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Substance Abuse - Essay Example

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Substance abuse, also referred to as drug abuse, is illustrative of an individual’s pattern to seek thrill from psychoactive substance, which has devastating results. In other words, substance abuse is the willful misuse of drugs, whether legal or not, for recreation purposes, as a perceived necessity or convenience…
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Substance Abuse
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Substance Abuse

Under normal circumstances, these drugs are used in treatment of physical, psychological or mental illnesses at an advocated dosage. However, since the body is can tolerate increasing dosages of most substances used, the dosage can be increased to achieve the same effect as before. In such a case, the user is at risk of developing dependency as moderate use accelerates to chronic usage. Dependence and addiction are characterized by a craving for the drug, difficulty in controlling its use, according high precedence to the substance in relation to other activities, and heightened tolerance. There exist wide varieties of substances that are subject to abuse in modern society, and the most common include alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and inhalants. Alcohol is the most abused substance in the world with alcohol-related deaths seen to outnumber other drugs. Health conditions associated with excessive alcohol consumption include liver disorders, heart ailments, and cancer of the pancreas and stomach. Smoking has been associated with respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction, emphysema, lung cancer, among others. About 5 million lives are lost each year due to smoking, which contributes to the increase in number of preventable deaths. Marijuana use is thought to bear positive attributes owing to its underlying benefits to the community, such as in medical and economical fields. However, marijuana’s psychological and physical effects raise concerns of dependency, with research indicating mental and emotional deterioration following long-term use. The active ingredient in marijuana is known to induce euphoria, anxiety and depression (Hanson et al., 2011). Cocaine, also known as crack, or coke, is derived from the coca plant and can be administered through injections, smoking, snorting or taken orally. Cocaine is classified as a stimulant due to its capacity to enhance neural activity in an individual with the intensity and duration of its effects is dependent on the route of administration. The drug has been associated with tachycardia, high blood pressure, altered behavior and impaired judgment. Inhalants are described as volatile substances such as paint thinner, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, glues among other, that produce chemical vapors, which when inhaled induce a psychoactive effect. Inhalant abuse is most common among young children seeking the thrill of drug use and serves as an introductory platform. Their use is characterized by rapid excitation, drowsiness, agitation as well as loss sensation if taken in significant amounts. Research has established that the abuse of alcohol and other illicit substance is a critical health barrier in the United States, which serves to cause strain the health care system. In addition to creating an economic burden, substance abuse contributes to the health complications and death of millions of Americans each year. Presently, drug abuse results in more health complications, physical impairments, and deaths than any other preventable health condition (Ericson, 2007). Drug abuse is associated with numerous factors, which have their roots in the individual as well as the society and contribute to the development and sustainability of the vice. At an individual level, persons experimenting with drugs tend to continue using due to the effects they derive from such activity. As such, addiction and dependency demonstrate indicators of drug-related problems. To this ... Read More
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