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Author Topic: Teen drug abuse and misconceptions
Lucky1402
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Member # 894

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I'm not really sure if this should go here, since we haven't had many drug related posts at scarleteen. Check this out.

I just wanted to post it and see what everybody thought. I'm not sure what your stances are on drugs, but I just thought it was sad to see how many people on that site said they smoked weed regularly and wanted to swap smoking techniques. And there were only a few people who stood out and talked about the proven dangers of drug use.

It was even worse when one girl on there claimed that weed has been proven to help arthritis and other serious diseases, that it helps you concentrate and study better, and that it improves short term memory. Where do people get their information? True, marijuana prescribed by a physician for cancer or something may help calm the extreme pain, but it doesn't cure it. at least not to my knowledge it doesn't.

I don't know, I just find these kinda things sad.

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*^Lucky^*
Lucky's new (and improved) homepage

"At one point we decided to fight fire with fire. Well...basically...your house burned even faster."


Posts: 492 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lucky1402
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O>K, for some odd reason the link's not working. Try this. http://teenodchat.teenopendiary.com/commun_v3/scripts/topics.pl?NodeID=66983&Client ID=63777

Hope that works. Just go to the post (it should be on the first few pages) entitled "Weed, Smoke, Dope."

[This message has been edited by Lucky1402 (edited 06-07-2001).]


Posts: 492 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Here's the real trouble with this.

Marijuana -- in particular -- has never been shown to be addictive chemically (like the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol are, or numerous illegal narcotics) in any sound scientific studies and works I have read written in the last two centuries. It has indeed, over history, and beyond modern medicine, but in many different types of medicine, to alleviate certain ailments (not cure, alleviate) and help with certain conditions. (Though the short-term memory claim is a bust, IMO. I have never heard any documented info on any such thing, but there has been plenty it does the inverse.) And other currently legal drugs which are used to treat such things now ARE addicitive and narcotic.

So, those are the boons, in a nutshell. However, I highly doubt most teen maijuana users have arthritis.

The real issue, though, is that it is currently illegal, and -- in my mind -- that you really have to be careful as to what you put in your body, especially when you are still growing.

But it is SUCH a complex issue, because many FAR more harmful chemicals are legal, which many of you eat in your food every single day.

And it is important we recognize that drugs can't be simplified into one group. If they can, we may as well say coffee is as harmful as heroin, or chemical pesticides are as bad as radiation. And those things aren't true. There are many, many different chemical and natural compounds in the world with many, many degrees of damage. And sadly, what is legal and what is not is not generally graded on that scale, but on profit issues. If it were, alcohol wouldn't be legal either. Neither would cigarettes, and neither would anything sold at McDonald's.

So, it's a tough call, and there is a difference between use and abuse. However, when something is illegal, we really can't even have that conversation or gauge that because breaking the law not only involves trouble itself, it involves sneakiness, it involves a whole number of nasty byproducts that make something that could be far less harmful far, FAR more so.

So, discussions about this tend to become one of those situations where we are stuck discussing how it works in OUR culture, in OUR conditions, because we can't operate in a vacuum. And in our culture and conditions, illegal drug use is generally harmful on one level or another.

However, I do think it is safe to say that drug abuse -- using an element in such a way that it is necessarily more harmful than beneficial, using it outside its intended and suggested purpose, or using it to the point of chemical or emotional addition -- is indeed always harmful.

But legalities where they are, it is important when discussing these sorts of things that we do realize that with ANYTHING there is use and abuse. Neither are absolute, and we have to be cautious not to just accept the propaganda that any illegal drug can only be abused, but any legal drug or chemical cannot be by being used, or even misused.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 06-07-2001).]


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lucky1402
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True, Miz s. It just makes me mad to see that people as young as 13 on that board are using things like heroin, weed, and cocaine (and that's pretty much what I meant by "drugs"- the illegal and/or dangerous ones). We just went over a chapter in health class the other day about the detrimental effects of cocaine and marijuana. The way I understood it was that even a little of those drugs (except for marijuana) can lead to addiction and body damage. I think I read something like marijuana is especially harmful to teenagers because it interferes with certain developement processes (or maybe it wasn't marijuana, but some other drug).

I think it bothers me so much because most of the people on that board had no clue as to what the harmful effects and consequences of illegal drug use could be. Aside from the legal consequences and the certain body damage. It's just shocking to me that so many teens could be that uninformed about the dangers.

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*^Lucky^*
Lucky's new (and improved) homepage

"At one point we decided to fight fire with fire. Well...basically...your house burned even faster."


