The Difference Between Legal and Illegal Drugs

What exactly is the definition of a narcotic? A narcotic is a habit forming drug that dulls the senses, relieves pain, or induces sleep. Wouldn’t that make almost all drugs illegal…?

The difference between the legal and illegal drugs is that there is no difference, in one way or another they can alter the mind if not properly taken.

In the world today drugs are looked at as a serious crime, even though most abused drugs are legal. The majority of the drugs in this country are legal and most anyone can get them. As a person who has been there and done that, I can easily say that getting any kind of drug is fairly simple in today’s society. Many high school teens in this day and age will try drugs either legal or illegal. Also, many will become frequent users.

About sixty-nine million Americans over the age of twelve have tried marijuana. About half of those 69 million are frequent users of the drug. Marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States; it is also California’s largest cash crop. The average age between 12 to 17 years old to try marijuana for the first time was 14 years old. Surveys held throughout the U.S. for students, grades 8 to 12 shows that 23% of 8th graders have tried marijuana and are frequent users by 10th grade, however, 50% of 12th graders have tried and 24% are still frequent users. Some effects of marijuana usage are an enhanced cancer risk, an increase of testosterone levels in women, and psychological dependence of the drug.

A popular pair of “club drugs” is ecstasy and methamphetamine (also know as speed or meth). These two drugs are made illegally in homemade meth or acid labs. Both drugs speed up your heart rate and usually result in stroke or heart attacks. 12.8 million Americans ages 12 and up have been reported to use either drug. Sometimes these drugs can make you hallucinate heavily like the drug LSD because you can never know what is exactly in the drug. The high of these drugs can last from 4 to 12 hours or more. Both are highly addictive and can cause instant death. Some side effects of these drugs are stroke, malnutrition, paranoia, and instant death.

Cocaine and heroine are in the opiate family, derived from opium. These two drugs are not as extremely popular as marijuana, but are still used among teens and adults. Today it is estimated that twenty-two to twenty-five million Americans have tried either cocaine or heroine at least once in their lifetime. Children as young as 13 have been found involved with heroine and cocaine abuse. One out of four people between the ages of 18 and 34 have used cocaine or heroine in their lifetime, and almost each of those people become heavily addicted to the drugs. Many infants are born family-less and heavily addicted to heroine or cocaine. Some side effects to these drugs are convulsions, insomnia, depression, addiction, brain deterioration, AIDS, Hepatitis, and death.

Prescription drugs have become very popular among the high school crowd, mostly because they are the easiest drugs to get to, also, the cheapest. Four very popular, but heavily abused, prescription drugs are Ambien, Ritalin, Oxycontin, and Hydrocodone. Ambien affects the central nervous system and is very addictive. Ambien causes emotional instability, unconsciousness, and sedation. Ritalin is prescribed to ADD patients but is known as legal speed to those without ADD. Ritalin causes toxic psychosis, addiction, psychotic episodes, and paranoia. Oxycontin is an opium derivative and is intended for terminal cancer patients and chronic pain sufferers. Oxycontin causes weakness, dizziness, vomiting, and death if not taken properly. Hydrocodone is an anti-cough agent and is somewhat like morphine and opium. This drug causes anxiety, emotional dependence, depression, and fear.

The choice to do these drugs is entirely up to the consumer, but they, whoever they may be, need to keep in mind that drugs only hurt you more. For every drug you take the more pain you get in return. Here are some ways to avoid drug habits and drug addiction.

First, just say “NO” to peer pressure; no one will hate you for saying no. The people that often try to persuade you into drugs are not your real friends. Always follow your gut instinct and do not give into stupidity. If you do give in, you give that person power over your mind and body.

Second, set your standards high and help your friends and enemies set theirs too. Encourage yourself and others to stay healthy and free of drug related stress or debt. Even if you see users of drugs help encourage them to quit, help them get their priorities straight.

Third, do not get yourself into a situation where you cannot get out of. For example do not go off to a secluded place with people you barely know. If they offer you drugs and you decline their offer they may take it as an insult and may be able to hurt you. Always be with people you know and stay aware of your surroundings. If you are with people you barely know go to places with a lot of people.

In conclusion, you now know some things you can do to help yourself and others. You also know what to look out for. You also should know already that you don’t want to be another statistic.

Drugs are used to prevent the pain in every heart. For every tear another pill is popped. Yet the pain returns; family, friends, all feel the emptiness, the silence. The hurt and the anger all return. The user loses reality and so the pain returns. The pain…returns.

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