WHY YOU NEED TO BE INFORMED
Today it is known that all psychoactive substances affect people’s brains in ways that alter their mental functions. This is true not only of illicit (illegal) drugs, but also of alcohol, tobacco, and psychoactive medications.
It is also known that the consumption patterns for these substances have changed dramatically in recent years, especially among young people. Cannabis use has become widespread. Binge drinking is on the rise. Tobacco use remains high among young adults. New designer drugs keep hitting the street. Among athletes, doping has become a serious concern. Use of psychoactive medications is becoming more and more common. Most significantly, people are now regularly taking combinations of licit (legal) and/or illicit substances, either all at once or one after the other.
But to date, the information provided to the general public has often conveyed inaccurate, conflicting messages. This lack of good information has only exacerbated people’s fears, concerns, and misunderstandings. Worst of all, it has increased their feelings of helplessness to deal with drug use and abuse. It has also fostered unhelpful attitudes, ranging from apathy to over-reaction.
For a long time, we knew too little about drugs, and much of what we thought we knew was incorrect.
But for some years now, we have had access to far more plentiful, far more reliable scientific information. Yet this information has not always been brought to the attention of everyone who needed it. What makes this all the more troubling is that the information on drugs changes. For example, new “designer drugs” the prevalence means that information about them needs to be updated constantly.WHY A BOOK ON DRUGS
The goal of this book is to provide everyone with the best available information on drugs and dependencies. To make sure this information is both reliable and objective, the book is based on the latest scientific data and expert sources.
This book tells you not only about the many substances that people take and the effects that them have, but also the risks of taking them and the ways of protecting yourself from these risks. For every substance that this book discusses, it provides detailed statistics on usage patterns in Canada as a whole, along with useful information on the applicable laws. This book also provides information on available treatment and sources of help as well as useful resources and Websites related to alcohol and other drug use.
The goal is ambitious, for it is difficult to convey complex scientific and technical information both accurately and understandably.
We hope that, in addition to meeting the demand for objective, readily accessible information on the various psychoactive substances, this book will foster a productive, relevant dialogue between young people and everyone around them, especially their parents.
What is the point of encouraging parents to talk with their children about drugs if parents themselves don’t have the knowledge and the logical arguments they need to do so?
If parents themselves know all these facts, then they can listen to their children more effectively. They can get a clearer idea of how vulnerable their children really are and what serious risks they may be taking. Parents will then be in a better position to educate their children about these risks and may not need to go to an expert for help.
No matter how good the information may be, information alone is not enough to change people’s attitudes or to make them behave responsibly. Furthermore, there are no quick-fix solutions to the problem of drugs–neither in Canada, nor anywhere else in the world.
On the other hand, effective responses do exist, to prevent dangerous substance use and reduce any risks associated with it.
This book cannot answer every possible question, but it can give everyone the basic guidance needed to see things that might otherwise have been missed, to understand them, and to take action on them.
The information provided to the general public has often conveyed inaccurate, conflicting messages This book reports not only on substances and their effects, but also on risk and protective factors Effective responses do exist to prevent dangerous substance use and reduce any risks associated with it