Drug addiction is a serious
problem faced by the world today. It is a problem prevalent in youth as well as
adult. There are several types of drug addictions with severe consequences on the
life and health of a person.
Long Essay on Drug Addiction in English
Below we have provided a long essay on addiction of drugs. After going through the essay you will know the types of drug addictions, their symptoms, effects and preventive measures.
This Drug Addiction essay will particularly prove helpful in essay competitions or exams.
“Drug Addiction” refers to the mental, emotional and physiological dependence on any substance, beyond one’s self control. Drugs are psychoactive substances that affect the mental status and alertness of an individual along with many other emotional and physical effects.
A person who is addicted to drugs, find it irresistible and such persons when denied the drugs, develop serious mental and physical complications like – nervousness, arrogance, itching, shaking of hands, irritability etc. In the further essay we will go through various types of drug addiction, their causes, effects and preventions.
Types of Drug Addiction and their Effects
There are usually seven types of drug addictions, depending on the type of drug used. These types of drug addictions are given below-
1) Stimulants Addiction
Stimulants are the drugs those interfere with the central nervous system. Doctors also prescribe stimulants in mental ailments like Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stimulants have various effects on the consumer, ranging from raised alertness, increased heart beat, high blood glucose and testosterone etc. Often stimulants come in the form of pills, but they can also be taken by snorting or by food. Some of the common examples of stimulant drugs are – marijuana and cocaine.
Effects of Stimulants Abuse
Some of the stimulant drugs are prescribed by doctors for asthma, as they open up the wind pipe. When such drugs are taken by a normal person it has serious physiological complications. Stimulants reduce hunger and in severe cases might lead to excessive weight loss. When taken even when not prescribed or in an abusive way, stimulants may cause serious consequences like stress and anxiety, paranoid personality disorder, psychotic disorder, stroke and seizures etc.
2) Hallucinogens Addiction
Hallucinogens are the drugs that disrupt the brain’s internal communication system. Hallucinogens could be smoked, ingested as pills or taken with food or beverages. Some of the most popular Hallucinogens are Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), salvia and Peyote.
Effects of Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens have a hallucinating effect on a person. S/he sees or perceives unreal things or conditions. People under the influence of hallucinogens may see and talk to a person who isn’t actually there and never existed. Hallucinogens abuse can have numerous undesirable conditions like – fear, anxiety, increased blood pressure, paranoia, psychosis etc.
3) Depressants Addiction
Like the stimulants, depressants also interfere with central nervous system, though they have opposite effect than the stimulants. While stimulants causes one to become active and over confident, depressants on the other hand, make the things look slowed down. For this very reason depressants are also called “downers” in street language. Doctors often prescribe depressants as sedatives, to treat anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder etc. Some of the common depressants are – Barbiturates, Valium and Benzodiazepines. Even alcohol and tobacco function as depressants.
Effects of Depressants
Depressants have a slow down affect on the person and their abuse might have both short term and long term undesirable consequences including – high blood sugar level, diabetes, obesity, delirium, dull thinking and low blood pressure etc.
4) Dissociatives Addiction
Dissociative drugs interfere with the brain’s perceptions of pain, emotion and reality. A person under the influence of a dissociative drug feels like as if he is watching his own self from outside the body. The drug may induce a false sense of immortality and the person under influence, might indulge in life risking activities. Some examples of dissociative drugs are Ketamine, phencyclidine (PCP) and Dextromethorphan (DXM). Dissociatives come in all forms – liquid, gas, solid and powder.
Effects of Dissociatives
Dissociatives are especially dangerous when taken for longer period, but their short term effects are also quite potentially dangerous like – anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, numbness and memory loss etc.
5) Opioids Addiction
Opioids are pain killers, often prescribed by doctors to the patients suffering from intense pain. One particular characteristic of opioids is that they are highly habit forming. Once ingested an opioid can result in addiction in as early as three days. Opioids can be drunk, eaten or injected. Some of the opioid drugs are – Morphine, heroin, opium and codeine.
Effects of Opioids
The effects of opioids could be disastrous even when the drug is withdrawn. People suffer from other ailments for months, once the opioids they were taking, were suddenly stopped. Some of the most common effects of opioids include – constipation, euphoria, brain impairment, drowsiness and liver damage.
6) Inhalants Addiction
Inhalants are most commonly found drugs, usually made from household items. Inhalants cause euphoria, an extreme unrealistic feeling of emotional and physical well being. Inhalants are inhaled in form of gases and fumes. There easy availability makes them most commonly used drugs in under developed and developing nations. Some examples of inhalants are – Nitrous oxide, room deodorizers, paints, thinners, markers etc.
Effects of Inhalants
Inhalant abuse can have both short term and long term undesirable severe consequence – damage to the brain, weakness, euphoria, bleeding of nose, unconsciousness and slurred speech.
7) Cannabis Addiction
Cannabis acts both as a hallucinogen and a depressant and is highly addictive. It can either be smoked or eaten. Some of the common examples of cannabis are Hashish and Marijuana leaves.
