Drivers Ed: module 8

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What is drug addiction?
What is drug addiction?

Alan I. Leshner, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, defines drug addiction as uncontrollable, compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences.
By abusing drugs, the addicted teen has changed the way his or her brain operates. Drug abuse and addiction lead to long-term changes in the brain. These changes cause addicted drug users to lose the ability to control their drug use. Drug addiction is a disease.
physical dependency
Becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is a process that can happen very quickly. Recreational or occasional use of these substances can quickly turn to abuse. When someone begins to use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, they are starting on a path toward abuse. The person begins to physically need the alcohol or drug in order to function. This is known as physical dependency. These substances have incredible power over the body.
physiological and/or psychological dependence.
If dependency is not recognized and dealt with, addiction follows with terrible consequences. Addiction is a condition caused by repeated drug or alcohol use, characterized by a compulsive urge to continue using the drug, a tendency to increase dosage, and physiological and/or psychological dependence.
People who have this addiction tend to have serious health problems. They are prone to grand mood swings, violent and unpredictable behavior, and loss of friendships or family relationships. They tend to turn inward, wanting only satisfy their addictions. When unable to get their drug of choice, their bodies go into withdrawal.
avoid drugs
During the process of withdrawal, the body is fighting itself for survival. For many people, addiction to alcohol or drugs is a lifelong struggle which is extremely difficult to reverse.
Ask yourself if you want your life reduced to a desperate need for mind-altering substances. The best way to avoid addiction is to avoid drugs altogether.
Drugs are chemicals.
Drugs are chemicals.
Marijuana is often considered "just a plant," but it actually has 61 chemicals unique to the cannabis plant and contains carcinogens.
Some common stimulants are:
Some common stimulants are:
• Amphetamines
• Cocaine
• Caffeine
• Pep pills
• Diet pills
Stimulants can be extremely dangerous drugs. Abuse of these substances can cause paranoia, convulsions, nervousness, coma, and in some cases death.
Cocaine
Cocaine

Short term effects:

Effects peak after 15-40 minutes before fading quickly.
Users experience a sense of well-being. This includes alertness, painlessness, and confidence.
The feelings soon pass and the user is left wanting more of the drug.
Physical effects include dry mouth, sweating, loss of appetite, and a racing pulse.
Long term effects:
Long term effects:

Prolonged use can cause heart problems and chest pain while heavy use can cause convulsions.
Users often complain of feeling tired and depressed.
Long-term users can become dependent on the way cocaine makes them feel and may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Snorting the drug damages the inside of the nose. Sometimes the damage is permanent.
Constant or frequent use can leave users restless, confused, paranoid, and sleepless.
Injecting cocain increases the risk of spreading infections such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C.
Downers (also called depressants)
Downers (also called depressants) operate by slowing central nervous system functions. Small amounts help relax muscles and produce calmness; while larger doses impair judgment, reflexes, and speech.
Some drugs that fall under the category of downers are:

Barbiturates
Tranquilizers
Alcohol
Some antihistamines
Narcotic drugs
Narcotic drugs often dull the senses and make the user sleepy. They are also highly addictive. Opium, morphine, heroin (a synthetic drug made by altering the chemicals in opium), and codeine are the most commonly used narcotics.
Narcotics are usually prescribed for pain relief but are often abused. Drowsiness, respiratory slowing, memory loss, and nausea are only a few of the negative effects. There are many more. Abuse of this type of drug can cause convulsions, coma, or even death.
Because narcotics affect the central nervous system, abusing narcotics can also impair mental functioning.
Heroin
Heroin

Chronic heroin users may develop collapsed veins, heart lining and valve infections, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health condition of the abuser, as well as from heroin's effects on respiration.
In addition to the effects of the drug itself, heroin may have additives that do not readily dissolve. Absorbing these substances can cause the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain to become clogged. Eventually, this may cause infection or even the death of small patches of cells in vital organs.
Hallucinogenic drugs
Hallucinogenic drugs come in natural and synthetic forms. These substances are known to distort your perception of reality and thought processes. The most common types of hallucinogens are phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and organic drugs (including mescaline and psilocybin).
LSD
LSD

LSD is sold as small squares of blotting paper that may be decorated with colorful designs or cartoon characters. Users then lick or suck these papers. This drug also comes in capsules and liquid form that can be swallowed.
Hallucinations occur within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion. People say their senses are intensified and distorted when they use. They may see colors or hear sounds with other delusions, such as melting walls and a loss of any sense of time. But the effects are also unpredictable, depending on how much LSD is taken and the user.
The effects of LSD often last 12 hours or longer. "Bad trips" have been known to cause disturbing delusions, panic attacks, depression, and confusion. Physical risks include increased heart rate, sleeplessness, and convulsions.
Users often have flashbacks in which they feel some of the effects of LSD at a later time.
Marijuana
Marijuana

