Drug Addiction

Drug addiction? is a? pathological condition? which arises due to frequent? drug? use. The disorder of? addiction? involves the progression of acute? drug use? to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. The? Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition? (DSM-IV) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and withdrawal/negative affect. These stages are characterized, respectively, everywhere by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance; using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects; and experiencing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and decreased motivation for normal life activities.? By the American Society of Addiction Medicine definition, drug addiction differs from? drug dependence? and drug.

It is, both among scientists and other writers, quite usual to allow the concept of drug addiction to include persons who are not drug abusers according to the definition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The term drug addiction is then used as a category which may include the same persons who under the? DSM-IV? can be given the diagnosis of? substance dependence? or? substance abuse.

Overview

Drug abuse can be harmful to a persons health on a mental, emotional and physical level, and it can affect other people besides the drug abuser. All drugs come with their own set of health problems when they are used and abused in a non-prescribed manner, and many of those problems cannot be helped.

Significance

Many people start using drugs when they are young and uninformed about the consequences of drug abuse. Every effort should be made to educate those who are vulnerable to drug use so they will not engage in the use of drugs that could have lifelong damaging effects on their health.

Effects on the Drug Abuser

Drugs that are smoked, such as nicotine, can lead to respiratory problems, heart disease and cancer. Alcohol consumption can impair memory and damage the liver. Drugs that are inhaled can cause heart damage and kidney, brain and lung damage. Cocaine is another drug that can damage the heart, and it can also affect the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. Illegal drugs that can damage the brain include amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD and heroin.

Effects on Others

Pregnant women who take drugs can give birth to children who could have attention problems, impaired judgment and/or behavioral problems that, although not yet confirmed, could extend into their adolescent years. People who smoke cigarettes put those who do not smoke at risk of getting? lung cancer? or heart disease. Those who inject drugs such as heroine, cocaine and methamphetamine may infect others with HIV, AIDS, hepatitis and other STDs when they engage in unprotected sex or sharing needles.

Inhalants

Consistent use of inhalants can cause liver failure and impairment of peripheral nerve function. Brain damage caused by inhaling drugs can leave you so badly impaired that you could wind up living the rest of your life with learning and communication problems. Inhaling strong chemicals can cause death when the drug abuser regurgitates and chokes on his own vomit.

Prevention/Solution

Find out all there is to know about the harmful effects of drug abuse and do not allow yourself to be tempted to take drugs. If you are already addicted to drugs, seek help right away. Contact a drug treatment center and talk to someone who can help you. Help someone you know who is addicted to drugs by persuading him to talk to a loved one or a guidance counselor at his school about his problem. Refer your friend to a drug treatment center.