Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder. Widely differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases criminal or anti-social behavior occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties, although these vary widely depending on the local jurisdiction.
Public health practitioners have attempted to look at substance use from a broader perspective than the individual, emphasizing the role of society, culture, and availability. Some health professionals choose to avoid the terms alcohol or drug “abuse” in favor of language they consider more objective, such as “substance and alcohol type problems” or “harmful/problematic use” of drugs.
Drug abuse: It is the use of drugs or other substance in a wrong way. It is the consumption of a drug or any other substance beyond what is required.
Drug dependence: It is the same thing as drug addiction, it is when drug abuse is no longer under the control of the person taking the drugs, and this is when the person becomes addicted to the drugs or substance, when the drugs becomes a dictator to a person’s life.
Physical dependence means that the affected person becomes physically ill and cannot stop taking the drugs.
Psychological dependence means when the person involve seeks a great need for the drug and will go any length to get the drugs he needed.
Examples of drug abuse are
Taking drugs not prescribed by the doctor
Smoking so many cigarettes
Taking alcoholic drinks to the extent of getting drunk
Taking easily available substances like analgesic tablets, coffee at all times.
Taking hard drugs like cocaine, marijuana and heroin.
Forms of drug abuse
Powerful pain killer (narcotics), example of this are: opium, heroin and cocaine.
Sleep inducing drugs: examples of sleep inducing drugs are: barbiturates, this drug makes a person slow.
Stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines
Hallucination producing chemicals, they are drugs like marijuana.
Causes of drug abuse
Drug abuse occurs when you’re unable to control your use of prescribed drugs or you’re using another legal or illegal substance to the point that it interferes with your ability to function. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Each year, more than 22,000 people die from prescription drug abuse alone.
The following points below are causes of drug abuse
Bad influence and pressure: So many people involved in drug abuse not because they want to but because of bad influence from friends and people they walk with, pressure from friends make people to get involved in drug abuse.
Anxiety and frustration: People get involved in drug abuse because of frustration that they are passing through and they believe that the drug will help them to be relieved of every frustration and anxiety.
Some people take drugs in order to escape mentally from their ordinary and boring life.
Some takes the drugs because they want to carry out some bad act, with the help of the drugs they will not be scared.
Accessibility to the drugs make people to take it
Some drivers who drive long distance and students who do not want to sleep because they want to read uses amphetamines and other stimulants
Measures for Preventing Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse can be Prevented Taking the Following Measures
Young people should be educated about the effect of drug abuse at a very early age before they engage into it.
The mass media can also help to make advert on the effect of drug abuse through the television, radio, newspaper and all other media.
Guardians, parents and teachers can also help in inculcating good morals into their young children.
The government must be ready to work with international agencies to combat and fight against drug abuse and all related situations.
Strict vigilance at our ports, sea ports and other entry ports will help to reduce drug abuse and drug trafficking in our country.
Government Agencies in Preventing Drug Abuse
The NDLEA (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency}
The establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by the promulgation of Decree Number 48 of 1989, now Act of Parliament, was aimed at exterminating illicit drug trafficking and consumption in the Nigerian society. It is a well-known fact that any involvement in drugs, especially their importation, exportation, sale, transfer, purchase, cultivation, manufacture, extraction and possession is universally unacceptable. The establishment of the NDLEA was Nigeria’s deliberate attempt at joining the rest of the world in getting rid of this cankerworm within her borders.
Explain what you understand by drug abuse.
Is there a difference between drug abuse and drug dependence? Briefly explain.
List and explain some forms of drug abuse that you know.
What are some of the causes of drug abuse that you know?
Explain the implications of drug abuse.
What measures can be employed towards preventing drug abuse?
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