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How Do Recreational and

Prescription Drugs Affect the


Body and Brain?
Madeleine, Cara, Manisha, and Emery
UWRIT 1104-042
Professor Raymond

What are recreational drugs?


Recreational drugs are defined as mind-altering chemical substances that are
taken for enjoyment or leisure purposes rather than for medical reasons.
They can be classified in five different categories:
Depressants
Stimulants
Euphoriants
Fig. 1: Types of drugs intaken by the

HallucinogensAmerican population
Inhalants

Source: Noren, Anders. 4 June 2015.


Alcohol Abuse Chart (n.d.). Retrieved 4
December 2016, from
www.art4search.com/alcohol-abuse-piechart

Why should this matter to us?


College students make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers nationwide
Young people (ages 18 to 24) are already at a heightened risk of addiction
Those who are enrolled in a full-time college program are twice as likely to
abuse drugs and alcohol than those who dont attend college

Fig. 2: Statistic of teen drug intake


Prevention in Teens. (n.d.). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from
http://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenageaddiction

Video
http://ietv.co/1VBC59k

http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/12247-doctor-died-of-an-apparent-drugoverdose-in-manhattan-building-after-a-night-out

Marijuana
Depressant
Sometimes legalized for medical reasons
Short Term Effects: severe anxiety, memory problems, hallucinations, increased
heart rate, problems with coordination, lowered reaction time
Long Term Effects: increased risk of stroke, addiction, decreases school
performance and increases risk of dropping out, decline in IQ
Fig. 3: Picture of legalization of
marijuana in America
Source: Rowley, Liz. 25 May
2016. Where is Marijuana legal in
the United States? (n.d.).
Retrieved 4 December 2016, from
https://mic.com/articles/126303/w
here-is-marijuana-legal-in-theunited-states-list-of-recreationaland-medicinal-states#.vtCQEzp2d

Alcohol
4th leading cause of death in the US

1,825 college students die per year from alcohol related accidents
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Driving While Impaired
Short Term Effects: Blurred vision, increased blood pressure, reduced
coordination, trouble speaking, spontaneous decision making, slows
down brain activity
Fig.memory
4: Picture of alcoholic
Long Term Effects: Leads to
loss, bottles
cirrhosis of the liver, heart
Source:Davis, Kathleen. 18 Jan
2016.mass
Alcohol:Facts,
Effects, and
problems, decreases brain
through
the destruction of brain cells
Health Risks. Retrieved on 4
December 2016, from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com
/articles/305062.php

Cocaine
One of the most common illegal drugs
Stimulant
Snorted through nose, injected into bloodstream, or rubbed into gums
Prolonged use causes seizures and possible brain haemorrhage
Used in medicinal practices in the late 1800s
Still used in ear, throat, and nose surgery today (rarely though)
Short Term Effects: Nose Fig.
bleeds,
heart rate, poor judgement,
5: Pile ofincreased
cocaine
Source: 10 Feb.2016. Cocaine
aggressive behavior, dizziness,
and chest
pain
(n.d.). Retrieved
on 4 December
2016, from
http://www.jtnn.org/druginformation/cocaine/

LSD
Comes in three forms: Liquid, Tablets, or on Blotting Paper
Linked to miscarriages
Classified as a hallucinogen that alters how people perceive reality
Increases heart rate and blood pressure
Causes long term memory and concentration problems
Fig. 6: Picture of the brain
Source: O,Hare
Ryan. 24 mood
Aug 2016.
Short Term Effects: appetite loss, dry mouth,
sweating,
swings,
Scientists reveal how the
psychedelic drug changes the way
pupils, and elevated body temperatures
the brain processes
languagehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/s
ciencetech/article-3756147/CouldLSD-make-creative-Scientistsreveal-psychedelic-drug-changesway-brain-processes-language.html.

dilated

Ecstasy
Classified as a stimulant
Patented in the early 1910s
Taken in pill or tablet form
Hallucinogenic drug
Short Term Effects: increased energy, elevated body temperature, distorted
perception of time increased alertness Fig. 7: Picture of ecstasy pills
Long Term Effects: depression, anxiety,
destruction of neurotransmitters

Source: 14 Oct. 2016. Drug


Facts: MDMA. (n.d.).
insomnia,
memory
loss,
Retrieved on
4 December
2016, from
https://www.drugabuse.gov/p
ublications/drugfacts/mdmaecstasymolly

and

Is the media responsible for the glorification of illicit


substances?
Fig. 8: Picture of Lil Wayne holding a
bottle
Source: Summers, D. (n.d.).
Retrieved December 03, 2016, from
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles
/2016/06/18/the-cocktail-that-skilling-lil-wayne.html

Social media is constantly portraying recreational drugs as harmless and fun


The media brings attention to new drugs through music and online sources,
however does not disclose the dangers these substances pose to the users
health
News publicizes celebrities using recreational drugs, giving people the idea that
drugs are acceptable and motivates them to do it just like the celebrities.