Effects of Cannabis
Cannabis abuse can have both short term as well as long term effects including – depression, lowered immunity, sedation, impaired sense of time etc.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction refers to the repetitive use of a particular drug by a person, even when it isn’t medically needed by his/her body. The addicted person loses all control over his/her mind and shows an extreme desire to substance abuse.
An addicted person shows affinity towards a particular substance and might show emotional or irrational or arrogant behaviour when s/he is denied the access to the substance. Such people gradually withdraw from social life and stop engaging in the activities they were previously interested in.
Drug addiction often results in serious complications like – headache, anxiety, stress, depression, sweating, behaviour changes, nausea, poor hand eye coordination, dilated pupil, fatigue and trembling.
Causes of Drug Addiction and Prevention
The first attempt is made out of curiosity, just to experience the effects of drug, but with the increase in frequency, they person gets more and more addicted. There are various causes, because of which youths fall for drugs, compromising their health and life. Sometimes drug addiction is caused due to ignorance and curiosity while sometime it is an outcome of depression, fatigue or any other ailment. Below we have considered some of the most significant causes leading to drug addiction.
1) Stressful Life
People who are stressed due to some emotional, environmental or psychological reasons are more likely to involve in drug abuse. Young students who have recently joined in college, away from home and feeling homesick or those facing problems in their careers or in job search have a greater tendency for substance abuse, if the opportunity arises.
A strict vigil must be ensured for students, adults, youngsters facing any of such circumstances. Their guardians, parents, teachers and colleagues must be vigilant to their stress level and its causes, making regular attempts to pacify them through counseling or personal interaction.
2) Pressure to Perform an Achieve
Today the world is in a race, where everyone wants to be ahead, leaving everyone else behind on the path of growth and success. Youngsters in college and school feel immense pressure to perform well during the exams. Such students are more susceptible to take stimulants in order to study continuously for longer durations without sleep and perform well in exams. Also, those with athletic background take stimulants in order to over perform in a competition.
Children must be taught that performing well in exams is an achievement, but it can’t be achieved at the cost of risking their health and life. They must perform as per their individual and natural capacities and must not compromise on their physiological and psychological health for any momentary gain.
3) Emotional Weakness
People, who are emotionally weak, tend to think lowly about themselves and disregard the world for not being as per their perception. They later tend to suffer from depression and sadness, causing their natural inclination towards substance abuse. Initially they take drugs in order to feel cut off from all of the worldly emotions and feel lighter.
If you know any relative, friend or someone in the family, who is going through the same emotional upheaval; extend your complete emotional support to him/her. You might not be able to change the world for him/her, but you might be able to change him/her.
4) Psychological Trauma
People who have gone through extreme psychological trauma are more vulnerable to substance abuse. They do it in order to temporarily forget their pain and emotional trauma and feel relaxed. Women however, are seen to be more susceptible to drug abuse resulting from psychological trauma.
People who have faced psychological trauma must get proper counseling by trained professionals. They must always be kept surrounded by family, friends and well wishers, in order to lessen their pain. They must be made to forget their past bitter experiences and move on to a new and better tomorrow.
5) Exposure to Drug Abuse
Children, who are exposed to an environment of drug abuse from an early age, are more susceptible develop an affinity for drugs. They also have an added advantage of easy availability of drugs. Mostly the children belonging to deprived and financially weaker sections are more exposed to substance abuse. Rag pickers and beggars are seen regularly using inhalants. Also, children in the family where one or more elders routinely consume drugs, are more susceptible to become drug addicts from an early age.
Early exposure of children to drugs can be avoided if the government and non government organizations keep an eye on the condition of children living in slums and other small dwellings. Regular counseling sessions must be held at schools in order to know whether a child has any such exposure and to take preventive measures beforehand.
Treatment of Drug Addiction
Though the treatment of drug addiction is possible, it is a long term process and requires months or sometimes years of treatment for the patient to completely stop taking drugs. The treatment approach must not only address to substance abuse but also the reason that has led to substance abuse.
The treatment also depends on the drug and the quantity which has been used. The treatment plan varies from person to person and devised based on behaviour and physical condition. It must also be done under the supervision of a trained medical doctor, who has complete knowledge of the patient’s history and the drug as well.
There are inpatient drug abuse treatment facilities for the patients who don’t have supportive environment at home and outpatient drug abuse treatment facilities for those who have supportive environment at home.
Another method of treating drug abuse is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In this therapy, patients are made to identify the trigger that forced them into substance abuse. They are then made to eliminate negative thoughts and gradually pull away from drugs.
Drug addiction is a complicated condition posing serious physiological and psychological damage to an individual. It not only affects the patient but also those related to him/her. It is an emotional trauma to those who love and care for the addict. Most significant causes leading to drug abuse are – violence, history of quarrels, fights, violence in family, depression and stress. These triggers of substance abuse must be identified and remedial measures taken in time, in order to avoid any drug abuse.
There is a general perception of looking onto a drug addict with contempt and disregard and as a weak person. Remember that a drug addict is a patient himself and actually needs help more than the criticism. All possible measures must be taken in order to take a drug addict out of the vicious cycle of drug and its harmful effects. It also must be ensured that the patient must not return to drug use after treatment, as usually the tendency is.