Substance Use Health Risks
The general health risks associated with the use of illegal drugs can be divided into two categories: drug use that can destroy a healthy mind and body by outright organic damage, mental illness, malnutrition, and failure to get treatment of injuries or diseases; and drug use that generally reduces the body’s natural immune system and increases the chances for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS. Drug overdose may cause psychosis, convulsions, coma, or death.
Specific health problems associated with the following drugs:
• Amphetamines: heart problems, malnutrition, possible death, psychological and physical dependence, hallucinations;
• Cocaine: convulsions, coma, death, destruction of nasal membranes, physical dependence, depression, hallucinations, confusion, lesions on the lungs;
• Depressants (Barbiturates, Tranquilizers, Methaqualone): confusion and loss of coordination, physical and psychological intolerance, coma or death, problems when taken with alcohol;
• Marijuana and Hashish: confusion and loss of coordination, psychological dependence, lung damage;
• Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP DMT STP, MDA, Designer Drugs): hallucinations and panic, birth defects, convulsions, coma, death; and
• Narcotics (Heroine, Morphine, Codeine, Opium): lethargy and loss of judgment, physical and psychological dependence, convulsions, coma, death, malnutrition, infection, hepatitis.