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Drug Abuse Essay

The first edition of the report on ‘drug abuse’ has been made by our group to give an idea of the calamitous cause of using drugs in improper way. The report is intended to serve the purpose of providing the knowledge about drug abuse and to suggest ways to help limit drug abuse. An effort has been made on our part to include certain symptoms which indicate drug abuse. Also throughout the report, repetitive use of the drug abuse’ has been made to instate into the minds of the reader the cause of using drug abuse in an illicit manner

The selection of the topic ‘Drug Abuse’ has been made in order to remind us of the menace of drug abuse. We live in a world where speed is the name of the game. A world where we cannot halt even for second or someone else will zip fast us to take our place. People say that it is a beautiful world if only we take time to look around. But a world has turn into a place where humanity cannot survive, only steel can. In this fast paced, ruthless, aggressive environment, there are easy ways out. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, are some of the most popular substances abused by people in order to include a false sense of peace, to provide a short but powerful release from the worries and troubles of their daily lives to provide a means of escape from the harsh realities of life. This report is intended to be a reminder to such folk who have let their life be washed away by drugs.

In the following report, we discuss the various aspects of drug abuse. Ranging from its impact on the younger generation to the way if affects the fields of competitive sports, we presents a comprehensive survey on the topic of drug abuse. Also discussed are the physical effects caused by excessive use of drugs. Drugs like “charas” and its derivatives “bhang” have a long history of use in Indian mythology and tradition. Popular television shows, pop culture, music’s, video represents the medium through which children are influenced today. Abuse of narcotic and psychoactive stimulants forms the core of most popular music videos. Parties in metropolitan cities today are not concluded without the customary party drugs. Available easily on the street, at rates not affected by inflation, drugs are among the most harmful items on any individual’s shopping list.

In the following report, an attempt has been made to discuss the causes cure for drug abuse. This report is intended for all audiences.

Acknowledgment

We would like to express our gratitude to our guide and mentor Prof.Santosh Bhagat , PCT in charge , who over the past semester has guided, corrected and provided us with necessary direction whenever the need arose. But for his invaluable guidance, illuminating discussion and constant encouragement, our report would have been a distant dream.

We would also like to thank Mrs. Kalyani, for her unique way of teaching us and arousing our interest towards the finer points of communication skills and report writing.

Also we would like to thank all those who co-operated with us and gave their invaluable inputs, advice and suggestion to the making of this report

Summary

Drug abuse is the use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. In the sense of consuming illicit drugs like cocaine or overdose of soft drug in the medicine like crocin. Drug abuse also includes the administration of drugs by athletes to enhance their ability in the respective sport. Drug abuse can not only endanger the physical balance of the body, but also it disturbs the stability of the society.

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual who is addicted and to those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.

It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects and regain control. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, if available, with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.

Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And, as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal failure—rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated, adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover.

However, the main motive of the text is to minimize drug abuse. The message maintained throughout the text is to be confident in oneself and not to resort to drugs through ones phase of glum. The key is to beat drug abuse is not vigilance. It is will power, confidence and the strength of human spirit.

Introduction

“I’m so happy because today I’ve found my friends;

They’re in my head, I’m so ugly, but that’s okay, cause so are you;

We’ve broken our mirrors, Sunday morning is every day for all I care;

And I’m not scared, Light my candles;

In a daze, cause I’ve found GOD”

-Kurt cobain,

Nirvana

These lyrics made into wonderful song by the band nirvana express the feelings of a person who has just administered cocaine, a drug that capsizes the human ability to think. This person is very happy with his life. All his problems seem like daze to him. He is rid of all mortal aspects of life. Then isn’t this is a wonderful experience?

Well this experience caused due to administration of certain illicit drugs is called is high. This ‘high” enables the person to reach mental level of peace and calm. However, as sir Newton said “what goes up must come down .and the higher it goes the hardest it falls.“ The person who administered the drug experiences a feeling known as the crash, wherein he enters into gloomy state of depression. This state of depression doesn’t leave the person till he administers the drug back again. This in turn makes the person addicted towards the drug and thus makes the person abuse drug furthermore.

