Drug abuse has been misunderstood for a very time. People mistakenly think that drug addiction and abuse are a social problem. This is not entirely true. Drug abuse has been defined as a disease which affects the brain resulting in compulsive drug pursuing and subsequent use. The drive to take the drugs are so strong despite the fact that the effects are harmful to both the user and those around them.
It has been classified as the disease of the brain because the use of the drugs results in brain’s changes regarding the functions and structure. Initially, taking of drugs is purely voluntary. However, with time, continuous use of drugs causes impairment of the self-control and decision making abilities of a person. This is where the problem starts because, at this point, the impulse to take drugs becomes intense.
Top effects of drugs abuse and their solutions
Can result in mental health problems
Excessive and longtime use drugs (some) can result in changes in the brain. These changes if not properly treated and attended to can cause serious mental health problems. Examples of mental health problems caused by drug abuse are hallucinations, anxiety, aggression, depression, paranoia among others. Research shows that drug addicts have high chances of suffering from anxiety and mood disorders. Examples of drugs that cause mental problems are cocaine, LSD, Kraton, Ketamine etc.
Can result in HIV / AIDS
There is a close link between HIV/AIDS and drugs abuse and addiction. Drug addicts are likely to use the same syringe in administering the drug intravenously aiding in the transmission of the disease from one person to the other. Secondly, when people are under the influence of drugs, their judgment may be impaired increasing the probability of engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors with partners who may be infected.
Other effects of drug abuse and addiction are domestic violence caused by a spouse who is affected, financial problems, trouble keeping and maintaining the same job, abuse and neglect of children, careless driving resulting in permanent disabilities or
death, arrests, etc.
Solutions to drug abuse and addiction
The list below is not exhaustive but provide ways in which the problem can be managed:
- Avoid peer pressure – Finding a better group of friends or saying no to peer pressure will go a long way in preventing people from taking drugs.
- Managing life pressures – Some people resort to drugs to get away from work-related stress. However, there are other better ways of managing life pressures exercising, reading among others.
- Mental health treatment – The help of a professional should be sought for treatment of substance abuse. Drugs should not be looked at as the only treatment of mental illnesses. Therapy is also a form of treatment.
In conclusion, the starting point in the treatment of drug abuse and addiction should be the examination of risk factors. This will then set the foundation for the right treatment.