Drugs & Alcohol

What are teens in San Antonio asking about alcohol and drugs?

Check out some questions and answers below.

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Are some ways of smoking healthier than others?

In comparing smoking marijuana in a blunt to smoking through a vaporizer, smoking marijuana through a vaporizer may reduce the number of toxins you inhale but vaporizers still produce carbon monoxide. Also, there is no regulation on vaporizers, thus there is poor quality control between products. Although we may hear of the health advantages of using a vaporizer, there will always be a potential risk for negative health effects.

My friend told me eating marijuana is more harmful than smoking it. Is that true?

This one is isn’t a simple yes or no: you may feel the effects of smoking faster (10 minutes compared to 60 minutes) but the effects of edible marijuana usually don’t peak till two to four hours after. Thus, you may not feel the effects right away and eat more, making it potentially more harmful when ingesting it this way. Also, not all edibles or joints are created equal- they will all have differing levels of THC and this makes it almost impossible to predict their effects.

I got super sick when I took my (prescribed) Xanax and drank. What’s up with that?

There’s an increased risk of alcohol poisoning and cardiac/respiratory arrest when Xanax and alcohol are mixed. Xanax (alprazolam) is generally prescribed for anxiety and thus has a relaxing and sedative effect (which can be highly addictive). Alcohol is also a “downer”, which means it depresses the central nervous system of the body. Taking both together carries increased risks for addiction, memory loss, trouble breathing, and even overdose.

I think I got a contact buzz at a recent party I was at. I wasn’t that close to anybody who was smoking but should I be worried?

Although secondhand smoke exposure carries risks for respiratory conditions like lung cancer, unless you were in a small, unventilated room you likely did not ingest enough for serious damage. It’s best to avoid these situations altogether but if you can’t, try to make sure you’re in as open a space as possible with windows.

Does smoking marijuana affect my sex drive?

Research findings are mixed here. Some users report an increased interest in sex while others report a decreased interest. Marijuana affects people differently but one place where research is certain is that continued use DOES affect fertility in the form of decreased sperm count, lower testosterone levels, and increased estrogen levels in men. Lower testosterone levels are associated with lower sex drive.

Can someone overdose on marijuana?

Although we think of drugs like heroin or cocaine when it comes to the word overdose, it is possible to overdose on drugs that are legal as well, like aspirin or Xanax. Although no one has been reported as having overdosed on Marijuana, it still carries the possibility of negative effects like cancer, or a car accident while high. Furthermore, marijuana has also been known to be laced with other drugs and chemicals, often unknown to the user, which carry their own serious health risks.

Is smoking hookah healthier than smoking cigarettes?

Hookah has similar levels of risk to our health- users of both are exposed to carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine. There’s also usually more smoke inhalation due to the time spent with a hookah compared to a single cigarette. In short- it’s best to not do either for your health.

Does smoking de-sensitize the feeling during sex? Or make things more dry down there?

Smoking has shown a connection with difficulty getting an erection for partners with a penis but little research has been done with partners that have a vagina. Nicotine does constrict blood flow, which could decrease sensation in those with a vagina and smoking in general carries some particular health risks: stained teeth, unhealthy skin, wrinkles, increased risk for heart disease and cancer to name a few.

Are there really long-term effects of smoking marijuana?

Research is split here. Marijuana has only recently become legal in some states (NOT Texas) and thus there’s little long-term research. Different studies have come to different conclusions both positive and negative concerning its long-term effects but there are certain negative health risks that users expose themselves to, such as decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, poor lung health, and negative effects on our memory.

Why do people say it is bad to mix uppers with downers?

Downers slow our central nervous system while uppers act as stimulants (something that arouses the central nervous system). Mixing both confuses our body, one speeds us up as the other slows us down which puts our bodies under unpredictable and harmful stress. Your body constantly seeks to be balanced (or in homeostasis), so using any drug can cause the body to react harmfully in response.

What is sizzurp and what does it do?

Also known as purple drank or lean, sizzurp is a mixture of soda, candy, and prescription-strength cough syrup (main ingredients being codeine and promethazine). Used alone or when combined with alcohol, it can lead to fainting, difficulty breathing, coma, or even death. Users are likely to develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more to get the same effect. This can lead to dependency and addiction. Research has found long term use of codeine can lead to liver damage, poor lung function, seizures, coma, or even death.

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