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Drug Addiction: Understanding the effects of DrugAbuse.

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Drug Addiction: Understanding the effects of Drug Abuse. Assignment 2. Why do people subject their bodies and minds to the harmful effects of drug use, eventual addiction and relapse back into drug use? Most people will be neither surprised nor disturbed to be reminded that almost every adult in Britain and America uses drugs everyday of their lives in the form of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco (although tobacco does receive bad press these days). In a recent survey of British teenagers, it was suggested that by the age of 16 the vast majority (94%) will have sampled alcohol, two-thirds described themselves as regular drinkers, and only 1 in 5, denied ever having been drunk. In sharp contrast, is a growing awareness that almost half of these same 16-year-olds have experimented with at least one 'street' drug is extremely disturbing, especially as I myself am a mother, with a son of eight years old. ...read more.


In a survey of Oxford undergraduates, the main reason for using alcohol and drugs was pleasure; with around a fifth stating the principle benefit was stress relief. It is thought that several factors make drug or alcohol use at University more likely: emergence from the controls of family and school life, the excitement of a new environment and circle of friends, social and academic pressure and the enhanced availability of legal and illegal substances. The importance of low self-esteem in the development of drug-related problems remains uncertain but it is certainly true that many of the personal characteristics which have been linked with vulnerability to compulsive drug use are also associated with poor self-esteem: submissiveness, a tendency to depend on others and constantly crave approval, lack of confidence, a sense of helplessness, anxiety, low expectation for the future, and a readiness to give up if the going gets tough. ...read more.


This can be linked closely with drug use as using drugs is often a 'risky business'. Drug addiction is a term that is widely used but is gradually being replaced by the term Drug Dependence, that is where a person is drug dependant if he/she feel compelled to take the drug on a periodic or continuous basis to experience its psychic effect or to avoid the discomfort produced by its abstinence. Physical dependence - is when the drug or one of its metabolites has become necessary for the continued functioning of the body. This means that by withdrawing the drug there are physical symptoms, which are often very unpleasant. Psychological dependence - consists of just emotional components with no physical symptoms on withdrawal. The emotional changes may amount to only mild discomfort or may be such that the person is led to persist in using the drug. At its extreme, it may lead to changes in lifestyle and behaviour where life revolves around drug taking and the company of others likewise involved. 1 ...read more.

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