Figure 4-70.Stingray sting.
(fig. 4-70). General signs and symptoms include
swelling, nausea, vomiting, generalized cramps,
muscular paralysis, and shock.
Emergency care consists of prompt flushing with
cold sea water to remove the venom and to con-
strict hemorrhaging blood vessels. Next, debride
the wound of any remaining pieces of the spines
venom-containing integumentary sheath. Soak the
wound area in very hot water for 30 to 60 minutes
to neutralize the venom. Finally, completely
debride the wound, control hemorrhage, suture,
provide tetanus prophylaxis and a broad-spectrum
antibiotic, and elevate the extremity.
Sea snakes are found in the warm water areas
of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Their venom
is VERY poisonous, but their fangs are only 1/4
inch long. It is advisable to follow the first aid
steps outlined for the treatment of land
Drug abuse is the habitual or excessive use of
drugs for purposes or in quantities for which they
were not intended.
Drugs are chemical compounds or biological
substances that, when introduced into the body,
affect its mental or physical functions. When
abused, drugs become a source of poison to
the body. They can lead to serious illness,
dependency, and death. Death is usually due to
acute intoxication or overdose.
The group classification used in this manual
is intended to categorize drugs most commonly
abused into useful clusters. For our purposes, it
is considered the most appropriate of several
methods of classification. Table 4-8 list the drugs
with their recognized trade names, some com-
monly used street names, and observable symp-
toms of abuse.
The following sections contain specific infor-
mation about commonly abused drugs, as
classified in table 4-8, including availability and
methods of administration.
Unfortunately, abuse of narcotic drugs is com-
mon. This group of drugs includes the most ef-
fective and widely used pain killers in existence.
Continual use of narcotic drugs, even under
medical supervision, inevitably leads to physical
and psychological dependence. The more com-
monly known drugs within this group are opium,
morphine, heroin, codeine, and methadone (a syn-
thetic narcotic). In addition, Darvon and Talwin
are included in this group because of their
narcotic-like action. Next to cocaine (discussed
later), heroin is the most popular narcotic drug
because of its intense euphoria and long-lasting
effect. It is far more potent than morphine but
has no legitimate use in the United States. Heroin
appears as a white, gray, or tan, fluffy powder.
The most common method of using heroin is by
injection directly into the vein, although it can be
sniffed. Codeine, although milder than heroin and
morphine, is sometimes abused as an ingredient
in cough syrup preparations. Symptoms of nar-
cotic drug abuse include slow shallow breathing,
possible unconsciousness, constriction (narrow-
ing) of the pupils of the eyes to pinpoint size,
drowsiness, confusion, and slurred speech.
The narcotic drug abuser, suddenly withdrawn
from drugs, may appear as a wildly disturbed per-
son who is agitated, restless, and possibly
Alcohol is the most widely abused drug today.
Alcohol intoxication is so common that it often
fails to receive the attention and respect it
deserves. Although there are many alcohols, the
type consumed by people is known as ethyl