Drugs are usually perceived as substances that are illegal and difficult to access. Yet, there are legal substances that are easily accessible and are as hazardous.

Legal substances:

  • Cigarettes - Water Pipe (Narguile)
  • Alcohol

Illegal substances, some of which are:

  • Cannabis (marijuana and hashish)
  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin

In Lebanon, getting caught with an illegal substance has serious legal consequences including imprisonment ranging from 3 months to 3 years and a fine that can reach 5 million Lebanese Liras.

In Lebanon, cannabis is an illegal drug. Many people believe it is a harmless drug because it leads to feelings of happiness and relaxation and an increase in appetite. But consuming cannabis can have some negative consequences: It can put the consumer at risk of being in a road accident due to slowed down reactions. Continuous use can lead to short-term memory problems, and addiction. Although cannabis is legal in some countries and is sometimes used for medicinal purposes, it doesn’t make it good for you.

Ecstasy (also known as the “party pill” or “love drug”) is often taken at raves and parties to endure more hours of partying. It will increase energy for a short while, but this is followed by: Anxiety, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, sadness or depression. Once taken, ecstasy causes dehydration, which often leads to consumption of alcohol. Combining ecstasy with alcohol is very harmful and can even be poisonous and lethal. People who have chosen to take ecstasy should only consume water or non-alcoholic drinks to quench thirst.

Is Narguile harmful? Water pipes, (also known as narguile) are widely available around Lebanon in cafes, restaurants and homes, and smoking them is quite common. Many people have misconceptions about water pipes, and believe they are less harmful than cigarettes. They believe the water acts as a filter and rids the pipe of toxins and chemicals, deeming it harmless. The fact is, smoking Nargileh is a lot more harmful than smoking cigarettes. The concentrations of smoke that are inhaled are much larger so smoke still enters the lungs after taking a puff, even if the person is not inhaling it. Water reduces the taste of burning coal used to burn the tobacco, but it does not filter out all the harmful chemicals.

They don’t just give you “energy” Energy drinks (Red Bull and XXL, to name a few) are marketed as fluids that give you extra energy to enhance your performance to help you play sports more effectively or study harder to ace an exam. Consuming these drinks may give you energy or more alertness, but the effects are temporary. Energy drinks contains artificial substances that are dangerous to our bodies, including taurine and caffeine. If consumed for a period of time, these ingredients can: - Affect your heart rate - Increase blood pressure - Cause heightened anxiety - Increase insomnia or inability to sleep. Energy drinks are very harmful for children and teenagers. A glass of fresh juice could give you more energy than these drinks do, and for longer periods of time.