Facts You Need to Know About Addiction


  • One quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol related. (“Sobering Facts on the Dangers of Alcohol,” NY Newsday, April 24, 2002.)(1)
  • People who begin drinking bwefore age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin Drinking at age 24. A teen can become an alcoholic within months of taking their first drink because their bodies are not matured.(2)


  • Cocaine causes short-lived highs, approximately 30 minutes, which are immediately followed by intense feelings of depression, edginess and cravings.(2)
  • Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. Once having tried cocaine, an individual cannot predict or control the extent to which he or she will continue to use the drug. (3)


  • Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and its use is a serious problem in America. Recent studies suggest a shift from injecting heroin to snorting or smoking. (3)
  • The potency of street heroin is rarely known and overdoses often result. Overdoses may cause slow and shallow breathing, convulsions, coma and possibly death. (2)


  • Depression, anxiety, and personality disturbances are all associated with marijuana use. Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana use has potential to cause problems in daily life or make a persons’s existing problems worse. Because marijuana compromises the ability to learn and remember information, the more a person uses marijuana the more he or she is likely to fall behind in accumulating intellectual, job, or social skills. (3)
  • Marijuana impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, learning and motor coordination. The users have difficulty sorting out information, synthesizing and classifying information correctly, and understanding subtle shades of meaning. It can take up to six weeks to regain normal functioning. (2)
  • Marijuana is much more potent today than it was in the ’60s and ’70s when the THC content ranged from 0.3 percent to 3 percent. Today, the THC content is typiclly 5-10 percent but can reach as high as 30 percent with high-tech growing methods. (2)


  • Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood presure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producting strokes. Other effect of methamphetamine include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, and extream anorexia. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death. (3)


  • Ecstasy/MDMA can cause overheating, severe dehydration, heat stroke, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and loss of consiciousness or seizures. In some cases, death from heat stroke or heart failure may occur. (2)
  • Ecstasy users risk significant brain damage. The brain of a young person who used Ecstasy is similar to that of a 60 to 70-year old who has had a number of strokes. (2)
  • Ecstasy can cause psychological problems such as depression, confusion, anxiety, and paranoia, and these effects can last for weeks. (2)


  • Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A variety of products commonplace in the home and in the workplace contain substances that can be inhaled, such as spray paints, glues, and cleaning fluids, as drugs. Young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are amoung those most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances. Parents should monitor household products closely to prevent accidental inhalation by very young children. (3)


  • Many LSD users suffer flashbacks, which are the recurrence of psychedelic effects long after the drug has been eliminated from the body. (2)
  • A user may experience different emotions at one time or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. They can suffer acute anxiety or depression. Judgment is impaired, placing the user in jeopardy.(2)

(1) The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
(2) Educating Voices Inc.
(3) National Institute on Drug Abuse

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