As the name suggests “Drug Abuse” refers to the abuse/misuse of drug beyond a specified or prescribed limit, by a person. “Drug Abuse” is sometimes also referred to as “Substance Abuse”. It may include the drug/s prescribed by a medical professional but are taken more than what was prescribed.
“Drug Abuse” is not to be confused with “Drug Addiction” and the two differ from each other, though slightly. Drug Abuse could be a onetime occurrence causing physical or psychological harm to the victim. On the other hand “Drug Addiction” is a periodic and habitual use of drug by an addict.
Long Essay on Drug Abuse in English
Below we have provided Long Essay on Drug Abuse in English. This Drug Abuse long essay elaborates every aspect of drug abuse along with its meaning.
After going through the essay, you would be able to differentiate between drug abuse and drug addiction, know the reasons behind drug abuse, why people use/abuse drugs and in what circumstances, what age group or people are more susceptible to drug abuse, how drug abuse slowly develops into addiction, what are the symptoms of drug abuse, what are the effects of drug abuse and how could drug abuse be prevented.
The language used here is very simple yet effective, so enjoy reading this essay and use as per your need:
Drug Abuse Long Essay
“Drug Abuse” is a situation where the victim is either knowingly or unknowingly ingested with drug, causing harm to his/her physical or mental health. Usually, it refers to the initial exposure to drugs which could cause the victim to develop a habit of substance abuse leading to its addiction. Alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, marijuana are some of the common substances associated with drug abuse. Even taking sleeping pills over a specified limit comes under drug abuse.
What makes People Abuse Drugs
The reason for drug abuse differs from person to person. Someone might use drug to get some kind of high or pleasure while someone might use it to escape boredom or depression. An overdose of drug taken to escape reality could cause fatal physical and psychological consequences to the abused, even resulting in death in serious cases.
Someone may become a victim of drug abuse during rave parties or any such gathering, in which the participants have access to different drugs. Many of them might have first time exposure to the drug and its effects, often resulting in its overdose, causing serious health issues. Drug abuse could result from anyone being forcibly ingested with drug or being fooled into consuming something laced with drug.
In some cases, the social status of the victim and his/her environment plays a vital role in substance abuse. People belonging to the deprived section of society, like rag pickers and small workers are more susceptible to drug abuse which often develops to drug addiction.
World Statistics on Drug Abuse
As discussed above, the participants of a rave party or people belonging to lower strata of society are more susceptible to drug abuse. However, the statics from around the world reveal a set drug abuse pattern based on age of the victim and other factors.
World Statistics reveal that drug abuse is more prevalent in Eastern Europe and United States, affecting 5-6% of the total population. One may think that the poorer the nation, the more will be the incidents of drug abuse, but statics reveal just the opposite. Across Africa and Asia, only 1-2% of population is affected by drug abuse, which is considerably low from developed United States and Europe. Males constitute over 60% of all globally reported drug abuse cases.
Number of deaths caused due to drug abuse in United States has shot up to twice than the previous decade.
Drug Abuse and Children
Drug abuse by children is a matter of prime concern, mainly in underdeveloped and developing nations. Children belonging to poor, deprived and socially backward sections of the society are often trapped into drug abuse by an organized syndicate for easy money. Such children are also subjected to physical and psychological abuse.
Often, school going children are also reported to be involved in drug abuse. Initially they use drug simply to satisfy their curiosity but either they overdo it resulting in serious health hazards and death, or they end up developing an addiction to the drug.
Incidents have also been reported of children subjected to physical exploitation after being offered food or drink laced with drug.
In India children belonging to the age group of 10-12 who are into drug abuse are repeatedly being rescued by authorities from different corners of the country. Majority of the rescued children belong to the poor class, who do rag picking and other menial jobs for a living. The drug used by such children isn’t costly and mainly consists of substances used in domestic work, like – whitener, shoe polish and fevicol etc.
