Drugs and You

No Cure All

The purpose of this section is to give you information about the most widely used prescription and recreational drugs. A drug cannot “cure”anything. It merely aids the body’s natural defenses to promote recovery. Likewise, a manufacturer or doctor cannot guarantee a drug will help every person. The complexity of the human body, individual responses in different people and in the same person under different circumstances, past and present health, age and gender will impact how well a drug works.


Caution Required

All effective drugs produce desirable changes in the body, but they can also cause undesirable adverse reactions or side effects. Before you decide whether to take a drug, you or your doctor must decide, “Will the benefits outweigh the risks?” In the United States, it is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that drugs are safe and effective.

Read the instructions provided with the prescription drug and follow all directions for taking or using it. Never take medicine in the dark! Recheck the label before each use. You could be taking the wrong drug!
Tell your doctor about any unexpected new symptoms you have while taking or using a drug. You may need to
change drugs or have a dose adjustment.

Keep all drugs out of children’s reach and in childproof containers. Store drugs in a cool, dry place, such as a kitchen cabinet or bedroom. Avoid medicine cabinets in bathrooms. They get too moist and warm at times.



The abuse of drugs is not a harmless personal decision there are long lasting and devastating outcomes for those who use drugs and for their families, friends, and communities. Sadly for some, the outcome may be lethal.

With the knowledge contained in this section, you can make smart choices for yourself, and help others avoid the tragedy that inevitably comes from drug abuse and addiction. Whether you purchase drugs from a
pharmacy, or you get them from a friend, knowing the truth about them will help you understand the dangers
they pose.

Opioids are strong painkillers, including oxycodone, OxyContin and Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the brain which regulates breathing,the medulla oblongata, opioids in high doses present the potential to cause respiratory failure and death


Going Going Gone

According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 72,000 people in the US are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017 — nearly 200 a day. That’s up from 2016, which was already a record year in which roughly 64,000 people in the US died from overdoses. At least two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 were linked to opioids.

If the estimate holds, it means drug overdoses in 2017 killed more people than guns, car crashes, or HIV/AIDS ever killed in a single year in the US. As with 2016, the 2017 death toll is higher than all US military casualties in the Vietnam and Iraq wars combined. In the latest year measured, the direct cost of drug abuse was estimated at $72 billion, with indirect costs of $128 billion.

Celebrity deaths from acute drug use include Judy Garland, Peaches Geldof, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Mac Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Prince, and Ike Turner