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'rin
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besides the illegality issue...i'm just bothered in general by anyone using any drug they don't understand. yeah, i drank soda when i was a kid. then i read about caffeine and i stopped for awhile, then i read some more and made an educated choice to drink less coffee than i had previously but not to stop all together. when a dr prescribes something to me i research it before taking it whenever possible. and i decided not to smoke "dope" (sorry, i cannot spell so i'm not going to use the techincal word here) when i read a few studies on the possibility of it effecting short term memory. i jsut wish the really young people who are into illicit chemicals knew what they were injesting. i'm sure some would contine using them, but they would have a clearer idea as to what they were doing to their bodies.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JunkiePanda
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i used to do some drugs(codine, valuum, and drank a little and smoked cigarettes occassionally)...and this was before the age of fourteen. i am fifteen now and have been completely drug free for a little over a year. i think a lot of younger kids do it...because they just flat out dont want to listen. at school this year i met a kid who was a freshamn(and a year younger than everyone else because he skipped a grade) who was using ex VERY heavily. he turned into a dealer, he started to cut more and more classes...he eventually gave up and came to school only to deal. i watched this kid...a friend...turn into a criminal. it was so sad. he didn't care what i told him...i showed him pictures of brain scans of people who use ex and it looks like their brain is swiss cheese.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I think the biggest problem in terms of accurate and adequate information, Lucky, is the same problem we see with sexuality education. namely, that the social hysteria keeps people from giving accurate education, and in some cases, the laws themselves disallow accurate information.

I think yet again, we're seeing the big problem in America's approach to certain things in terms of "JUst say no." And that is that the information normally stops there, because the idea is that one need not be educated on something they won't be participating in. That of course is fallacious, foolhardy and just plain damaging in and of itself, but it is a typical approach.

Per usual, my feeling is that accurate and complete information IS always power, and that without it, we really can't make good choices for ourselves, whatever those choices may be. And someone who is "just saying no," or just defying that message, isn't making an innformed choice anyway, they're just reacting to a directive.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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PoetgirlNY
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I think that a lot of people do drugs because they don't know how bad it is for them, or they just choose not to believe warnings. Also, with all the hysteria around drug use, adults tell us a lot of things that we know are simply not true, and then they lose their credibility. For example, in school, the health(ish) teacher told us this completely bogus statistic: 95% of people who try marijuana before they are 18 move onto harder drugs and become addicts. No one is going to believe this, simply because we all know plenty of people under 18 who use marijuana without becoming drug addicts. So then when they tell us that using Ecstacy can impair your ability to produce proper amounts of seratonin, leading to possible chronic depression . . . lots of people won't believe that either, even though it's true. I think that everyone should really just have unbiased information on all drugs (including legal ones) and decide for themselves. It's pretty hard to find unbiased information though. I recommend a book called, "Buzzed." I don't remember who it's by, but it's really good. It goes through each drug and systematically lists positives and negatives, risks involved, legality, etc. It's a wonderful resource for people who like to make informed decisions. It helped me a lot a couple of years ago. My best friend had started using Ecstacy on a fairly regular basis. She wasn't pressuring me into it or anything, but I was invited to join her if I wanted to. I wasn't sure whether or not that was something I wanted to get involved in or not. So I looked it up in "Buzzed" and decided that it sounded like tons of fun, but not fun enough to risk seizures, death, or the somewhat likely occurence of chronic depression(I'm messed up enough as it is, right?). Blah, so, yes, get the book. It's wonderful and only gives the truth. It has nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol in addition to illegal drugs.

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Limes Are Sublime


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VeNT
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I smoke dope
I used to some ciggerets as well but i have not for the last 3 months (woohooo) i drink but then i am 18 and that makes it legal in the UK
I am not some "druggy" as people often lable anyone who smokes canabis
i used to smoke lots (its v cheep where i live) but i never felt the need to smoke dope the way i feel the need to smoke ciggerets.
infact IMHO it is the very anti-drug stance that the USA has taken on that casuses there to be sutch a problem
if you look at people arrested in holland for hard drug offences (canabis and some other class c drugs are legal there) you can see that it is mainly an age groop that became addicted to those hard drugs before they de-criminalised canabis
i have also read (in new-scientist) that there is reseach taking place investigating the effect of the chemical THC (the active chemical in canabis that gives you the "high") on people who suffer from Alzimers (sp anyone) and that the eirly results it seems that it (THC) does slow down the onset of Alzimers, now anyone who has met someone or is related to anyone with Alzimers will know that it is a terible afliction and can destroy familys
my nan developed Alzimers desise and changed from a very loving person to a spiteful and nasty persone
i know its not her fault and all but if ANYTHING can help someone with Alzimers then it is worth looking into
so don't just say "drugs are bad, um kay" because its silly, have you ever told a child that they should not do something?
nine times out of ten the first thing they do go and do it
the tenth time they wait till you are gone.

