Drug abuse is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are very harmful to the individual or others. It is a form of substance-related disorder. Differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases, criminal or anti-social behaviour occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long-term personality changes in individuals may also occur. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, the use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties, although these vary widely depending on the local jurisdiction.
Drugs most often associated with this term include: alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens (although there is no known psychedelic, one of the three categories of hallucinogens, that has been found to have any addictive potential), methaqualone, and opioids. The exact cause of substance abuse is not clear, but there are two predominant theories: either a genetic predisposition or a habit learned from others, which, if addiction develops, manifests itself as a chronic debilitating disease.
In 2010, 230 million people, or 5% of the population, took illegal drugs. Of these, 27 million use high-risk drugs, also known as recurrent drug use, putting themselves at risk for social problems, psychological issues, and/or physical health concerns. The number of deaths caused by substance use disorders increased from 165,000 in 1990 to 307,400 in 2015. There were 137,500 deaths from alcohol use disorders, 122,100 from opioid use disorders, 12,200 from amphetamine use disorders, and 11,100 from cocaine use disorders.
In 1966, the American Medical Association’s Committee on Alcoholism and Addiction defined abuse of stimulants in terms of ‘medical supervision’:
” refers to the proper place of stimulants in medical practice; ‘misuse’ applies to the physician’s role in initiating a potentially dangerous course of therapy; and ‘abuse’ refers to self-administration of these drugs without medical supervision and particularly in large doses that may lead to psychological dependency, tolerance and abnormal behavior.
8 EFFECTS OF DRUG ABUSE ON TEENS
Drug misuse can have detrimental impacts on one’s health at any age, but youths who abuse drugs are particularly vulnerable to harmful effects. Teens using drugs are more prone to develop addiction issues later in life and to suffer lifelong, irreparable brain damage. Other typical side effects of teen drug misuse include:
1. EMOTIONAL DIFFICULTIES.
Abuse of drugs can lead to or cover up emotional issues like schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, anxiety, and sadness. In fact, 34.6% of adolescents with serious depression report using medications. Unfortunately, substance abuse can make these emotional issues worse. For instance, the incidence of despair and anxiety among youth who use marijuana weekly is doubled.
2. BEHAVIORAL ISSUES.
Teenagers Drug-abusing are more likely to experience social issues, sadness, suicide thoughts, and violent behavior. A recent survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that drug-abusing youth are more prone than non-abusing teens to participate in criminal activities including fighting and stealing.
3. DEPENDENCE AND ADDICTION.
According to studies, a person is more likely to have a substance abuse issue and relapse in later life the younger they are when they start taking drugs.
4. VERY RISKY SEX.
Drug-using youths are five times more likely to engage in sexual activity than drug-free teens. Teenagers using drugs are also more likely to engage in unprotected intercourse and have sex with an unfamiliar person. Due to this, there is an increased chance of teen pregnancy, sexual assault, and STDs.
5. ISSUES WITH LEARNING.
Abuse of drugs harms both short- and long-term memory and can cause issues with learning and memory in later life.
Teens who use needles to consume drugs run the danger of contracting blood-borne illnesses like HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C.
7. BRAIN DAMAGE.
Drug abuse among teens can result in serious mental disorders or permanent, irreversible damage to the brain or nervous system. Brain damage among teens who abuse drugs includes brain shrinkage; impaired learning abilities; amnesia and memory problems; impaired reasoning, perception and intuition; increased or decreased socialization; and changes in sexual desire.
8. CAR ACCIDENT.
Teenagers who take drugs are more likely to sustain injuries or pass away in auto accidents. According to one study, between 4 and 14 percent of drivers who are hurt or killed in collisions test positive for THC.
The majority of governments have created laws that make using certain drugs illegal. Although these substances are sometimes referred to as “illegal drugs,” what is actually prohibited is their unlicensed manufacturing, distribution, and possession. Additionally known as “restricted substances,” these medications. Legal penalties can be fairly harsh, even for minor possession (including the death penalty in some countries). Laws differ from one nation to the next and even within them, and they have changed significantly over time.