A drug is a chemical that interacts with other substances to alter or change something. In the United States, drugs are a major part of everyday life. Whenever you have a cup of coffee, drink tea, or flavor something with condiments such as sugar or salt, you are using drugs. In some instances they may be used for positive effects ( aspirin or prescription pain killers in moderation to cure a headache or other sickness). However, sometimes people abuse drugs (alcohol or painkillers) or make use of illegal ones (marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms, heroin, etc).
This negative use of drugs poses a great threat in American society.
If you have ever thought over the question of why people use drugs, you would realize that the question is not as simple as it may appear. To answer this question objectively, you need to consider how the body and mind work together. The simple act of daily living creates countless demands on ourselves both emotionally and physically. Stresses we encounter determine the demands on which we place on our mind and body. To free themselves of this stress, some people chose recreational drugs to put them in another frame of mind.
The body, in most instances, craves a minute amount of the chemical to balance its desires; however, the mind says, “If a little is good, a lot is better.”
Others chose drugs as substitutions for self-confidence, solutions to problems, relaxation, freedoms from anxiety, self-esteem, and satisfying feelings. Whatever the incentives may be, it is apparent that all of the reasons why people chose to do drugs have to do with changing how they feel; they are about avoiding boredom or solitude, or feeling significant, part of a group, tranquil, or “good”.
Unfortunately, people don’t usually realize that drugs are not solutions to their problems. Drugs are roses, they may look attractive, but they have sharp thorns. Associated with substance abuse are many risks.
These dangers include:
1. risks to personal safety (i.e. possibility of death or injury by overdose, accident, or violence) 2. damage to health (i.e.
brain damage, liver malfunction, mental problems, etc.)
3. legal consequences (i.e. chance of incarceration, fines, or criminal record)
4. destructive behavior (i.
e. harm to self, family, and/or friends)
The previous risks can provoke “loss of total control” which can be driven by physical factors, psychological factors, or both. Physical reliance is when the body requires the chemical to function normally; psychological dependence is when a person relies on the substance to provide good feelings. This is not just a casual craving; it’s a powerful compulsion. When a person becomes dependant on a particular drug, they may cause chaos, not only for themselves, but the people around them as well. The may start acting irresponsibly causing financial problems or social difficulties.
They may become less credible due to broken promises and deceit. They may lie, steal, or use any other means possible to obtain the drugs they are using. They may feel shame and guilt from constant failure in striving to restrict their drug intake. Ironically however, he or she will typically insist that they are fine and nothing is wrong. These people are subconsciously in denial of their addiction and their abuse of the substance will steadily escalate unless they are helped.
Two commonly used drugs in the United States are alcohol and marijuana (cannabis).
Alcohol, although not commonly seen as a drug because of its religious and social purposes, has provoked serious problems in modern society. Statistics show that one in twenty drinkers in the US have an alcohol dependency problem. An estimated ten million Americans are considered to be alcoholics (75% of which are male and 25% of which are female). In addition, over one hundred thousand people die each year of alcohol related problems. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, which is often progressive and fatal. Some symptoms a person may show illustrating an alcohol related problem consist of:
closet drinking (drinking alone or in privacy)
2. not remembering discussions or obligations
3. making a ritual of having drinks at particular times and becoming agitated when this ritual is disturbed or questioned
4. losing interest in once pleasurable pastimes; and .