Most "hard drugs" are illegal for good reason: They're dangerous and addictive. Cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy, and a whole array of hallucinogenic (mind-altering) drugs can cause serious health problems. Drugs like heroin and cocaine top the list and can kill a person almost instantaneously. An overdose, if not fatal, is always serious and puts a person's life at risk. Although trying a drug once probably won't do much damage by itself, it may be the first step on the path to drug addiction. Addiction affects a person's physiology, making him or her more likely to suffer real physical aging that is manifested in many ways. Unnecessary aging associated with drug use can be as much as eight years. The mental effects of drug use tend to disrupt our social ties, often causing users to lose their friends, families, and jobs.
Using drugs increases the chances that you'll make bad decisions. For example, cocaine and crack use is associated with higher rates of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), not because using the drugs increases susceptibility to HIV, but because users take risks (unsafe sex, needle sharing) that make them more likely to be exposed to the virus.
Find out more about this book:The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life