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Drug Abuse Facts

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Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, involves the excessive and repeated use of a drug in order to elicit pleasure or escape from problems or reality, in spite of negative consequences.

The substance that is abused can be an illegal drug such as heroin or marijuana, inhalants such as model airplane glue, or prescription drugs used improperly such as abusing vicodin or oxycontin.

Unfortunately, repeated and continual involvement in drug abuse almost always results in a transition from drug abuse to drug dependency.

Some Important Drug Abuse Facts and Info About Drug Abuse

Some essential drug abuse facts. Whatever the drug of choice, one of the basic facts about drug abuse concerns the dysfunctional manner in which it takes over the user's life.

In a word, drug abuse disrupts a person's relationships and daily functioning at work, home, or school.

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Drug abuse also frequently leads to recurring drug-related legal problems. Moreover, drug abuse commonly leads to poor health and mental health issues. And finally, drug abuse adversely affects the user's peace of mind.

Another important piece of information about drug abuse that many drug users apparently do not comprehend is that continuous, long-term drug abuse quite easily can become drug dependency.

Drug addiction can be physical, psychological, or both. Physical addiction refers to the physiological consequences of drug use and is typified by withdrawal symptoms when the user stops taking the drug and tolerance, defined as the need to take increasing amounts of the drug in order to feel the initial "buzz" or "high."

On the other hand, psychological addiction refers to the subjective feelings the user requires in order to maintain feelings of pleasure or well-being.

For instance, taking a drug in order to "chill out" or to numb the pain of an unpleasant circumstance are examples of psychological dependence.

It is important to emphasize the fact that the more drug abuse begins to affect and manipulate an individual's life, the more probable it is that he or she has a drug problem that eventually can become full-blown addiction.

Regrettably, the people who are actively involved in drug abuse are frequently the last persons to identify their own symptoms of abuse and addiction and their negative drug-related behavior.

Indeed, it almost seems as if the people who abuse drugs the most are the very persons who lack the most important information about drug abuse---information and drug abuse facts that at the very least would make them question their abusive life-styles.

The Warning Signs of Drug Abuse

Keep in mind that drug abusers commonly try to hide their symptoms and deny their drug-related problems. There are, however, numerous "warning signs" that strongly suggest drug involvement.

The following list represents some of the classic "warning signs" of drug abuse:

  • Expressing feelings of depression, exhaustion, or hopelessness

  • Talking incoherently or making inappropriate remarks

  • An inability to relax or to have fun without taking drugs

  • Associating with known drug abusers or refusing to spend time with friends or family who don't use drugs

  • Sudden increases in employment problems and school absences while quality of work or grades diminish

  • Noticeable degradation regarding one's physical appearance and grooming

  • Inappropriately and frequently wearing sunglasses and/or long sleeve shirts

  • Frequently selling possessions, borrowing money, or stealing things from school, work, or from home

  • Irritability, wide mood swings, manic behavior, or angry outbursts

  • Engaging in suspicious or secretive behaviors, such as making numerous trips to the garage, basement, restroom, or other isolated areas where substance abuse could take place

  • A preoccupation with drugs exemplified by constantly talking about drugs and pressuring others to use join him or her in drug use

  • Taking drugs the first thing in the morning

Why Do Individuals Abuse Drugs?

There is a multitude of reasons why various individuals use drugs. For instance, some people use drugs because they are "thrill-seekers" and enjoy the "rush" drugs give them.

Other people, conversely, take drugs because of peer pressure and a strong desire to "fit in" with a certain group of people. Still other individuals, at least initially, take drugs because of curiosity.

Perhaps the main reason that most people use drugs, however, is to better cope with life's problems and with painful or unpleasant emotions. Stated differently, many individuals abuse drugs as an easy escape from life's many problems.

Indeed, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 50% of substance abusers also suffer from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, or depression.

Sadly, while substance abuse may make an individual feel better for the moment, these self-medication efforts eventually backfire.

For instance, rather than solving the underlying problem, drug abuse merely covers up or masks the symptoms.

Indeed, the easiest way to understand this is to take the drug away and realize that the problem not only remains but in some instances gets worse due to the negative consequences of substance abuse.

In addition, chronic drug abuse ultimately leads to a multitude of problems, including significant upheavals in one's normal, daily work, relationship, school, and family functioning.

Ironically, the social, legal, physical, financial, and emotional effects of substance abuse are usually worse than the initial problem that the user was trying to avoid or to cope with.

The Different Kinds of Substances That are Abused

Virtually every drug has the potential for addiction and abuse. Interestingly, each drug affects the addicts' bodies and brains in different ways, thereby resulting in symptoms of abuse and intoxication that are unique to each of the following substances:

  • Marijuana

  • Uppers

  • Downers

  • Narcotics

  • Hallucinogens

  • Inhalants

  • Steroids

Conclusion: Drug Abuse Facts

Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, can be defined as the excessive and repeated use of a drug in order to feel pleasure, avoid problems, or escape reality despite the damaging, hazardous, and at times fatal consequences.

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The drug that is abused can be an illegal drug such as crack or steroids, inhalants such as gasoline or household cleaning solvents, or prescription drugs used inappropriately such as abusing darvocet or codeine.

Sadly, while drug abuse may make a person feel better for the moment, these efforts at self-medication eventually boomerang as the addict starts to suffer from the escalating problems that arise in his or her work, health, relationship, education, and financial responsibilities.

According to research studies, one of the essential drug abuse facts that many users fail to understand is that continuous and repeated drug abuse often escalates into drug dependency.

Another ironic aspect about drug abuse is the fact that those who abuse drugs the most are frequently the most clueless about the negative and damaging consequences of their drug-related behavior.

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