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 MR. WILLIAM C. UBAGAN CSP,LSO

Marketing Officer, CLM-CBIS Philippines

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Substance or drug abuse continues to be a serious threat in the  Philippines today. The gravity of the problem are oftentimes reported in the newspapers.

Of  Metro Manila’s ten million people, about one million or 10% are substance or drug abusers. Shabu which is also known as  “poor man’s cocaine” is on the way of  becoming just that. A snort now costs an affordable P100.00. The Philippines now ranks second to Mexico among the biggest Marijuana producers in the world and is a transit point for cocaine and heroin shipments. Most of  the heinous crimes reported were committed high on drugs.

DRUGS

Is any  chemical substance which affects a person in such a way as to bring about physiological, emotional or behavioral change.

DRUG ABUSE

Is the use of chemical substance. Licit or illicit which results in an individual’s physical, mental, emotional or social impairment.

DRUG ADDICTION

Addiction is a value laden catchword popular used to describe dependence on drug.  Originally associated with narcotics, the word “addiction” has become a pejorative term because addiction has been used by so many different ways, it is being replaced by the term “Drug Dependence” in technical circles.

DRUG DEPENDENCE

Drug dependence is a state of physical or psychological need or both which results from continuous or periodic use of a drug.

Psychological  dependence exists when the effects produced by the drug have become necessary for a person’s well-being.  It can be characterized by behavior effects caused by a compulsion to use the drug.

Physical dependence exists only if withdrawal symptoms occur when a person stops the use of a drug.  Withdrawal symptoms are physical (such as vomiting and muscle tremors).

TOLERANCE

Tolerance is a physical condition which develops in users of certain drugs.  When a person develops  tolerance, he requires larger amounts of the drugs to product the same effects.

COMMONLY ABUSED DRUGS

  1. NARCOTICS

In its medical meaning refer to opium and opium derivatives or synthetic substitutes.

They are drugs that relieve pain and often induce sleep.

   

KINDS OF NARCOTICS

  1. Narcotics of Natural OriginProduced directly from poppy plant.  Ex: Opium, Morphine,  and Thebaine.

Morphine

  • Most effective drug for relief pain, its legal use is restricted to hospitals
  • It is odorless, tastes bitter and darkens with age
  1. Addicts administer it intravenously, but can be smoked or taken orally
  2. Both physical and psychological dependence is rated high.

Codeine

Produced from morphine.  It produces less analgesic, sedation and respiratory depression than morphine.

Comes into two forms:

  • Tablets (aspirin)
  • Liquid (Robitussin AC and Cheracon)

Thebaine

A principal alkaloid present in a specie of poppy. By itself, it is not used medically in the US, but is converted into a variety of medically important compounds including codeine.

  • Semi – synthetic Narcotics – Synthesized from narcotics of natural origin. Ex: Heroin, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone.

 

Heroin

  • First synthesized from morphine in 1874
  • Pure heroin is white powder with a bitter taste, and in its pure state is rarely sold on the street.
  • To increase the bulk of materials sold to the addicts, diluents such as sugars, starch, powdered milk and quinine are used.
  • Method of administering are injected, sniffed or smoked.

 

Synthetic NarcoticsProduced entirely within the laboratory.   Ex: Meperidine, Methadone.

EFFECTS OF THE USE OF NARCOTICS

  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Reduced Vision
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Nausea

Greater risks exist when a combination of drugs or a mixture of unidentified pills is taken. This is especially true to alcohol and barbiturates (sleeping pills).

DANGERS OF NARCOTIC ABUSE

  • Narcotic abusers neglect themselves and usually suffer from malnutrition, infections, diseases and injuries.
  • The body of an abuser is prone to toxic reactions due to impurities in the narcotic.
  • Fatal infections can be readily transmitted to the abuser’s body.

WITHDRAWAL  SYMPTOMS ARE;

  • Watery Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Yawning
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Panic
  • Chills and Sweating
  • Nausea

EFFECTS OF OVERDOSE

  • Overdose and shallow breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Convulsions
  • Possible Death

2.DEPRESSANTS

Usually known as “downers” which are drugs that act on the nervous systems promoting relaxation and sleep.

