What is Drug abuse ?
The topic drug abuse is such a wide field. There are many types and forms of drug abuse. The use of over the counter drugs, painkillers. and prescription drugs, are a small part of the overall problem society faces today with drug abuse. Added to the problem is the use of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, crack, cocaine, speed, heroin, PCP, and the list goes on and on.
Drug abuse is defined as using a foreign substance to alter ones normal state of being. It becomes abusive, in the form of over usage or addictions or chemical dependency.
How and Why does one become Addicted to Drugs ?
Many people become addicted to drugs because of the feeling of well being they offer. Others become addicted with out realizing it. Take for example the athlete, who has had a persistent ankle injury, to overcome the pain they take a pill. Soon without realizing it, their body needs that drug to function.
Some drugs have a fast addiction rate, others a slower addition rate. Often times individuals use drugs as an escape from reality. While they are high they feel super human and forget all of their worries, not thinking about what life will be like when the high is gone. Nor the long term effects the drug will have over their life.
How many people do Drugs hurt or kill ?
Since most ill effects from drug abuse are not documented well, because of their illegal nature it is had to get an adequate picture of this problem. But it is estimated that nearly 600,000 individuals died in 1996 with a direct relationship to drug abuse. Another 400,000 died from other causes, that were indirectly related to drug abuse. Every year hundreds of thousands are hurt, or maimed by drug abuse and drug abusers.
What are the Health risks involved with Drug use ?
The number one risk, is that to ones health. Using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.
The effects on the brain, from the use of marijuana, cocaine, and other addictive substances result in diminished motor skills, impaired vision, visual distortions and reduced reaction times. Other noticeable effects are sexual impotence, and speech distortions. Addicts often displace wide range mood swings and suffer from depression. Certain drugs may cause, strokes, blood clots in the brain, and seizures. The effects of drug use on the heart, may include irregular heart beat, heart pain, hypertension and heart attacks. Some substances reduce the size of our arteries, thus preventing the normal flow of blood to the heart
Many drugs effect our liver, lungs, and central nervous system. Also the use of intravenous drugs increases the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis.
What are the effects of Drug abuse?
Drug use can ruin your looks, make you depressed, and contribute to slipping grades. Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.
What is the effect on others ?
The use of drugs can devastate family, friends and loved ones. When the addiction gets to the point where the drug is all important and nothing else matters to the abuser. Drug abuse also effects those around us, by being impaired the abuser may act in a dangerous way, taking unneeded chances and risks. Drugs kill, they suck the life from the abuser, taking control of their personality and their being.
Ways of kicking the habit
Because of the effects on the mind and the body's dependency of the drug, outside medical help is about the only way to overcome an addition to drugs. Many times requiring a drying out period and extended counseling and therapy. Support groups help, in the essence that your not alone and when tempted can be a life saver.
Where can you find help
To find help look in your local yellow pages. Your local mental health facility, drug rehabilitation centers, hospital, your family doctor, a local church, or school counselor. These all have resources to get the help you need.
National Council on Drug Dependence
American Society of Addiction Medicine