A Drug is any chemical substance which when taken alters the moods, perception and behavior. Drug addiction refers to the physiological dependency on drugs and the person experiences withdrawal symptoms like fever, shivering, nausea, insomnia etc, Drug dependency is the dependence a person develops on the drugs, this dependency is not only a physiological dependence but also psychological dependence. When a person gets dependent on a drug, they get a craving for it, and if the person is unable to fulfill this craving, he/she becomes angry, frustrated or depressed.
Drug abuse denotes an excessive use of drugs which is likely to produce a habit and an intensive desire to consume more drugs. It may lead to drug dependency. Drug tolerance means that the person has reached a threshold, and the level of drug intake has gone high and the person requires more and more quantity of drug to get the feeling of euphoria.
It is interesting to know that the usage of drugs is not a new phenomenon. In the prehistoric times drugs were made from extracts of leaves and were used to relieve body aches and pains.
Drugs can be classified into four types:
Narcotic: It can be of different types, to begin with there are opium which are seeds that are collected from coffee seeds. Then there is morphine which is present in opium, initially it was used in medication as a pain killer in injuries or diseases like cancer but it resulted in drowsiness and excessive sleepiness. In order to reduce this effect, through a chemical process the two properties of painkiller and sedative ness were separated. This separation of the properties of morphine caused a disaster in medical science. The strong sedative property of morphine is heroin, which is highly addictive and produces drug dependence. Brown sugar is a unadulterated, unrefined form of heroin, it is usually mixed with class power etc, due to this it is cheep.
Stimulants: Stimulants are used to activate or stimulate the nervous system. It helps a person reach a stage of charged energy; hence it is commonly used by sports persons. Some stimulants are caffeine, cocaine, steroids, etc.
Depressants: They have the opposite effects to stimulants, depressants slowdown and deactivate the nervous system. The person feels sleepy, dull, inactive and the like. It reduces the stress and anxiety, some type of depressants is valium, alcohol, tranquillizers.
Hallucinogens: These kinds of drugs produce hallucinations that are perceived or see things which do not exist. Some types of hallucinogens are LSD, marijuana leaves, marijuana seeds, and hash.
I often wonder why any one use drugs would. What are the reasons behind taking them? It is off late that I heard about many young people being caught taking drugs and was arrested for the same. Here are some reasons why people may use drugs.
The highest population of drug users is among the youth of today. Initial curiosity and experimentation is one cause to drug intake, the youth today wants to try new things, have new thrills and want to experiment with different things. By chance they try drugs and get fixed with the feeling of euphoria. Once addicted there is no turning back for them. Another reason is peer pressure. Everyone wants to be liked, admired and given a lot of attention. If a boy or a girl is got in to the company of others who use and abuse drugs, they feel compelled to use drugs just so they are accepted and thought of as “cool”. They don’t want to loose friends nor do they want others to think of them as looser or rejects so they circum under the pressure of peers. The same is true of people of any age group. Sometimes when going through a mid life crises many men and women want to try new things, something they had never done before or were denied when young. The 20th century has developed the world at an ever increasing rate. The fast life, the tough competition to be the best, high standard of living and the ever growing expenses cause much tension, anxiety and frustration. High cases of divorces and failed relationship are just some of the negative outcomes of our fast paced life. Unfortunately some people find it hard to deal with these pressures in life, and resort to drugs to escape from failure and the responsibilities of everyday life. Sometimes loneliness and depression causes people to use drugs. Children, especially adolescents imitate and idolize their parents. Therefore if there is a drug user in the family, chances of the child to use them becomes high. In such families the values towards the use to drugs is also different. When a person is suffering from a fatal disease or has lost hope and the wish to live resort to the use of drugs to forget the pain. Finally, the most unfortunate cause of drug intake is the cheep and easy availability of drugs. This easy access to drug users and drug takers lead to high drug addiction and drug abuse. I remember once my young niece asked me why is taking drugs so bad. She told me her teacher told her taking drugs is bad but she couldn’t understand why. Unfortunately it’s the same story with many others.
There are various effects of drugs; lets classify these into physiological effects, psychological and social effects.
Effect of drug on our bodies is direct. You may notice symptoms like lack of apatite (no hunger), unusual weight loss, bronchitis (lung disease), bad nutrition level, problem of lever, and lack of personal hygiene (shabby appearance).
Our mind also gets affected by drugs, but this is indirectly and untapped. You would notice that a person on drugs suffer from depressions, lack of sleep or they even become paranoid.
The effect of drugs on society is indirect. When addicted the persons needs more finances to buy more and more drugs to fulfill their craving, when the money is not available it leads to stealing, prostitution and sometimes even murders, hence, leading to a high crime rate. Besides this, addiction can also lead to poor interpersonal relationships those results in bad relationships and sometimes even divorces. Hence, when a person takes drugs they not only harm themselves but also the people around them who they love and care for and also the society at large.
The using and misusing and abusing of drugs can be prevented in several ways like:
Awareness, the most important step towards the prevention of drugs is education people about the bad effects of drugs and their harmfulness by means of lectures, mass media, seminars and workshops.
Make punishment sever, if a person is caught with even 1 gram of drugs in Japan the punishment is 7 years of imprisonment. When people fear the system they would stop using drugs.
Provide a good family life, when a person is surrounded with a good family support system and understanding loving family they would not want to use drugs.
Now that you know what drugs are, and have read about their effects and ways of prevention lets look at some treatments that are possible for people who wish to recover form addiction:
Hospitalization: A person who is physically and psychologically dependent needs to be hospitalized and kept under supervision and is treated for the withdrawal symptoms.
Aversion therapy: under this therapy the user is given painful shocks and this creates a haltered and aversion towards drugs.
Psychotherapy: A psychiatrist treats the user by trying to figure out the root cause behind the use of drugs. And counseling is done to find a satisfying solution.
Narcotics Anonymous: it is an organization of ex- drug users who help others recover by regularly meeting and sharing problems. It is a social support system which gives the user a new perspective on his/ her circumstances and life
Rehabilitation: A person who is discharged from the hospital after a treatment for drugs is usually taken to rehabilitation centers. After a treatment if a person goes back to the same way of life that caused his to be a drug addict in the first place would lead to a relapse and the person would resort to drugs again. So usually after a treatment in the hospital a person usually goes for rehabilitation where the person would keep them self occupied with work and vocational training and learn new and better ways of life and dealing and coping with stressful situations, usually these centers have a psychiatrist or a psychologist who work with them to build a better behavior patter, after a period of time the person is discharged with a certificate stating that they have fully recovered from drug use.
Drugs, Just say NO!!!