Jul 11, 2019 in Health
AbstractThe research investigates the notion and the reasons for drug addiction, explains social hazards of substance abuse, researches drug addiction among children and teenagers and investigates possible solutions. The analysis has allowed making a conclusion that the most effective methods used to overcome the problem of drug abuse is prevention approaches. It is necessary to start social work and to explain potential hazards of drug addiction since the early age.
Drug AddictionSince the beginning of the history of humanity, people have been trying to find different means of relaxation. The Indian tribes produced tinctures that could relieve tiredness immediately. Modern society may consider some of the herbs used in tinctures as narcotics. In nature, a number of substances may have an opiate influence on the human organism. They are the opium poppy, cannabis, coca and some poisonous mushrooms. A line of narcotic substances was received artificially, including ethyl, chloroform, soporific substances, and tranquilizers. These medicines are designed to relieve the symptoms of diseases. However, these means are useful only if prescribed by a doctor, otherwise, they may be harmful and even may cause death. For example, the most ancient of the drugs, opium, was designed to treat a chain of diseases. Heroin, one of the most dangerous drugs, was used to relieve pain. Volkow and Fowler (2000) note that the newest synthetic substances have also become objects of drug abuse. One of the main difficulties of the research is the inability to choose a general method of treatment and prevention because each person is individual and requires a special approach that cannot be embraced in one study. Therefore, the aims of the paper are to investigate the notion and reasons for drug addiction, explain its social hazards of drug addiction, research the issue among children and teenagers, and to investigate methods how to overcome the problem.
The Notion of Drug AddictionA drug is any chemical substance that influences the normal functioning of an organism. According to the article “Biology of Addiction” (2015), drug abuse is the abusive usage of substances that has a negative influence on the psychological state of an individual, his/her brain, and mental activity. Here it is necessary to mention psychoactive drugs that cause behavior changes such as euphoria or hallucinations. The usage and production of many drugs are prohibited in different countries. However, Boys, Marsden, and Strang (2000) state that alcohol and tobacco, being the most widespread drugs, are legal in the United States, Great Britain, and many countries worldwide. Although many people do not consider them as drugs, but these substances cause dependence that is sometimes difficult to treat and requires long-term intervention strategies. According to Volkow and Fowler (2000), the tolerance to a drug is increasing since the organism gets used to the substance. With an increase in tolerance, a person needs a higher dose of a drug to cause the same influence on the organism. Dependence is the description of the state when the human organism gets used to functioning under the impact of a drug. When the use of the latter is stopped, the addicted person starts to feel discomfort that is known as the syndrome of abstinence. The article “Drug Abuse and Addiction” (n.d.) states that psychological dependence is the necessity to take a drug without physical dependence. However, it does not mean that there exist substances that do not cause the latter. After long-term consumption of a drug, a person may become physically dependent on substances that are considered as such that do not to cause subjection. If he or she does not receive the required dose, the one may experience emotional and physical problems. For example, regular consumption of cannabis may cause insomnia after its abstinence. Volkow and Fowler (2000) note that many psychoactive drugs influence the human organism similarly to neurotransmitters, substances produced by nervous endings during stimulation. Neurotransmitters interact with receptors that may perceive impulses and react to them. Serotonin and endorphins belong to such substances. They control the mood, emotions, hormonal function and suppress pain. According to Volkow and Fowler (2000), psychoactive drugs strengthen the influence of natural neurotransmitters and cause an increased reaction of receptors. Then, the opposite reaction causes smaller production of neurotransmitters. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012) notes that when continuing drug consumption, production is oppressed, and the substance does not improve it. To achieve the same state, it is necessary to take a bigger amount of the substance. The abstinence from the drug causes unpleasant physical conditions since the production of natural neurotransmitters cannot be renewed within several days. Thus, the organism has to work without the drug and endorphins. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012), one type of substances suppresses the work of the brain, while the other stimulates it. It causes the difference in the psychological effect. Other differences include the amount of the taken drug, its concentration, pureness and the way it has been taken. Additional factors include the psychic and physical condition of the addicted person, his/her expectations and the reaction on environmental conditions: a drug may cause a feeling of euphoria or oppression. According to the article “Biology of Addiction” (2015), this effect is often strengthened if the person is hungry or tired.
The Reasons for Drug AddictionThere exist many reasons for drug abuse:
- Social agreement. If the consumption of one or another drug is acceptable in a group a person belongs to, he/she will feel the necessity of taking it to show that he/she is part of the group. It refers to all substances, from alcohol to heroin.
- One of the main reasons for people to take drugs is a gamma of emotions, from relaxation to mystic euphoria.
- The illegal consumption of drugs is mostly spread in zones where they can be easily obtained, for example, in big cities. The consumption of legal drugs is also connected with their availability. For example, a big number of alcohol sellers abuse this substance.
- Curiosity towards the consumption of drugs makes some people start taking them.
- Drug consumption may be a symbol of opposition towards society values. When a person refuses to follow the latter, the resulting feeling of inanity may force him/her to resort to drugs. Welfare may cause the loss of interest in life, and drugs may seem to be the only way out.
- The withdrawal from physical stress. The article “Drug Abuse and Addiction” (n.d.) states that the majority of people can cope with the most stressful situations in their lives. However, some of them try to escape from them and become dependent on drugs. Very often, the latter become a false center of their life.