3.6 Illicit Drug Use: D efinition of illicit drug Description of the most common illicit drugs Pharmacological effects of the most common illicit drugs Symptoms, signs and performance effects of the most common illicit drugs FAA drug testing program for aviation personnel FAA regulations concerning the use of illicit drugs Rehabilitation of the drug abuser/dependent pilot DEFINITION OF AN ILLICIT DRUG: An illicit drug is one that is unlawful, illegal or prohibited. DESCRIPTION: MOST COMMON ILLICIT DRUGS: There are several categories of drugs that may be used illicitly. They are categorized as follows: Amphetamines Anabolic steroids Cannabis (Marijuana) Cocaine Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Ketamine MDMA (Ecstacy) Rohypnol Methylphenidate (Ritalin) Methamphetamine & Amphetamines General: Street terms for methamphetamine: Meth, poor man's cocaine, crystal meth, ice, glass, speed, Amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and their various salts are collectively referred to as amphetamines. In fact, their chemical properties and actions are so similar that even experienced users have difficulty knowing which drug they have taken. Methamphetamine is the most commonly abused. Methamphetamine is typically a white, odorless powder that dissolves easily in water. Another form is clear, chunky crystals called crystal meth, or “ice”. It can also be found in brightly colored tablets and referred to as their Thai name, “Yaba”. It is taken by injection, snorting, smoking and orally. Signs and Symptoms: The effects include addiction, psychotic behavior, and brain damage. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and intense cravings. Chronic use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, and paranoia. Damage to the brain caused by meth usage is similar to Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and epilepsy. ANABOLIC STEROIDS: General: Commonly abused steroids: Anadrol, Oxandrin, Dianobol, Winstrol, Durabolin, Depo-Testosterone, and Equipoise. There are more than 100 types of anabolic steroids, and each requires a prescription. Most common method of usage is via oral ingestion, injection or topically rubbed on the skin as a cream or gel. Steroids are used is primarily in young adults and high school students. Use is much more prevalent among males than females. In a 2000 survey among 19-22 year olds, 18.9% reported that they had a friend who was using steroids. Side effects and complications include: Acne and breast development in men, increased irritability and aggression, and increased incidence of liver cancer, heart attacks, and high cholesterol. Withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, and depression. Depression can lead to suicide attempts and, if left untreated, this depression can persist for a year or more after the abuser stops taking the drug. MARIJUANA General: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. It is usually smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It is also smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. Use also might include mixing marijuana in food or brewing it as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. There are countless street terms for marijuana, including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC. Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana. In 2001, over 12 million Americans age 12 and older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Data for drug-related hospital emergency department visits in the continental United States recently showed a 15 percent increase in the number of visits to an emergency room that were induced by or related to the use of marijuana (referred to as mentions), from 96,426 in 2000 to 110,512 in 2001. The 12 to 34 age range was involved most frequently in these mentions. For emergency room patients

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