What’s your Drug IQ? With the National Drug Facts Week right around the corner, the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth would like to share some information with you from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
1. Addiction is the disease of:
- A. The liver
- B. The brain
- C. The heart
- D. The whole body
B – The Brain. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease because drugs alter the brain in a way that can lead to compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Learn more here.
2. Which of the following drugs are addictive?
- A. Marijuana
- B Nicotine
- C. Alcohol
- D. Cocaine
- E. All of the above
E – All of the above. All of these drugs, even legal ones such as nicotine and alcohol, affect dopamine levels in the brain and can disrupt normal brain function, which can lead to addiction. Learn more here.
3. Which of the following is safe to do?
- A. Smoke marijuana
- B. Smoke crack cocaine
- C. Tweet about texting on Twitter
- D. Take ecstasy at a rave
- E. Sniff a permanent marker
C – Tweet about texting on Twitter. All of the actions above (except tweeting) can have dangerous health consequences, including addiction. Cocaine can cause heart attacks and seizures; marijuana can impair driving ability and ability to learn; ecstasy pills contain a number of toxic ingredients; sniffing permanent markers can keep oxygen from getting to your brain. Learn more about these drugs on the NIDA for Teens website.
4. Which of these statements are false?
- A. You can tell if you are the type to get addicted
- B. If you stop using drugs for one week, you are no longer addicted
- C. You can't become addicted to marijuana
- D. If you smoke marijuana daily, you function at a decreased intellectual level all or mose of the time.
- E. All of the above
- F. A, B and C
F - A, B and C – (A) You cannot tell in advance if you will become addicted. It is true that some people are more at risk than others – if you have a family member with drug or alcohol problems, you me be at greater risk since addiction is about 50 percent genetics. (B) Addiction is linked to long lasing changes in the brain, including memory triggers that can induce severe drug cravings and relapse. Recovery is a life-long process for some. (C) An estimated 1 out of every 11 people who try marijuana become addicted to it. For those who start in their teens, the chances go up to 1 in 6; for daily users, the addiction rate is 25-50 percent. (D) True: Marijuana’s effect on attention, memory, and learning can last for days and sometimes weeks – especially if you smoke often. Check out NIDA’s Drugs, Brains and Behavior.
5. Addarall can be effective medication to treat ADHD, but it can be dangerous when taken by those who are not prescribed it. What percentage of high school seniors report taking Adderall for non-medical reasons?
- A. 3.5 percent
- B. 12.7 percent
- C. 27.1 percent
- D. 6.5 percent
D – 6.5 percent. According to NIDA’s annual Monitoring the Future Survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, approximately 1 in 15 high school senior reported taking Adderall in the past year for non-medical reasons, meaning they used someone’s else’s prescription or they took it to get high. See more here.
6. Marijuana was a contributing factor in what number of emergency room visits in 2009?
- A. 134,000
- B. 72,000
- C. 375,000
- D. 929,000
C – 375,000. In the DAWN survey of hospital Emergency Department visits, marijuana was involved in 375,000 emergency room visits, with about two-thirds (65%) of patients being make and 12% between the ages of 12-17. Learn more here.
7. What drugs are associated with risky sexual behavior that could lead to HIV infection?
- A. Alcohol
- B. Prescription pain pills
- C. Marijuana
- D. Ecstasy
- E. All of the above
E – All of the above. All drugs of abuse can affet judgment and decision-making, which can lead to risky behaviors like having unprotected (or even non-consensual) sex. This puts people at risk for acquiring HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Check out NIDA’s Learn the Link site.
8. A person who is addicted to drugs can experience a severe reaction when trying to quit – this is called:
- A. The heebie-jeebies
- B. Withdrawal
- C. Status epilepticus
- D. Hysteria
- E. None of the Above
B – Withdrawal. A withdrawal symptoms can occur following long term medical or non-medical use, they are often a contributor to relapse in those who are addicted. Symptoms vary according to abuse drug. With heroin or opiate prescription drugs (Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Vicodin) for example, withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes with goose bumps. Learn more here.
9. What does “Detoxification” mean?
- A. Treatment for drug addiction
- B. A process that enables the body to rid itself of drugs
- C. Removing all drugs from your backpack, locker and medicine cabinet
- D. B and C
B – A process that enables the body to rid itself of drugs. The first step in treatment is to rid the body of abused substance, however, detoxification alone is not enough to prevent relapse. Detoxification should be followed by treatment – behavioral (talk therapies); and medications (e.g. nicotine replacement for smoking, the medicate suboxone for opioids, if necessary); or both. Detoxification may require physician supervision to minimize dangerous or painful symptoms – especially for drugs such as sedatives or opiates. Learn more here.
10. Drugs hijack the brain’s “reward” system, causing unusually large amounts of a neurotransmitter to flood the brain. This neurotransmitter is called?
- A. Dopamine
- B. Estrogen
- C. Epinephrine
- D. Krypton
A – Dopamine. Some drugs produce a flood of dopamine in the brain, which causes the “high” or euphoria that people experience. Continued drug use causes the dopamine system to adapt, eventually becoming less response to normal rewards, such as listening to your favorite music or even holding hands with a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Learn more here.
The mission of the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth is to impact the well-being for Novato Youth through community action, policy advocacy and education. This shall be accomplished by:
- Reducing alcohol and marijuana use, and
- Reducing incidences of bullying
For more information on the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth and how you can get involved, please contact Nikki Buckstead at 415-798-5329 or nikki@NovatoBlueRibbon.org.