Dangerous effects of drug abuse

Dangerous effects of drug abuse

In our society today, people buy and use drugs without knowing the side effects of such drugs. Drugs here include both the legalized and over the counter drugs and illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, opium, heroin, amphetamines etc. Drug is any chemical substance that is used to prevent and treat disease or
illness. While drug abuse refers to the use or application of drug or substance (medicinal or non medicinal) outside the medical reasons. It is also the use of such substances outside the prescription of trained and licensed personnel.
Most people often believe that drugs sold over the counter without prescription are safe and have no side effects. But what they fail to understand is that no drug is completely safe. For instance, paracetamol that is usually used when someone has cold, fever, headache or pains has been found that when used regularly for a long period of time can bring about or double the risk of developing kidney cancer and kidney damage. Another example is blood pressure drugs. They have side effects ranging from weakness, mental depression, fatigue, impotence, indigestion, headache, drowsiness etc. It has been recommended that individuals should seek the advice of a qualified health professional before using a any drug.
People abuse drugs because of the following stated reasons:
  1. Psychological factors: Most of the time, people use drugs to have a change of mood. It could be to stimulate or depress their present status of the mind.  For instance, stimulants are used to produce a feeling of alertness in depressed people (either emotional or physical), it is used to produce a euphoric ‘high’ effect and a feeling of well being. 
  2. Peer influence factors: This is a common factor among adolescents and teenagers. Most often they give in to the pressures of taking drugs so as not to be excommunicated from their friends or groups. 
  3. Media influence: Most movie or music icons are smokers of different substances and their display on the screen sends dangerous messages to young minds who may likely wish to imitate his or her found love, thereby abusing drugs. 
  4. Parental factors: Many parents are drug addicts and their behaviour sends negative signals to their children. They are the ones children look up to in terms of behaviour models. In a situation where parents present bad example, it is easily copied which eventually leads to the abuse of drugs by children. 
  5. Competition for success: The urge to achieve success in a competitive world lures people into use of drugs. Some sports men and women abuse drugs in order to enhance their performance in sporting competitions. Similarly, most workers use drugs to work longer than their normal strength can carry. 
  6. Occupational predisposition: Some vocations predispose their member to the abuse of drugs, for example, bar men have access to alcohol and health professionals have access to drugs. 
  7. Availability of psychoactive drugs: Some of these drugs are available and for that reason people use them and invariably abuse them. For instance, cigarette and alcohol are legal in our society and available which make them the most abused drugs in our country.

The drug abuse always comes with a price which is in most cases extremely disastrous for the individual. The consequences of drug abuse can be divided into three: social, psychological and physical problems of drug abuse.
Social problems of drug abuse include    
  • Crime: There is an undeniable link between drug abuse and crime. Most criminals are drug abusers because after taking drugs they won’t be able to differentiate right from wrong. 
  • Economic consequence: Individuals abusing drugs are at risk of going bankrupt because of their insatiable need for those drugs. 
  • Stigmatization: Substance abusing youths are more likely to be alienated from and stigmatized by their peers. They are often disengaged from school and community activities. 
  • Leads to drop out from school:  Declining grades, absenteeism from school and other activities increase the potential for dropping out of school are problems associated with adolescent drug abuse.

Psychological problems of drug abuse include    
  •  Psychosis: A mental disorder characterized by severe disturbance in how the individual sees the world and self. 
  • Anxiety and restlessness. 
  • Depression: A mental illness characterized by low mood, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, insomnia (inability to sleep or disturbances in the sleep cycle), thoughts of suicide or death etc.

Physical problems of drug abuse include  
  • High blood pressure. 
  • HIV/AIDS. 
  • Premature death. 
  • Damage to the brain and other major organs of the body.

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