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Drug use among young rising, says speaker

In young Americans (18-25) 84 percent have consumed alcohol, 58 percent have smoked cigarettes, 52 percent have smoked marijuana, and 11 percent have tried cocaine. Most of these users are uninformed about what exactly they are putting into their bodies and completely unaware of the harmful side effects.

With consumption rates of drug and alcohol products spiking in the young adult set, the student organization PHOKUS (Promoting Healthy Options through Knowledge, Understanding, and Service) brought in Shawn K. Desai, Ph.D., J.D. in an attempt to help students better understand the dangerous consequences of these widely used substances.

Dr. Desai spoke Thursday to about 100 students in Johns Hall 101 in the CLP, “Drugs and Alcohol: What’s Going On?” Desai serves as the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Aeon Clinical Laboratories, a Georgia company that works with intricate technology to understand and identify various drugs.

The presentation included a brief summary on alcohol and drugs such as tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, and meth. Desai shared the chemical makeup and the possible side effects of each substance. His presentation imparted information like how to properly recognize alcohol poisoning, and the fact that long-term marijuana use could lead to mental illness and decreased IQ. However, Desai’s main take home message was for students to never try cocaine. His point was brought home by showing students a short documentary on Len Bias, a highly talented basketball player who, after only a few times, died from using cocaine.



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