Just the Facts!

You’ve probably heard a lot of different things about drugs…from your friends, teachers, google, parents…but what is TRUE? We’ve done research to bring you science-based realness about drugs and alcohol, and how they affect your brain and body. No opinions or rumors here, just the facts.

Drug Facts

Marijuana

Marijuana

AKA:
Weed, Pot, Hash, Oil, Keef, Cannabis

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the preparation of the cannabis plant for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine. Marijuana products have different concentrations of THC, the psychoactive chemical that makes a user feel "high".

Laws & Legal Status

Marijuana is currently legal in a few states, including Washington State, for adults over the age of 21. Marijuana laws vary from state to state, but marijuana usage is still illegal federally. Consequences of underage use includes losing financial aid, getting fired from a job, not getting hired for a job, or being arrested for possessing, using, or sharing cannabis. The law in Washington states that driving under the influence of marijuana is against the law for anyone at any age.

Affect on Your Developing Brain

Marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory, and judgement.  Heavy marijuana use by young adults can cause problems with thinking, memory & learning.

Affect on Your Body

THC in any form will likely impair coordination, like the ability to drive, play sports, and do other activities.

Is it addicting?

Repeated marijuana use can lead to addiction—which means people have trouble controlling their drug use and often cannot stop even though they want to. Your genetics also have an affect on your risk of becoming dependent on any drug or alcohol.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Cannabis Conversation   Above the Influence

Alcohol

Alcohol

AKA:
Booze, Brews, Wine, Liquor

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is made through a fermentation process of sugars in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Alcoholic beverages have different concentrations of alcohol.

Laws & Legal Status

Alcohol is legal in the United States for adults over 21.

Affect on Your Developing Brain

Alcohol affects the parts of the brain where decisions are made, causing a person under the influence to make poor choices or choose riskier behaviors. Alcohol is a depressant that affects your central nervous system, slowing important functions down.

Is it Addicting?

Yes. When a person drinks more often, it requires more alcohol for them to feel the same way they felt when they first started drinking. People are at a higher risk of addiction if they have history of alcoholism, or if they  started drinking at a young age.

Affect on Your Body

Drinking slows your reaction time, weakens your muscles, and dulls your senses, making it harder to function. This makes it harder to fight bears or drive a car. Our weight, what we've eaten, and family history all play a role in how alcohol affects us physically.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Above the Influence

Prescription Drugs: Opioids

Opioids

AKA:
Opioids, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet

What are Opioids?

Prescription drugs are given under medical supervision. Opioids are prescription pain medications.

Laws & Legal Status

It is illegal to use prescription drugs without a prescription from a medical clinician. It's also illegal to share your prescription drugs with anyone else.

Affect on Your Developing Brain

Opioid medications bind to the parts of the brain that perceive pain. Opioids cause a large release of dopamine in the brain , which makes you feel relaxed and happy. This effect can confuse the brain's reward center, and can lead to addiction.

Is it Addicting?

Yes, opioids are addicting. The effects to the brain's reward center can teach the brain that it needs to opioid to survive.

Affect on Your Body

Prescription opioids have a lot of side effects, including sleepiness, nausea, slowed or stopped breathing, which can result in death. This is why it's so important to only use prescriptions with medical supervision.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Prescription Drugs: Depressants

Depressants

AKA:
Depressants, Downers, Barbiturates, Xanax, Valiu

What are Depressants?

Prescription drugs are given under medical supervision. When prescribed by a doctor, depressants to help slow the brain down for those who are anxious or can't sleep.

Laws & Legal Status

It is illegal to use prescription drugs without a prescription from a medical clinician.  It's also illegal to share your prescription drugs with anyone else.

Affect on Your Developing Brain

Depressants slow down activity in the brain and spinal cord. Too much of this "slowing down" can be harmful for the brain.

Is it Addicting?

Yes. The use of depressants can cause dependence, when the body relies on the drug to keep the brain chemically balanced. When people who are addicted to depressants stop taking them suddenly, the person may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms which can include seizures.

Affect on Your Body

Depressants slow down brain activity, resulting in slurred speech, sleepiness, lack of coordination, and slowed breathing, which can result in death. This is why it's so important to only use prescriptions with medical supervision.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Prescription Drugs: Stimulants

Stimulants

AKA:
Stimulants, Speed, Ritalin, Adderall, Uppers

What are Stimulants?
Prescription drugs are given under medical supervision. Stimulants "stimulate" the body, making the person feel more alert and more energetic. Stimulants are prescribed to treat attention disorders and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).

Laws & Legal Status
It is illegal to use prescription drugs without a prescription from a medical clinician.  It's also illegal to share your prescription drugs with anyone else.

Affect on Your Developing Brain
Stimulants cause a build up of two brain chemicals (dopamine and norepinephrine) that regulate your mood and behavior, resulting in a change in communication between brain cells.

Affect on Your Body

Taking too much of a stimulant can cause very dangerous side effects including increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, high temperature, anger, paranoia, and risk of seizure and stroke.

Is it Addicting?

Yes, abusing stimulants can lead to addiction. A person using stimulants who suddenly stops taking them can result in withdrawal symptoms, which can include mood swings and suicidal thoughts.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Vaping

Vaping

AKA:
E-cigs, electronic cigarettes

What is Vaping?

E-cigarettes make a vapor by heating up liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, marijuana, or other drugs. Users inhale this vapor into their lungs.

Laws & Legal Status

The law applies to what is being vaped in an e-cig. Meaning, in Washington State, marijuana vaping is legal for adults over 21, and vaping nicotine is legal for adults over 18.

Affect on Your Developing Brain

While the brain is still developing, young people are at higher risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposure to nicotine, including an increased risk of addiction. Nicotine can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

Is it Addicting?

Yes. Nicotine is addicting to young people and adults. Young people's brains are growing faster than adult brains, and are therefore can get addicted more easily than adults.

Affect on Your Body

Scientists are still trying to understand the long-term health effects of vaping, both for users and those exposed to vaping second-hand. Vaping is known to have negative affects on respiratory health because of the harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in the e-cigs, including nicotine and other chemicals linked to lung disease.

What if someone needs help?

Teen Link: 1-866-Teenlink
(1-866-833-6546)
Available 6pm–10pm PST

Teen Talk: 360-397-2428
Available Monday –Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-7pm PST

Where to go for more info

Brain Facts

Every brain & body are different. Here’s what we know so far about how Marijuana affects the brain.

Brain matters

Development:

Marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory, and judgement.

Coordination:

THC in any form will likely impair the ability to drive, play sports, and do other activities.

Learning and Memory:

Heavy marijuana use by young adults can cause problems with thinking, memory & learning. (NIDA)

Dependence:

Repeated marijuana use can lead to addiction—which means people have trouble controlling their drug use and often cannot stop even though they want to.

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Brain Words

Fact!

Teen brains are more sensitive to the impact of stress, since the frontal lobe is still being wired for complex thinking and decisions.

Resources

Facts

Get the Facts

Youth Advocacy Guide

Listen2YourSelfie

Campaigns: Marijuana

Hannah's Tips

Truth Initiative

Campaigns: Tobacco

Who Can Help?

Who to Call

Just Ask!

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