Used in excessive amounts, depressants induce a state of intoxication similar that of alcohol.

Intoxicating doses result in impaired judgment, disorientation, slurred speech, drunken behavior without the odor of alcohol, and loss of motor coordination

  DRUGS CLASSIFIED UNDER DEPRESSANTS

  1. Barbiturates

DRUGS MOST  FREQUENTLY PRESCRIBED TO INDUCE  SEDATION AND SLEEP BY BOTH DOCTORS AND VETERINARIANS.  SMALL DOSAGE OF BARBITURATES TEND TO CALM DOWN NERVOUS CONDITIONS WHILE LARGER DOSES CAN CAUSE SLEEP 20 TO 60 AFTER TAKING IT ORALLY. AN OVERDOSE OF BARBITURATES MAY PROGRESS THROUGH STAGES OF SEDATION, SLEEP AND “COMA” TO DEATH FROM RESPIRATORY ARREST AND CARDIOVASCULAR COMPLICATIONS.

BARBITURATES ARE CLASSIFIED AS;

  • ULTRA SHORT-ACTING (HEXOBABITAL)
  • INTERMEDIATE-ACTING (SECOBARBITAL)
  • (PENTOBARBITAL)
  • LONG-ACTING (METHOBARBITAL)

ABUSE OF BARBITURATES

BARBITURATES ARE USUALLY ABUSED IN TWO WAYS:

  1. THE USER OF THE DRUG HAD DEVELOPED A TOLERANCE TO THE DRUG THUSINCREASING THE DOSAGE TO FEEL THE DESIRED EFFECTS.

2. FOR ADDED THRILL,BARBITURATE IS    INJECTED AS A SUBTITUTE TO OTHER      DRUGS           BEING ABUSED, ESPECIALLY AMPHETAMINES. BARBITURATES CAN PRODUCE BOTH                   PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE.

  1. METHAQUALONE

IS A SYNTHETIC SEDATIVE WHICH HAS BEEN WIDELY  ABUSED AND OFTEN CAUSE SERIOUS     POISONING. IT IS TAKEN ORALLY AND IS    RAPIDLY ABSORBED IN THE DIGESTIVE    TRACT. LARGE DOSES CAN CAUSE “COMA”    ACCOMPANIED BY CONVULSION. HEAVY USE OF THIS DRUG LEADS TO TOLERANCE AND DEPENDENCE. IT IS KNOWN IN THE U.S. AS QUALUDE, PAREST, MEQUIN, OPTIMOL, SAMNAFAC AND SOFOR WHILE   ITS EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT IS “MANDRAX”. WIDELY-ABUSED BECAUSE IT WAS ONCE MISTAKENLY THOUGHT OF TO BE NON-ADDICTIVE AND VERY EFFECTIVE AS APHRODISIAC.

  1. MEPROBAMATE

–      a muscle relaxant prescribed mainly for the relief of anxiety, tension and muscle spasms. First synthesized in 1950 and introduced as mild tranquilizers. Ex: Miltown and Equanil.

  1. BENZODIAZIPINES

–     relieve anxiety, tension and muscle spasms as well as producing sedation and preventing convulsions. Ex:Diazepam (Valium); Lorazepam (Ativan) and Chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

Valium and Librium are widely prescribed in the Philippines. Benzodiazepines have slow onset  duration of action. To obtain “high”, they are taken with marijuana or alcohol.

  1. STIMULANTSARE DRUGS USED TO INCREASE MENTAL ACTIVITY, RELIEVE FATIGUE, INCREASE ALERTNESS AND OFFSET DROWSINESS. THEY ARE USUALLY KNOWN AS “UPPERS”.

