NEED ANSWERS? Below you will find information on Signs of Drug Use and Gang Activity
Illegal Drugs Come In Many Forms And Their Effects Can Vary Significantly
There is a very long list of common illegal drugs that are used and abused all over the United States and we will review the top 10 illegal drugs.
There are different types of schedule drugs such as schedule I and II that have a higher potential for misuse.
Some of these types of schedule drugs are either unavailable to the public, are only available by prescription, but are limited to no refills such as Schedule III and IV drugs.
Effects of illegal drugs not only are changing individual’s well-being but also the nation. With the rise of opioid abuse, the effects of illegal drugs are making waves in communities and all over the nation.
Here we’re going to discuss the top 10 illegal drugs and their effects.
Common Illegal Drugs
Common illegal drugs fall into a few different categories and then within each of the categories, there are certain substances that are used more than others.
These categories are:
• Cannabinoids – These types of substances aren’t illegal everywhere. They are either smoked or swallowed and create a euphoric, relaxed state for the individual.
• Opioids – These types of drugs are injected, smoked, swallowed, or snorted and are classified as Schedule I, II, III, and V drugs. They create euphoria and drowsiness as well as impairment.
• Stimulants – Stimulants are one of the more common illegal drugs that are Schedule II substances. They are snorted smokes, injected, and swallowed. They not only increase heart rate but also blood pressure and body temperature.
• Club Drugs – Club drugs are another type of common illegal drug, popular within certain age groups. They are schedule I and IV substances that can be swallowed, snorted, or injected, and depending on the substance create different effects. These effects range from hallucinogenic effects to lowered inhibition to sedation and memory loss.
• Dissociative Drugs – These illegal drugs are either not schedule drugs or are Schedule I, II, or III. They can be chewed, smoked, injected, snorted, and swallowed depending on the substance. As party drugs, they create a wide range of effects on the body but in general a feeling of being separated from one’s body hence; dissociative.
• Hallucinogens – Hallucinogens are swallowed, smoked, and absorbed through mouth tissues, such as LSD. They are Schedule I drugs that create an altered state of perception.
• Other – These can be steroids or inhalants that are either a schedule III or not scheduled substance that has very little effects on the mind but can create side effects for overall health.
Schedule I and II drugs are considered to be drugs that have a high potential for abuse and are stored in secure locations and are usually used for research.
Schedule II drugs are available for a non-refillable prescription. Schedule III and IV drugs can be administered via prescription and can be given up to six months of prescription. Schedule V drugs can sometimes be found over the counter.
Top 10 Illegal Drugs and their effects
The effects of illegal drugs on the body vary from substance to substance and may even be life-threatening if they are habit-forming and cause addiction.
The top 10 illegal drugs are:
1. Marijuana – Creates slowed reaction time, euphoria, relaxation, and increased appetite. (Not illegal in every state)
2. Heroin – Euphoria, drowsiness as well as impaired coordination and slowed breathing.
3. Cocaine – Nasal damage, increased heart rate, and blood pressure, as well as increased energy and mental alertness.
4. Methamphetamine – Can cause severe dental problems, increased heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety, and mental alertness.
5. MDMA – Can cause sleep disturbances, depression, impaired memory, addiction as well as increased tactile sensitivity and lowered inhibition.
6. Ketamine – Can impair memory, cause delirium as well as create a feeling of being separated from one’s body.
7. LSD – Can increase body temperature and heart rate as well as create an altered state of perception and hallucinations.
8. Steroids – These create no intoxication effects but can alter blood pressure and create blood clots and liver cysts.
9. Inhalants – can give individuals muscle cramps, depression, and memory impairment as well as stimulation and loss of inhibition depending on the chemical.
10. PCP and Analogs – Causes anxiety, tremors, numbness as well as psychosis, aggression, and violence.
Signs of Drug Use
Methamphetamines: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dilated pupils, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, paranoia, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation.
Cocaine: Impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressed, short-tempered, panic attacks, suspiciousness, dilated pupils, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decreased sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching, hallucinations, paranoia.
LSD (Acid): Dilated pupils, skin discoloration, loss of coordination, a false sense of power, euphoria, distortion of time and space, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of control, anxiety, panic, helplessness, and self-destructive behavior.
PCP: Sometimes violent or bizarre behavior, suicide has often occurred, paranoia, fearfulness, anxiety, aggressive or withdrawn, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, total numbness, and impaired perceptions.
