Drug use is part of life in the United States. Some people use drugs for
medical purposes and some use them to escape from reality or as a way to
cope with problems. There are two main types of drugs, medicines and
psychoactive drugs. Medicines are used to help the body fight injury and
psychoactive drugs are used to cause a change in the users brain activity.
Psychoactive drugs are very dangerous. They produce very powerful changes
in the body. What a drug does is called its action and unwanted effects are
called side effects. The side effects of a psychoactive drug can range from
uncomfortable to life threatening. Abuse of a psychoactive drug often results in
dependence or addiction where the body needs the drug to function normally.
Withdrawal happens when the body is reacting to not having the drug.
Withdrawal can be very painful. There are many risks of using drugs besides
what they do to you. You can get AIDS from sharing needles, it can cause
mental and physical problems in babies, family relationships can be strained,
there are sever legal risks, and there are major cost to society. There are
many reason why people us drugs. There are 3 major factors that contribute
to the risk of drug abuse in teens. Those factors are family, social, and
personal. A family risk factor is poor relationships with family members. If
teens have close relationships with their family member they are less likely to
experiment with drugs. But if parents do no guide their children and are not
supportive of them then they might alienate from the family and feel closer to
peers so they are more vulnerable to drug abuse. Social factors are peer
pressure. Your friends urge you to try a drug and you do it to be accepted.
Another factor is personal factors. These are stress, low self-esteem and lack
of confidence that can place a teen at risk. Drugs are categorized into their
actions. The 3 main types of actions are depressants, stimulants, and
hallucinogens. Depressants slow down the heart rate and breathing rate, lower
blood pressure, relax muscles, and relieve tension. An example of a
depressant would be heroin. Stimulants speed up body activity. And example
of a stimulant is cocaine. Hallucinogens alter perception, thought, and mood
and have no medical use. An example of a hallucinogen is LSD. Some drugs
are made to look like other drugs and then sold on the street as the drug they
resemble. These are called look-alike-drugs and can contain any kind of
substance. Before a drug abuser can be helped they must first admit that they
have a problem. Then they can seek treatment. There are different ways to
treat drug abuse one is called detoxification. This program involves gradual
but complete withdrawal from the substance. Another treatment method is
called therapeutic communities. In this treatment, drug abusers live in a facility
and learn to adjust to drug free lives. Another type of treatment is methadone
maintenance treatment. In this treatment, users are given a drug called
methadone that produces the same affect as heroin but does not have the
same high as heroin. This treatment involves substituting methadone for heroin.
Staying clean of drugs is a difficult decision when you are faced with peer
pressure. But you can void drugs in your life by just being honest and saying
no. Also, try to manage you stress level this will help you to avoid drugs.
There are many alternatives to drug use. You could play sports, get involved
in various groups and organizations can help you gain self esteem and
self-confidence. Do something that makes you happy so you can be drug free
and be in control f your life.