The negative effects of alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and other recreational drugs
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Drugs are bad.
It’s a statement commonly given to us by teachers, counsellors, and after-school specials. We’re told that drugs can lead to jail time, serious addiction, or even death. Nevertheless, drugs are frequently used and abused by a good chunk of the population, especially by the college-aged demographics. The truth is, drugs are addictive, harmful, and detrimental to a user’s life in almost every way possible. Few drugs can be used positively, but most drug users fail to see the side effects. Instead, they focus on the high they get, downplaying or ignoring the other parts.
Keep in mind that not all drugs are illegal, so the legal status of them isn’t the only factor here. Some are even socially accepted: alcohol and caffeine are both used in abundance by many. Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug worldwide. Probably many of those reading this (myself included) are addicted to the stuff. Could you go three days without having any caffeine in your system? If not, congratulations—you’re addicted to a drug. Caffeine, like other drugs, can lead to high blood pressure, overdoses, dependence, and withdrawal. Other drugs, though immediately more harmful, are still legal and in common use. Cigarettes and alcohol can both seriously damage your organs and kill you, but they’re in common usage and sold everywhere.
Harder drugs are pretty self-explanatory. Few mess with cocaine and heroin, although both are more common than many might think. Regardless, there are still those who choose to use them, it’s unclear whether they don’t know the risks or simply choose to ignore them in favour of the high. While it’s true that many who try drugs don’t get addicted to them, addiction does not discriminate, and anyone can become dependent. Why choose to try something that can literally kill you—just for a bit of pleasure?
There are the softer drugs that many indulge in for recreational purposes: marijuana, mushrooms, ecstasy, and LSD all produce kinds of euphoria. Although these drugs aren’t going to kill you or turn you into an addict, they’re still drugs and they still have harmful side effects. “Bad trips,” panic attacks, and even the unlocking of mental disorders can occur by taking “soft” drugs. Marijuana in particular has more side effects than most users would care to mention, considering its widespread usage: it can become incredibly psychologically addictive. Many users can’t get through the day without a bit of weed, and end up functioning while high. They drive, do their jobs, and are generally lower functioning members of society because of the drugs they take. Yes, weed is probably one of the safest drugs to take, but it’s still a drug at the end of the day. It can become addictive, make you stupid, and drain all your energy and motivation. It’s called dope for a reason.
Drugs are just like alcohol. They can be fun in the proper social situations, but it’s far too easy to fall into their trap. In the end, it’s probably best just to say no to drugs.