Inhalants: Short-lasting euphoria, giggling, silliness, dizziness. Then come the headaches and full-blown "faintings" or going unconscious. Longterm Use: Short-term memory loss, emotional instability, impairment of reasoning, slurred speech, clumsy staggering gait, eye flutter, tremors, hearing loss, loss of sense of smell, and escalating stages of brain atrophy. Sometimes these serious long-term effects are reversible with body detoxification and nutritional therapy; sometimes the brain damage is irreversible or only partially reversible.
Heroin: Chemically enforced euphoria. "Nodding," which is a dreamlike state, near sleep, drifting off for minutes or hours. For long-time abusers, heroin may act like a stimulant and they can do a normal daily routine; however, for others, it leaves them completely powerless to do anything.
Marijuana: Compulsive eating, bloodshot red eyes that are squinty (they may have trouble keeping them open), dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, forgetfulness, short term memory loss, extreme lethargy, delayed motor skills, occasional paranoia, hallucinations, laziness, lack of motivation, stupidity, the sickly sweet smell on body, hair, and clothes, and strong mood changes and behaviors when the person is "high".
Depressants (Tranquilizers and Barbituates): Decreased inhibition, slowed motor coordination, lethargy, relaxed muscles, staggering gait, poor judgment, slow, uncertain reflexes, disorientation, and slurred speech.
What is a Gang?
A gang is defined as an organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has a common name and/or common identifying signs or symbols, whose members individually and/or collectively engage in criminal activity.
Why Do Kids Join Gangs?
- Identity through recognition
- Perception of belonging
- Peer pressure
- Protection (real or perceived)
- Lack of family life
- Family ties to gangs (it is expected or acceptable to join a gang)
- Brotherhood/interpersonal bonding
- Low self-esteem
How Do Gangs Recruit Members?
Gangs influence youths into joining by using the following methods:
- Peer pressure offers protection
- Monetary enticements
- Challenging kids to take risks
- Invitations to parties where gang-related activities are occurring
- Family members already belong
- Affection and attention shown to the youths by gang members that may not be given at home
What Are The Consequences of Gang Involvement?
Short Term Consequences
- In trouble with law enforcement
- Drop-in performance at school
- Withdrawal from family
- Drug and alcohol involvement
- “Dirty work” for the gang, earning their “bones” or “stripes”
Long Term Consequences
- Loss of opportunities for education/employment due to a criminal record
- Time spent in jail or prison
- Possibility of losing family or friends
- Risk of personal injury or death
- Risk of family members’ lives
- Increased risk of violence in criminal activity
What Are Signs of a Gang in My Neighborhood?
- Youths hanging out
- Increase in crime- Gang-related acts such as burglary, vandalism, and assaults.
How Can Neighbors Help?
You and your neighbors can work to eliminate gangs and drugs from your community and neighborhoods. The key is organization:
- Get to know the neighbors on your block.
- Contact your local law enforcement agency for advice and assistance for organization tips.
- Contact Crime Stoppers
What Are the Signs of Gang Involvement?
- Changes in attitude or behavior
- Openly admits gang affiliation
- Showing colors (bandanas, t-shirts, jackets, shoes, ball caps)
- Association with known gang members
- Unwillingness to discuss their activities
- Loss of family interest
- Reluctance to be seen with other family members
- Unexplained injuries (cuts and bruises)
- The trouble with law enforcement or at school
- Has unexplained cash or goods (clothing, jewelry, electronics)
- New Friends
- Tattoos or graffiti-style writing on clothing or books
- Disregard for persons or property
- Exhibiting signs of alcohol and drug use
How Can Parents Intervene?
- Spend quality time with your child.
- Encourage your child to become involved in athletics or other group activities that have adult supervision.
- Set reasonable rules and enforce them consistently.
- Demonstrate how to set goals.
- Monitor and support a child’s progress.
- Teach social skills that enhance self-esteem and how to cope with peer pressure.
- Educate the teen or child about the dangers of gang involvement.
- Provide a strong religious background.
- Keep an open line of communication with your child.
- Know your child’s friends and where they hang out.
- Keep track of your child’s work at school.
- Teens and children need to be involved in positive activities without a lot of leisure time.
- Keep them involved in after-school activities, athletics, or a job along with family time.