When an individual begins to abuse drugs, the whole family is affected. Depending on the severity of the addiction, they may begin to steal or borrow money from the family, act strange and spend days living on the street. The only thing that is important is how they will get their next high. There may be conflicts in the family about how to treat this individual. Some may continue to support him while others adopt a tough love strategy. It is difficult to know what to do, and heartbreaking to see an individual become a slave to a drug.

The recent incidents of drunken driving causing severe facilities on Indian roads are considered by many as concrete evidence of drug abuse among minor, and also as a case of severe indifference and neglect among their parents. Now, drug abuse is turning into a menace that has engulfed the world. Let’s fight collectively against this menace. Let’s learn about drug abuse. What is really means and how one can conquer it.

What is drug abuse?

Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term “drug abuse” does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in non medical contexts. The terms have a huge range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. All of these definitions imply a negative judgment of the drug use in question (compare with the term responsible drug use for alternative views). Some of the drugs most often associated with this term include alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methaqualone, and opioids.

Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, both strongly depending on local jurisdiction. Other definitions of drug abuse fall into four main categories: public health definitions, mass communication and vernacular usage, medical definitions, and political and criminal justice definitions. Drug addiction is when you become dependent on a drug, and it forms a central part of your life. Misusing drugs can lead to physical dependency, or psychological dependency. Physical dependency means that your body has become so used to a drug that you get physical withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it. This means that you have to keep taking the drug to stop yourself feeling ill.

Psychological dependency means that you take the drug because it has formed a large part of your life, and you take it to make yourself feel good. You may feel that you cannot stop taking the drug, even though you are not physically dependant. Some drugs can make you both physically and psychologically dependent.

As you take more of a drug, your body becomes tolerant to it so it does not have such a strong effect. This means that you need to take larger amounts to get the same effect as when you started taking it.

Drug misuse is when you take illegal drugs, or when you take medicines in a way not recommended by your doctor or the manufacturer. Taking medicines in very large quantities that are dangerous to your health is also an example of drug misuse.

Examples of drugs that are commonly misused include:

Illegal drugs,

Alcohol,

Tobacco,

Prescribed medicines including painkillers, sleeping tablets, and cold remedies,

khat (a leaf that is chewed over several hours), and

Glues, aerosols, gases and solvents.

What happens to your brain when you take drugs?

Drugs are chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs are able to do this: (1) by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers, and/or (2) by over stimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain.

Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, have a similar structure to chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, which are naturally produced by the brain. Because of this similarity, these drugs are able to “fool” the brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells to send abnormal messages.

Other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters, or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals, which is needed to shut off the signal between neurons. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message that ultimately disrupts normal communication patterns.

Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The over stimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs.

As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. As a result, dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit is lessened, reducing the abuser’s ability to enjoy the drugs and the things that previously brought pleasure. This decrease compels those addicted to drugs to keep abusing drugs in order to attempt to bring their dopamine function back to normal. And, they may now require larger amounts of the drug than they first did to achieve the dopamine high — an effect known as tolerance.

Long-term abuse causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that influences the reward circuit and the ability to learn. When the optimal concentration of glutamate is altered by drug abuse, the brain attempts to compensate, which can impair cognitive function. Drugs of abuse facilitate no conscious (conditioned) learning, which leads the user to experience uncontrollable cravings when they see a place or person they associate with the drug experience, even when the drug itself is not available. Brain imaging studies of drug-addicted individuals show changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control. Together, these changes can drive an abuser to seek out and take drugs compulsively despite adverse consequences — in other words, to become addicted to drugs.

Why do some people become addicted, while others do not?

No single factor can predict whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs. Risk for addiction is influenced by a person’s biology, social environment, and age or stage of development. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:

Biology: The genes that people are born with — in combination with environmental influences — account for about half of their addiction vulnerability. Additionally, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may influence risk for drug abuse and addiction.

Environment:. A person’s environment includes many different influences — from family and friends to socioeconomic status and quality of life in general. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, stress, and parental involvement can greatly influence the course of drug abuse and addiction in a person’s life.

Development: Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction vulnerability, and adolescents experience a double challenge. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it is to progress to more serious abuse. And because adolescents’ brains are still developing in the areas that govern decision making, judgment, and self-control, they are especially prone to risk-taking behaviors, including trying drugs of abuse.