Fig. 9: Todays TV Commercials


Source: ImgFlip. Todays TV Commercials. (n.d.).
Retrieved on 4 December 2016, from
https://imgflip.com/i/12ll3z

Statistics
23.5 million people ages 12 and up
needed treatment for an illicit drug or
alcohol abuse problem in 2009
Abuse of illicit drugs cost our nation
almost $700 billion dollars a year
because of crime, lost work productivity,
and health care
Over 20 million Americans suffer from
addiction of some kind
100 people die every day from drug
overdose

Fig. 9: Statistic of the overdose death rates in America


Source:Gould, E. B. (2015). One type of legal drug is killing
far more people than heroin - and that's not the most
disturbing part of the problem. Retrieved December 03,
2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/heroin-vs-opioidoverdose-statistics-2015-7

Case 1: Charlie Sheen


Sheen has been abusing multiple drugs
such as alcohol, crack, and cocaine for
years
Drug usage helped drive Sheen to engage
in risky behaviors
He was diagnosed with HIV in 2011
Despite the recent comebacks Sheen has
made with rehab and sobriety, he will
have to live with the consequences of his
actions for the rest of his life

Fig. 10: Picture of Charlie Sheen


Source: Reporter, D. (2016). 'I was too drunk or too bored and here we are': Charlie Sheen
admits he caught HIV after only two instances of unprotected sex. Retrieved December
03, 2016, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3647680/I-drunk-boredCharlie-Sheen-admits-caught-HIV.html

Case 2: Lindsay Lohan


Lohan was twice convicted of drunken
driving, once for cocaine use, made
three trips to rehab and served an
84-minute jail stay in the year of
2007
She has been in and out of drug
rehabilitation centers since then and
openly admit to her addictions with
alcohol and cocaine
Fig. 11: Picture of Charlie Sheen with Lindsay Lohan
Source: Butler, M. (2013). Just Say No: Celebrities Who
Let Drugs Get in The Way Of Success. Retrieved
December 03, 2016, from
http://madamenoire.com/272789/just-say-no-celebritieswho-let-drugs-get-in-the-way-of-success/4/

Effect on others?
Drug abuse not only affects the user,
but the people surrounding them as
well
Millions of families are torn apart
each year as a result of drug abuse

Fig. 12: Picture of a quote.


Source: L. (2015). Brollings. Retrieved
December 03, 2016, from
http://www.thehotline.org/2015/03/drugsalcohol-and-abuse/

Alcohol abuse often causes violent


outbreaks of the user, resulting in
domestic violence or the
mistreatment of a spouse or
children
People are given date rape drugs
Driving under the influence can cause

What is being done?


Some states are starting to legalize marijuana, making the desire for it not as
high
The dangers of recreational drugs are taught in schools and emphasized by the
Say No to Drugs Campaign
More and more commercials are being produced that are working towards
decreasing recreational drug use
Several national help lines have been created to prevent drug addiction
Therapy and Rehab is offered to those who do struggle with addiction

What is prescription drug abuse?


This is the misuse of prescription drugs means taking a medication in a manner or
in doses other than prescribed or taking someone elses prescription

Fig. 13: Shows the number of overdoses in the different cities of NC


Source:
Clasen-Kelly, F., & Wootson, C. R. (2016, February 20). Doctors'
prescriptions fuel N.C. drug overdose epidemic. Retrieved November 04,
2016, from
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article61525372.html

Video:
The Silent High: Prescription Drug Abuse

Why is this a problem?


The United States makes up 5% of the worlds population and consumes 75%
of the worlds prescription drugs
Significantly more Americans, 37 percent, say the country is losing ground on
the problem of prescription drug abuse.
Each year, about 4.5 million Americans visit their doctors office or the
emergency room because of adverse prescription drug side effects. (ClasenKelly & Wootson, 2016)

Which could have been prevented.

What are the top drugs used?


