Drugs are any drugs that induce biochemical changes in the body when swallowed, inhaled, ingested, or smoked (DRUGABUSE.net, 2017). Many people falsely believe that substance misuse and addiction are solely a societal phenomenon and that those who engage in it are psychologically deficient. Nonetheless, addiction is a pathological condition that damages the brain’s reward system. Drug abuse is not a sign of spiritual weakness or a lack of willpower; it is a complex illness that, like any other chronic disorder, requires long-term, comprehensive care. Addictions are caused by neurochemical responses in the brain that are activated by specific activities or drugs. Many abused drugs directly or indirectly target the user brain’s reward system by flooding the blood circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. Therefore, addiction develops when a person becomes physically, emotionally, and psychologically depended on drugs or a particular behavior. Although initial drug use is voluntary, demarcation of dependency through individual characteristics; cravings for a substance or behavior despite negative consequences, loss of self-control, chronic inability to abstain from a particular behavior or substance and behavioral impairment. Consequently, when drugs enter the brain, they change how the brain performs its job. Therefore, this paper discusses the causes of drug addiction and its effects on a person’s wellbeing.
People that become addicted to drugs start by taking them for recreational and experimental purposes. During the experimental stage, most people do not think they will become addicted. For many, it is quite normal to try out drugs at some point in their lives, but for a small percentage of individuals, the drugs change their lives, and they continue to use them for their enjoyment. Therefore, the users will momentarily relish the pleasurable feelings; this results in the user feeling that they have positive effects (Gateway Foundation, 2017). The pleasure is in association with the feeling “high”; a state of euphoria increased energy and relief from pain. Consequently, regularly usage substances and drugs will lead to eventual addiction.
Another cause of drug addiction is excessive use of a prescription drug which is common among adults that in teenagers. Physicians prescribe Painkillers, antidepressants, mood enhancers, sleep aids, and anti-anxiety pills to adults (NIDA, 2017). These drugs have the ability to ease the mental and physical discomforts of people in a matter of minutes. Usage of the medication on a regular basis affects the composition of the brain hence leading to the dependency on the drug. Therefore, prescription drug abuse can become problematic as the use of recreational drugs if the patients are not regularly monitored to control the patient usage of the prescription drugs.
Many people use drugs to relieve the pressures of problems in their lives temporarily. It is a form of escapism from the challenges a person is facing.
Mental health conditions, especially mood disorders such as chronic anxiety, depression, and Psychological trauma are some of the leading causes of drug abuse. Therefore people that have mental conditions are more likely to resolve to use substances to relieve themselves. Also, suffering from a traumatic experience during childhood is one of the most common reasons for drug addiction in teens and adults (NIDA, 2017).
One of the effects of substance abuse is problems developing or maintaining relationships with others. In a drug dependency relationships, problem people forgot all their meaningful interactions with individuals in work and family members. The main social interaction of an addict is when using the drug or satisfaction of the vice. As a consequence of using drugs, people are going to judge them like a solitary, problematic, and confused person, therefore, drug addicts are likely to avoid interactions with their loved ones. Addiction also causes apathy. Hence drug users are likely to show no interests in their personal relationships and activities thus deteriorating the relationships they have.
Drugs affect people’s finances and their professional endeavors. Drug addicts have a damage economic part in their life because they do not work or lack the motivation to work, so they do not make money hence they tend to be in financial ruin. The Money that drug addicts get their hands on is used to buy substances, instead of developing one’s self. Therefore, substance abuse causes impoverishment in people’s life hence a lack of stability in their life.
Substance abuse also leads to Depression (NIDA, 2017). As a person develops a tolerance to drugs, it will take ever-increasing amounts of the substance to get high. Therefore, when the individual is unable to achieve their desired state of euphoria, they may become depressed. Chronic depression also occurs as the individual feels shame and remorse about her condition. It creates a cycle of addiction; the more depressed the feel, the more likely they are to continue to use drugs.
People who suffer from addiction are likely to have one or more accompanying medical issues, which may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders and clinical depression. Imaging scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of long-term drug abuse throughout the body.
However, the menace of narcotics can be eliminated through the creation of awareness using education. People need to be educated on the effects of drugs use at home and in school, since knowledge breeds prevention. Governments should also adopt decriminalization of drug users to treat drug addiction as a disease but not as a crime thus reducing the menace of drug use.
DRUGABUSE.net. (2017, April 20). DRUGABUSE.net. Retrieved from Long Term Drug Addiction Effects: http://www.drugabuse.net/drug-addiction/long-term-drug-addiction-effects/
Gateway Foundation. (2017, April 20). Gateway Foundation. Retrieved from Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction: http://recovergateway.org/substance-abuse-resources/drug-addiction-effects/
NIDA. (2017, April 20). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved from Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/addiction-health