~VeNT


Posts: 101 | From: truro cornwall england | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Let me jump in here. When I was younger, ie the age of many of the posterrs here, I used drugs quite a bit, certianly lots of pot, but also many others. I never became an addict, or ran into serious problems because of it, always maintaied good grades (ie graduated Cum Laude from a very well respected small private northeastern college, then went on and got my MBA). So were drugs a disaster that the anti drug types promote them to be, no. I do know some very good friends however who really messed up their lives due to them, and are only now getting their lives back on track (in thieir early 40's). this includes one friend who is very very smart. Also as I look back, I see that I wasted a lot of potential by doing drugs as much as I did. there was lots that I missed out on doing. As such I very uch regret how much I used them when I was a teen and in my 20's (with the exception of the halucinigens, which I did find to be a true learning experience, those however are extremely powerful and not to be taken lightly. I am not recomending that anybody go out and trip on LSD, just that I personally do not regret having done so, while I do regret smoking as much pot as I did, eating as many qualudes as I did, snorting as much coke as I did (although I could not afford to do to much of that in any case) and I regret trying heroin, although quite frankly when I did, I just didn't see the appeal, it just made me puke and then vedge out.) My honest advice to all of you is to stay clear of them, there is to much to do when you are straight.
As for the medical benifits of pot. it is useful to those on chemotherapy and who have aids as a nausia suppresant and to help increase the appitite, ie give them the munchies. But because something has a pharmicutical benifit to someone who is sick, does not mean that it is good for someone who is not sick to take it, quite the opposite. For example, why would someone with no cholesterol problem take lipitor? Taking Cozaar if you don't have high blood pressure would be pretty stupid. Would it be a good idea for a non diabetic to shoot himself up each day with insulin, of course not. That is why it is up to MD's to perscribe these things

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LilBlueSmurf
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Oh wow ... I come from all sides here.

First my mom ... She was going through chemotherapy for cancer of the cervix (she explained it to me somehow, but it just meant it was cells, not actually her cervix, so removing it would do no good ... something along those lines). She was anorexic as a teen, so she's already got some eating issues (she does eat, just when she feels like it ... like a bird). She went to 50 billion different doctors for different problems in her body. She was told that smoking pot would increase her appetite and help her sleep. So she did. She never did it front of my sister and i ... I only ever found her pot once and then she told me why. I have no problem w/ this type of use.

Then there's my uncle ... the pothead. And every other kind of head you can think of. He was used as a "mule" to bring drugs back and forth from Jamaica to Toronto. I used to live w/ my grandparents and he was in and out of there all the time ... I don't how many bags of pot and other drug related items i've tossed. There was a big pot plant sitting in our laundry room and my cat was eating it ... so THAT went in the garbage. And a bottle of seeds that he told me to look after for him. I was, b/c naive little me actually believed him when he told me that they weren't drugs. As soon as i found out what they were, they went down the potty. He threated to get his 'goons' to kill my mother if she told on him (he was on parole ... more times than he was "free") ... and this was in front of my sister and i. Rather than saying "wow, my uncle is really a jerk", i just figured it was drugs making him this way. And it sort of was ... But i still believe it's a concious choice to put your family at such a risk. There was different people calling our house looking for him all the time or coming to the door ... looking for their drugs/money. I hate(d) him ... I wasn't exactly sad when i found out he was going to be locked up for a long long time.

And then there's my bf ... I'm just started to find out what he has done and what he used to do. Apparently he used to do some pretty heavy drugs. I don't want to know about most of it, b/c i don't want my feelings for him to change. I know he doesn't do anything more than pot now ... and he never tells me when he does and i don't ask. Pot, i guess, i can handle, but i still don't want to hear about it, see it, or smell it. Blagh. I can't stand the stuff. And since he's obviously not using it for medical purposes, i don't agree w/ it. He plans to be a cop tho, after he graduates HS (this year!) ... A teacher of his in school scared the crap outta him and he's been a good lil boy ever since

So yeah ... there's three very important people in my life that have used drugs. One i agree w/ and two i don't (really really dont). Some things you just have to look past for those you love. If it's just Joe Shmoe, then who cares ... But it's different when you're living w/ someone doing it or love someone (as in relationship love) who does it. You can't change it ... might as well deal w/ it. Set limits.

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When mom found my diaphram, I told her it was a bathing cap for my cat.
~ Liz Winston

In a Smurf's world ...


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Celtic Daisy
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I think it's really sad. I know that my older brother does some drugs and it makes me really sad. Tons of people in my school do them. Me and my friends all live a straight edge lifestyle and never really ever consider drugs or anything. It's horrible the way kids get into that stuff younger and younger.

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"A six foot tall anorexic bimbo,with plastic breasts is making me feel weird about my own body."
-Miss Bif Naked


Posts: 1747 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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