The five most popular prescription drugs that are being abused by teenagers:
OxyCodone
Vicodin
Adderall
Xanax
Valium
Types like Opioids and Depressants are also abused.
Fig. 14: This is a demonstration of an elderly man taking his
prescription medications, which we can assume are painkillers.
Source:
Patterson, E. (2016, January 29). The Effects of Painkiller Use.
Retrieved November 04, 2016,
from http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-painkiller-use/

What are the effects? (Body)


Lungs:
buildup of fluid
Stomach/Intestines:
constipation
Liver/Muscles/Kidneys:
Liver failure
Rapid deterioration of muscles
damages functions of kidneys
Short Term and Long Terms:
muscles relax and iris of eyes expand
heart and cardiovascular damage
TOLERANCE (Patterson 2016)
Death

suppresses the lung capacity

Fig. 15: Vitruvian Mans


Source:
Human Anatomy & Physiology - RHS
Science- Mr. Kauk. (n.d.). Retrieved
November 29, 2016, from http://kaukki.kcusd.net/human-anatomy-physiology

What are the effects? (Brain)

Example: They prevent the GABA chemical from being released that controls
dopamine, therefore there is an excessive amount of dopamine released into the
bloodstream.
Some drugs can mimics a natural neuron. This allows the drugs to attach onto
and activate the neurotransmitters.
Leads to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network
Some cause the neurons to release large amounts of natural neurotransmitters
(Drugs 2016)

Fig. 16: This shows how most drugs of abuse target the
brains reward system by flooding it with dopamine.
Source:
Drugs and the Brain. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04,
2016, from
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publicati
ons/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-brain

How are doctors and pharmaceutical industry


responsible?
The pharmaceutical industry and physicians work hand in hand.
Physicians, pharmacists and others use the prescription monitoring systems
only 6 percent of the time. There is a whole other side to the prescriptions that
are given, and the pharmaceutical industry stays silent. (Marsa, 1997)

Fig. 17:. A tray of assorted prescription pills.


Source:
Vox, F. (2014). Amazons Illegal Drug Dealing:
Steroids, Muscle Relaxants, and Prescription
Drugs. Retrieved November 29, 2016, from
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_scien
ce/medical_examiner/2014/05

Stats about how doctors over prescribe


A 2012 federal report showed that NC had 97 painkiller prescriptions written per
100 people, which rate was the 13th highest in the US, according to the CDC.
9 in 10 doctors report prescription drug abuse is a problem in their communities,
and 85% think that prescription drugs are overused in clinical setting.
88% of doctor say they are satisfied in their skills related to prescribing drugs.
"Doctors tend to be confident individuals, and in some cases, they may also
underestimate the risks of these medicines relative to their benefits,"

Fig. 18: Picture of a physician writing a


prescription
Source: Can We Stop Overprescribing
Antibiotics? Readers Speak Out. (n.d.).
Retrieved November 30, 2016, from
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/82
7888_3

Case 1
College student
Used Adderall once to make her more energetic for party
Made her feel more outgoing
Began borrowing friends for weekends
Tries to look for job and started to use Adderall regularly
Multiple doctors helped her get the drug
Eventually she began writing fake prescriptions and got
arrested for drug fraud
Fig. 19: Picture of an Adderall pill
Source: Heid, M. (2014). Your Brain on Adderall.
Retrieved November 30, 2016, from
http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-andbody/your-brain-adderall

Case 2
Jamie Lee Curtis
Began using painkillers after cosmetics procedures
Stole her mothers when she became ill and stole her sisters
Took drugs to get high and to combat loneliness

Fig. 20: Picture of prescription pills spilt over


Metzger, L. (2015). President Obama Source: Speaks on
Prescription Drug Abuse - Cordant Solutions. Retrieved
November 30, 2016, from
http://cordantsolutions.com/president-obama-speaks-onprescription-drug-abuse/

Fig. 21: Picture of Jamie Lee Curtis


Source: Kenneally, T. (2014). Jamie Lee Curtis
Joins CBSs New Drama Pilot. Retrieved
November 30, 2016, from
http://www.thewrap.com/jamie-lee-curtis-joinscbss-reality-show-drama-pilot/

How does this affect more than the person?


Society:
The economic cost:$215 billion.
In 2007, there were approximately 1.8 million admissions to statelicensed treatment facilities for illicit drug dependence or abuse.
Environment
Harmful chemicals have numerous opportunities to affect the air, soil,
and water. This can leads to environmental hazards and a
decreased quality of life for those who come in contact with them.
Sewage systems cannot remove all the drugs in the water.
Family
Can hurt families and put a strain on them
Cause problems because a person may refuse to receive help

Fig. 22: Picture of the harmful effects of


pills on the environment
Source: Paris, D. (2015, January 05).
Drugs. Retrieved from
https://www.commdiginews.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/01/drugs.jpg

So what is being done?


