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In the Mix: Drug Abuse--Altered States

NCJ Number
Meredith Ross
Date Published
This videotape and brochure present the perspectives of adolescents on their drug abuse and its negative consequences in their lives, as well as information from National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Alan Leshner regarding the effects of drugs on the mind and body.
The adolescents discuss the influences around them that contributed to their drug use. These include the images of entertainment figures, use by friends or classmates, and parties and other gathering where it is assumed that drugs are the only way to have a good time. The youths note that they thought that using drugs would be fun and have good effects; instead, using drugs was the biggest mistake they had made. Dr. Leshner notes that drug use initially produces good feelings, but these feelings are quickly reversed and the person feels negative, drugs dull the mind, and drugs change the brain. One youth who used drugs from age 8 to age 23 reports that he has panic attacks and severe depression as part of a permanent chemical imbalance caused by his former drug abuse. Two other youths report that they cannot remember large stretches of time and that they are experiencing depression. Other adolescents note that drugs caused them to focus only on the moment instead of on the future. They also note that the craving for drugs becomes a physical need. The social consequences can include incarceration, school problems, a ruined reputation, depression, and others. List of resource organizations