An adolescent can be affected by any drug or alcohol use.  A drug is any chemical that affects the way your body and brain works.  Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, marijuana are all considered drugs.  Even aspirin and other over the counter medications can be considered a drug.  Each drug has a different effect.  All drugs are harmful.  Prescription medication is very harmful.  Just because a doctor gives it to one person does not make it safe for you.  As an adolescent or an adult, you should never take a medicine that a doctor didn’t give to you.  Never take more medicine than a doctor says is ok for you.  The following are some quick facts about drugs and alcohol for an adolescent:

Addiction and Adolescent Personality

  • A Drug is any substance that when taken changes how your body works
  • Alcohol is a drug and is considered poison in your body-It changes how your body is working
  • Drugs and Alcohol change how you think, feel and act
  • Drugs can be broken down into 3 categories;


  1. Uppers are stimulants: These drugs speed up the central nervous system- increases blood restriction on blood vessels; increases the body’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, dilation of pupils; increase of breathing rate; reduced fatigue, increased mental clarity, and an increase in energy. These drugs also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Drugs in this category: cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, and prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall.
  2. Downers are depressants: These drugs decrease the central nervous system- decrease in heart rate, lower blood pressure, constriction of pupils; decrease in breathing rate; and a decrease in energy. Slow brain function; Decrease in pulse and breathing; Decrease in blood pressure; Poor concentration; Confusion; Dizziness; Dilated pupils; Disorientation; Lack of coordination. Drugs in this category: Alcohol, valium, Xanex, Heroin, opium, morphine, codeine and methadone
  3. All Arounders are hallucinogens: These drugs have the effect of distorting the way we perceive things; mind-altering drugs that affect the user’s sensory perceptions and thought processes.  Hallucinogens such as LSD and peyote can promote insight, contemplation, and euphoria—with some users reporting spiritual or out-of-body experiences.  Drugs in this category: LSD, PCP, Mescaline, Magic mushrooms, Ecstasy, and Cannabis
  • Drugs can be taken into your body in different ways. Each method of use has a different response on how quick the drug reacts in your body. These are the ways drugs enter the body:
  1. Ingestion: eating, drinking, swallowing
  2. Smoking
  3. Inhaling
  4. Injecting
  • Drugs that are injected or inhaled act the quickest-they go directly to the bloodstream and then the brain. Snorting is the next fastest and ingestion takes longest. Ingestion has to go to your stomach and then be digested.All drugs are dangerous, especially for an adolescent. Alcohol and even caffeine are considered drugs since they affect the way the body and brain work. Trying drugs or alcohol is never a good idea. Knowing the different types of drugs and what they do helps to make good decisions about not using drugs.