• Traffic accidents, drowning, miscarriage, unsafe sexual behavior and intimate partner violence are all risks of alcohol use. (A1)
  • Having a designated driver won’t protect you from other alcohol related accidents.  (A2)
  • By the time the average American is 18, he or she has seen 100,000 beer commercials. (A2)
  • The greatest influence on young people’s decisions to begin drinking is the world they live in, which includes their families, friends, schools, and larger community, and society as a whole. (A3)
  • Alcohol use by young people often is made possible by the adults in their lives.  (A3)
  • Most young people who start drinking before age 21 do so when they are about 13-14 years old.  That’s why it’s important to start talking early and keep talking about underage drinking.  And that’s why all adults working with young people should send the same message that underage drinking is not okay.  (A3)
  • Most 6-year olds know that alcohol is only for adults.  Between the ages of 9 and 14 youth begin to think that alcohol use is okay.  It is never too early to start educating them about the dangers of underage drinking.  (A3)
  • Underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all other illegal drugs combined. (A4)
  • Teen alcohol use is NOT a rite of passage. (A4)
  • Statistics tell us that parents and their behavior have a huge impact on kids.  (A4)
  • What children observe about the way we consume alcohol can be the model they will follow for the rest of their lives.  Ask yourself, “How strong is the bond between alcohol and the way you celebrate”. (A4)
  • Youth access to alcohol is a serious problem.  The consequences are unhealthy, unsafe, and even life-threatening.  Poor academic performance, injuries, date rape, addiction, teen pregnancy, and death from alcohol.  There is no single solution. (A4)
  • Alcohol affects your self-control.  Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgment.  Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving when you shouldn’t, or having unprotected sex. (A5)

Marijuana affects your self control.  (B1)
  • Marijuana affects your lungs by depositing four times more tar in the lungs and contains 50-70% more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke does.   (B1)
  • Marijuana can limit the ability for your body to fight off infections.  Heavy use has also been linked to depression and anxiety.
  • Smoking marijuana can cause chronic coughing, chest colds, lung infections, breathing problems, and cancer.  (B1)
  • People who are high on marijuana show the same lapse in coordination on “drunk driving” sobriety tests as those who have had too much alcohol.
  • In one year alone, marijuana was a contributing factor in over 110,000 emergency room visits.  (B1)
  • Symptoms of withdrawal from marijuana include irritability, anxiousness and difficulty with sleeping.  (B1)

  • Methamphetamine (Meth) affects your brain.  Meth causes mind and mood altering changes such as depression, anxiety, and euphoria.  (C1)
  • Long term affects of meth use can include, but are not limited to, fatigue, paranoia, delusions and physiological damage. (C1)
  • Meth affects your entire body.  Ingesting meth can cause your body to feel a false sense of energy, resulting in allowing the body to go further than it should.  (C1)
  • Meth can kill you.  (C1)
  • Meth can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain. (C1)
  • Nothing is as important as meth is to users, so they may experience a loss of interest in friends and outside activities. (C2)
  • Unpleasant body odor is common, partially as a result of chemicals in the body. (C2)
  • Elderly appearance due to weight loss, dark circles under the eyes and tooth loss are common. (C2)
  • Open sores are common, often called ‘crank bugs’.  These sores often become large oozing open sores.  Meth users scratch at their skin because they believe that “bugs” are crawling on their skin. (C2)
  • Meth users will often have twitching, jerking and loss of bowel and bladder control. (C2)
  • Meth paranoia can be so severe that users can think everyone is out to get them, causing them to instigate fights with anyone who they feel may be trying to cause them harm. (C2)
  • Depression is very common among meth users. (C2)

  • A “sniffer” may lose his or her sense of smell. (D1)
  • Long term sniffing may cause hearing loss as a result of brain damage. (D1)
  • A person can suffocate as a result of a lack of oxygen in the lungs. (D1)
  • Someone who sniffs inhalants may lose control of their muscles and can become clumsy, moving slowly and experiencing tremors and uncontrollable shakes make occur. (D1)
  • Even one sniff can cause a heart attack, this is called “sudden sniffing death syndrome”. (D1)
  • Suffocation from inhaling is not uncommon. (D1)  Suffocation is down twice in the same area, please remove the second statement in that section.
  • Seizures, comas, choking or fatal accidents may also be caused by sniffing. (D1)