The most widely used illegal drug and hallucinogen in the U.S. is marijuana. This non-synthetic drug resembles green or brown dried parsley with stems or seeds. A stronger form of marijuana called hashish (hash) looks like brown or black cakes or balls. Marijuana is typically smoked in cigarettes (joints), hollowed-out cigars (blunts), pipes (bowls), or water pipes (bongs). Some people mix it into foods or brew it as a tea.
Marijuana users can become psychologically dependent upon its use to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress. Physically, a user may demand more and more of the drug to achieve the same kind of high he or she experienced when first using the drug.
Over-the-counter drugs
Over-the-counter drugs do not escape abuse and can also have harmful effects. In fact, the use and abuse of diet pills, cough medicine, nicotine gum, or other seemingly safe medications can cause unpredictable driving behaviors and dire health consequences.
(DXM)
Many readily available cough and cold medicines include dextromethorphan (DXM) in their list of ingredients. If taken in large quantities, these over-the-counter medicines can cause loss of motor control, hallucinations, and other dissociative sensations.
DXM is often abused when extracted from cough and cold medicines, put into powder form, and snorted.
Where do illegal drugs come from?
Where do illegal drugs come from?
The illegal drug market in the United States is one of the most profitable in the world. As such, it attracts sophisticated and aggressive drug traffickers. Diverse groups traffic and distribute illegal drugs. Criminal organizations operating from South America smuggle cocaine and heroin into the U.S. via a number of routes. Furthermore, criminal groups operating from Mexico smuggle cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamines, and marijuana into the United States.
The following are some common "excuses" for taking drugs:
The following are some common "excuses" for taking drugs:


Boredom

Being social

Wanting to "enhance" an experience

Celebrations

Someone else you know tried it and nothing happened to them.
The penalties for driving under the influence
The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are severe and may include fees, jail time, rehabilitation class, the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car (to disable the car if you have consumed alcohol), and other penalties. DUI laws punish offenders for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
A DUI offense is both a criminal and civil matter. If a law enforcement officer suspects you of being intoxicated, he or she may ask you to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to verify your blood alcohol level (BAL). According to Florida's implied consent law, signing an application for a driver license signifies that you agree to take these tests. If you refuse to be tested, you will be subject to the following penalties:
The first time you refuse to take the test, your license will be automatically suspended for one year.
If a second incident occurs where you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended for 18 months. This is a second degree misdemeanor.
The penalties for a first-time DUI charge include the following:
The penalties for a first-time DUI charge include the following:
Fine—With a BAL of .08 or higher the fine may range from $250-$500. If there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine jumps to $500-$1000.
Community Service—50 hours
Probation—Not more than one year.
Revocation of License—A 180 day minimum
Imprisonment—No more than six months. If there is a BAL of .20 or higher or a minor in the vehicle, no more than nine months.
DUI School—12 hours
DUI School Requirement—There will be an evaluation to diagnose if there is a need for treatment.
Ignition Interlock Device—Up to six months.
The second offense will result in steeper penalties including the following:
The second offense will result in steeper penalties including the following:
Fine—With a BAL of .08 or higher the fine may range from $500-$1000. If there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine jumps to $1000-$2000.
Revocation of License—A 180 day minimum. If this second offense is within five years of the first conviction, your license will be revoked for five years.
Imprisonment—No more than nine months. If the second conviction is within five years of the first offense, the penalty is ten days in jail with 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
DUI School—21 hours
DUI School Requirement—There will be an evaluation given to diagnose if there is a need for treatment.
Ignition Interlock Device—A one-year minimum.
The third offense will result in the following increased penalties:
The third offense will result in the following increased penalties:
Fine—With a BAL of .08 or higher the fine may range from $1000-$2500. If there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine jumps to $2000-$5000.
Revocation of License—A 180 day minimum. If this third offense is within ten years of the second conviction, your license will be revoked for 10 years.
Imprisonment—No more than 12 months. If the third conviction is within ten years of jail time for the same offense, the penalty is 30 days in jail with 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
DUI School—21 hours
DUI School Requirement—There will be an evaluation given to diagnose if there is a need for treatment.
Ignition Interlock Device—A two-year minimum.
For the fourth (or higher) offense, the penalties are:
For the fourth (or higher) offense, the penalties are:
Fine—At least $1000.
Revocation of License—Your license will be revoked permanently.
Imprisonment—No more than five years
Zero Tolerance law
Florida follows a Zero Tolerance law. This means if any driver who is under the age of 21 is stopped by a law enforcement officer and shown to have a BAL of .02 or greater, he or she will have his or her driving privilege suspended for six months. If the BAL is higher than .05, the driver will be required to take a substance abuse course. If the driver has a BAL over the legal limit of .08, he or she can be convicted for driving under the influence (DUI).