Drug-Free Policy Attachment B
"Drug and Alcohol Use Health Risks"
December 14, 1991
Although there has been recent change in American health habits and societal attitudes toward recreational drug and alcohol use, problems continue to exist and experimentation is starting at an earlier age. An important piece of information to surface in recent years is that even moderate, nonprescribed use of alcohol and nonprescribed use of drugs can have an adverse effect on overall health and well-being. Consider the following facts:
- Drinking more than one or two alcoholic beverages a week promotes more visible signs of aging;
- Consuming one and one-half or more alcoholic beverages per day increases the risk of breast cancer;
- Drinking alcoholic beverages poisons the heart muscle, counteracts the benefits of exercise, increases male impotence, and depresses the body's immune system;
- Tobacco use is a contributing factor in the development of chronic bronchitis, emphysema, circulatory problems, and coronary disease, as well as being the leading cause of lung cancer;
- Cocaine use is responsible for kidney damage, stroke, lung and heart diseases, seizures, and intense psychological problems.
- Many forms of narcotics are highly addictive to users.
- Marijuana use creates certain dysfunctions related to thinking, learning, and recall; aggravates asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema; contributes to fertility problems; and contributes to the development of lung cancer;
- The nonprescribed use of tranquilizers, barbiturates, and amphetamines is dangerous and may cause major health problems, including death;
- Extended drug and/or alcohol use may result in substance dependency and loss of control of an individual's life.
Source: Compiled by UAB Substance Abuse Program from the following resources:
- Drug Data: What Everyone Needs to Know about Mood-altering Drugs, Comp Care Publications, Minneapolis.
- You Are What You Drink, Allan Luks and Joseph Barbato, Villard Books, New York.
- You Can Stop, Jacquelyn Rogers, Simon & Schuster, New York.