Psychology; Drug Addiction
Most people who use and abuse drugs do so for various different reasons. Regardless of the age at which they became engaged in the practice, drug users and abusers, live in difficult lives where they are enslaved to their master, the drugs. When starting to use drugs, most individuals have the mentality that they shall easily stop without seeking treatment and that they can control it. Most of the efforts by drug users and abusers to stop, result in failure. Drug use and abuse also leaves a user with changes in the functioning of their brain and this exists long after the individual has stopped using drugs. Most drug users and abusers claim that drugs have advantages and help them in relieving themselves of their stress (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2008).
There are several reasons that drug users give for their use and abuse of drugs. The first and major reason why drug abuse is on the increase is because drugs make the users feel good. If drugs made people very sick when they used them, they would probably not become addicts. Drugs make people feel very good. Drugs like cocaine, crystal meth and marijuana make a person feel very good and give them a state of tranquil. This is what mostly causes addiction as the people like to get the same feeling repeatedly. The drugs that most people use and abuse tare legal. This is another reason why people use and abuse drugs. Drugs like alcohol and nicotine are legal yet they have the highest percentage of addiction in the world (Maisto, Galizio & Connors, 2007).
Most drugs that have the highest hold on people are prescription drugs. Very many different medications exist in the world each of which is prescribed for a different reason. The reaction that these medications give to the brain of the individual makes the people addicts to the drugs. Pain medications, muscle relaxants, steroids and anti-anxiety medications are examples of drugs that are prescribed and that give the individual brain reactions that are pleasant to them. Problems are common in the life of a person. However, some people result to other ways of relieving the stress that is brought by problems instead of seeking advice from medical practitioners. They result to medicate themselves with street drugs like marijuana and alcohol. This later leads to addiction as once one uses drugs they like to get the same pleasant feeling repeatedly.
Boredom is another cause of drug use and addiction. There are many instances of experimenting especially among the youth. This is brought about mostly by idleness, boredom, and the feelings of emptiness in ones life. The search for a purpose in life mostly leads them to drugs and alcohol. In mostly the young generation, the experimenting that is done with drugs mostly takes place due to the pressure they get from their friends that use drugs. This is known as peer pressure, and mostly begins in casual functions like parties and gatherings. Mostly, it continue from there and leads mostly to addiction (Maisto, Galizio & Connors, 2007).
Curiosity is mostly underestimated among the causes of drug use and addiction. However, it is quite a strong cause of drug addiction. This is so because curiosity has no age limit and both the young and the old get curious. The curiosity as to the effects of the drugs mostly causes many people to become frequent users and abusers. The availability of the drugs in pharmaceuticals and streets is unbelievable. Most drugs are illegal however, they are readily available on the streets and they provide booming business to drug peddlers and drug lords. The people that enjoy this availability are the users and abusers. The purchases of the drugs are made from unprofessional doctors, on-line pharmacies and through the streets and black markets (Maisto, Galizio & Connors, 2007).
The need to enhance the effects of drugs is another reason why people use drugs. For instance if a person uses alcohol and after some time they fail to feel its effects, they shall want to upgrade this feeling by using another stronger substance. This makes them be hooked to the other stronger substance as it gives them the desired effect. There are other reasons why use drugs like those that claim there are advantages to using them. For instance, scientists have theorized that there are advantages in the moderate consumption of alcohol. However, most drug users and abusers do not note the key word of the statement as moderate. They mistake the statement and use it as a justification for their use ad abuse of alcohol. Alcohol, if taken moderately is said to reduce the risk of getting heart disease. The moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the clogging of the arteries towards the heart and the brain and the blockage of other blood vessels. This is because alcohol is said to react to cholesterol (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2009).
Most people who are just starting to use drugs are very wrong when they think that they shall be able to stop without seeking any help. However, some are able to do so, most drug users and abusers are not able to stop the vice on their own. People should understand the adverse effects of long-term drug use on the brain. It should be noted that the effects of long-term drug use linger in the brain of the user long after they have stopped using. These effects include the compulsion to continue using drugs. Addiction should be understood as to have a significant biological effect on the user and this shall explain the failure by most people to abstain from the use (Abadinsky, 2010).
Stress from family life, work, social influences like meeting one’s previous drug using partners and environmental issues can all cause the failure to achieve drug abstinence along with other biological factors. Active participation in treatment even for the most severely addicted people is the only way a person can achieve positive results after quitting the use and abuse of drugs. Parents should take care of their children, talk to them about the effects of the use of drugs, and discourage them from engaging themselves in the practice. The negative media publicity of drugs as being good should be curbed as many of the young people engage in drug use and abuse for the pleasure that is almost guaranteed by the media. Doctors and pharmacists should be audited and vetted carefully to avoid the spread of prescription drugs to the people. The police and crime fighting agencies should also take action against the people who sell drugs to try to reduce, and possibly stop the vice (Heymann, 2001).
Abadinsky, Howard. (2010). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Hanson, G., Venturelli, P. J. & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2008). Drugs and Society. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Hanson, G. R., Venturelli, P. J. & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2009). Student Study Guide to Accompany Drugs and Society. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Heymann, P. B. (2001). Drug addiction and drug policy: the struggle to control dependence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Maisto, S. A., Galizio, M. & Connors, G. J. (2007). Drug use and Abuse. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Prashant, Saroj. (2003). Drug abuse and society. New Delhi, Delhi: APH Publishing.
Stimmel, B. (2002). Alcoholism, drug addiction, and the road to recovery: life on the edge. New York, NY: Routledge.