According to The War Within Our Hearts by Habeeb Quadri and Sa’ad Quadri, each day in America among all children, 366 are arrested for drug abuse. The term “drug abuse” is a patterned use of a substance (drug) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others. The drugs used are often associated with levels of intoxication that alter judgment, perception, attention and physical control, not related to medical effects. Each year drug abuse causes millions of serious illness and other related social vices such as armed robbery, high rate of drunken related accidents, stress and more.
Affecting more than one family in the community, drug abuse is becoming one of the major cause of death in people; especially teenagers and youths. A list of widely abused drugs include but not limited to :
- Prescribed drugs
Marijuana can easily be said to be the most used drug in some part of the world legalizing it. It is also the most popular intoxicant among high school student. Weed as its commonly called has the same effect on the brain like cocaine and heroin. Long use of marijuana can make the user have trouble thinking clearly, multitasking and organizing thoughts. A study has also found out that weed smokers have a higher rate of school dropout.
Belonging to the group drugs known as stimulates, cocaine speeds up the messages between the body and the brain. Cocaine gives the immediate feeling of euphoria. The drug is extracted from the leaves of the coca bush. Some of the effects include :
- Increase body temperature
- Feeling of euphoria
- Increase strength and energy
- Numbness to pain
- Increased sense of invincibility
Heroin is a highly addictive drug made from morphine which can either be injected into the bloodstreams or snorted into the nostrils. Heroin is mostly used as a recreational drug inducing bliss. Its use can lead to :
- Lung diseases
- High risks of getting hepatitis B and C
- Collapsed veins
- The heroine can also lead to heart infections
As the name implies, they are agents that cause hallucinations and other kinds of abnormalities with substantial changes in emotion, thoughts, and consciousness. Psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants are some of the common examples of hallucinogen.
The use and abuse of alcohol especially in teens and adult is very common. With a high rate of alcohol-related vices around the world such as domestic violence, rape, and accidents, alcohol is one of the most deadly substances out there. It causes :
- Alcohol causes skin dehydration
- Bloated or puffy face
- An alcoholic smells unpleasant
- Causes breast, bowel and liver cancer
A product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant. By inhaling tobacco through a cigarette, the average smoker takes in about 1-2 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette.
Causes of drug abuse
- High unemployment rate
- Peer pressure
- Poor achievement in academics
- Availability of drugs
- Poor home training
Signs and symptoms
- Abandoning activities that used to be enjoyed, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing.
- Increased agitation or irritability when engaging in common social interactions.
- Change in eating habits
- Deterioration of hygiene or physical health
- Needle marks on lower arm, feet or leg
- The unpleasant smell on clothes
Physical and Psychological Effects of Drug Abuse
Initially, a user might start using the drug to get away from the problems they might be experiencing, usually pain, sadness or stress. So when the user gets in any of these moods, they feel the need to use drugs.
The brain is wired in a way that makes you want to repeat situations or experiences that make you feel good.
This is exactly what drugs do to you so you would want to keep taking it and keep feeling “good”.
Other psychological effects of drug abuse include
- Loss of concentration leading to an increased psychological dependence
- Loss of awareness of reality
- The desire to engage in high-risk behavior
Physical effects of drug abuse
Drug abuse kills the immune system and leaves the user exposed to all kinds of health-related issues such as :
- Brain damage
- Kidney and liver damage
- Irregular heart rate
- Heart attack
And many more.
- Treatment can occur in various ways but the most common way is through rehabilitation.
- Remaining in a treatment program or participating in a treatment plan for an adequate amount of time is critical for the treatment to be effective.
- Behavior change is the most important element for effective treatment of addiction. Often this requires counseling or behavior modification treatment.
- Many have found that having a strong belief system such a divine faith helps with treating drug abuse.
Recovery from addiction can be a long-term process and can require more than one episode or type of treatment.