Have always heard about drug abuse and its effects but have never thought much thought into it. Am glad that I had the opportunity to read and watch a video that explained drug use after the reading l have realized how serious the drug problem is in the country. Example of abused drugs is marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, ecstasy drugs and many other prescription drugs. One of the significant challenges is the detrimental effect it has on the health of those who use it. These papers are a reflection of some of the abused drugs and their impact on health.
To begin with, l have learnt about how drug abuse has taken root in the U.S. The main problem is that even young children at age 12 are using illicit drugs. As reported, about 27 million Americans from age 12 are currently using drugs. (Lynch,225). Have never known that the number of people using drugs is this big in the country. What is of significant concern is that at a young age children are exposed to drugs. The drugs being abused have adverse effects on health.
First, drug abuse causes addiction. In the book, addiction has been defined as a chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. When these brain circuits are dysfunctional, one gets an urge to pursue a reward or relief from substance abuse. The main characteristic of
addiction is craving. This makes one continue using the drugs to soothe themselves. They become dependent on the drugs they cannot function without it. (lynch,226).Addiction takes control of life. Individuals get the compulsion to pursue the need of the drugs despite even knowing of the negative consequences. Another effect that addiction has on the body is the loss of pleasure. As much as at the beginning after use, one feels euphoric or pleasure the moment fades away fast. Soon an individual lacks satisfaction from doing drugs what replaces this is the compulsion to continue using to soothe the discomfort and emotional instability that occurs from abstaining. Addiction becomes severe over time, and this can have consequences such as recklessness.
Also have learned that a drug is any chemical substance that alters the bodies physical functioning or mental that is taken for non-nutritional purposes. Sychoaruve drugs are those that are capable of changing moods, feelings, perceptions and general psychological functioning. (Lynch,228). There are drugs that are termed illicit or illegal. In the U.S., these drugs are regulated by the U.S drug enforcement agency which has termed them as illegal or unlawful and also drugs that are prescribed unlawfully. The major abused drugs in the country include prescription drugs, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine.
Drugs affect brain functioning. An example of this is Marijuana. It was introduced in The U.S. in 1800. Recently over the past few years, that has been a great debate on whether to legalize marijuana or not. Marijuana is the most common drug used in the U.S. from the reading as a study carried out in 2016, about 22 million people reported using the medicine in the past 30 days as per when the research was carried out. Some states such as California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado have legalized the use of marijuana. However, some have not legalized it. It has some significant adverse effects on health. Being a psychoactive substance, it has a
The component called tetrahydrocannabinol when ingested or inhaled it goes to the brain and bind to cannabis receptors. (lynch,234) One of the short-term effects is that it caused a dopamine surge; hence one feels high. It causes the heart rate to increase, eyes redden, and blood vessels to become enlarged. To some people, the drug causes them to feel relaxed. It has some adverse effects such as lack of coordination, confusion, reduced reaction time, slows thinking and even find difficulty in solving problems. Chronic use of marijuana has a detrimental impact on health. One, it has been associated with an increase of anxiety, depression and psychosis in some cases. A very significant effect it’s the impact that has on memory. Continuous use cause loss of memory or difficulty in remembering things and constraints in learning.
Drugs affect the heart and might cause cardiovascular disease. Cocaine is one drug that has this effect. It’s a stimulant that when taken it cause a dopamine surge. It causes an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, blurred vision and even chest pains. Those who have used have taken it wanting to increase their performance in everyday tasks, and they say it makes one feel mentally alert. (Lynch,235). Continuous use causes tolerance. Those who snort cocaine for a long time cause nose bleeds, lack of smell and chronically runny nose. The injection has dangerous risks such as an allergic reaction and even cause one to be susceptible to HIV and Hepatitis to those who share syringes. Some who take this drug may mix it with alcohol which is very dangerous and more toxic. Cocaethylene is a result of the conversion of cocaine and alcohol in the body, which is very poisonous and can cause death. Amphetamine is another drug that has similar effects as cocaine. Even young adults have gotten heart attacks from its use.
Opioids are another type of drug that are very dangerous to health. It affects the lungs when inhaled. Opioids were first introduced in the country in the 1900s are it was intended for medical purpose to relieve pain. .( MedicalMJChronicles, ep2 3.01: 7.03). It was outlawed in
1914. ( MedicalMJChronicles Heroin is an opioid that can be ingested or inhaled or injected. It causes drowsiness, euphoria and can lead to dramatic mood swings. It’s highly addictive and can cause vomiting, nausea, lack of coordination and even death. Constant injection cause collapsed veins at the site of injection and even cause infection of the heart lining and valves. Heroin overdose is one of the major causes of death.
Club drugs such as MDMA known in the street as ecstasy and GHB has dangerous effects on health such as disordered thinking, brain damage and an increase in blood pressure. GHB disrupts memory and can cause loss of consciousness. It also causes hallucinations. Besides, prescription drugs are also abused. An example is Mephathemtamine. When used for long, it causes addiction, reduced appetite, increased heartbeat and blood pressure. Long-term use causes cognitive problems such as emotional disturbances.
From, the reading l have learnt new information. Something very interesting and new that have learned is that some of the drugs were not always illegal. An example is marijuana and opioids, which were created for medical use. ( MedicalMJChronicles, 4.37:6.27). Cocaine is another one that got famous because of its extraction from the coca plant. Have seen the role that drugs have played throughout history. And how legislative changes have had to be made to counter the use of illicit drugs. Have learnt that these drugs date back up to the 1800s. Also, have learnt about the impact that the media has on drug use. Some abuse drugs because they see it glorified in movies. Media has also been used to spread awareness of the effects of drugs.
Lastly, I take a stand that drug abuse is a problem in this country that needs to be addressed. Its relation to increases in crime and insecurity should be addressed. Having such a large number of people using illicit drugs, even young children of age 12 is very dangerous. Due to its various
side effects on health, I think more measures should be put in place to address it. For the states that have legalized some drugs, it should go hand in hand with the awareness of the effects of abuse because there is a widespread notion that something legal is not wrong. An example of this is alcohol. It has a detrimental impact on the liver and general health. There have been reported deaths of overdose and even some prominent have died from it. This clearly shows that it is a problem.
Lynch, April, Karen Vail-Smith, and Jerome Kotecki. Choosing health, 3rd edition Pearson Higher Ed, 2017.
MedicalMJChronicles. Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way (Full) Youtube Oct
30, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=try3zkyvCXs&feature=emb_title. Accessed
Nov 2 2020.