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Feb 7, 2020 in Health

Truth About Drugs

There have been several stories about drugs circulating in the world, at schools, on the streets, TV, and internet. Some of the information about the drugs is true, and some of it is not. Most of this information actually comes from the drug sellers. For in instance, most reformed drug dealers who have confessed that they would do or say anything to make the users buy their drugs. Such information give the notion to the youths and teens that drugs are here to make them feel relaxed and that they have no serious harm as most put it. With such view of the drugs on their mind they end up becoming addict at very young ages a problem they may find difficult to shake off or incurring their family members huge sums of money when these teens are enrolled in rehabilitation programs to help alleviate the problem. 

Drugs have been in use since the middle of the 19th century and became more popular in 1960 contributed by mass media. About 208 million people globally take illegal drugs. The result from the National Survey of 2007 health and drug use indicated that about 19.9 million Americans used prescribed drugs in the month before the survey. Currently, marijuana is the most regularly used illegal drug after alcohol. The United Nations 2008 report on the use of illicit drug showed that an estimated 3.9% of the global population in the age bracket of 15-64 abused marijuana. Every year more teens enroll in the treatment primarily as a result of marijuana dependence that all other drugs combined.  Other commonly abused drugs include heroin, cocaine, inhalants MDMA (ecstasy), steroids, OxyContin, phencyclidine, LSD acid, methamphetamine and other prescription drugs. 

Research conducted by Swendsen showed that drug and alcohol abuse is common in the United States among the adolescents where most instances of abuse happen at this crucial development period. Results indicated that 78.2% of adolescents in the United States consume alcohol at the late adolescence regularly where they took at least 12 drinks within a particular year, and approximately 15.1% of them met lifetime criteria for alcohol abuse. The chance to use illegal drugs was reported by about 81.4% of the oldest teens, drug abuse by 16.4% and drug use by 42.5%.  The relationships observed by sex race/ethnicity and age frequently varied meaningfully by the prior phase of use.  

Teens are today exposed to drugs earlier more than ever as the 2007 report conducted by the Centers for Disease control (CDC) indicated that about 45% of secondary school students across the nation used alcohol and about 19.7% used cigarettes in a month duration of the research. Killings on the streets associated with having increased at an alarming rate; addiction has destabilized countries, young people are living wrecked lives as a result of drug abuse, and tragic addiction deaths are presently common in the United States. 

In 2007 an estimated 270000 deaths occurred as a result of accidental drug overdose in the United States at the rate of one death in every 19 minutes. The prescription substance abuse is a rapidly spreading problem in the US. The increased accidental substance overdose rates of death in recent years has been as a result of increased use of a type of drugs of opioid analgesics. More overdose deaths caused by the use of opioid analgesics have occurred when compared to the use of the heroin and cocaine combined. Adding to this, every death related to the accidental overdose of an opioid analgesic, nine individuals are admitted for drug abuse treatment, 35 are referred to the emergency departments, 161 report addiction or abuse, and about 461 say they use opioid analgesics for nonmedical purposes. Executing the strategies targeting the individuals at the highest risks needs a strong coordination and cooperation at all levels of the government, parents, policy makers and healthcare professionals.

 
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Literature review

The United States among the industrialized countries has the highest rate of use of illegal drugs. As a result, there is a massive shift in the strict anti-drugs law by US companies who cannot tolerate throwing away profits by ignoring the drug abuse problem. Such companies operate in the atmosphere that is worried about drugs where the teenagers' parents top the list of most concerned on the issue of substance abuse. About six in every ten adults in the US view drugs as number one problem encountered by the children today, family breakdown and crime. Approximately half of all US adults at least know a person abusing drugs. Cigarette smoking, use of marijuana and alcohol consumption are among the leading  

The scandal of smoking

 An estimated 15 billion rolls of cigarettes are smoked daily across the world in most cases by the adults who became addicts at childhood. In most occasions, it is the children who make crucial decision to start smoking where at adulthood the drug is extremely physically addictive and takes over emotionally and many smokers are double-minded. They always think that they must stop smoking, but they never stop as they liked what the cigarette is doing for them. They are physically dependent and psychologically hooked to it. About 3000 children in the US start smoking cigarettes frequently every day leading to a third of them having shortened lives. An estimated 5.5 million United States smoke, which is the third of high school seniors, where 20 % of them are smoking every day, recording higher number than any other time since the 70s. Nicotine is among the most addictive substance in the world, yet children as young as eight are exposed to the drug by the friends outside the school or in the field. Hundreds of thousands of small vendors often and illegally sell this killer drug to teens and tobacco industry has spent thousands of dollars on prestigious sports sponsorship deals with potential to appeal to the sport-conscious young people. The smoking children are tobacco industry future because the total sales will shoot to $100,000 in a span of 70 years if only a single ten years boy or a girl is persuaded to start smoking. As the entire tobacco industry starting from the growers, all the way to the manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products and the small retailers depend on the number of the children who can be convinced to start smoking. 

