Drug Abuse And Addiction Essays

Drug Abuse And Addiction Essay

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Drug Abuse and Addiction

"Road accident! Four killed! Driver under influence of alcohol!" "Boy killed father for not giving him money!"

These are the headlines that often hit the newspaper. These are mainly due to drug abuse and addiction. Many people think this is none of their concern and that their family members are smart enough not to become addicted to drugs. However, this is not true. Any person at any age can indulge in drug abuse.

Drugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century. Popularized in the 1960's by music and mass media, they invade all aspects of society. "An estimated 208 million people internationally consume illegal drugs" (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). The most commonly used and abused drug in the United States is alcohol. Alcohol-related motor accidents are the second leading cause of teen death in the United States. The most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana. "About 3.9% of the world's population between the ages of 15 and 64 abuse marijuana" (United Nations of 2008 World Drug Report).

Drug abuse and addiction is a problem that has been increasing immensely among our society today. Drug addictions can only hinder or restrain people from accomplishing goals or dreams in life. Drug abuse refers to regular intake of substances, which are hazardous to our health. These substances vary from prescribed medications, alcohol, and cigarettes to narcotic drugs such as cocaine, hashish, heroin, etc. Drug abuse and addiction have negative consequences for individuals and for society. Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around us.

"My goal in life wasn't...

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There are many symptoms of drug abuse, but some of the most common signs your teen is abusing drugs are:

* Problems with the law, such as DUI, breaking curfew, stealing, etc.

* Problems at school, such as excessive tardiness, poor grades, suspension, etc.

* Mood swings

* Loss of interest in favorite activities

* Drug paraphernalia

* Violent behavior

* Withdrawal

* Depression

* Poor hygiene

* Missing money

Effects of Drug Abuse on Teens

Drug abuse at any age can cause serious health effects, but teens who abuse drugs are at particular risk for negative consequences. Teens who abuse drugs are more likely to struggle with addiction later in life and have permanent and irreversible brain damage. Some other common negative effects of teen drug abuse are:

* Emotional problems. Drug abuse can cause or mask emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. In fact, among teens with major depression, 34.6 percent report using drugs. Unfortunately, drug use can also increase the severity of these emotional problems. For example, teens that use marijuana weekly double their risk of depression and anxiety.

* Behavioral problems. Teens who abuse drugs have an increased risk of social problems, depression, suicidal thoughts and violence. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, teens who abuse drugs are more likely than teens who don’t abuse drugs to engage in delinquent behaviors such as fighting and stealing.

* Addiction and dependence. Studies prove that the younger a person is when they begin using drugs the more likely they are to develop a substance abuse problem and relapse later in life.

* Risky sex. Teens that use drugs are five times more likely to have sex than teens who don’t use drugs. Teens that use drugs are also more likely to have unprotected sex and have sex with a stranger. This leads to higher risks of STDs, teen pregnancy and sexual assault.

* Learning problems. Drug abuse damages short-term and long-term memory and can lead to problems with learning and memory later in life.

* Diseases. Teens who abuse drugs with needles increase their risk of blood-borne diseases like HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

* Brain damage. Drug abuse among teens can result in serious mental disorders or permanent, irreversible damage to the brain or nervous system. Brain damage among teens who abuse drugs includes brain shrinkage; impaired learning abilities; amnesia and memory problems; impaired reasoning, perception and intuition; increased or decreased socialization; and changes in sexual desire.

* Car accidents. Teenagers who abuse drugs are more likely to be involved in car accident-related injuries or death. One study showed that 4 to 14 percent of drivers who are injured or die in traffic accidents test positive for THC.

Teen Drug Treatment

If you know a teen who is abusing drugs, don’t wait to intervene. The sooner your teen gets help for drug abuse, the more likely they’ll be to avoid the long-lasting consequences. Fortunately, there are many different teen drug rehabs to choose from. The most effective teen drug rehab, however, may be a residential treatment program. Here your teen will have access to 24/7 supervision and care, detoxification, dual diagnosis treatment and a variety of holistic treatments based on their individual needs. Talk to a medical doctor about your teen’s symptoms and determine which type of drug abuse treatment is best for your teen.

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