“What have I learned in this class and how am I going to apply this information to my future life?”

This class has really been eye opening in so many ways. I wouldn’t say that I’m naive, but it has really helped to see all the effects of drugs and the people behind it. I’m a med tech and a CNA in the medical field, it has really added an interesting side to all these drugs that I give everyday or take for granted that are sitting at home in my cupboard. The discussions have been fascinating to broaden my understanding of concepts we’ve been talking about. I enjoyed reading what my peers think about these topics, we had in general similar opinions and all found something that we didn’t know before that shocked us, even in today’s world.
One discussion that caught my interest was the one about marijuana. The topic was to examine and discuss whether or not marijuana should still be considered a Schedule I drug. I learned that no death has ever been reported or overdosed on marijuana, which of all the other drugs is not the case. Marijuana is a Schedule I, which is the top of the scale for being the most dangerous class of drug. For some reason I thought cocaine was a Schedule I, but it’s not. This bothers me even more now that I know cocaine is considered to be LESS dangerous than marijuana. Of course this doesn’t give anybody the excuse to abuse the drug, but this discussion changed my opinion of how drugs are classified and that there is a lot more to consider about the legalization of marijuana.
Another discussion about Cocaine had something that jumped out to me, with repeated use, stimulants can disrupt how the brain’s dopamine system works, reducing a person’s ability to feel any pleasure at all. People may try to make up for it by taking more and more of the drug to feel the same pleasure. It can completely alter someone’s brain permanently. I was completely shocked about how many young kids in high school use this and I thought this was a drug that most people work up to. This is the problem with most addictive drugs, a bigger resistance to the drugs.
We did a project on one of our topics we’ve been discussing and I did mine on Meth. It has a similar addictive behavior that makes the user need to use more and more to get the high. I did more research on this and couldn’t believe how fascinating it was. Just the physical changes alone was something I couldn’t believe, the physical effects in the body is crazy that someone can have a high up to 12 hours! This drug is so inexpensive and easy to make that it is becoming a growing problem, not in just the lower classes of society. I watched a documentary about a couple of college kids that tried Meth once at a party then tried to drive home. Their judgment was so off because the effects were lasting so long that they wandered from their warm car out into a blizzard and froze to death. This just amazed me that even just one bad decision can kill someone that easily.
This class has been interesting and very informative, it has made me think twice about judging any drug for good or bad. It has changed me to be a lot more cautious about what my kids are doing and how I protect them. Why are we not getting rid of old medications or locking them up? I think the biggest key is trying to be better aware and open with our kids. I know I will definitely try to do more research so that I can be more informed about the facts to better teach them. I want to have an increased understanding so I can better educate and prepare my children, in hope that they will be better prepared to make the choices that they need to in this scary world of so many harmful options.

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