Facts about Marijuana

The other commonly abused drug is marijuana that is typically rolled up to form a type of cigarette known as a nail or a joint. Most interestingly the drug can also be mixed with food and tea or smoked using a water pipe referred to as a bong. Cannabis is in top five of the all the substances abused in the United States and accounts for the 16 % of the admissions to the treatment of drugs. The National Survey report indicate that kids frequently using marijuana are four times likely to damage property or act violently and five times more likely to engage in stealing as compared to those who are not in drugs use. Marijuana has become more potent today than it is used to be and a more substance is being produced today due to the invention of new growing techniques and seed selection methods. This has resulted in the increased number of marijuana-associated emergency room visits by young pot smokers. 

The other bitter fact of the marijuana is its tolerance build up that often lead to the user consuming even stronger substances to get the same high. As the effect of the drug wear off the user may start using highly potent substances to avoid the unwanted conditions that led him taking the drug in the first place.  As discussed earlier in most cases people take drugs to avoid unwanted feelings or situations. The case is not different for marijuana where it masks the problem when the user is high, but when the effect fades away the problem, unwanted situation or condition comes back more intense than it was before. A notion is created that marijuana is not strong enough to chase away the user’s problems and as a result, he turns to even more potent substances which he thinks will help him get rid of the problem. Marijuana has drastic effects such as sense, hearing and vision distortions, speeding up of the heart rate and increased appetite. Studies have shown that the risk of heart attack increases with fivefold in the first hour of marijuana smoking and the school performance is severely affected due to impaired memory and reduced capacity problem solving. Psychotic symptoms accompany individuals who have used the drug for a long time. Long-term use of the drug can also lead to the damage of heart and lungs worsening the bronchitis symptoms leading to coughing and wheezing. 

Alcohol

Alcohol impairs the central nervous system, reduce inhibition and distorts judgment and consumption of high amounts of alcohol may lead to coma and even death. Mixing alcohol with the other street drugs or Alcohol impairs the central nervous system reduces inhibition and distorts judgment and drinking high amounts of alcohol may lead to coma or even death.  Mixing alcohol with other street substances or medication can be extremely dangerous and sometimes may be fatal. Alcohol takes control of the brain and leads to reduced coordination, distorted vision, memory lapses, slowed reflexes and blackouts. The physical and mental effects of alcohol among the young people are more pronounced than in the adults as they are still growing. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention alcohol has resulted in more than 54 different alcohol-linked types of deaths and some of them include falling, car accidents dangerous diseases such as cirrhosis, stroke, acute toxicity and several types of cancer. About 9.8% of deaths among the working age result from alcohol consumption.

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Discussion

Judges and police chiefs are almost conceding defeat against drug where government, schools, and parents are in confusion about how to get rid of substance abuse. Above all worst predictions about the new crack and other drug use have become the substance abuse scare stories.  Most people take drugs in an attempt to change something in their lives. They think that drugs are the answer to their problem but at long last drug itself becomes the real issue. As much as sometimes the problem may be too big to handle the results of drug use are typically worse than the problem an individual is attempting to solve using them. The real solution is getting facts about the drugs but not rushing to take them in the first place.  Despite the detrimental impact of the drugs abuse in united states, the problem is not given the enough attention at individual, family, societal and governmental level. Most teens are not taking this problem seriously, and they have a perception that drugs are meant to bring fun their life ignoring the potential drastic consequence accompanied by substance abuse. They are deliberately ignoring the advice from their parents, peer counselors and other adults who have reformed from the drug abuse. 

Most of the drug abused are chemical in nature and have different physical and mental effects. Nonetheless, they have one mechanism in common they alter the normal functioning of the brain and change the response of the brain to issues such as judgment, emotion, memory, learning, self-control and motivation. Signals going to and generated from the brain change making a person feel different where one may experience temporary euphoria, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia as well as uncontrolled behavior. Away from negative brain impact, drugs may cause respiratory and cardiovascular systems to malfunction or entirely fail. Social consequences include lost family and friend’s trust, poor performance at work and school, giving up the activities an individual and engaging in risky behavior such as violence and drugged driving.  Individuals, socially, emotionally and physically affected by the drugs are less productive and if we do not take care drugs can lead to the collapsing of this great nation.  

Prevention is always better than cure and discussing freely with teenagers about the matters of drug abuse both in the United States, and the world will decrease the risks of becoming the victim of any substance abuse. Giving the people who are already in the problem of drug addiction a little attention would help them stop these activities. There are several ways to help individuals who fall prey to this abuse habit, but a physician supervised programs are most appropriate and safe. So everybody, parents, spouses must always be aware of the issue of drug abuse and try to prevent it. 

Recommendations

Alcohol, cigarette adverts on TV, radio and the internet should be banned. This will significantly reduce the consumption of these commonly abused drugs like most of the children access the information via these sources.

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