Understanding Drug Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Societal Impact

Drug addiction is a pathological or abnormal condition which arises due to frequent drug use. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli.

Drugs known to cause addiction include illegal drugs as well as prescription or over-the-counter drugs, according to the definition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

• Stimulants:
o Amphetamine and methamphetamine
o Cocaine
o Nicotine
• Sedatives and hypnotics:
o Alcohol
o Barbiturates
o Benzodiazepines, particularly flunitrazepam, triazolam, temazepam, and nimetazepam
o Methaqualone and the related quinazolinone sedative-hypnotics
• Opiate and opioid analgesics
o Morphine and codeine, the two naturally occurring opiate analgesics
o Semi-synthetic opiates, such as heroin (diacetylmorphine), oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone
o Fully synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, meperidine/pethidine, and methadone HEROIN-

The German drug company Bayer named its new over the counter drug "Heroin" in 1895.

[7] The name was derived from the German word "heroisch" (heroic) due to its perceived "heroic" effects upon a user.

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[7] It was chiefly developed as a morphine substitute for cough suppressants that did not have morphine's addictive side-effects. Morphine at the time was a popular recreational drug, and Bayer wished to find a similar but non-addictive substitute to market.[8] However, contrary to Bayer's advertising as a "non-addictive morphine substitute," heroin would soon have one of the highest rates of dependence amongst its users.[9]

Diacetylmorphine is used as a recreational drug for the transcendent relaxation and intense euphoria it induces.

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Anthropologist Michael Agar once described heroin as "the perfect whatever drug."[23] Tolerance quickly develops, and users need more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Its popularity with recreational drug users, compared to morphine, reportedly stems from its perceived different effects.[24] In particular, users report an intense rush that occurs while the diacetylmorphine is being metabolized into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine in the brain. Diacetylmorphine produces more euphoria than other opioids upon injection. One of the most common methods of illicit heroin use is via intravenous injection (colloquially termed "slamming" or "shooting up"). effects-

Large doses of heroin can cause fatal respiratory depression, and the drug has been used for suicide or as a murder weapon. cost-


The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that the retail price of brown heroin varies from €14.5 per gram in Turkey to €110 per gram in Sweden, with most European countries reporting typical prices of €35-40 per gram. The price of white heroin is reported only by a few European countries and ranged between €27 and €110 per gram


For intravenous users of heroin (and any other substance), the use of non-sterile needles and syringes and other related equipment leads to several serious risks: o the risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis o the risk of contracting bacterial or fungal endocarditis and possibly venous sclerosis o abscesses

• Poisoning from contaminants added to "cut" or dilute heroin
• Chronic constipation
• Addiction and increasing tolerance
• Physical dependence can result from prolonged use of all opioids, resulting in withdrawal symptoms on cessation of use
• Decreased kidney function (although it is not currently known if this is due to adulterants or infectious diseases)[47]


Tony had a promising future as a professional athlete. Now he stands in front of a rundown house in Atlanta. 'My momma always told me, you can be anything you want,' he says. 'This is what I brought my being down to.' He holds up a pebble of crack between thumb and forefinger. 'This is the most important thing in my life. If I had to choose between you and the blow, I'd forget you.' 'Miami Slim', a greying black woman who has been addicted to cocaine since 1981, recalls her shame at sitting in a room with $7,000 of crack on the table and being unable to give her five-year-old son 50 cents to buy an ice cream. These are just two of the characters from Crackheads Gone Wild, an American DVD that takes the gonzo documentary genre made notorious by the 2002 video Bumfights (a series of tramp-fighting vignettes) to distressing new extremes.

It presents 'uncensored real stories' of crack addicts in Atlanta while drawing on the voyeuristic appeal and entertainment value of reality TV. Like Hollywood's upcoming action-romp Snakes on a Plane, the title alone plays on a brazen marketing nous. And it even has its own snappy logo - an illustration of a zombie-like bug-eyed crackhead. The DVD has sold 60,000 copies since release in December, primarily from sales through its website, crackheadsgonewild.com. Its creator, Daryl 'Master Mind' Smith, a 30-year-old graduate from North Carolina Central University with a degree in marketing, maintains his film is intended to raise 'awareness' of the crack problem in American cities. 'But we also tried to make it entertaining,' he says, 'otherwise no one would want to watch it and the message wouldn't get across.'

To this end, there is footage of a couple having sex in a park while simultaneously taking hits off their crack pipes. Smith claims he didn't solicit the footage. 'We just walked up on them. They didn't care. I never gave anyone more than $5 or something to eat to film them. They wanted to do it because they wanted people to know their stories.' One white female addict, clearly ravaged beyond her years, makes an impassioned plea for understanding on a street corner but is undermined by a man performing a jerky dance behind her as he takes a hit off his pipe. A woman, posting a message on the film's website under the name punkin1980, says she recognised the man as the father she hadn't seen in five years. 'It saddend (sic) me to look at him like that. Wherever he is now, I just want him to know that punkin still and always will love him.' Smith defends himself: 'In my mind, the exploitation was done for a good reason.

What I was doing was exploiting the part of life that people choose to ignore. I just put it out there for people to see.' Fuelled by mainstream rap culture and shows like MTV's Jackass, there is a burgeoning market for such films. One series of DVDs consisting of nothing more than amateur footage of street fighting is sold under the title 'Ghetto Brawls'. Bumfights which racked up $5 million in sales worldwide, featured alcoholic vagrants who were plied with booze and encouraged to perform stunts that included having their teeth extracted with pliers. Its makers were taken to court in a civil trial in 2003 for soliciting battery and promoting illegal fights. They received small fines and probationary sentences. There seems little chance that those behind Crackheads Gone Wild will end up in the courts.

Smith says he obtained release forms from everyone who appears in the video and won't use footage from those that refused. He says he knew some of the people he filmed over a period of years and watched them slowly deteriorate. 'Many of these people are highly intelligent. I have footage of a lady who has a master's degree in education and used to work on Capitol Hill. She got hooked on drugs and now she's homeless. The point of the movie is: do not even try crack or this is what it will reduce you to. You will not have any control over your life and you will live and die for the drug.'

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Understanding Drug Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Societal Impact. (2016, Jun 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/drug-addiction-essay

Understanding Drug Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Societal Impact essay
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