In recent times, it is difficult to ignore the impact of drug use and abuse on society. Even though anti-drug campaigns and the glaring ill effects of drug use are widespread, more people are still turning to drugs for various reasons.
Drug abuse refers to use of certain chemicals or substances for the purpose of deriving a pleasurable feeling or "high". These substances are known as psychoactive drugs and examples include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and more.
In addition to psychoactive drugs, people can become addicted to prescription medications such as tramadol and codeine.
You may start using drugs because of peer pressure, curiosity, or to chase a certain feeling; but drugs can greatly alter your life and change how your brain works without you being aware.
Let's look at four ways in which drug abuse can be damaging:
This is one danger people who use drugs rarely think about, but it’s a real concern. The easiest way by which drug use can cause death is through an overdose. Drug overdose occurs when a person consumes a large quantity of a psychoactive drug, much more than the body can eliminate. So the drug accumulates in the body and triggers an array of physical and psychological symptoms that lead to death. Oftentimes, overdose occurs as a direct result of addiction. This is because the person keeps trying to experience the same feeling by increasing their dosage.
The sad thing about addiction is that many people become addicted without even realizing it.
A lot of people believe they can control their usage and stop using drugs whenever they want, but the reality is addiction slowly creeps in and renders them powerless to the drugs. People who are addicted can't resist the urge to use drugs, even when they are aware of their negative consequences.
Addicted drug users often engage in risky behaviors such as theft, assault, unprotected sexual intercourse, and sharing of unsanitary sharp items, such as needles, just to get their hands on drugs. As a result, they might end up in jail or may contract a contagious disease, such as HIV/AIDS.
While drug abuse has severe physical and psychological consequences for the individual, the interpersonal effects cannot be overlooked. People who abuse drugs may find that their relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, or their spouse is strained.
People who use drugs often neglect their loved ones and will lie, steal, and even threaten them to get money to obtain drugs. They will also lie about where they have been, how they are spending their money, and refuse to accept that they are using drugs. Behavioral changes such as irritability and aggression also affect their relationships.
Physical health consequences
Drug abuse can have a negative impact on overall health, from heart attacks, kidney damage to gastrointestinal issues. People who inject drugs may experience cardiovascular difficulties such as infection of the blood vessels, collapsed veins, and contract diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS.
Smoking and long-term marijuana usage can lead to various forms of cancer: mouth, limb, testicular, stomach, and even neck. Opioid usage can also result in gastrointestinal issues such as bowel tissue decay, severe constipation, acid reflux, and abdominal pain.
Since 2000, drug-related deaths, disabilities, and illnesses have doubled. Presently, drug abuse is the number one cause of preventable deaths around the globe. People get into drug use for various reasons, but it's easy to slip from use to abuse and even to addiction. Save yourself and your life and avoid drugs.