Development to Addiction
Drug Abuse, in a way, could be the initial stage of drug addiction. A drug abuse victim might be able to overcome the damages and lead a normal life; though, the possibility of his/her developing an addiction for the drug, can’t be neglected.
Initially the decision to take drug might be voluntarily taken with no long time commitments. But a strong drug will have you craving for it, once again, even when you have completely recovered from its first time’s detrimental effects. This is so, because a powerful drug makes neurological changes into your brain which leaves you asking for more.
The pleasure feeling that we get on eating, suppose a chocolate, or while being cuddled by someone, is because of neurotransmitter named “dopamine”, which is also called the pleasure hormone. The problem with drug is that, its consumption releases much more dopamine than a chocolate ever could. This causes the brain to anticipate more drug intake in order to release more dopamine. Thus, it is evident that an isolated case of drug abuse might develop into drug addiction if the victim isn’t provided with proper medical care and guidance.
Symptoms of Drug Abuse
The symptoms of drug abuse can be classified into physical and behavioral symptoms; though, their nature and intensity, up to a large extent depend on the drug used. Below, we will go through both the physical and behavioral symptoms of drug abuse, along with the symptoms caused by few common drugs.
Physical Symptoms of Drug Abuse
There could be varied physical symptoms of drug abuse. Some of the most common physical symptoms of drug abuse are listed in the bullet points below.
- Sleeplessness or short sleep, awakening suddenly at intervals.
- Unusual laziness or dizziness, not seen during normal circumstances.
- Confused state of mind or an inability to understand clearly.
- Not able to communicate, listen or speak properly.
- Shaking of hands, legs along with sweaty or cold palms or feet.
- Strained eyes that look red with unusually expanded or contracted of pupils.
- Irregular pulse, that is, unusual or irregular heart beat.
- Swollen face or other vital features of the body.
- Sudden feeling of nausea or vomiting.
- In case of inhalants, victims are often seen rubbing their nose frequently.
- Poor hand eye coordination and an inability to walk in a straight line.
- Some drugs might cause the accuse to periodically twist his/her jaw.
- Total loss of consciousness or inability to move limbs.
- In severe cases internal bleeding causing blood flow from nose may occur.
Behavioral Symptoms of Drug Abuse
There are several behavioral symptoms which a drug abuse victim displays. Some of the significant behavioral symptoms of drug abuse are listed in the bullet points below-
- Loss of Interest in a hobby which wouldn’t has happened in normal circumstances.
- Sudden change in attitude/behaviour for no evident reason.
- A sudden drop in performance at work and in studies.
- Behaving irritated or abnormal with no apparent reason.
- Unexplained and almost sudden sensitivity to light, sound or touch.
- Sudden overconfidence and zeal to accomplish unrealistic and dangerous goals.
- Loss of concentration and an inability to remember i.e. loss of memory.
- Unusual lack of self esteem or energy level.
- Inability to socialize with family and friends and preferring isolation.
- Feeling that people are looking for you, probably to harm you; a situation called paranoia.
- Behaving suspiciously in public places or even in house.
- Stealing money or other valuables to purchase drug.
- Keeping an extra stock of prescribed drug/s.
Symptoms Specific to the Drug
Different drugs result in different physical and behavioral symptoms. Some of the most common drugs and symptoms associated with their abuse are listed below.
Drug abuse specifically caused due to alcohol could be easily identified with symptoms like red eyes, slurry speech, slip of tongue and an inability to walk or move properly.
Marijuana abuse is identified by glassy red eyes. Sudden burst of laughter, sleepiness or dizziness, lack of concentration and interest into anything.
Cocaine abuse is identified by excessive sleeping or hyperactivity, depending on the nature of victim. Other symptoms include irritation, anxiety, dilated pupils and loss of weight.
Heroin abuse is identified by symptoms like vomiting, sweating, coughing, pupil contraction and an inability of pupil to respond to changes in light.
Hallucinogens like LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) and ketamine could cause pupils to dilate, aggressive behaviour, paranoia, sudden changes in mood, slurred speech and confusion.