Spiritual usage of cannabis (charas) in Indian history and tradition

Cannabis was used in Hindu culture as early as 1500 BCE, and its ancient use is confirmed within the Vedas (Sama Veda, Rig Veda, and Atharva Veda). There are three types of cannabis used in India. The first, Bhang, consists of the leaves and plant tops of the marijuana plant. It is usually consumed as an infusion in beverage form, and varies in strength according to how much Cannabis is used in the preparation. The second, Ganja, consisting of the leaves and the plant tops, is smoked. The third, called Charas or Hashish, consists of the resinous buds and/or extracted resin from the leaves of the marijuana plant. Typically, Bhang is the most commonly used form of cannabis in religious festivals.

Connection of ganja with the worship of shiva

Cannabis or ganja is associated with worship of the Hindu deity Shiva, who is popularly believed to like the hemp plant. Bhang is offered to Shiva images, especially on Shivratri festival. This practice is particularly witnessed at temples of Benares, Baidynath and Tarakeswar. Bhang is not only offered to the deity, but also consumed by Shaivite (sect of Shiva) yogis. Charas is smoked by some Shaivite devotees and cannabis itself is seen as a gift (“prasad,” or offering) to Shiva to aid in sadhana. Some of the wandering ascetics in India known as sadhus smoke charas out of a clay chillum. During the Hindu festival of Holi, people consume a drink called bhang which contains cannabis flowers.[33][35] According to one description, when the elixir of life was produced from the churning of the ocean by the devas and the asuras, Shiva created cannabis from his own body to purify the elixir (whence, for cannabis, the epithet angaja or body-born).

Another account suggests that the cannabis plant sprang when a drop of the elixir dropped on the ground. Thus, cannabis is used by sages due to association with elixir and Shiva. Wise drinking of bhang, according to religious rites, is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the after-life. In contrast, foolish drinking of bhang without rites is considered a sin. Regarding Buddhism, the fifth precept is to “abstain from wines, liquors and intoxicants that cause heedessness.”

Most interpretations of the fifth precept would therfore include all forms of cannabis amongst the intoxicants that a Buddhist should abstain from consuming. However, the Buddhist precepts are guidelines whose purpose is to encourage a moral lifestyle rather than being strict religious commandments, and some lay practitioners of Buddhism may choose to consume cannabis and other mild intoxicants occasionally. Cannabis and some other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed in the Mahākāla Tantra for medicinal purposes. However, Tantra is an esoteric teaching of Buddhism not generally accepted by most other forms of Buddhism.

Drug Abuse Effects

Drug abuse effects include damage to the physical, emotional, and psychological parts of the body. In addition, they compromise the social aspects of regular family, friends and job-related relationships. Drug abuse effects involve the physical body extensively and according to the kind of drugs that are used.

Drug abuse effects injure the brain in a variety of ways, including:

Hallucinations

Mood swings

Chemical imbalances

Over-stimulation of dopamine (the pleasure center)

Disruption of regular sleep/wake patterns

Anxiety and nervous system stimulation

These injuries impede regular brain processing mechanisms. They block the pathways and make the process of decision-making harder. Drug abuse effects cause lapses in memory and exaggerate reactions to events. Effects also include failing to respond to consequences and events in the environment. When someone is preoccupied with the effects of the drug or is focused on the pleasure center of the brain, they fail to notice anything else.

Drug Abuse Effects and Stress Management

Coping well with stressors is based on the ability to find options to obstacles. This requires observation, patience and reasoning ability. All of these coping mechanisms are compromised due to drug abuse effects. Specifically, they make stress management difficult because they: Encourage a lack of impulse control

Alter the perception of events

Block the ability to make sound judgments

Promote oblivion; the tendency to focus on the sensations of the ‘high’ to the extreme

Trigger knee-jerk reactions

Stimulate frustration and anger responses

Other drug abuse effects encompass an array of unexpected and serious symptoms:

Users of cocaine and crack experience a crash in mood elevation after the effects of the drug wear off. The crash is described as feelings of depression, craving for more of the drug, emptiness and irritability. These drug abuse effects are the prerequisite conditions to the addiction. More of the drug is used to get rid of the negative feelings produced by the crash.

