blackout each night, I would skip this, acknowledge you have a problem and find a detox program.
I say this a lot but it’s worth repeating, if you are drinking heavily, do not attempt to suddenly stop by yourself. This is very dangerous. Alcohol withdrawals should be monitored by medical professionals.
I write this for fun and for free. Contact me if you want to get sober or stay sober.