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Being an AUSTIN based Marriage and Family Therapist, it’s kind of hard to ignore Austin City Limits Music Festival coming up as its only one of the largest music festivals in the world, which spans over 2 weekends and has about 75,000 people arriving each day. It’s pretty safe to assume some ample amount of partying will be happening as parents get babysitters and revert back to there college party roots as well as teens and working adults can hide out in the crowd pretty well.

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With all that said, I thought I would give a brief overview of Drugs and Alcohol, their street names, their affects, and a list of pros/cons of their uses. Having an awareness of what the drug actually does and the consequences of such a drug is extremely important! Drug use on the brain, especially a developing brain (i’m talking to you teens), has extremely negative affects as it kills brain cells and stunts cognitive growth. Also any drug use when it is trying to fulfill a need of loneliness or social acceptance, or mask pain or sadness, is only e temporary bandaid, and a drug will never cure the underlying issue. Please seek help! Ok, with all that said, Here we go:

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Alcohol:
Booze, Brew, Chug, Cold One, Gargle, Goof, Giggle Juice, Hard Stuff, Hooch, Jack, Juice, Kool Aid, Mouthwash, Poison, Sauce, Shine, Swish, Vino
Effects:
Slurred speech, Drowsiness, Vomiting, Headaches, Breathing difficulties, Distorted vision and hearing, Impaired judgment, Decreased perception and coordination, Unconsciousness, Anemia (loss of red blood cells), Coma, Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence). Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including: Alcohol poisoning, High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases, Liver disease, Nerve damage, Sexual problems, Permanent damage to the brain, Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation, Ulcers, Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls).
Alcohol comes in many forms such as beer, wine, cider, and liquor. While a little alcohol can calm your nerves, allow you to have fun, or give you a little “liquid encouragement” to talk to that person you needed to, The consequences of alcohol can be mild to severe. Many people have impaired judgment and end up making decisions they regret (I said “WHAT” last night?! I kissed “who” last night!?!). Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning or Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence.

Marijuana: pot, weed, reefer, dope, ganja, grass, herb, bud, green, trees, skunk, smoke and sinsemilla.
This drug comes in a variety of forms: looks like green plant flowers, edibles, tinctures, concentrated THC crystals, and rolled into joints.
Effects: euphoria, relaxation, paranoia, sensory distortion, poor balance and coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety, decreased anxiety, and increased appetite.
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As you can see, this drug affects people very differently when they use it. Some anxious people feel reduced anxiety, and some relaxed people feel more paranoid. The effects of this drug can be both positive and negative. Without getting into the legality debate of this drug at least in this post- that might be saved for a later entry, Marijuana does have observably positive effects. It is also used medically to help cancer patients, help decrease nausea, relax muscles. While anything (running, food, love, etc.) can be psychologically addictive, there is no evidence that marijuana is physically addictive. Many would argue that cigarettes are more physically addictive than marijuana. There has also been 2 deaths ever recorded with a “possible tie” to marijuana use in Colorado, but nothing was 100% conclusive that other drugs or other mental health issues were not involved. Legally, there can be consequences all the way from a pat on the wrist to jail time. It is such a controversial topic and there are so many varied opinions and varied state laws about it, that it kind of depends on who you run into. Thus, unless you live in Colorado, Washington, or have a medical card and live in one of the 21 states where Medical Marihuana is legal, my advice which will help avoid all consequences? Just say no.

Cocaine: candy, snow, rock, flake, blow, toot, C, crack, coke, bump and Charlie.
Effects: stimulant, and its effects include rapid heart rate, increased metabolism, exhilaration, energy and alertness, increased body temperature and blood pressure, loss of appetite, anxiety or panic, tremors, paranoia and even psychosis.
Cocaine comes in a white powder or in rock crystal form. While one effect is energy, productivity, and sleeplessness (or a manic attitude), there are so many more negative effects. It is extremely addictive. People can have nose “dripping” and nose bleeding, it can cause sudden heart attacks, strokes and depression and causes people to die suddenly. Do enough cocaine and you can blow out your septum completely- literally wasting away your tissue in your nose, and you cannot get that back without surgery. While more people die from ecstasy than cocaine, but it is still VERY LETHAL. People have reported that the come down from a high off cocaine is painful and awful. People can start having withdrawals after just one times use. Most people need to take more cocaine to feel better, so please take my advice and NEVER EVER start it! Cocaine is illegal across all 50 states for possessing, purchasing, selling, or consuming it. Jailtime and possibility of death should be a large enough reason to avoid it.images-11

