e-cigarettes

Are tobacco, nicotine, and vaping (e-cigarette) products addictive? Yes. It is the nicotine in tobacco that is addictive. Each cigarette contains about 10 milligrams of nicotine. A person inhales only some of the smoke from a cigarette, and not all of each puff is absorbed in the lungs. The average person gets about 1 to […]

prevent the spread of COVID-19

What to Do If You Are Sick

If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Keep track of your symptoms.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.

Self-Checker

A guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

Follow the steps below:  If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people

Social distancingAs much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath but other symptoms may be present as well. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention.
  • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

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A man with empty beer bottles looking half-awakeDrinking alcohol is not necessarily a problem, but drinking too much can cause bad things to happen. People who drink too much alcohol might forget things that happened when they were drunk. This is called a blackout.

People drunk on alcohol often:

  • laugh and talk loudly
  • feel dizzy
  • have blurry vision
  • have trouble staying on their feet and sway when they walk
  • slur words when they talk
  • feel sleepy and relaxed
  • pass out
  • throw up
  • get violent

Getting drunk can lead you to do or say things that you regret later on. It also makes you more likely to get into a car crash and get hurt.

After drinking a lot, people get a headache and feel sick. This is called a hangover.

People who misuse alcohol, or people who are addicted, start having to drink more and more to get drunk. They might have a drink in the morning to calm down or stop a hangover. They might drink alone, and they might keep it a secret.

They might forget things that happened when they were drunk. This is called a blackout.

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Crystal Methamphetamine

Also known as: Chalk, Meth, Speed, and Tina; or, for crystal meth, Crank, Fire, Glass, Go fast, and Ice

Methamphetamine—known as “meth”— is a laboratory-made, white, bitter-tasting powder. Sometimes it’s made into a white pill or a shiny, white or clear rock called crystal. Meth is made in the United States and often in Mexico—in “superlabs”—big, illegal laboratories that make the drug in large quantities. But it is also made in small labs using cheap, over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, which is a common ingredient in cold medicines. Drug stores often put these products behind the counter so people cannot use them to create meth in home labs. Other chemicals, some of them toxic, are also involved in making methamphetamine. Meth is sometimes pressed into little pills that look like Ecstasy to make it more appealing to young people.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert. But they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure, and use can lead to addiction. Methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects can disappear even before the drug levels fall in the blood, leading people to use more and more, sometimes not sleeping and using the drug for several days.

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse and is legally available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. It is prescribed by doctors in limited doses in rare cases for certain medical conditions.

 

How Methamphetamine Is Used

Methamphetamine is:

  • swallowed
  • snorted
  • injected with a needle
  • smoked

“Crystal meth” is a large, usually clear crystal that is smoked in a glass pipe. Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate and intense high. Because the feeling doesn’t last long, users often take the drug repeatedly, in a “binge and crash” pattern.

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What is heroin?

heroin powder

Also known as: Black tar, Brown sugar, China white, H, Horse, Junk, Ska, Skunk, Smack, and White Horse.

Heroin is a very addictive drug made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin’s color and look depend on how it is made and what else it may be mixed with. It can be white or brown powder, or a black, sticky substance called “black tar heroin.”

Heroin is part of a class of drugs called opioids. Other opioids include some prescription pain relievers, such as codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin), and hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin).

Heroin use and overdose deaths have dramatically increased over the last decade. This increase is related to the growing number of people misusing prescription opioid pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Some people who become addicted to those drugs switch to heroin because it produces similar effects but is cheaper and easier to get.

In fact, most people who use heroin report they first misused prescription opioids, but it is a small percentage of people who switch to heroin. The numbers of people misusing prescription drugs is so high, that even a small percentage translates to hundreds of thousands of heroin users.1 Even so, some research suggests about one-third of heroin users in treatment simply started with heroin. Maybe they were mistakenly told that only one use cannot lead to addiction. Both heroin and opioid pill use can lead to addiction and overdose.

How Heroin is Used

Heroin is mixed with water and injected with a needle. It can also be sniffed, smoked, or snorted. People who use heroin sometimes combine it with other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine (a “speedball”), which can be particularly dangerous and raise the risk of overdose.

To learn more about the different types of opioids, visit our Prescription Opioids Drug Facts page.

1 Compton WM, Jones CM, Baldwin GT. Relationship between nonmedical prescription-opioid use and heroin use. The New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:154-163.

 

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