Prescription drug monitoring programs, are electronic databases used to watch
and track the dispensing and prescribing of prescription drugs to patients, and
can help prevent and identify prescription drug misuse.
NC has created new requirements for doctors to renew their licenses. They will
notify doctors who may be writing excessive prescriptions and track when
prescriptions lead to overdose deaths.
Doctors will get notified if a patient has received prescriptions from 6 different
physicians and 6 different pharmacies over a 6-month period.
The Drug Enforcement Agency is focusing on doctors who illegally prescribe
these drugs. They will look for people who visit multiple doctors to watch
multiple prescriptions and pill mills.

Why is it important to the audience?


Recreational and prescriptionThis is important because listening to these statistics on recreational and
prescription drugs and their abuse can show how no one should be abusing these
substances. It is very dangerous to misuse drugs and taking them should be
approached with caution.

Citations

6 Party Drugs That May Have Health Benefits. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from
health-benefits-illegal-drugs.html

http://www.livescience.com/41277-

Alun, G. (2016, May). Prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse


and abuse. Pulse, P58-62.
Akst, J. (2016, January). Cocaine Induces Neuronal Autophagy. The Scientist. Retrieved from URL.
Lallanilla, M. (2013, November 18).
Auckland New Zealand Editorial Team. (2016, August). Risks of Recreational Drug Use. Family Doctor. Retrieved November
08, 2016, from http://www.familydoctor.co.nz/categories/personal-and-social-issues/risks-of-recreational-drug-use/
Butler, M. (2013). Just Say No: Celebrities Who Let Drugs Get in The Way Of Success. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from
http://madamenoire.com/272789/just-say-no-celebrities-who-let-drugs-get-in-the-way-of-success/4/
Broadwin, Erin. 8 Nov 2016. 3 States just voted to make marijuana completely legal. Business Insider. Retrieved November
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Clasen-Kelly, F., & Wootson, C. R. (2016, February 20). Doctors' prescriptions fuel N.C. drug overdose epidemic. Retrieved
November 04, 2016, from http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article61525372.html
Davis, Kathleen. 18 Jan 2016. Alcohol:Facts, Effects, and Health Risks.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305062.php
Drugs and the Brain. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2016, from

Continued

Families Challenged to Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse Across US. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2016, from
http://www.wdrb.com/story/33685962/families-challenged-to-tackle prescription-drug-abuse-across-us
Get The Facts About Painkillers, Marijuana, Cocaine, Meth & Other Illegal Drugs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2016,
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the problem. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/heroin-vs-opioid-overdose-statistics2015-7
ImgFlip. Todays TV Commercials. Retirieved November 14, 2016, from https://imgflip.com/i/12ll3z
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism | Underage Drinking. (2016, September). Retrieved November 16, 2016,
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Continued
Noren, Anders. 4 June 2015. Alcohol Abuse Chart. Retireved November 14, 2016, from www.art4search.com/alcoholabuse-pie-chart
O,Hare Ryan. 24 Aug 2016. Scientists reveal how the psychedelic drug changes the way the brain processes language
Retrieved November 14, 2016, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3756147/Could-LSD-make-creativeScientists-reveal-psychedelic-drug-changes-way-brain-processes-language.html.
Patterson, E. (2016, January 29). The Effects of Painkiller Use. Retrieved November 04, 2016,
from http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-painkiller-use/
Prevention in Teens. (n.d.). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from http://www.centeronaddiction.org/addictionprevention/teenage-addiction
Recreational Drug Use Vs Addiction: What's the Difference? (2015, October 27). Retrieved November 16, 2016, from
https://www.aspenridgerecovery.com/blog/recreational-drug-use-vs-addiction-whats-the-difference/
Reporter, D. (2016). 'I was too drunk or too bored and here we are': Charlie Sheen admits he caught HIV after only two
instances of unprotected sex. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3647680/Idrunk-bored-Charlie-Sheen-admits-caught-HIV-two-times-unprotected-sex.html
Rowley, Liz. 25 May 2016. Where is Marijuana legal in the United States? Retrieved November 14, 2016, from
https://mic.com/articles/126303/where-is-marijuana-legal-in-the-united-states-list-of-recreational-and-medicinalstates#.vtCQEzp2d

Continued
Summers, D. (n.d.). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/18/the-cocktail-thats-killing-lil-wayne.html
TeensHealth. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from http://teenshealth.org/en/teens/prescription-drugabuse.html?WT.ac=ctg
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The Science of Addiction: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior. (2007, April). Retrieved November 16, 2016, from
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This project was made in APA format.