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Criminology, Education, English

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug abuse and addiction refer to a condition that is characterized by excessive consumption of drug substances available for use by the population. This leads to self-destruction in the usage of the substance which subsequently leads to health complications and stress (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler). The condition is a major global concern, especially among youths who turn to drug abuse due to mental disorders faced in their daily lives. More than 8% of the population living in the United States have been affected by drug abuse at a certain point in their lives before developing tolerance to the drugs they use or withdrawing from them (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler). It is important to note health complications and stress effects are often associated with the withdrawal of drugs by users. Generally, any drug that can be ingested by human beings resulting in euphoric feelings can be abused. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include inhalants such as household cleaners (NIDA). Drug abuse can also be described as the use of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs contrary to the instructions given by the doctor. For instance, users may consume drugs that may not have been prescribed by the doctor or they may even crush them to powder and inhale them rather than administer them orally as prescribed by the doctor (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler).

Common types of drugs abused in society include depressants, painkillers, and chemical stimulants. Depressants usually slow down the activity of the nervous system and include barbiturates which are mostly prescribed for insomnia patients (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler). Other types of depressants include sedative medicines, benzodiazepine, codeine and morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, amphetamines, methylphenidate, and dextromethorphan among others. Some of the terms used in the context of drug abuse include dual diagnosis which refers to the detection of an issue of drug issue in an individual coupled with the use of a significant mental disorder (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler).

The physical and physiological effects of drug abuse and addiction vary with the type of drug misused. The overall effect of excessive use of a drug substance by an individual can be detrimental to his or her well-being. Several factors can be attributed to the excessive use of chemicals or drugs which include biological, physiological, and social factors (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler).

The signs and symptoms that indicate that a certain individual is addicted to certain drug use include repeated use of drugs which can lead to legal problems, relationship problems, and lack of concentration, especially when not using the drug. Excessive use of drugs can also lead to withdrawal which is accompanied by mental health disorders, inability to quit the drug use, drug addiction due to long-term use, and loss of time spent in obtaining, using and recovering from the drug effects (NIDA).

One of the most effective ways of detecting a chemical use disorder by an individual is through a thorough evaluation of information on family history of drug use and addiction by the physician. The problem can also be diagnosed through a physical examination by a qualified health professional and evaluation tests carried out in the laboratory to identify the medical state of the drug user (NIDA). The treatment option for use by drug users in users is hugely ignored due to a lack of proper public awareness of the effects of drug abuse and addiction in society. Increasing cases of mental health disorders especially among the youths in the modern world due to various reasons such as family breakups, poverty, and effects of modern technology have led to continued chemical use disorder in society.

According to sociology professors at Florida University, most of boys abuse drugs due to low self-esteem and argued that such individuals were 1.6 times more likely to abuse drugs compared to normal potential drug users among youths (Stöppler and Marks). They also discovered that peer pressure was a major driving force in drug abuse and drug addiction among the youths, especially in drugs such as tobacco, and alcohol. According to the findings from the research study, low self-esteemed boys at eleven years are more likely to be drug dependent at the age of 20 years (Stöppler and Marks).

The effects of excessive use of drugs in society especially among youths are many. Drug abuse and addiction have been associated with a great economic cost estimated at $ 215 billion annually due to a reduction in wages due to medical, legal, and health complications (Stöppler and Marks). Marijuana farming and production, especially in Northern American countries such as Colombia, have a negative effect on cultivating soil and supplies of water. Crime cases associated with drug abuse and addiction comprise the most number of arrests in the United States where over 14 million cases were reported in the year 2014 only (NIDA).

Teenagers and youths are increasingly misusing prescription drugs, especially narcotics that relieve extreme pain, and stimulants that treat conditions such as lack of attention and narcolepsy. The common types of drugs abused or lead to drug dependence include alcohol, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, hallucinogens, inhalants, nicotine, opiates, phencyclidine, and sedative drugs (NIDA). Drug abuse and addiction lead to euphoria, intoxication, paranoia, depression, and suicidal thoughts especially due to abuse of drugs such as alcohol, ecstasy, marijuana, and cocaine. Intoxication leads to sleepiness and a slow rate of breathing as well as a faster rate of heartbeat and seizures and tremors due to alcohol.

Drug abuse and addiction can be treated by abstaining from the drug abuse, preventing of relapse, and rehabilitation. When an individual abstains he or she may require proper guidance to reduce the effects of withdrawal. This is achieved through a process known as detoxification that is carried out in the hospital.

Works Cited

Dryden-Edwards, R., and M. C. Stöppler. “Drug Abuse and Addiction.” MedicineNet.com, MedicineNet, Inc., 2014, www.medicinenet.com/drug_abuse/article.htm. Accessed 12 Mar. 2018.

NIDA. “Understanding Drug Use and Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 9 Aug. 2016, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction. Accessed 12 Mar. 2018.

Stöppler, M. C., and J. W. Marks. “Low Self-Esteem May Lead to Drug Abuse in Boys.” MedicineNet.com, MedicineNet, Inc., 2017, www.medicinenet.com/low_self-esteem_may_lead_to_drug_abuse_in_boys/views.htm. Accessed 12 Mar. 2018.

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