Substance abuse is defined as overindulgence and dependence on a toxic chemical/drug, which directly affects the human nervous system, behaviour and various body functions. These substances or drugs have detrimental effects on the mental and physical health of an individual.
Substances that are abused include tobacco, alcohol, addicting medicines and heroin etc. People may start using drugs or indulge in substance abuse for fun, due to peer pressure, curiosity or any other reason, but due to this act, the society has to pay a significant cost. Abused substances are the psychoactive substances that cause dependence syndrome. If a person indulges in substance abuse, he/she feels a strong desire to use it, cannot control its use and cannot get over the addiction even after harmful consequences. Substance abuse can change the perception, judgment, physical control or attention of an individual.
The negative effect of substance-abuse can be seen at emergency departments and in various rehabilitation centres and hospitals. One can directly see the poor health conditions of substance-abusers and the physical trauma that they are suffering from. The rising number of substance abusers in prisons and jails also shows the connection between substance-abuse and crime.
Drugs and abused substances slow down the thinking ability, and the person is unable to judge between right and wrong. Many professionals, flourishing doctors, scientists or intelligent young students, when indulge in substance-abuse, deviate completely from their mission of life and face failure in life because of their drug habit. Some of them end up committing crimes, getting a dangerous disease, losing close relationships etc. They do not realize their true potential, forget their missions, their personal goals and hence, destroy their lives.
Substance-abuse can destroy lives by causing different diseases, impaired abilities, weak judgement and developing criminal behaviour. Some drug abusers by violating laws kill innocent people and sometimes kill themselves. Common problems due to substance abuse are violent mood swings, marital problems, child abuse, rape, school problems, job problems, domestic violence, loss of friends, divorce, financial problems, suicide and loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.
Major life destroying effect of substance abuse is serious crimes. Researches and studies have revealed that a substance abuser has eighteen times greater chances of committing a crime. A person who is a poor performer, deprived and socially inactive is less likely to commit a crime than a bright socially active and economically strong substance abuser.
The mind altering effects of drugs are the root cause of violent crimes, committed by the abuser. Many of the substance abusers get into crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence under the influence of drugs. Sometimes, they get life sentence due to their crime or even years of jail. The abilities and talent of a substance abuser remains undiscovered and the person either becomes mentally retarded or commits suicide.
People lose their lives, get punished, suffer from guilt and catch fatal diseases like HIV and AIDS due to substance abuse. It is not only the life of substance abuser that is destroyed but also that of his/her family and loved ones. It is a tragedy for the family, friends and for the abuser. There is nothing positive about the substance abuse as they destroy their lives completely.