Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Percocets, Xanax, and 'lean' are amongst the most widely abused drugs, especially in the African American community.
Frequent headlines of rappers, Lil Wayne and Fredo Santana, report battling seizures related to excessive and chronic use of lean, but individuals, young and old, are still experimenting with these drugs and it is slowly deteriorating their overall health. With famous rappers such as Kodak Black, Pimp C, Peewee Longway, Lil Uzi Vert, Chief Keef, Schoolboy Q, DJ Screw, Young Thug, and Future having released music and or statements of current or past usage, how can we stop the process ? Let's start with raising awareness of the negative effects and stopping its promotion in our entertainment industry.
Drug Indication and Adverse Effects
In order to understand how harmful these drugs are for the body, it is important to first understand what these drugs are actually intended for and their side effects. Below you will find a brief description of the drug use and adverse effects associated with it.
Percocet (Acetaminophen / Oxycodone 325/5)
Percocet is a schedule II narcotic usually used in an outpatient or hospital setting to relieve pain related to surgery, trauma, or chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It is recommended, by medical doctors, that this drug not be used chronically in most settings due to it's black box warning (serious hazard) and high risk of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which may lead to overdose and death.
Side effects include but are not limited to dependency, allergic reaction, bradypnea (decreased breathing rate), constipation, renal failure, severe anemia, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and chest pain, and respiratory arrest.
Xanax is a short acting benzodiazepine in the schedule IV narcotic category. It is also one that is widely used among several different communities. Xanax is approved for anxiety (mild to severe) and panic disorders.
Although often misinterpreted, xanax overdose can lead to adverse effects such as suicidal thoughts, severely low blood pressure, constipation, dry mouth, weight change, decreased sex drive, blurry vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, hallucinations, memory loss, irregular heartbeat, trouble speaking, and twitching.
Actavis (now discontinued :promethazine/codeine)
Actavis is an antihistamine and antitussive that is used to simple relieve cough and pain associated. Even though activist is now discontinued for medical use, it is still widely sought after in the current time. Online shops and private vendors still find a way to sneak this drug into communities as it is the most popular, yet life threatening.
The side effects of this drug are MOST life threatening (hence is discontinuation) with extreme bradycardia (slow heart beat), fatigue, twitching, hallucinations, mood changes, violent seizures, hypertensive crisis, increased cranial (brain) pressure, stroke, bleeding, blurry vision, constipation, urine retention, tinnitus (ear ringing), and panic anxiety attacks.
With now understanding the implications and adverse effects associated with these drugs, you may ask: why do people choose to do this to their bodies? Well, these drugs whether used individually or together, serve some very powerful effects. Individuals abuse drugs of this caliber in order to elevate mood, release inhibitions, distort perceptions, induce hallucinations, and modify thinking.
Drugs such as percocets, xanax and promethazine/codeine cough syrup have reported effects and official FDA warnings of abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, chest pain, extreme addiction, and more. These drugs are often used with a misconception of what their actual intentions are. They should be only used under medical surveillance due to the powerful effects and addictive nature. However, this is seldom the case. These drugs are running more rampant among communities all over the country and are used mostly for "celebratory" purposes. As this drug continues to be promoted through music and entertainment , we have seen a vast increase in its use in house parties, clubs, and even schools. The desired feelings that you are looking forward to from taking these drugs are actually labeled as harmful side effects that could possibly lead to hospitalization and death with continued use. With continued or chronic use of these drugs the end result will resort in liver, kidney, neurological and heart disease and ultimately a life of addiction, low quality life and death.
All Drugs Lead to Addiction
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease this is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Individuals with drug abuse and seeking tendencies usually display acts of impulsiveness, frustration, depression or anxiety disorders, and are rebellious against social norms. These drugs activate the “reward circuit” and cause release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is responsible for action on the award center and controls emotions, movement, and pleasure/pain responses. However, over time, the chronic use of drugs leads to down-regulation (tolerance) of the dopamine receptors which decreases the amount of the dopamine. This usually leaves the abuser feeling flat, lifeless, and depressed as well as unable to respond to natural stimuli. Treatment duration for addiction must be adequate and is based on individual need. Most individuals require at least 3 months of treatment to reduce or stop drug use.
Drug Use, Addiction & Abuse: The Degradation of the Afro-Community
As you can imagine, this epidemic is destroying the black community. Younger Afro-American, Caribbean, and Hispanic generations have more access to drugs than they do extracurricular activities and positive role models. Be understanding of the fact that younger children are constantly exposed to the things that older generations are doing. So how are we supposed to raise intelligent black lawyers, doctors, nurses, and entrepreneurs, if what the majority of what our children witness are Afro-individuals making unintelligent decisions and destroying their bodies? Believe it or not, the trends will haunt the future, unless people actually step up and speak up about what it happening to our Afro-community. Next time you find yourself singing along the lyrics of these drug promoting songs or actually doing these drugs, ask yourself "am I a part of the problem or the solution ?"
Steps to Solving the Problem
Be the solution
Stop the promotion of these drugs
Act as positive role models
Help clean up Afro-centric communities
Build black excellence