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Health Risks

The scope and impact of health risks from alcohol and drug abuse are both alarming and well-documented, ranging from mind altering to life-threatening with the consequences that extend beyond the individual to family, organizations, and society at large. Pitt Community College conducts regular programs to educate its students, faculty, and staff that consumption and use of drugs may alter behavior, distort perception, impair thinking, impede judgment, and lead to physical or psychological dependence.

Alcohol and/or drug abuse may lead to the deterioration of physical health by causing or contributing to various health conditions including but not limited to fatigue, nausea, personal injury, insomnia, pathological organ damage, some forms of cancer, heart attack, respiratory depression, birth defects, convulsions, and even death. Alcohol and drug abuse may also result in deterioration of mental health, hallucinations, depressions, disorientation, and psychosis.

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate use of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental function, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Visit http://interventionamerica.org/promo/CADChart.pdf for a listing of commonly abused drugs, intoxication effects, and potential health consequences.