Effects of Drug Abuse

Effect on the Individual:

The effects that drug abusers are exposed to vary from physical effects like increased heart rate, heavy breathing, increase in blood pressure, excessive sweating, garbled speech, lethargy etc., while the emotional effects range from anxiety, depression, hallucination etc. A few examples of the most commonly abused drugs are Marijuana, Cold and Cough Medicines, Cocaine and Crack, Inhalants, Amphetamines and others.
Marijuana is considered to be the most extensively used illegal drug in the United States. Known as the doorway drug, because of its regularity of use the addicts develop a resistance and move on to more potent drugs. Marijuana alters the mood and sense coordination of the addicts letting them experience mood swings. It also brings about an increase in the heart rate and blood pressure. Sometimes the eyes turn red after its use and make the addicts feel hungry as well and this is known as the "munchies" amongst addicts. Some users also experience paranoia and hallucinations. Marijuana is commonly smoked and this damages the lungs and similar to cigarette smokers, marijuana addicts suffer from coughing, wheezing, and frequent colds.
Cold and Cough Medicines are sold over the counter and have a key ingredient known as DXM (dextromatorphan). The effect of this drug is supposed to be medicinal, but large doses that the addicts consume cause face, dry and itchy skin, loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain etc and it can even lead to death. Inhalants are substances that the users sniff to get an instant high or rush and they are used in glue, paint thinners, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, marker fluids, correction fluids, hair sprays, aerosol deodorant, and spray paints as well. They are toxic and lead to nosebleeds, sever headaches, giddiness etc.
The addict inhales cocaine and crack is smoked and crack is a derivative of cocaine. Both affect the Central Nervous system and lead to what is called a "crash" and in order to sustain the feeling, the addict takes larger doses and this again leads to physical and psychological longing. The effects are similar to the other drugs, like heavy breathing, increased blood pressure, etc. Other drugs also have the same effect and what the addict experiences only varies on his/her mental and physical condition.

Effect on Family, Work and the General Public:

The addiction of the individual affects his/her moods and even when not on the drug, it affects the behavior of the person. The addict's performance at work drops and if the addict is in his teens, it has a negative impact on the school life. The abuse of drugs disrupts the family life of the addict and makes the person more of an anti-social element. The spouts of aggression make the addict a violent person, and upsets neighborhoods due to violence among drug peddlers, terrorizing residents, and the crimes of the addicts themselves. Studies have shown that over half of the highway deaths in the United States involve alcohol and drugs. Also, such addiction leads to the spreading of AIDS since the heroin addicts share needles etc and pregnant women acquire the AIDS virus through intravenous drug use and pass the virus on to the infant. Drug users are a burden on the country and increasing expenses and in 1999, the federal government budgeted $17.9 billion on drug control and earlier in 1998 drug-related health care costs in the United States was more than $9.9 billion. The effect of drugs on the addict and eventually on society is a matter of major concern because the addict ends up being held responsible for more people being exposed to the evil.

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Content provided by the Editorial Board.  This article is written by a freelance writer. It might not reflect the views and opinions of Soft Landing ltd. or its staff but has been placed here so that our visitors may get an idea of how others think of the topic.

Information on this page last updated on 06/10/2007