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NIDA

Medical Consequences

Prison Use of Medications for Opioid Addiction Remains Low

Describes results from a nationwide survey among correctional facilities on the use of opioid replacement therapy for people who are addicted to heroin.

Letter from the Director

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) — has been with us for three decades now. Today, an entire generation of young adults has never known a world without HIV/AIDS.

From the Director

Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs—which have street names like acid, angel dust, and vitamin K—distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self. These drugs can disrupt a person’s ability to think and communicate rationally, or even to recognize reality, sometimes resulting in bizarre or dangerous behavior. Hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, peyote, DMT, and ayahuasca cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to appear unreal, sometimes frightening.

Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse

This is an image of Leonardi da Vinci's famous drawing called The Vitruvian Man

Drug addiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use.

Marijuana Linked With Testicular Cancer

Reports on a study of close to 400 Washington State men that found that those who use marijuana may increase their risk for developing testicular cancer.

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