AOD Fast Facts
The Washington College Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) web site is maintained for the purpose of providing informational resources to students, faculty, and staff of Washington College and its contents are not intended to be used as a substitute for the advice or services of medical professionals. Consult your medical provider regarding matters related to health including diagnosis and treatment. Washington College assumes no liability for any individual’s use of or reliance upon any material contained or referenced herein.
What is alcohol?
- Alcohol is a depressant and is the most commonly used and abused drug in the United States.
- Alcoholic beverages contain ethyl alcohol, which is formed by the reaction of yeast cells on the carbohydrates of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Types of alcohol include beer, wine, liquor, and liqueur
What Is A Drug?
A drug is any substance that changes how the body works once it gets inside the body. Some examples of drugs are nicotine, cocaine, steroids, marijuana, inhalants, and caffeine. Different drugs have different effects on the body. Some drugs can cause you to hallucinate (i.e., see or hear things that other people do not). Others may speed up or slow down your system.
Depending on the frequency and type of use, drugs can have severe and long-lasting effects on the body. Some drugs will cause damage after just one use, while others will hurt the body and mind more slowly. Here are some examples of possible effects different drugs can have:
- Tobacco - diminished sense of smell and taste, smoker’s cough, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, cancer, frequent colds, and chronic bronchitis.
- Cocaine and Crack - heart attacks, strokes, respiratory failure, seizures, and reduction of the body’s ability to resist infection.
- Steroids - liver tumors, high blood pressure, hair loss, severe acne, testicular shrinking, stunted growth, and an irregular menstrual cycle.
- Marijuana - sleeplessness, reduced concentration, paranoia, hallucinations, intense anxiety, cancer, and increased risk of infertility.
- Inhalants - severe mood swings, suffocation, loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, liver, lung and kidney impairment, and brain damage.
- Caffeine - sleeplessness, reduced concentration, intense anxiety, and restlessness.
- Stimulants - nausea, paranoia, restlessness, tremors, dizziness, hyperthermia, and heart failure.
- Benzodiazepines - anxiety, agitation, insomnia, headaches, sweating, and nausea.
One can become dependent on any drug, including those listed above.