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Effects of Substance Abuse Essay

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Updated: Dec 11th, 2018

Roy (2009) argues that addiction is a process that involves physiological changes in a person. The author (Roy 2009) considers addiction to be a social, cultural, genetic, and an experimental process. Addiction is a situation that gives a person temporary pleasure, especially when the victim is in discomfort. However, it is important to note that it always has a negative impact in the long term.

Addicts are individuals who depend on constant substance use (Roy, 2009). It is true that some sort of drugs can cause addiction if abused or used without a doctor’s prescription. Nonetheless, addiction is not limited to only drugs’ use as it also involves habits which can be addictive. Such habits as surfing in the internet, taking chocolates, drinking tea, gaming can also be very addictive. Being highly depended on something and being unable to live without it is, therefore, a sign that one is addicted.

Humans always seek for pleasure hence this is the bait for which people fall. Seeking for pleasure, addicts show an extraordinary desire and dependence on a substance. Addicts present a great desire to repeat a particular pattern of activity.

Roy (2009) describes addicts as individuals who are obsessed and depressed, hence using their obsession to counter their depression. Addiction can be controlled and stopped, but the right approach should be adopted. Through counseling and rehabilitation programs, many addicts have been able to get back to their normal life.

Stimulants, such as cocaine, are drugs that accelerate the heart rate increasing the blood pressure (Auburn Hills, 2012). Narcotic analgesics are drugs that relieve the patients or the users from pain, hence changing their mood patterns (Auburn Hills, 2012). Such drugs include Codeine, Heroin, Demerol, Darvon, Morphine, etc. (Auburn Hills, 2012).

Hallucinogens, on the other hand, are drugs that cause the user to see things differently than they really appear (Auburn Hills, 2012). They include drugs such as Psilocybin and Peyote (Auburn Hills, 2012). Lastly, the cannabis is another name for marijuana. The main component of the cannabis that makes people addicts is the delta-9 tetrehydrocannabinol, THC (Auburn Hills, 2012).

Addiction to the cannabis is the most popular addiction in the world today, especially among teenagers and generally young people. Cannabis’ addicts find it difficult to give up taking the substance as those who try experience such symptoms as insomnia, loss of appetite, depression, irritability, anger and many others (Leshner, 2001).

Research conducted by Leshner (2001) showed that in every ten people who used cannabis, one became an addict. Trying the drug several times increases the chances of addiction while daily users are at the greatest risk of developing dependency.

Cocaine, the famous white powder, is a very powerful and addictive drug that has a direct impact on the brain (Leshner, 2001). The drug is a very high stimulant that takes effect in less than ten seconds when smoked. Its pleasurable effects have made the drug popular among many young people as well as the older generation. Cocaine makes the user feel good and become talkative. Once an individual uses cocaine, it is very difficult to forecast if he or she will continue depending on the drug. This is due to its very high addictive nature.

Prescription of the drugs which may cause addiction may widely be used for non-medical purposes. Using drugs that have medicinal value for any other purpose apart from the medical use is therefore a drug abuse. There are classes of widely abused drugs which are the Opioids, CNS depressants, and the stimulants (Leshner, 2001).

Opioids are normally prescribed to treat pain due to their highly effective analgesic properties (Leshner, 2001). For instance, Morphine is widely used in surgery to mitigate severe pain before and after an operation. Taking such drugs causes rigorous depression, and this can lead to drastic occurrences such as death. However, prescribed doses are effective in managing pain.

Another category of drugs that can be widely abused is the CNS depressants. These drugs are medically used to slow down brain functions in order to treat anxiety and insomnia. For example, mephobarbital and pentobarbital are prescribed to manage anxiety, tension, and insomnia in patients (Leshner, 2001).

Diazepam and Chlordiazepoxide are prescribed to treat shock and panic attacks, acute stress reactions and anxiety (Leshner, 2001). However, continued use of these drugs may cause tolerance hence the body will require more doses to achieve the same effect. This may lead to physical dependence that may lead to withdrawal if the amount used is reduced.

The last prescribed category of drugs which can cause addiction is the stimulants. These drugs are used to enhance brain activities unlike the depressants that slow down the brain functions. This category of drugs causes the user to be alert and attentive by increasing the blood pressure (Leshner, 2001). Such drugs are prescribed to treat asthma and other respiratory conditions. Other conditions that can be treated with stimulants include obesity and neurological disorders (Leshner, 2001).


Auburn Hills: The 7 Drug Categories. (2012). Retrieved from:

Leshner, A. (2001). Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction. National institute on drug abuse Research Report. 1(1), 1-4.

Roy, S. (2009). The Psychology of Addiction. Retrieved from:

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