Drug Use and Abuse Drug Abuse Caetano Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Drug Use and Abuse

Drug abuse

Caetano (1997, 58) in his studies describe drug abuse as the poor pattern of substance or drug consumption that results to harm on one's health and when you think about the word drugs, what comes to mind? It's in our human nature to instantly think about someone using crack or codeine. So therefore; we just stereo-typed someone we knew nothing about, it's what makes us humans. On the other hand, what about those people who using drugs prescribe to them by their doctor. This paper is going to talk about the good and bad of drug from the writer point-of-view. In the end hopefully you will see it as I see it through my eyes.

The thesis statement for this essay is that drugs consumed over a long period of time is dangerous since it has been proven that it damages the brain and changes one's physical appearance. Thou at times drugs are recommended in prescriptions thesis argues that excessive consumption, unregulated or prolonged consumption has negative consequences to a person's general health.


The centre for medical research recently released a report which stated that currently in the market there are various drugs that have been manufactured with little considerations to quality measures and controls of standards this is so because they are manufactured by non-professionals in home-based labs. This means that the dosage level is something of uncertainty and even there are possibilities of the existence of harmful ingredients in such drugs. This reports recommend that users should be aware of the physical damage they are exposing themselves while using such drugs since they can also limit the ability for one to set his or her limits.

Types of drugs exist in five distinct classes and one of them is club and date rape drugs under which there are drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol or roofies, ecstasy, Ketamine. Under the stimulants drugs there are amphetamines, caffeine, diet pills or anorectic drugs, cocaine and methamphetamines. Under depressants there are barbiturates, benzodiazepines and alcohol. While the Hallucinogens comprise of psilocybin, DMT, LSD, peyote and mescaline and PCP. For narcotics drugs there are codeine, heroin, opium and morphine.

It is important to note that in the different clusters of drugs that have just been mentioned above, there are those drugs that are used to alter the behavior or mood of a person of which some are generally accepted in the community, for example drinking coffee. Further more there are drugs that can also be prescribed as medication and are obtained over-the-counter for use in reducing pain or to suppress appetite, an example of such a drug is marijuana which has been legalized in some states like California and Arizona. However with frequent use of these drugs they are likely to show signs of interfering with the normal functioning of one's body and hence the drug use has turned into drug abuse.

Jaffe (2005, 284-324) described in his book that an individual will exhibit substance abuse problem when they continue to use some form of drugs or the so-called medication despite the recurring, physical, psychological, social or occupational problems associated with their use. The National Institute of Mental Health have attributed the cause of most death, disability, premature and preventable illness to substance abuse, cigarettes, alcohol abuse, legal and illegal drugs, medication and other mood-altering substances.

Marijuana as an advantageous drug

Despite the earlier government tough stand on marijuana use of which possession and use of it could have attracted a huge criminal penalty under the United States drugs law, the government was forced to back down on this tough stand when reportedly in the 1980's research proved that therapeutic marijuana can help in the changing diseases prevalence like cancer and AIDS. By 1996 states such as Arizona and California had approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, this approval was attained through the States' ballot initiatives.

The reforms in this law lead to the development and subsequent production of marinol, which is a synthetic analogue of the principal active agent in marijuana and seemingly responsible for most its' psychotropic and medicinal properties.

However, O'Donohue and Ferguson (2006 335-350) both critics of the legalizations of marijuana for medicinal purposes argues that there are many families in the United States whose lives have been negatively affected by heavy use of marijuana; O'Donohue and Ferguson further argues that marijuana is easily addictive and can't be relied upon as temporal use only for medicinal purpose. Moreover, according to the National Institute for Mental Health marijuana use is the leading cause of mental illness and disorder; frequent users have developed mental problems due to the in take of excessive marijuana.

Risks and dangers of drug abuse

According to Lowinson, et al. (2005, 251-265) the most commonly abused drugs include alcohol, opium alkaloids, barbiturates, methaqualone, amphetamine, cocaine and minor tranquilizers. The dependence and over-indulgence in these drugs has effects that negatively impair the user's mental health, physical health and the welfare of those around him or her.

The pathological use of drugs leads to adverse negative social repercussions as users tend to failure in obligations that relate to family matters, work or school, the users are also prone to interpersonal problems or being caught on the wrong side of the law i.e. legal problems.

In the studies conducted by Glasscote et al. (2002, 122-131) the risks of drugs abuse have been enlisted but they are dependant upon the level of intake but the first major risk factor so listed in this studies is the health problems, this evident in the effective visuals used for this essay, from the mere look at the face of the women they show a person with poor health conditions of which is deteriorating with the consistent use of drugs.

Drugs abuse exposes the abuser to violence, suicides, homicides, morbidity, injuries, unprotected sex, psychological addiction or psychological dependence. Research has shown that drug abusers are most likely to commit suicide because of the long abuse of drugs that has resulted in them been socially isolated as well as the distortion of their brain chemistry. The intoxication effect of the drugs is a contributing factor in suicide by drug abusers. The findings of this research showed that one out of four suicides among the adolescent age group of Americans is caused by alcohol abuse and on the national level thirty percent of suicide cases in the United States are related to alcohol abuse. Lowinson et al. (2005, 87-101) asserts that alcohol abuse put the abuser at risk of committing crimes such as assaults, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse and burglaries.

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse

Mental illness is one among the many symptoms of drugs abuse and it is exhibited when the abusers is still abusing the drugs or at the withdrawal state when the abuser wants to quit the addiction. In some cases psychiatric disorder such as depression or prolonged psychosis will still be exhibited in a drug abuser who has been cleaned through detoxification.

Abuse of specific drugs such as cannabis causes panic attacks when the abuser is under the influence and also a state of dysthymia. As for hallucinogens abusers may experience delusions and other psychotic phenomena long after quitting its use. Those who abuse alcohol usually show signs of severe anxiety and depression.

Drug abuse usually affects the central nervous system and the abuser is likely to have changes in moods, awareness level or perception and sensations as a result of the impact of the drug on the central nervous system.

Benzodiazepines has been touted to be the most notable drug that has the most prolonged withdrawal effects with signs and symptoms at times persisting for years after quitting from the abuse. However it is important to note that the signs and symptoms usually fade away after a long period of abstinence.

Incidences and prevalence in the case of alcohol abuse

Reports released by the National Institute of Health show that over 7.4% of the American population are either dependent or abuse alcoholic drinks. The dependency among the men is higher than those of women as men are five times more dependent on alcohol than women. The reports also classified the prevalence of alcohol abuse into two types, namely alcoholism which reportedly fourteen million Americans suffer from and the alcohol dependency prevalence of which also fourteen million Americans suffer from including women who are estimated to 4.6 million.

Caetano (1997, 565-572). noted in his studies that the incidence of alcohol abuse in the American society appear to be coined around socio-cultural, psychological and biological factors, (Bachman, O'Malley and Johnston (2004, 629-645) also shared the same observation in their studies as they are quoted saying that "a child who has a parent with alcohol-related disorder has higher chances of becoming an alcoholic unlike a child whose parent doesn't suffer from the same.

According to information released by the Illinois criminal justice information authority on drug arrest in the state; the report also used…

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