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Frequently Asked Questions

Effects & Harm

Drugs affect people differently. Some become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative. Drug use can lead to social and emotional problems and negative effects on relationships with family and friends.

With regular use, tolerance to and dependence on drugs can develop.

- Tolerance: when a person needs more of a drug to achieve the same effects they felt before with smaller amounts.

- Dependence: when the use of the drug becomes central to a person's life and they may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it.

Non-prescription medicines can be dangerous if they are misused. All medicines contain drugs that can lead to a variety of health problems when they are taken in doses above what is recommended, too often, or for purposes for which they are not suitable. For example, the use of minor analgesics (such as aspirin or paracetamol) over the long term can lead to a variety of health problems, including kidney disorders, anaemia and gastric ulcers.

The misuse of drugs can result in social, mental, physical and legal consequences.

For example, drug-use can lead to emotional problems and affect relationships with family and friends. When people are under the influence of drugs, changes can occur in their behaviour depending on how they feel (for example, sleepy, euphoric or sick). Friends may not be able to rely on the person as the user?s moods can change depending whether they are using or not. Long-term use can lead to serious health and financial problems, which can also affect relationships.

Drug use has also been associated with mental health issues such as psychotic episodes, depression and paranoia.

In Western Australia, it is illegal to use, possess, manufacture or supply illict drugs. Penalties can range from a $2000 fine and/or two years in prison, to a $100 000 fine and/or imprisonment for 25 years. In addition, any person convicted of a drug offence will receive a criminal record. This can lead to difficulties in getting a job, credit or visas for overseas travel.

A number of drugs are associated with antisocial and violent behavior. Some drugs, particularly when used to excess and/or used illegally, significantly increase the risk for aggressive behavior and the commission of acts of violence. Alcohol, anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine and cocaine are key drugs that can escalate the development of aggression and violent behavior.

For more information call ADIS confidentially, 24/7 on (08) 9442 5000 or country callers freecall 1800 198 024.

The effects of alcohol and other drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the alcohol and/or drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.

Some people become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative. Alcohol and other drug use can lead to social and emotional problems and negative effects on relationships with family and friends.

If alcohol and/or other drug use has become a problem for you, you  can contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS). ADIS is a 24hr confidential service that can help you with information, counselling, referral and advice on alcohol and other drugs. You can contact ADIS on (08) 9442 5000 (or 1800 198 024 toll-free if you live outside the metropolitan area within Western Australia).

Please let us know if there is anything we can help you with. You can do this by submitting a new question.

The effects of drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.

Drug use can impact on your physical and mental health. Some people can become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative when using drugs. Drug use can also increase the risk of mental health problems, especially in people who have a vulnerability to mental health conditions. Drug use can also lead to social and emotional problems and negative effects on relationships with family and friends, which can be detrimental to someone’s health.

If drug use has become a problem for you, you can contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS). ADIS is a 24hr confidential service that can help you with information, counselling, referral and advice on alcohol and other drugs. You can contact ADIS on (08) 9442 5000 (or 1800 198 024 toll-free if you live outside the metropolitan area within Western Australia).

Please let us know if there is anything we can help you with. You can do this by submitting a new question.

Addiction is a complex issue. Some drugs are more physically addictive while others are mentally or socially addictive. Drug use can lead to tolerance and dependence.

Tolerance – This means that a person needs more of the drug to achieve the same effects they experienced previously with smaller amounts.

Dependence – This means that the drug becomes central to a person’s life and they feel they cannot function properly without it.

For more information or if drug use has become a problem and you would like to talk to someone about it, please call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service confidentially, 24/7 on (08) 9442 5000 (country callers toll-free on 1800 198 0247).

The effects of drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the alcohol and/or drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.

Some people become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative. Drug use can increase the risk of mental health problems, so people with an existing mental health condition should be even more cautious about using this drug. For these reasons, there is no safe level of illicit drug use.

Drugs effect everyone differently. There are many signs that you may notice if someone is using drugs. These can include changes in their behaviour,  a change of friends, withdrawal from family, suspicious activity, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, or deterioration in health. However, everyone responds differently to drug use and these type of changes can sometimes be a normal part of development (e.g., during adolescence)and not related to drug use at all.

If you are concerned about someone using drugs, you can contact the Parent and Family Drug Support Line (PFDSL) on 9442 5050 or 1800 653 203 (country callers toll-free) or email . PFDSL is a 24hr confidential service that can help you with information, counselling, referral and advice on alcohol and other drugs.

Not taking drugs is the safest option. Most people who are offered drugs don't accept. If you are in a situation you are pressured to take drugs the best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation and surround yourself with people who don't take drugs.

If you do take drugs or know people who do and want to know how to reduce harms see the Staying Safe section of our website: http://drugaware.com.au/Stay-Safe.aspx

The effects of drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the alcohol and/or drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.

Drug use can impact on your physical and mental health.  Some people become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative. Drug use can increase the risk of mental health problems, so people with an existing mental health condition should be even more cautious about using drugs.

It can also lead to social problems and have negative effects on relationships with family and friends. As some drugs are illegal, there can also be legal ramifications associated with drug use.  For these reasons, there is no safe level of illicit drug use. 

There is no safe level of illicit drug use. The effects of drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the alcohol and/or drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.

If drug and/or alcohol use has become a problem for you, or a loved one, you  can contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on (08) 9442 5000 (or 1800 198 024 country-callers toll-free). ADIS is a 24hr confidential service that can help you with information, counselling, referral and advice on alcohol and other drugs.

The effects of drugs  vary from person to person depending on the persons individual characteristics, such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health, the drug itself such as the amount used and its purity, and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug. 

Some people become depressed, angry, aggressive, sleepy, unmotivated, paranoid, anxious or talkative. Drug use can lead to social and emotional problems and negative effects on relationships with family and friends.

As it is illegal to possess, manufacture, supply or use illicit drugs in Australia, a person convicted of a drug offence will receive a criminal record and this can lead to difficulties in getting a job, credit or visas for overseas travel.

If drug use has become a problem for you, or someone you know, you  can contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 (country callers toll-free). The Alcohol and Drug Support Line is a 24/7 confidential service that can help you with information, counselling, referral and advice on alcohol and other drugs.

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