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Drug abuse is the excessive dependency on a substance, especially drugs and alcohol. The American psychiatric Association has issued guidelines that define drug abuse and addiction. These guidelines provide that drug abuse results when a person recurrently was a substance and falls to meet is major obligations either at home, work or school. Drug abuse causes victims to use substances in situations that are physically harmful, especially when driving or operating a machine. Frequent problems with the law related to substance abuse, especially being arrested after a disorderly misconduct is another sign of drug abuse.

Victims addicted to drugs continue using them despite having social or personal problems caused by the effects of drugs, especially physical fights with a spouse. Drug abuse and addiction is a problem that is widespread and effects people of all socioeconomic levels. Through the exact cause of drug addiction is not known, factors like emotional stress, peer influence, depression and environmental stress, can contribute to drug addiction. Usually children who are brought up in environments with illicit drugs and drugs trafficking are at a higher risk of using and abusing drugs later in life.

Commonly abused drug substances include opiates such as heroine and opium, which are powerful painkillers and have euphoric qualities. Cocaine and nicotine are used to stimulate the central nervous system and create tolerance. Barbiturates and valium are depressants of the central nervous system which are used to create a soothing effect and reduce anxiety. These types of drugs usually cause dependency in the victims. Hallucinogens are drugs that have hallucinogenic effects and they also result to psychological dependency.

Cannabis and marijuana are the commonly abused types of drugs which create a relaxing effect within the victim. Motivations of drug abuse and addiction vary among different people in the community some depend on drugs out of peer pressure especially those who grow up in neighborhoods with notorious activities of drug abuse. Others use drugs as an escape route from stress and depression while others use drugs to alleviate pain. A common motivation of drug abuse is increasing energy levels in the body and also increasing self-esteem. Drug addicts feel more confident about themselves when they take drugs.

Other people simply take drugs for entertainment to produce a feeling of excitement like that brought about by cocaine. Drug addicts experience a variety of physical and emotional unexpected effects. These may include depression fatigue, withdrawal symptoms and even physical accidents. Drug addiction leads to poor work performance and destructs family life. In the society the cost of drug abuse is very high. It reduces work efficiency and productivity due to absenteeism in work. Many road accidents are caused by drug addicts who put their lives and those around them in danger.

Neighborhoods with drug activities are involved in drug related violence and crimes, which disrupt peaceful neighborhoods. Many jobless and homeless people in the community are either drug addicts or mentally unstable. Treatment of drug abuse is a complicated process which depends on the seventy of the addiction, the motivation to receive treatment and also the availability of treatment resources. What is drug abuse and addiction? Drug abuse and addiction is a psychological condition that is characterized by recurrent intake of dugs and alcohol despite personal and social awareness of its negative effects.

Drug addiction is recurrently using substances that have negative and dangerous effect on an individual, while drug abuse is using that substance excessively without medical authorization. Drug addiction results when the prolonged effects of drug affect the function of the brain which then reflects on the person’s behavior. The individual then develops a craving for the drug and seeks to use it despite its negative consequences. Drug addiction is seen as a way of producing pleasure and escaping from reality in the case of problems. (Lynch, T. (Ed. ).

(2000). In most cases drug abuse is seen as a socio problem by the society whereby drug addicts and abusers are termed to be morally wrong and criminals. The society expects drug abusers and addicts to be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to. This is not entirely true because drug addiction is a public health problem which needs enough attention because drug abuse and addiction affects brain functions of the affected victims. Drug abuse is a situation in which an individual makes a choice to excessively use drugs out of his own knowledge.

Drug abuse then leads to addiction which is a chronic illness. Drug abusers who progress to addiction suffer from effects on the brains activity and metabolism. As a result addiction causes excessive usage of drugs so drug addicts cannot stop taking drugs by themselves. Addiction can only be eliminated by treatment. There have been misconceptions that drug addicts depend on drugs on a daily basis and experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop. This is not true because most drug addicts are very orderly and even have permanent jobs. (Mcallister, W. B. (2000).

Drug addiction is characterized by three major aspects. When an addict is out of control and cannot limit the amount of drug intake. The addict also spends much of his quality time thinking about the drug. The addiction is very tempting because the addict continues to use the drugs even in the face of problems. Most drug abusers are constantly involved in traffic accidents and marital problems but still they continue to use drugs. Drug addiction therefore is not moral weakness or lack of willpower, it is a psychological condition because drug abuse affects the functions of the brain.

Drug addiction is a state in which and individual depends psychologically or physically on a drug. Drug addicts are usually isolated from families, schools and workplaces, and as a result, they become involved in criminal activities. Causes of drug and addiction Drug abuse and addiction usually depends on the type of drug that is being used. It also depends on circumstances under which the drug is being taken. Some prescribed medications are physically addictive and cause tolerance and withdrawal symptoms in the individual, sleeping pills and painkillers are classified into this category.

They also cause psychological dependency and addiction because people using them tend to crave for he effects they produce. 1. Genetic factors Research studies have shown that drug abuse and addition is a condition that runs in the family. Children who grow up watching their parents depend on drugs mostly develop a dependency towards drugs and later in life become drug addicts. Our Genetic composition makes us susceptible to certain types of drugs while others do not. Sleeping pills cause a sedative effect on some people while they cause negative brain effects on other people.

2. Environmental factors Our environment is a major contributor to drug abuse and addiction. Some neighborhoods are known for notorious drug trafficking and dealing. Children who grow up in such neighborhoods start observing people use drugs at a very young age. The minds of young children are easily influenced and so they start looking up to drug dealers in their neighborhoods. Usually drug dealers have very lucrative lifestyles with money, cars ad guns. Children want to adopt the same lifestyle and so they get assimilated into the activities at a very young age.

