Drug addiction is a dependence on an illegal drug or medication. Many people confuse it with drug dependency, which is when a person needs a drug to function normally. The difference between drug addiction and drug dependence is drug dependence is when a person needs a drug to function normally, like some blood pressure medications can cause a physical dependence, but the person is not addicted to the drug. A person can have a physical dependence, but not be addicted.
Many scientist believe that drug addiction is a brain disease, and this disease causes compulsive drug-seeking and use, despite the consequences that person may suffer. Taking a drug causes surges in your brain of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical substance that is released at the end of a nerve fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse and transfers that impulse to another nerve fiber or some other structure. A “messenger of the brain. ” Dopamine is in the mood-changing category of neurotransmitters. When dopamine surges in your brain, it causes immense pleasure.
Your brain remembers this and wants more, and you are addicted. Dopamine is the reason some people over eat and are obese, and people are addicted to alcohol and drugs. Biological history of addiction, abuse or other scaring experiences in early childhood, mental disorders (such as depression) and early use of a drug are the reason some people get addicted, while others don’t. Many people start using drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, their friends do it, to improve athletic performance or to ease stress, anxiety or depression.
Signs of drug addiction are when a person is neglecting their responsibilities, depression, drowsiness, poor memory. Teen drug addictions symptoms may be problems at school, physical health issues, neglected appearance, changes in behavior and / or spending money. All different types of drugs have different symptoms. Marijuana symptoms are red eyes, decreased coordination, poor memory, increased appetite, difficulty concentrating and slowed reaction time. Barbiturates and benzodiazepine symptoms include dizziness, slurred speech, confusion and slowed breathing and increased blood ressured.
Cocaine and other stimulant use symptoms are decreased appetite, rapid speech, irritability, weight loss, restlessness, and increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. “Club Drug” signs are exaggerated happiness or well-being, reduced inhabitations, heightened or changed sense of sight, sound and taste and drowsiness or loss of consciousness. Hallucinogens, which I think are the scariest, can cause hallucinations, tremors, permanent mental changes in perception and flash-backs to the hallucinations, even years and years later.
Marijuana is the most popular drug that people are addicted to. The use of marijuana has more than tripled among 18-20 year olds since 1984. And the addiction age for marijuana is getting younger. Of Americans ages 12 and older an estimated 41% have smoked marijuana at least once. Around 16% people in the U. S smoke marijuana on a daily basis. Many people believe that “weed” isn’t addictive or harmful, but the truth it is addictive and harmful. There is an estimated 16 million drug users in America. Of the 5. million marijuana smokers in America, more that 62% are addicted. Of teenagers in treatment, 60% have primary marijuana diagnosis. Emergency Room visits caused by marijuana since 1994 has risen 176%, and now surpass visits caused by heroin. And marijuana is also harmful because it is a proven fact that marijuana and violence are linked. People who smoke marijuana weekly are four times more likely to engage in violent activity. Marijuana is a gateway drug. Of drug abusers, 99% start by smoking marijuana.
People who smoke marijuana are eight times more likely to have used cocaine, 15 times more likely to have used heroin and 5 times more likely to develop a need for treatment. Cigarettes also pose a huge problem. The estimated world’s population is 6. 5 billion, and of that, more than 1. 3 billion people (about 1/5 the world’s population) smoke tobacco cigarettes regularly. Tobacco contains a very addictive and dangerous drug called nicotine. Nicotine in through the lungs into the bloodstream, then into the brain, making the smoker feel relaxed yet alert.
Nicotine is the reason 7 out of 10 smokers want to quit, but can’t, because they are addicted to the nicotine. Scientists believe by 2050, 400-500 million more people will smoke cigarettes. That’s a scary thought, considering that right now 1,200 people die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. For women who are addicted to a drug, it increases risk for anemia, blood, heart and skin infections and hepatitis. It also increases the risk of STDs. It is dangerous for a pregnant woman to use drugs because most drugs cross the placenta, and cause direct toxic/poisons effects and the child can be born with a drug addiction.
The use of marijuana during pregnancy is linked to behavioral problems in the child. The use of cocaine during pregnancy can bring on premature delivery, or stillborn. Many people believe that overcoming drug addiction is just a matter of will power, but the truth is drug addictions alters the brain in ways that create powerful cravings and compulsion to use that drug. Drug addiction is a scary thing, and many people believe that once you are addicted, you can never recover because it is a brain disease. Yes, it’s a brain disease, but you can recover.
Subject: Drug addiction,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 September 2016
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