Some drug abuse effects spur flashbacks. These episodes are spontaneous recurring instances similar to the high produced by the drug except that they occur at a time when the drug was not in use.

Most drug abuse effects are the symptoms of withdrawal. These include poor physical coordination, nausea, anxiety, paranoia, muscle spasms and abdominal cramping.

More severe drug abuse effects can be caused by the transfer of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases from person to person by sharing needles and syringes.

The most devastating drug abuse effects are overdoses. Overdoses occur when people do not know how much of the drug the body can accept at one time and when increased amounts of the drug are injected or ingested in order to produce the same intensity of drug abuse effects.

Effects of Drug Addiction

It is often difficult with drug and alcohol addiction to decide is something a CAUSE or an EFFECT.

Did the depression CAUSE the addiction or did the alcoholism cause the depression?

Did the alcoholism CAUSE the family problems or where the family problems an EFFECT of the addiction.

Often no one knows for sure.

Q: What are the major effects of drug addiction?

It is everybody’s problem. An addict might say:

“I’m not hurting anybody. I’m only hurting myself.”

However, we can quickly see that the statement is false, because there is no such thing as an addict who is only hurting him/herself. The problem is found everywhere, from the rich and privileged, to the lost members of society.

For over 30 years the United States government has had its “War on Drugs,” but in that time frame we have seen in increase in crime, increase in health care costs and an alarming increase in the use of dangerous drugs such as cocaine, heroin, crack and methamphetamine.

The “War on Drugs” has also brought on new research, a greater number of treatment facilities, new and sometimes controversial theories on treatment, advances in drug addiction medications, but are we winning?

The effects of drug addiction are far reaching and can be seen in the home, on the job, in churches and in schools.

Q:What are the effects of drug addiction on health?

If left unchecked, the drug is going to win. Drug abuse is a disease of the brain, and the drugs change brain chemistry, which results in a change in behavior. Aside from the obvious behavioral consequences of addiction, the negative effects on a person’s health are potentially devastating.

While addicts use drugs to “feel better,” the unintended consequences include but are not limited to overdose, HIV/AIDS, stroke, cardiovascular disease and a host of related maladies.

To understand this better you may want to read “Get Sick to Feel Better” a story of the negative effects of drug addiction… Darci’s story of the effects of drug addiction on her life!

Suicide is also a common effect of drug addiction.

Depression is also an effect of addiction.

Q:What are the effects of drug addiction on the family?

One of the saddest aspects of the insidious nature of drug addiction is that by the time an addict realizes he/she has a problem, that problem has already taken a heavy toll on the family.

Parents in treatment centers tell counselors and therapists that they want to “get their kids back,” as drug addiction has taken over to the point where the courts have been forced to remove the children from the home.

Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and sadly children are all impacted. Families can be sources of strength and support, or they can passively enable the addiction to advance.

Families can share in the victory over drug addiction, or they can be the victims of it.

Q:What are the effects of drug addiction on the economy?

Beyond the personal health issues, beyond the devastating effect on families, beyond community crime statistics, drug addiction has a major impact on the American economy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that some $67 billion per year is the impact that drug addiction has on this country.

This total includes the cost of law enforcement, incarceration, treatments, traffic injuries, lost time in the workplace, etc. Drug addiction causes impaired reasoning, and therefore the crime rate is dramatically impacted by drug use. Addicts have a much higher likelihood of committing crimes than others.

Q: What are the effects of drug addiction on our society?

The National Library of Medicine estimates that some 20% of all people in the United States have used prescription medication for non-medical purposes. We’re not talking about cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine use, but doctor-prescribed medication. You can easily see that if you group the two together, illegal drug use and prescription drug misuse, we have a huge problem.

Q: What are the effects of drug addiction on the Law?

The news media reports daily struggles with theft, drive-by shootings, drug busts, illegal trafficking and manufacturing of drugs, and arrests for crimes ranging from child neglect to murder. Look closer and chances are great that you will uncover a drug addiction component to any of these stories.

Drug Use

Drug Use in the General Population

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 15.9 million Americans ages 12 and older (7.1%) reported using an illicit drug in the month before the survey was conducted. More than 12% reported illicit drug use during the past year and 41.7% reported some use of an illicit drug at least once during their lifetimes.


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