Drug invaded neighborhoods have resulted to recruiting young children to traffic drugs and carry guns because they get very mild sentences if apprehended. People who start trafficking drugs at a young age are at a high risk of developing drug addiction later in life. (Mcarthur, M. (1999). 3. Peer influence Peer pressure and influence is a major contributor in drug abuse and addiction. People who watch their peers taking or using drugs are easily incorporated in the behavior spending a lot of time in a community that uses drugs will most likely influence someone to adopt the lifestyle.

Societies involved in drug activities have led their members to believe that drug abuse and addiction is a part life and an experience that everyone must go through. 4. Availability. When drugs are easily accessible and affordable, their use increases at a high rate. Certain neighborhoods in the United States are addicted to drug dealing and drug trafficking. 70% of people living in these communities are very likely to get involved in drug abuse. The availability of a constant type of drug in a community determines the level of addiction on its users. (Tracy, S. W. & Acker, C. J. (Eds. ). (2004). 5. Poor coping

Most people result to drug abuse and addiction as a means of escaping from life issues. Life situations that produce feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, tension are difficult to deal with, and so drug addicts use drugs to relieve tension and anxiety. Drugs that stimulate or depress the central nervous system are used mostly in such cases. Drug addicts may use drugs to reduce fear of interacting with other people in social situations. People take drugs to achieve its pleasurable highs by stimulating energy levels in the brain, while others take drugs to relieve the painful, depressive effects of drug addiction.

(Mcallister, W. B. (2000). Symptoms of drug abuse and addiction Symptoms of drug abuse begin to show when a person is unable to control drug use in his life. These people usually are the last ones to recognize and admit that they have a drug problem. The main symptoms of drug abuse are:- 1. Tolerance 2. withdrawal 3. pre-occupation with the drug 4. rising use of drug 5. Drug-related problems. Tolerance is an effect created by drug substances that produce the need to use more drugs at all times. Drug addicts cannot stay for a long period without craving and seeking for drugs.

Their life activities depend on how often they take the drugs. People who are addicted to drugs find it impossible to perform certain activities without the influence of drugs. Withdrawal symptoms are feelings which an individual experiences on reducing or stopping the intake of drugs. These symptoms create hangover feelings and cause nausea, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and lack of concentration. Drug addiction causes addicts to use large amounts of drugs than planned and increases the frequency of drug intake. People who abuse drugs are usually not aware when they increase the drug amount or the intake frequency.

This is because addiction is a disease which affects the brain and its effects are subconscious. Drug abuses and drug addicts spend much of their time thinking or using the drug substances. A lot of their time is also spent on recovering from the negative effects of drugs. Drug addicts are incapable of thinking or doing positive constructive activities because they only think of how drugs influence their lives positively. (Meadows, M. (2001, September). Failing to fulfill role obligation is a sign of drug abuse because many victims neglect their family responsibilities and work obligations.

They fail to meet the needs of their children and also fail to report for work. Drug addicts start spending less time of their hobbies and social activities because much of their times is spent on drug abuse. Apart from doing drugs every time, drug addicts begin using drugs under risky situations. Most accidents are caused by people who drive under the influence of drug substances. Some engage in unprotected sex with people unfamiliar to them or even get involved in fights or violence. These victims get caught up in drug-related legal problems with the authorities.

Drug addicts find difficulty in retaining old friends and loved ones because they argue and pick up fights with them all the time. Treatment of drug abuse and addiction Effective treatment of drug abuse is of much benefit to the victims, their families and the society. Treatment improves both psychological and social functioning of victims and their families. Drug addictions treatment varies depending on the symptoms exhibited by the patients. Most victims suffer from a variety of addiction problems, varying from social problems, making the very difficult to treat.

Treatment of drug abuse and addiction also depends on the seventy of addiction in different people. Different approaches have been established to treat drug addiction due to its complexity. The treatment of drug addiction can take the form of medication, behavioral therapy which includes counseling, psychotherapy of cognitive therapy. (Ammerman, R. T. , Ott, P. J. , & Tarter, R. E. (Eds. ). (1999). Counseling, cognitive and psychotherapy assist people in coping with drug cravings and offer them strategies of avoiding drugs and preventing drug relapse.

Preventing drug relapse is a cognitive therapy that encompasses drug abstinence as well a assisting in coping with relapse. This approach encourages people to have self-control. It explores the positive and negative effects of drug abuse, encourages self-monitoring strategies of dealing with such situations for drug abuse and developing strategies of dealing with such situation. The main aim of the treatment is identifying the problems drug addicts face and establishing ways of dealing with them. (Bean, P. & Nemitz, T. (Eds. ). (2004).

Drug counseling is another form of therapy which focuses on helping drug addicts stop or reduce drug intake. This form of therapy assists patients to restructure impaired social systems in their life, especially re-evaluating their family responsibilities and work obligations. Therapists assist patients to develop strategies of coping with the drug cravings and how to abstain from them. In these sessions, full participation of patients is encouraged to make them more confident and improve their self-esteem. They are asked to attend counseling sessions as many times as they can.

Motivational enhancement therapy is a form of treatment whereby patients are encouraged to change their behaviors by exploring the advantages of stopping drug usage and seeking treatment. It is a rapid process in which change is initiated into the patient rather than assisting them step by step through the recovery process. Patients are assessed and a motivational plan program is built based on the results of the assessment. The patient is asked to identify high-risk situations for drug use in his life and coping strategies are established to deal with them. (Kandel, D. B. (Ed. ). (2002).

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