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A Parents Guide to Amphetamines

Amphetamine Drugs 101By Cheryl Critchley

Highly addictive and extremely dangerous, problem amphetamines such as ice are becoming more common.

Ice is a highly addictive form of amphetamine known as methamphetamine. It is stronger than the powdered form of amphetamine, speed. Usage rates by Australian teenagers are generally low, but pockets of Melbourne and regional Victoria face growing ice-related problems, both physical and social. Drug overdose deaths and ambulance attendances involving ice have risen in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in the past two years.

While the use of amphetamines as a whole has not increased, more people are using it in the potent crystal methamphetamine form (ice), which produces strong highs very quickly and can be highly addictive. This is causing growing concern among police and medical professionals, as those using ice can become extremely
violent and have been known to attack ambulance officers trying to help them. They may also commit violent crimes. Read more

A Parents Guide to Cannabis

By Cheryl Critchley

One in three adults and one in seven teenagers has tried cannabis.

Cannabis is Australia’s most popular illicit drug and many of today’s high-school parents have tried it. The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that 35 per cent of Australians reported using cannabis at least once, with 10 per cent using it in the past year. A 2011 Australian high-school students’ survey found cannabis was the most commonly used illicit substance by this age group, with 15 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds reporting they had tried it.

Most people who use cannabis seek a sense of mild euphoria and relaxation, often referred to as a “high”. Cannabis causes changes in the user’s mood and also affects how they think and perceive the environment. Everyday activities such as watching television and listening to music can become altered and more intense.

Generally speaking, people who start smoking cannabis at a younger age and smoke heavily are more likely to experience problems. This may include mental health problems, and more general life problems, such as conflict at home or school/work, financial problems and memory problems.

If a teenager has a genetic vulnerability, such as close family with depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder or anxiety, or if they have an existing mental health issue, cannabis should be avoided.

Rolling a joint Read more

Repairing your immune system after drug abuse

VitaminsGuest post by Sharon Brooks 

Registered Nutritionist, Food Scientist & Yoga Teacher
BAppSci (Food Sci & Nutr), G Cert Hum Nutr, RNutr
Nutrition Society of Australia Committee Member (Victoria)
200hr Qualified Yoga Teacher

Drug and alcohol abuse can cause biochemical alterations in the body. One fundamental aspect of this is the possible long-term damage to immune system strength. The immune system includes white blood cells, lymph vessels and nodes, spleen, thymus gland and other lymphatic tissues. This system provides a defence against foreign particles and pathogens. In other words, the immune system attempts to distinguish between “self” and “non-self”. It is therefore a crucial component in ridding the body of toxins and toxic build-up in drug recovery.

The other core bodily system commonly impacted by drug usage is the digestive system, which includes the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. The digestive system is fundamental to the body’s ability to absorb nutrients that boost immune strength. As such, indirectly the digestive system is just as important to immune health as the immune system itself. Read more