Presented by: Romel Rae R. Recabo Suzy Mae Y. Fuertes
What is Drug Addiction? Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences.Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behaviour . For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possibleeven after long periods of abstinence.
Causes of Drug Addiction When we take drugs, either for medical purposes or recreation, there is a benefit or reward that we are trying to achieve. For example pain medication is intended to bring relief to an injured or stressed area of our body. The beginning stages of addiction us to crave more and to use more. The unintended consequences of that is our need to take more and more of the drug to get the same result. Causes of Drug Addiction: In addition the pathways inside the brain to be altered, physical changes in the nerve cells are brought on by the drug. These neurons communicate with each other releasing neuro-transmitters into the gaps or synapses between the nerve cells. This makes some drugs much more addictive than others.
Most Abused Drugs Painkillers: Opioids such as codeine and morphine are narcotics prescribed to treat pain. Other drugs in this class include oxycodone (OxyContin),hydrocodone(Vicodin),meperidine(Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and propoxyphene (Darvon).
Most Abused Drugs CNS depressants: Drugs in the benzodiazepine class are central nervous system (CNS) depressants used to treat anxiety disorders and sometimes for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax),diazepam (Valium), and triazolam(Halcion).
Most Abused Drugs Stimulants are sometimes prescribed to treat obesity andattention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Examples include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). Some of these preparations can be found in over-the-counter diet pills.
Most Abused Drugs Dextromethorphan (DMX): DMX is the active cough suppressant found in cough and cold medications.
Effects of Drug Addiction Physiological EffectsDrug addiction can have severe effects on the entire body of the person. Physiological effects that are found in the initial stages of drug addiction are irregular breathing and, increase in heart rate and blood pressure. The person may also experience sudden weight gain or weight loss.The long term effects of drug addiction are more serious. Some of the dangerous diseases that is caused due to drug addiction are brain damage, heart disease, arthritis and lung diseases. It is also one of the reasons for a person getting infected with AIDS, due to sharing of syringes to inject drugs.
Effects of Drug Addiction Psychological and Social EffectsOnce an individual gets into drug abuse, he does not have the power of controlling it. They reach a condition where non-consumption of these drugs make them feel restless, depressed and anxious, increasing their craving for taking more drugs. As drugs are illegal in almost every country, it is quite expensive and is not easily accessible. It has been observed that drug addiction is one of the causes of increased crime rate in the society. People steal, go into prostitution and even sell their homes to make money for buying drugs.
Effects of Drug Addiction Drug addiction not only effects the person, but also his family and friends. Drug addicts have the tendency to turn extremely violent, when they are under the spell of drugs. Family members and friends feel helpless as they are not able to do anything to help their loved ones from not taking drugs. Drug addiction is said to have resulted to the breakdown of many families, and it is likely that addicts even lose their friends due to this habit. The effects of drug addiction can also be seen in a person's professional life. It happens that the person is not able to concentrate on the job, due to which his performance level goes down, eventually leading him to lose his job.
Effects of Drug Addiction It is rather difficult to treat a person from drug addiction, but is not impossible. To start with the treatment, the drug addict must realize that he has a problem which is dangerous not only for himself but, also for the people around him. The person should understand the fact that drugs may give him an immediate relief, but it is a dangerous addiction that can even take away his life.
Prevention of Drug Addiction Drug abuse prevention begins early It’s never too early to start talking to children about the dangers of drug abuse, as the drugs are everywhere. Parents’ needs to have a clear and open dialog with their kids about drugs and listen to what the kids are saying. Adults need to listen carefully to pick up nuggets of information that may lead to a preventative move down the road. One of the best ways of communicating with children, and other adults, is to be the example. If I don’t want you to use drugs or alcohol, I should not use them in the presence of an impressionable person. It’s like smoking cigarettes. If mom and dad smoke, chances are the kids will smoke. Parents are encouraged to have an open dialog and to try to be objective about their children. “My little Johnny would never take drugs” is a seriously short-sighted statement when examined from the standpoint that every child is a potential drug abuser and addict. You can see that denial plays a big role in dealing with potential hazards.
Prevention of Drug Addiction Strong Parenting is KEY! The best prevention measure for children is strong parenting, and drug addiction prevention initiatives in schools, churches and the community. Prevention programs need to adapt to the environment where the effort is taking place. In addition to programs in schools, programs can be tailor made to meet the needs in churches or community centers that deal directly with people who live in the area. As in any form of communication, those who work the programs need to be sensitive to the people they are trying to help. They need to have an awareness of socio-economic conditions, culture, language and be respectful of all the contributing factors. It’s not just a money issue with drug addiction prevention programs; it’s also an issue of orientation.
Prevention of Drug Addiction Good programs exist for schools School programs have been implemented, such as the Narcotics Anonymous presentation, which gives kids an open and frank discussion about drugs. Many of the presenters are former addicts, who can speak directly to the terrible side-effects, loss of relationships and the destruction of their lives. The narcotics anonymous program has also been a valuable research-gathering effort, as they have learned about how children think about drugs, why they use, why they quit and in doing so, how to speak their language and communicate effectively. The sooner the better Drug addiction prevention efforts can be successful even after a person has started to use, but the earlier the better. Adults and children alike need to be given the facts and information they can use every day to avoid the pitfalls of abuse and addiction. Programs need to be real, not sugar coated and the information presented needs to reflect the needs of the community. It is true that some programs can be applied to two or more situations, but the first need is to connect with individuals in specific situations.