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Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Education


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Title: Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Education

Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Education
  • Stephen A. Landers, M.D.
  • 2009 Circle Ten University of Scouting

Second Class Scout Requirement 8a States
  • Participate in a school, community, or troop
    program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol,
    and tobacco, and other practices that could be
    harmful to your health. Discuss your
    participation in the program with your family.

Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction
  • Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain
  • Abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure
    and function of the brain.
  • The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary.
  • Over time, changes in the can affect the persons
    self control and ability to make sound decision,
    and at the same time send intense impulses to
    take drugs.

What happens to your brain when you take drugs?
  • Drugs are chemicals that tap into the brains
    communication system and disrupt the way nerve
    cells normally send, receive, and process
  • 1. Imitate the brains natural chemical
  • (examples marijuana and heroin)
  • 2. Over stimulate the reward circuit of the
  • (examples cocaine and methamphetamine)

Mechanism of Action for Drugs
  • Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target
    the brains reward system by flooding the circuit
    with dopamine.
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in the
    regions of the brain that control movement,
    emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure.
  • As the person continues to abuse drugs, the brain
    adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by
    producing less dopamine or by reducing the number
    of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit.

Mechanism of Action for Drugs
  • As dopamines impact on the reward circuit is
    lessened, it compels those addicted to drugs to
    keep abusing drugs in order to attempt to bring
    their dopamine function back to normal.
  • Tolerance is the effect that an individual
    requires larger amount of the drug than they
    first did to achieve the dopamine high.

Long-term Abuse Changes
  • Long-term abuse causes changes in the brain
    chemical and circuits.
  • Glutamate is a neurotransmitter which is altered
    by long-term abuse.
  • Altered concentrations of glutamate cause
    impaired cognitive functions.
  • Brain-imaging studies of drug-addicted
    individuals show changes in areas of the brain
    that are critical to judgment, decision-making,
    learning, memory, and behavior control.

Why do some people become addicted and others do
  • No single factor can predict whether or not a
    person will become addicted to drugs.
  • Risks for addiction is influenced by a persons
  • Biology genetic factors account for about half
    of their addiction-vulnerability.
  • Environment socioeconomic status, influence of
    friends and family, peer pressure, physical and
    sexual abuse, stress, and parental involvement
    influence the course of drug abuse and addiction
    in a persons life.
  • Development adolescents brains are still
    developing in the areas that govern
    decision-making, judgment, and self-control.
    They are especially prone to risk-taking
    behaviors, including trying drugs of abuse.

Prevention is the Key
  • Drug addiction is a preventable disease.
  • National Institute of Health-funded research has
    shown that prevention programs that involve
    families, schools, communities, and the media are
    effective in reducing drug abuse.
  • Although many events and cultural factors affect
    drug abuse trends, when youths perceive drug
    abuse as harmful, they reduce their drug taking.
  • The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary.

Drugged Driving
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    reports that more than 17,000 people were killed
    in alcohol-related crashes in 2006.
  • Studies have also found that drugs are used by 10
    to 22 percent of the drivers involved in crashes.
  • An estimated 7.3 of youth 16 years of age have
    driven under the influence.
  • A peak incidence of 31.8 of adults 22 years of
    age have driven under the influence.
  • Rates show a general decline with increasing age.

Cigarettes and Tobacco Products
  • Center for Disease Control indicate that tobacco
    use remains the leading preventable cause of
  • 440,000 premature deaths annually in the U.S.
    from tobacco use.
  • Over the past 4 decades, cigarette smoking has
    caused an estimated 12 million deaths.
  • 4.1 million deaths from cancer
  • 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular
  • 2.1 million deaths from respiratory
  • 94,000 infant deaths related to
    mothers smoking

Second Hand Smoke
  • Environmental tobacco smoke is a complex mixture
    containing many chemicals such as formaldehyde,
    cyanide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and nicotine.
  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or
    work increase their risk of developing heart
    disease by 25-30 and lung cancer by 20-30.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at
    increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome,
    acute respiratory and ear infections, and asthma.

  • Nicotine is an addictive drug.
  • Nicotine provides an almost immediate kick
    because it causes a discharge of epinephrine from
    the adrenal cortex. This stimulates the central
    nervous system and endocrine glands causing a
    sudden release of glucose.
  • Stimulation is then followed by depression and
    fatigue, leading the user to seek more nicotine.
  • Daily tobacco users accumulate nicotine in the
  • Nicotine, like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana,
    increases the level of dopamine which affects the
    brain pathways that control reward and pleasure.

Performance - Enhancing Drugs
  • Anabolic steroids have two main effects
  • Anabolic effect promotes muscle building
  • Androgenic effects are responsible for
    male traits
  • Side effects include
  • baldness and acne liver
    abnormalities tumors
  • prominent breasts increase in LDL
  • shrunken testicles aggressive
    behavior and rage
  • higher voices in males depression
  • infertility drug

Performance Enhancing Drugs
  • Androstenedione (andro) is a hormone produced by
    the adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries.
  • Andro is a precursor hormone that is normally
    converted to testosterone and estrogen in both
    men and women.
  • Recent studies have shown that supplemental andro
    can actually decrease the level of testosterone
    and increase the level of estrogen in males.
  • Creatine is a compound produce by the body to
    help release energy in the muscles (ATP)
  • High doses of creatine may potentially damage the
    kidneys, liver, and heart.

Alcohol Facts and Fiction
  • Myth White wine is a good choice for a person
    who wants a light drink with less alcohol.
  • Fact A standard drink equivalent is
  • 12-ounce bottle or can of regular
  • 5-ounce glass of wine
  • 1 ½ -ounce of 80 proof distilled

Alcohol Facts and Fiction
  • Myth Switching between beer, wine, and spirits
    will lead to intoxication more quickly than
    sticking to one type of alcoholic beverage.
  • Fact The level of alcohol content is what
    determines sobriety or intoxication. A standard
    drink of beer, wine, or spirits, contain
    equivalent amounts of alcohol.
  • Alcohol is alcohol.
  • A drink is a drink.

Alcohol Facts and Fiction
  • Myth Alcohol is an increasing problem among
    young people.
  • Fact Heavy alcohol use among people in the U.S.
    17 years of age or younger actually dropped by an
    amazing two-thirds (65.9) between 1985 and 1997
    according to federal government research. Deaths
    associated with young drinking drivers age 16
    24 decreased almost half (47) in a recent
    15-year period.

Alcohol Facts and Fiction
  • Myth Bottles of tequila contain a worm.
  • Fact There is no worm in tequila. Its mescal,
    a spirit beverage distilled from a different
    plant. Its not actually a worm, but a butterfly
    caterpillar (Hipopta agavis) called a gurano.

Alcohol Facts and Fiction
  • Myth A beer belly is caused by drinking beer.
  • Fact A beer belly is caused by eating too
    much food. No beer or other alcoholic beverage
    is necessary.
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