Sample Course: Drug and Alcohol Awareness - Part 1
Workplace Issues and Substance Abuse
  • Data reported by the Department of Human Services indicates that 1 in every 5 workers has an alcohol or drug abuse problem
  • At least 70% of those employed admit drug use on the job
  • Of the employees aged 18 – 40; 14 – 35% would test positive for illicit drugs on any given day
  • Absenteeism, increased health care costs and decreased productivity due to alcohol and other substance abuse cost Illinois companies about $1,000 per employee each year
  • Drug impaired employees function at approximately 67% of their work potential and receive 3 times the average level of sick benefits
  • 20% of industrial fatalities have a drug and alcohol connection
  • An employee under the influence of drugs or alcohol is 5 times more likely to file a workman’s compensation claim
  • Numerous studies conclude that substance abuse costs the American economy $25 - $60 billion per year
Personal and Health Issues
  • One out of every ten adults has a serious problem with drugs and alcohol or both
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction and their effect is the third highest cause of death of people of all ages
  • The leading cause of death for people 35 and under is accidents. The most common thread that factors into accidental death, is the presence of alcohol or drugs in the system
  • A minimum of 1 in 20 births in the US has been severely impacted by the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in mother or father at the time of conception, gestation or delivery
Opiates - Heroin, Smack, “Pain Pills” Codeine, Demerol, Vicodin
  • Depressant:
    • Opiates – derived from the resin of a poppy plant
    • Morphine, Codeine, and Vicodin are legally prescribed for pain
    • Heroin has no approved medical use in the US.
    • Heroin can be injected (mainlining), snorted or smoked
      • Chasing the Dragon – heating heroin on aluminum foil the heroin will boil and vaporize and the user will then inhale the fumes
      • Codeine and Morphine are usually injected or pills
Opiates Effect – Mental
  • Depend on the opiate used, the dose and the way the drug is taken
    • Short lived state of euphoria sometimes called “rush” described as similar to a sexual experience
    • After the “rush” the narcotic kicks in
      • Drowsiness, slurred speech, slowed heart rate, breathing and brain activity
      • “nod” a stuporous condition bordering on passing out
  • Addiction
    • Opiates have an unusually high potential for abuse and addiction
Opiates Effects – Physical
  • Skin Infections
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Irregular heart rate/blood pressure
  • Irregular menstrual cycles in women
  • Depressed: appetite, thirst, reflexes
  • Increase tolerance for pain
  • Decreased sexual pleasure
Opiates Signs and Symptoms
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushed Appearance
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Needle marks and/or open sores on body
Marijuana - Pot, Dope, Grass, Weed
  • Depressant, Stimulant, and hallucinogenic
    • No approved medical use in the US
    • FDA has approved synthetic THC capsules for treatment of nausea and appetite loss of chronically ill patients
    • THC – delta-9-tetra-hydrocannabinal
    • Comes from the hemp plant, with odd # of leaves
  • In “ready to smoke form”, looks like dried, chopped oregano
  • Inexpensive
    • Cost is $1 - $2 per joint of $100 - $300 an ounce
  • Methods of use:
    • Usually smoked-joint, rolled cigarettes, can be smoked with a pipe or bong
    • It can be ingested through food (brownies)
Marijuana Effects – Mental
  • Euphoric Feeling
  • Increased sense of well being
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lowered inhibition
  • Talkativeness
Marijuana Effects – Physical
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Damage to lungs and pulmonary system
    • 1 marijuana cigarette is equal to 25 commercial cigarettes
  • Impaired sexual development and fertility; including abnormal sperm production and menstrual irregularities
Marijuana Signs and Symptoms
  • Chronic fatigue and lack of motivation
  • Distinctive odor
  • Impaired coordination, concentration, and memory
  • Slowed speech
  • Irritating cough, chronic sore throat
  • Lackadaisical, “I don’t care” attitude
  • Reddened eyes (often masked by eye drops and glasses)
  • Impaired tracking and visual distance
  • Delayed decision making
  • Distortions in time estimation
Marijuana Workplace Issues
  • 3 or more joints a week smoker is never free from the effects of marijuana acting on the brain
  • Changes in mental functions are so subtle the user doesn’t know he/she can no longer safely work
  • A 500 – 800% increase in THC potency makes smoking 3 to 5 joints a week today equivalent to 15 – 40 joints a week 10 to 15 years ago
  • Combining alcohol or other depressants/stimulants with marijuana can produce a quadruple effect, increasing the impairing consequences of both

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