Methamphetamine: meth, ice, crank, speed, jibb, tina, glass, fire, chalk and crystal or crystal meth.
Effects: also a stimulant, the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine are very similar. Methamphetamine users can develop meth mouth, in which teeth rot and fall out unusually fast. Methamphetamine is exceptionally addictive, and is also associated with serious mental health problems such as depression, violent behavior, psychosis and suicide. Teeth clacking and anger issues are associated with use. It can be used for weight loss in some extreme medical situations by doctors, but because of it’s highly addictive nature and negative effects it is usually a last resort. Extremely addictive. Extreme withdrawal. Extreme legal ramifications. Don’t do this! Not as high of a lethality rate as Heroine, but if you are one of the one’s who dies, it doesn’t matter much the numbers does it. Don’t do this DRUG!imgres-3

Inhalants:
Numerous readily-available such as paint thinners, gasses and nitrates, are often known by the street names laughing gas, poppers, snappers or whippets. I am also going to put bath salts into this category.
Effects:
nausea and vomiting, feelings of stimulation, wheezing, headaches, slurred speech and loss of motor function. People who use inhalants also suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, excessive sweating, muscle cramps, headaches, chills, agitation, with shaking and hallucinations. In severe cases, withdrawal can cause convulsions.
Of all of the drugs out there, inhalants are the ones that kill off brain material (cells, tissue, and even bigger parts of the brain) the fastest, the first time. They are addictive, invisible, volatile substances found in common household products. Stores across the US are however coming up with ways to regulate the sell of these items by keeping them behind the counter and asking for ID. Inhalants definitely can be lethal and there is one case of bath-salts where a man tried to eat another person (yes, like a zombie). Please think twice before using this Drug.

Lastly,
Heroine: brown sugar, smack, horse, dope, H or Big H, junk, skag, skunk, white horse or China white.
Effects:
Users experience an initial euphoria, accompanied by heavy limbs, dry mouth and flushed skin. Users then move from wakefulness to drowsiness, as the depressive effects become more pronounced. Slurred speech, impaired vision, droopy eyelids, constricted pupils, diarrhea and vomiting are common. Depressed respiration (shallow breathing), Clouded mental functioning, Decreased pain, Uncontrollable feelings of itching, Heart problems, including infection of heart lining and valves, Infectious diseases spread by shared needles (HIV and hepatitis B and C), Chronic pneumonia or other pulmonary diseases, Blood clots or tissue death resulting from collapsed veins or impurities, Liver disease, Arthritis, and Seizures.
Heroin is a depressant found in powder or tar-like form that ranges from white to dark brown. It is one of the most lethal drugs on the black market.Because heroin addicts do not know what the strength of the heroin purchased on the street may be or what it may be mixed with, they are at risk of overdose or death.

Wondering if a friend is using?

Behavioral signs of Drug Abuse/Addiction include:
Lying or other deceptive behavior
Avoiding eye contact, or distant field of vision
Substantial increases in time spent sleeping
Increase in slurred, garbled or incoherent speech
Sudden worsening of performance in school or work, including expulsion or loss of jobs
Decreasing attention to hygiene and physical appearance
Loss of motivation and apathy toward future goals
Withdrawal from friends and family
Lack of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from loved ones, or unexplained absence of valuables
Hostile behaviors toward loved ones, including blaming them for withdrawal or broken commitments
Regular comments indicating a decline in self esteem or worsening body image
Wearing long pants or long sleeves to hide needle marks, even in very warm weather

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
might be a great resource for you if you have a loved one with problem drinking or drug use.

Ok guys, now that I have officially overloaded you and scared you with all the possibilities that can happen if you use drugs, I truly do pray you can have a fun (and clean!) time partying at ACL and in the future!!!!!