About Drug Abuse - Drug Abuse Treatment and Information
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About Drug Abuse

Learning about drug abuse is not always easy. This is why we have broken down into four common drug abuse patterns.  

  • About Drug AbuseAcute Intoxication: Defined as the temporary condition following the consumption of alcohol or other substances that results in a marked disturbance in the level of consciousness, cognition, perception, behavior, and other psycho-physiological functions.
  • Withdrawal State: Characterized by a group of symptoms, which are often specific to the drug or substance used, that develops with the partial or complete withdrawal of the drug, especially after a high dose usage.
    This state is usually further classified as-
    • Associated with convulsions.
    • Associated with Delirium.
  • Dependence Syndrome: Defined as a group of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive phenomena wherein the use of drugs or substances takes a higher priority for the user in comparison to other issues, or behavior that was considered important by him.
  • Harmful use: When there is a continued use of a drug despite the awareness of its harmful effects, both medically and socially, it is termed as harmful use. There is also a marked pattern with the physically hazardous use of the drug, like driving under its influence.

When learning about drug abuse, many people often wonder why people take drugs. In general, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons:

  • To feel good. Most abused drugs produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial sensation of euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used. For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the "high" is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
  • To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depression begin abusing drugs in an attempt to lessen feelings of distress. Stress can play a major role in beginning drug use, continuing drug abuse, or relapse in patients recovering from addiction.
  • To do better. The increasing pressure that some individuals feel to chemically enhance or improve their athletic or cognitive performance can similarly play a role in initial experimentation and continued drug abuse.
  • Curiosity and "because others are doing it." In this respect adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of the strong influence of peer pressure; they are more likely, for example, to engage in "thrilling" and "daring" behaviors.

There are many things about drug abuse that users do not realize. At first, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects with drug use. They also may believe that they can control their use; however, drugs can quickly take over their lives. Consider how a social drinker can become intoxicated, put himself behind a wheel and quickly turn a pleasurable activity into a tragedy for him and others. Over time, if drug use continues, pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and drug abuse becomes necessary for abusers to simply feel "normal." Drug abusers reach a point where they seek and take drugs, despite the tremendous problems caused for themselves and their loved ones. Some individuals may start to feel the need to take higher or more frequent doses, even in the early stages of their drug use.

Factors about drug abuse and one’s risk of addiction span a wide range of issues. What environmental factors increase the risk of drug abuse and addiction? The influence of the home environment is usually most important in childhood. Parents or older family members who abuse alcohol or drugs, or who engage in criminal behavior, can increase children's risks of developing their own drug problems.

Friends and acquaintances have the greatest influence during adolescence. Drug-abusing peers can sway even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time. Academic failure or poor social skills can put a child further at risk for drug abuse.

What other factors about drug abuse increase the risk of addiction? Early use; although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier a person begins to use drugs the more likely they are to progress to more serious abuse. This may reflect the harmful effect that drugs can have on the developing brain; it also may result from a constellation of early biological and social vulnerability factors, including genetic susceptibility, mental illness, unstable family relationships, and exposure to physical or sexual abuse. Still, the fact remains that early use is a strong indicator of problems ahead, among them, substance abuse and addiction.

Another factor about drug abuse is one’s method of administration. Smoking a drug or injecting it into a vein increases its addictive potential. Both smoked and injected drugs enter the brain within seconds, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. However, this intense "high" can fade within a few minutes, taking the abuser down to lower, more normal levels. It is a starkly felt contrast, and scientists believe that this low feeling drives individuals to repeated drug abuse in an attempt to recapture the high pleasurable state.

About Drug Abuse - Drug Abuse Treatment and Information
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