By Fidel Elizchrist Ujunwa
When I was growing up, my neighbour’s child was always sending me to get Tramadol for him from a chemist shop. I never knew what he uses it for until one day I asked him, and he replied that he had a sickness that only Tramadol could cure. I believed him and I never tried probing again.
But one fateful day, he engaged in a fight with someone and nearly killed the person because he was behaving abnormally. The police came to search his house and they found the Tramadol and immediately all echoed – ‘No wonder’. I was wondering why not until I told my dad every incident that happened and he explained the effects of Tramadol on a persons’ health. We got to know later on that he was eventually taken to a psychiatric hospital.
In today’s world, a large proportion of youth indulges in drug abuse simply for pleasure sake despite knowing the consequences and the aftermath of it. Drug abuse or substance abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain.
There are over 190 million drug abuse cases around the world and it keeps increasing at an alarming rate.
Causes of Drug Abuse;
Drugs of abuse are usually psychoactive drugs that are used by people for various reasons which may include:
1) Curiosity and peer pressure, especially among school children and young adults.
2) The use of prescription drugs that were originally intended to target pain relief may have turned into recreational use and become addictive.
3) Chemicals may be used as part of religious practices or rituals.
4) As a means of obtaining creative inspiration.
5) The quest to feel among.
There are three groups of drug abuse:
1) Depressants: These cause depression of the brain’s faculties and examples include sleeping pills and heroin.
2) Stimulants: These cause stimulation of the brain giving rise to alertness and increased bursts of activity. There are also cases of a rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, raised blood pressure, behavioural changes such as agitating and impaired judgment. Stimulants may also result in severe cases which may be delusional psychosis that can occur with the use of cocaine and amphetamines.
3) Hallucinogens: These cause hallucinations like an out of this world feeling of dissociation from oneself. Hallucinogens may cause distorted sensory perception, delusion, paranoia, and even depression.
Examples of drugs are;
3) Cocaine from Coca
4) Opium and Opioid from poppy plants
5) Hashish or Marijuana from Cannabis
6) Synthetic drugs
Cannabis Marijuana and Hashish are the most widely abused drugs in the world. A large population of 141 million worldwide consume cannabis. The use of stimuli such as amphetamine and ecstasy is also widespread with nearly 30 million people abusing these drugs. Abuse of heroin and other Opioid is less common than with other drugs.
Drug Abuse is seen in individuals from various age groups, all walks of life, and socioeconomic strata. However, men are more likely to abuse drugs than women. Single people are more likely than married individuals. Urban dwellers are more likely than rural dwellers prisoners. Street children and younger individuals are also more likely to abuse drugs.
The misuse of illicit drugs can pose different risks to your health both psychologically and physically, on a short and longterm basis.
The longterm danger of drug abuse psychological includes;
~Physical long term danger includes:
Short term danger of drug abuse
The physical danger of drug abuse includes:
~Increased blood pressure
~Increased high heart rate
~High body temperature
Signs and symptoms of drug abuse.
The signs and symptoms are both physical and behavioral;
~Sudden mood swing
~Changes in normal behavior
~Lack of hygiene and grooming
~Change in sleeping patterns
~Bloodshot or glassy eyes
~Constant shuffles or rising nose
~Change in personality
Young and old people take hard drugs because they want to be high. There are a lot of cases in which people lose their lives because of self-medication and inappropriate usage of drugs.
Many at times the causes of the critical or fatal accident is as a result of drug abuse. Some drivers take cannabis which derails their sense. Youths today become daring and ruthless after taking hard drugs and other stimulation leading to a loss in our society because these drugs in some cases lead to the death of our bright youngsters.
From recent research, most youths attribute the reason for taking drugs to fear. They claim that drugs help them to overcome fears most especially from exams and crowds. Some are also influenced by peers and the environment they dwell in.
Effect of Drug Abuse in human;
1) It leads to physiological malfunction like anxiety, depression, paranoid.
2) Financial outbreak: It makes the individual involved tend to have little or no money because any money that he/she gets will be used to buy drugs and some of these drugs are expensive like cocaine.
3) It might have a huge effect on the drug abuser like damaging the liver or kidney (the vital organs in the body)
Effect of drug abuse in society;
1) Increase in child custody losses
2) Increase in domestic disputes
3) Increased rates of homelessness and poverty
4) Increase in the number of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons.
5) Increase in rates of violent crimes in high institutions
Treatment or solutions to drug abuse
- Sensitizing people especially youngsters on the possible dangers of using any drug wrongly and by so doing they will be better equipped to prevent themselves and loved ones from danger.
- The substance abuse and mental health services administrator (SAMHSHA) offers treatment faculty to help you find alcohol and substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.
- A thorough mental and physical assessment.
- Individual or group therapy.
- A comprehensive aftercare program.
Drug abuse poses a different risk to one’s health.
Let’s say No to Drug Abuse!
Say No to drug abuse today and protect your future!