Causes, Effects And Solutions To Drug Abuse: Drug abuse is simply the abuse of drugs, usually pain killers, alcohol, sedatives or even drugs that have been banned by the government. Most times it is taking drugs without doctor’s prescription or more than the quantity prescribed by the doctor, or for purposes other than which it is usually prescribed for by medical doctor or personnel.
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Causes of Drug Abuse
Most cases of drug abuse usually occur at adolescent years of the person seeking to fit in among their peers, trying to conform to societal pressures and standards and are at an edge, or at a point where the person is at the lowest, down or depressed and is seeking ways to escape. The following are some of the causes:
1. Depression and Mental Illness: Depression is the feeling of hopelessness and emptiness. It is that feeling of being alone and unwelcome. Most times, it leads to suicide, and drug abuse, this in a bid to escape from their reality, to be free from their suffering. Depression is very high in \adolescent girls and boy, unemployed youths and people unsatisfied with their lives. This is not just a poor people thing. It is also rampant among the rich.
Mental illness on the other hand is the state of being mentally unwell. Most times mentally ill patients are given drugs to help with their illness. The problem now comes when the patients try to up the dose, so as to feel better, so escape from their suffering.
Drug abuse provides a window of relief to people, people get so high on drugs so as to feel excitement, rush, the feeling of being indestructible.
2. Trauma: People have gone through very horrible situations; from rape, sexual harassment, molestation, armed robbery etc. These experiences are trauma bound, and it affects how they see things. In order to escape this, they are more likely to get high on narcotics, sedatives, and even smoke.
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3. Peer Pressure: Peer pressure is pressure from peers. Peer pressure affects people positively and negatively. It becomes a thing of worry when it is encouraging a negative behavior such as drug abuse.
Drug abuse could occur where people, in a bid to feel among, to feel accepted by their friends, colleagues at work, in order to not be seen as weak, join forces with their friends to partake in the act that could kill them or destroy them forever.
4. Lack Of Parental Guidance: Parents are there to guide their children through the right path, to prevent them from making life damaging mistakes, and correct them when they are wrong or have strayed away.
For most children, this parental guidance is absent due to so many reasons which could range from high demanding job, to imprisonment of either or both of the parents, lack of parental relationships, absentee parents etc. When this happens, the children stray away. They become very vulnerable to drug abuse.
5. High Performance: Lastly, another cause of drug abuse is the need for high performance in their jobs, careers, academics and other areas of their lives. These drugs help their brains work faster, quicker, and help them perform more than normal.
The desire to keep excelling at this rate, drives them to abuse drugs and keep abusing drugs, only that these drugs have a terrible effect on these individuals in the long run.
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Effects of Drug Abuse
1. Addiction: Drug abuse brings a feeling, excitement so sweet that the participants always come back for another experience. The continued hunger for the feeling, for the substance leads to addiction. Addiction is the beginning of a whole new problem. It opens doors for death, mental infirmity and other effects. It is the crux of drug abuse.
2. Stealing: The continuous hunger for the drugs and the abuse leads to the victims spending money and more money to afford these drugs, even when they cannot afford them. They often resort to stealing, and doing unthinkable things to afford these drugs and maintain their drug abuse status.
3. Mental Infirmity: This is otherwise known as mental illness. Drug abuse affects and destroys the brain, leading to mental illness. This often starts with hallucinations, and eventually loss of memory and the capacity to control one’s behavior. Most times, there are no cure.
4. Change in Physical Look: There is usually a change in the physical look of the victim of drug abuse. Usually, they grow very lean and their eyes look withdrawn and sullen. Most times, it is easy to point out a drug abuse just by the way they appear.
5. Sudden Change of Friends: A person abusing drugs is bound to have a change of friends. He or she associates more with people like them; people that abuse drugs and will not judge him for his actions. Misery they say, loves company.
6. Death: This is one of the effects of drug abuse, and in actual fact, the ultimate effect of drug abuse. It could either move the abuser to kill someone out of incapacity to control his or her actions due to mental illness, or get killed.
Solutions to Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is a plague which has become rampant in so many people, especially the youths. However it can be curbed. The following are solutions to eradicating drug abuse:
1. Sensitization: People should be sensitized about the ills and negative effects of drug abuse. Public outreach should be taken to schools, universities, adverts should be made via televisions, radio and social media. This will help people understand the risks and effects involved with the abuse of drugs.
2. Recreational Activities: A lot of people resort to using drugs, to abusing drugs in order to deal with stress and pressures from work and society. People should learn to have fun, to engage in recreational activities in order to help relieve them with stress.
Exercise can also work. Exercise is a means of relieving stress and people should be encouraged to work out, drink coffee to relieve stress.
3. Peer Pressure: Peer pressure is one of the reasons people do certain things. Most times, people especially adolescents are pressured into doing things like smoking, taking drugs, dressing a certain way etc. However to curb this, adolescents should be encouraged to say No. They should be taught that they shouldn’t have to make decisions they are not okay with. They shouldn’t have to do things they are not okay with, in order to conform.
4. Support Groups: Support groups are groups of people with similar conditions, and it is created for them to help each other. With support groups, victims of drug abuse could help each other get rid of the addiction. To help victims of drug abuse, support groups should be popularized.
5. Pharmacist Check: Drugs should be taken upon prescriptions by doctors. Hence, pharmacists should be mandated to not sell drugs to people unless they are with evidence of doctor’s prescriptions. This will help curb drug abuse as there will be no unwarranted access to drugs.
In conclusion, drug abuse is a very serious issue. Most often than not is very rampant among youths, and to help curb this menace, causing harm to people, all hands must be on deck to help provide solutions.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.