|BikiCrumbs: Substance Abuse|
- Can be purchased without a prescription.
- Commonly self-prescribed for minor pain or discomfort.
- Most common are analgesics such as aspirin (“Aspro” or “Disprin”) and paracetemol (“Panadol”)
- Some over the counter drugs contain codeine and antihistamines and their purchase should be closely monitored by the pharmacist.
- Taken for prevention or treatment of illness.
- Females are more likely to use medications than males.
- Most commonly used prescription drugs in 1997 were Amoxycillin (an antibiotic) and Salbutamol (asthma medication).
- Many young people experiment with alcohol and continue to use the drug casually throughout the rest of their adult life.
- Young people between the ages of 12 and 16 drink of a weekly basis.
- Binge drinking is a characteristic form of alcohol consumption for many young people. This is where 5 or more drinks are consumed consecutively.
- Binge drinking is particularly dangerous for young females because the drinks they drink usually have higher alcohol content and they have a different ratio of muscle to fat in the body compared to males.
- Short term physical consequences: vomiting, dizziness, dehydration, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Long term physical consequences: liver and brain damage and nutritional deficiencies.
- Emotional consequences: loss of self-respect, being isolated by peer group, being the subject of gossip and loss of parental trust.
- In more recent years, females have increased their alcohol intake.
- Marketing companies have promoted drinks to make them more appealing.
- The risk of alcohol and other drug related problems among aboriginal people are high.
- Responsible for the largest number of drug-related deaths in Australia.
- One in five people commence smoking by the age of 18.
- The younger a person starts to smoke, the less likely they are to quit.
- Tobacco used by young people is declining.
- A significant number of young women are taking up smoking.
- Males are reported to be heavier smokers, consuming more cigarettes per day than young females.
- Unemployment and lower levels of education and socio-economic status are social factors that relate to tobacco use.
- Tobacco use has short term and long-term consequences. Lung cancer, diseases of the respiratory system, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and decreased availability of oxygen.
- Can make people feel more like they are part of a group – supposed social benefits.
- Young people need to be able to refuse cigarettes or to quit smoking. Being able to say no to peers are essential personal skills for young people.
- Illicit drugs include cannabis, heroin and amphetamines.
- NSW has a low level of this sort of drug use.
- Cannabis is the most common illicit drug used.
- Heroin is extremely low compared with other illicit drugs.
- Specific health and social implications – including deaths from overdoses, disruption to families, crime, prostitution, legal penalties, the effects of theft and burglary on the community and the economic costs of law enforcement and legislation.
- Social factors that influence illicit drug use includes gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, access to education, unemployment and family behavior and disruption.
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