KINDS OF STIMULANTS

  1. AMPHETAMINES – FIRST USED IN THE 1930’S TO TREAT NARCOLEPSY. THEY TAKE IN MANY FORMS AND ARE MARKETED AS INHALERS, INJECTABLES AND TABLETS. Ex: Benzedrine and Dexidrine
  2. COCAINE-THE MOST POTENT STIMULANT OF NATURAL ORIGIN. COCAINE IS EXTRACTED FROM THE LEAVES OF THE “COCA PLANT WHICH ARE GROWN IN THE ANDEAN HIGHLAND OF SOUTH AMERICA. ILLEGAL COCAINE IS IN THE FORM OF WHITE CYRSTALLINE POWDER AND IS SNORTED THROUGH THE NOSE.
  3. “SHABU” OR METHAMPHETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE

– THE MOST ABUSED STIMULANT DRUG IN THE PHILIPPINES TODAY. IT IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE “POOR MAN’S COCAINE” OR BY OTHER NAMES, SUCH AS: “SHABS”, “UBAS”, “S”, “SIOPAO”, “SHA”’ AND “ICE”. SHABU IS A WHITE, ODORLESS CRYSTAL OR CRYSTALLINE POWDER WITH BITTER TASTE. IT CAN BE INJECTED AS WELL AS INHALED BY THE USER. NOWADAYS, SHABU IS SOLD IN DIFFERENT FLAVORS TO SUIT THE TASTE OF THE USER.

                GENERAL EFFECTS OF STIMULANTS

  1. IT GIVES A FEELING OF BEING STRONGER, MORE DECISIVE AND SELF-POSSESSED.
  2. EXTENDED WAKEFULNESS ND INCREASED MENTAL ALERTNESS.
  3. IT MAY INDUCE IRRITABILITY, ANXIETY AND FEAR.
  4. LOSS OF APPETITE RESULTING IN DECREASED BODY WEIGHT.
  5. PREGNANT WOMEN WHO ABUSED SHABU CAN CAUSE MENTAL RETARDATION TO THEIR UNBORN BABIES.
  6. LOSS OF SEXUAL DESIRE ; LACK OF INTEREST TOWARDS WORK
  7. USER SUFFERS “SCHIZOPHRENIA” OR SPLIT PERSONALITY LEADING TO VIOLENT BEHAVIOR
  8. CHRONIC USER EXPERIENCE LOSS OF MEMORY
  9. CHRONIC SNORTERS SUFFER FROM IRRITATION OF THE NOSE LEADING TO FREQUENT NOSE BLEEDING
  10. INJECTING SHABU USING DIRTY NEEDLES CAN LEAD TO VARIOUS INFECTIONS, SUCH AS: HEPATITIS-B, BLOOD POISONING AND AIDS
  11. HALLUCINOGENS

Hallucinogens are drugs that can produce changes in mood and behavior. They can produce delusions and hallucinations. They induce a state of excitation of the central nervous system as shown by changes in mood. Hallucinogens disorient the sense of direction, distance and time. A  user may speak of  “hearing colors ” and “seeing sounds ” . They are known as ”psychedelics”.

                  KINDS OF HALLUCINOGENS

  • Mescaline- derived from the fleshy part of peyote cactus.

Produces illusions and hallucinations lasting from 5 to

12 hours.

  • Psilocybin- derived from psilocibe mushroom by Indians for

centuries, When the mushroom is eaten , it produces

effect similar to mescaline and LSD.

  • LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)-produced from lysergic acid derived from ergot fungus which grow on rye. LSD is now used as a tool for research to study the mechanism of mental illness. It is sold in the form of tablet , thin squares of gelatin or impregnated paper.
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)-sold under different names such as : Angel Dust, Crystal, Supergrass, Killer Weed, Rocket Fuel, Embalming Fluid and many others. PCP causes greater risk to the user than any other drug of abuse , except shabu.
  • Marijuana (Cannabis Sativa )- annual plant that grows wild in many temperate parts of the world. It has been introduced as a drug to the Filipinos by foreigners 5 years after World War II .
  • Ecstasy- term used for group of  “designer drugs” closely related to Amphetamine. It is also known as XTC, ADAM or Eden tablet, “hug drug” or “yuppie drug”. It is usually marketed in tablet form, but is also available in liquid or powder form.