  • “Binge” drinking means having five or more drinks on one occasion.  Studies show that more than 35 percent of adults with an alcohol problem developed symptoms – such as binge drinking – by the age of 19. (A5)
  • Alcohol affects men and women differently. 
  • You can’t always tell how strong a drink is by its taste. (A6)
  • Every year almost 600,000 young people are hurt in accidents while under the influence of alcohol.
  • 400,000 younge people said they had unprotected sex because they were drunk. (A6)
  • Every year almost 700,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by someone who has been drinking.  (A6)
  • Every year about 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related date rape or sexual assaults. (A6)

  • inability to sleep
  • sensitivity to noise
  • irritability
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • tremors

  • When painkillers are misused an addiction may be formed.  When a person stops taking painkillers they may experience withdraws which include diarrhea, vomiting and feeling very achy, cold or restless, seizures, confusion, and passing out.  Prescription drugs are especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.  (E1)
  • While anabolic steroids do promote muscle growth they also have high risks associated with them. These risks include an increased risk of heart attack and stroke as well as liver cancer. Steroids have other side effects such as the growth of breasts in men and excess body hair for women.  Baldness and stunted growth are also associated with steroid use.   (E1)
  • Stimulants are used to treat patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as depression.  The misuse of these drugs can be very addicting and can also cause seizures.  (E1)
  • Cough medication can easily and commonly be misused.  People who abuse these medications can become paranoid, dizzy, and nauseous.  The misuse of cough medicine can result in an irregular heartbeat, seizures, blackouts, brain damage, and death.   (E1)
  • All drugs have potential for harm when they are misused.   (E1)
  • Why do teens misuse prescription drugs?  Below you will find a list of many drugs and the reasons why they are abused by teens.  (E1)

Common everyday items which may be misused
and inhaled:
  • spray paint
  • glue
  • fingernail polish
  • paint thinner
  • gasoline
  • cleaning fluid
  • whipped cream dispenser
  • hair spray
  • correction fluid

  • 1 in 5 teens have tried Vicodin, a powerful and addictive narcotic pain reliever.   (E1)
  • 1 in 10 teens have tried OxyContin, another prescription narcotic.   (E1)
  • 1 in 10 teens have used the stimulants Ritalin or Adderall for nonmedical purposes.   (E1)
  • 1 in 11 teens have admitted to getting high on cough medicine.   (E1)
  • Parents are not aware of the danger which lies in their medicine cabinets.  Dramatic increases in blood pressure and heart rate, organ damage, addiction, difficulty breathing, seizures, and possibly death may all occur from the misuse of prescription drugs.   (E1)
  • Education is key.  It is no safer for anyone to get high on prescription drugs than illegal street drugs.  The consequences are often the same.  (E1)
  • Research shows that fewer parents are talking to their kids about drugs than they were just ten years ago.  If you are not educating your kids on the dangers of drugs you are not providing them with the tools and protection necessary for them to succeed. (E1)
Source A1: The Health Consequences of Alcohol; A2: 50 Things You Should Know About Alcohol; A3: The Surgeon General’s Call to Action – To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking; A4: What Every Parent Can Do; A5: Tips For Teens – The truth about Alcohol; A6: 50 Things You Should Know About Binge Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning; B1: Tips for Teens – The truth about Marijuana; C1: Tips for Teens – The Truth about Methamphetamine; C2: Meth: There is no safe speed; D1: How inhalants affect your body;
  • Pain Medications – Feel pleasure or sensations of well-being
  • Stimulants – Feel especially alert, focused, and full of energy.  May help them to manage stressful schoolwork or “pull an all nighter”. Suppress appetite in order to lose weight.
  • Sedatives – Feel calm and sleepy with less tension, anxiety, or panic feelings that go away as the body becomes drug-tolerant.
  • Cough Medicine – Experience effects which range from euphoria to feelings of enhanced awareness. Distortions of color and sound to visual hallucinations and “out of body” sensations also occur when users lose contact with their senses.
Drugs of Choice
FFunded by the by the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant of Nebraska and Region 4 Behavioral Health System with federal funds received from SAMHSA.
© 2012 Back To Basics Coalition. All rights reserved.
  • convulsions
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • nervous physical activity