Effects of Drug Abuse
Apart from the temporary physical and behavioral symptoms of drug abuse as listed above, it could have long term consequences on the health, personality and social status of a person.
Severe drug abuse, in which large doses of drug are administered, could cause permanent disability or may also result in death.
The physical trauma caused by substance abuse might be overcome and forgotten but it could leave a permanent mark on victim’s psychology. Many victims of drug abuse have to seek counselor help, even after completely recovering from physical effects.
An incident of drug abuse could leave a victim with weaken immune system and an increased susceptibility to infections and diseases, nausea, abdominal pain and serious cardio vascular complications.
In case of pregnant women, drug abuse could cause serious harm to fetus or may even result in premature birth. It might also result in the baby developing certain physical or neurological problems, later in life.
Drug Abuse Prevention/How to Get Away from Drug Abuse
Preventing the incidents of drug abuse and ensuring that our children, youngsters don’t fall into the trap of drug suppliers, is a collective responsibility of the society and government agencies. Though, there are few factors that could make an impact, by preventing the incidents of drug abuse, as listed below-
1) Good Parenting
Like the famous phrase – “Charity begins at home”, it wouldn’t be out of context if we say that the first step to prevention of drug abuse also begins at home. The secret to the success lies in the way we are able to teach, educate and warn our children about drug abuse. Young, college and school going children are more susceptible to drug abuse. As vigilant parents we should be able to identify the time when our children might have access to drugs and must take out time to talk with them about the hazards of drug abuse/use. Nothing could better prevent a child from using a drug for first time, than a genuine advice from a sensible parent.
2) Frisking in Schools/Colleges
The stark truth about drug abuse is that, majority of victims of drug abuse are either school going teenagers of college going sub adults. Somehow, the local drug dealers are able to reach the students directly and trap them into drug abuse. Most of the victims of drug abuse mostly stay in hostels, away from parents or guardian. It therefore, makes sense to routinely frisk the bags and other belongings of school and college students, just in case if they have any objectionable substance in their possession. Such regular checkups not only demoralize drug dealers and victims, but also go a long way in preventing any further incidents of drug abuse in and around campus.
3) Vigilant Authorities
The more vigilant the authorities are, the easier it would be to put brake on drug abuse. Activeness of authorities plays a significant role in drug abuse as they have the necessary resources to prevent any such incident beforehand. Local police and drug control authorities have a proper information network consisting of informants, who gather information on any drug deal taking place. Just by a little bit of push, the authorities might be successfully able to prevent drug abuse. Increased patrolling during night, in secluded areas, mostly where poor street children stay; will put a hold on drug dealers to reach out to poor children. A time regulation on late night parties and their surveillance should be implemented by the authorities.
4) Routine Medical Checkups in Schools and Colleges
Routine medical checkup of the inmates of a school or college for any symptom of drug abuse will also prove beneficial in preventing the spread of drug use and prevent any further drug abuse incident. Even the slightest symptoms of substance abuse/addiction must be closely analyzed by the doctors to ascertain the drug. Henceforth, school/College authorities must notify the parents and local authorities, so that further action can be taken against the drug suppliers.
5) Strict Laws
Strict Laws must be formed and enforced to punish the accused and rehabilitate the victims. Anyone found with possession of a banned drug, must be immediately imprisoned without a possibility of pay roll. Moreover, law must ensure proper counseling and medical help to the victim of drug abuse.
24/7 National Drug Helpline Number
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, under the Government of India has launched a 24/7 toll free helpline number 1800-11-0031 for the victims of drug abuse and drug addiction. The hotline suggests individual treatment plan to the victims based on their use, abuse or addiction of drugs.
One time drug abuse has the potential to make victim a regular drug addict or to ruin his/her physical, psychological health or social life. There are indeed many ways that we could together do to prevent drug abuse or addiction; though, good parenting and socially responsible behavior are at the core of it. We must not shy away from discussing the issue with our children and also behave like responsible citizens by reporting any drug abuse/addiction incident to the authorities.