GENERAL EFFECTS OF HALLUCINOGENS

  • Increased heart rate and pulse rate
  • Elevated or increased blood pressure
  • Increased activity of the body due to the effect on the brain
  • Enlarged or dilated pupils of the eyes
  • Increased body temperature
  • Paleness of the face and skin of the body

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF HALLUCINOGENS

  • Strong emotional feeling
  • Recalling previously suppressed ideas and thoughts
  • A feeling of great creativity and imagination
  • Very lucid and astonishingly clear thoughts
  • Intensification of sensory impressions
  • Changes in sensation. Sounds are “seen”, simple things appear very beautiful and colors seems to be “heard”
  • A mood of joy and strong feeling of religious awareness
  • A feeling of oneness with the universe

BAD TRIP EXPERIENCES BY THE USERS

  • Hallucinations such as nightmarish visions and terrifying ideas
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Paranoid delusion to the point of committing suicide
  • Complete loss of emotional control
  • Very deep and profound depression
  • Social behavior becomes unruly and uncontrollable
  • Feeling that one is immune to harm and perhaps able to “fly”
  • Occasional “flashback “ (sensory replay of previous “trips”) occurs.

Feeling of dizziness or  temporary

                Other  Substances Abused

  1. INHALANTS-are volatile substances derived from ether or chloroform. It is inhaled through the nose to experience intoxication.

These substances include the following :

  1. Quick-drying glue or plastic cement like rugby
  2. Paint remover and lacquer as thinner and solvent
  3. Gasoline and gasoline-based products
  4. Kerosene
  5. Nail polish or polish remover  “acetone”
  6. Lighter fluid and dry cleaning fluid

EFFECTS OF INHALANTS

  1. Unsteadiness and restlessness
  2. Drunkenness with depression leading to unconsciousness
  3. Irritability and highly-agitated condition
  4. Initial excitement thereby losing emotional control
  5. Irritation of throat and nasal passages
  1. ALCOHOL

Refers to beverages whose effects are related to their substance contents which are extracted from chemical compound ethyl and hydrocarbon that trigger the control nervous system and may damage vital human organs through misuse. In the Philippines, it is the most abused recreation drug.  Physical dependence exist if taken regularly in large quantities

Alcoholism – also known alcohol dependence. It is defined as a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite suffering alcohol-related

MAJOR SYMPTOMS OF ALCOHOLISM

  • Craving – strong compulsion to drink
  • Impaired control
  • Inability to control the drinking urge
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms , sweating , shakiness, anxiety, nausea
  • Need for increased doses of alcohol to maintain same level of intoxication

STAGES OF ALCOHOLISM

  • Early Stage : fatigue, fitters and    Avoidance of contact with superiors. Changes of behavior style by the  person – more outgoing and increased self confidence.
  • Middle Stage : increase nervousness, irritability , red or bleary eyes and flushed face. Individual working in performance cycles where some cycles have great output and others have very little.
  • Late Stage : prolonged absences. Further decline in work performance with many different kinds of excuses being offered. Increased financial problems.
  • There is a strong link between the consumption of alcohol and various kinds incident. Approximately fifty percent of all homicides and thirty percent of all homicides and thirty percent of suicides take place while the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol. Excessive drinking is involved in the large number of vehicle accidents.

WHY DO PEOPLE ABUSE DRUGS?

  • Peer Pressure
  • Curiosity
  • Pleasurable feeling
  • Want to forget
  • Pain killer
  • Working at night
  • For added strength
  • To lose weight

COMMON SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE

  • Change in attendance at work or school
  • Change from normal capabilities (work habits, efficiency etc.)
  • Poor physical appearance including inattention to dress and personal hygiene
  • Wearing sunglasses constantly at inappropriate times.
  • Unusual effort made to cover arms in order to hide needle marks.
  • Association with known drug abusers.
  • Stealing items which can readily be sold for cash (to support drug habit)
  • Changes in mood-depending on the drug taken. Ex: depressed or elated and euphoric

HOW CAN SECURITY OFFICERS HELP IN PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF DRUG ABUSE?

  • Security officers should find out whether there is drug abuse in the company.
  • A study should be made on the causes of low productivity of work, frequent tardiness and absenteeism, change of behavior and violence in the workplace.
  • Identify potential drug abusers.
  • Identify sources of illicit drugs and their contact within the company
  • Render reports of drug abuse.
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