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Drug Abuse - Essay Example

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The term "drugs" refers to any illicit drug, including prescription psychotherapeutic drugs when used for nonmedical purposes. "Drug use" refers to any use of drugs as defined here, while "drug abuse" refers to drug use that results in personal, social or medical problems…
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Drug Abuse

Download file to see previous pages... Opium is one that can be smoked. As most narcotic medications were once made from opium, and many still are, narcotics are frequently referred to as opiates or opoids.
Narcotics can produce a highly pleasurable rush, followed by an extended period of euphoria and drowsiness. They may also produce respiratory depression and nausea. An overdose can lead to convulsions, coma or death. Additional dangers to the heroin user include uncertain potency, impure diluents and, since heroin is usually injected, the risk of exposure to AIDS or hepatitis from shared needles. Narcotics are highly addictive, both physically and psychologically (Colvin, 2007). Withdrawal may be accompanied by panic, muscle tremors, cramps, vomiting, chills and sweating. These also serve a legitimate and highly useful medical purpose when used under proper supervision. Primarily sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants and antianxiety agents, they are taken orally. More often obtained by prescription rather than through the black market, the major groups are barbituates, including Nembutal, Seconal, Tuinal and Phenobarbital, and the benodiazepines, which include Dalmane, Diazepan, Librium, Xanax and Valium (Oakley and Charles 2005).
Hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline and peyote are relatively...
They distort the perception of objective reality and may disorient the perception of direction, distance and time. They enhance the appreciation of color, light and sound and may also produce pleasurable delusions or hallucinations. Inexperienced users may experience the panic of a "bad trip" but can usually be "talked down" by a reassuring voice. However, LSD is thought to be capable of activating latent psychosis requiring long-term psychiatric care (Colvin, 2007).
The primary medical uses of stimulants are weight control and treatment of attention deficit disorders in children. Amphetamines, such as Dexedrine, constitute the most well-known group. Administered orally when used under medical supervision, stimulants used for illegitimate purposes are sometimes injected. The stimulants most often abused and responsible for the greatest social problems are cocaine and its high-potency derivative, crack (Colvin, 2007). Although once used in patent medicines, cocaine today serves no legitimate medical purpose. As a drug of abuse, cocaine (and other stimulants in large doses) produces a euphoria that makes users feel stronger and more self-possessed. Snorted or injected for a more intense and prolonged high, it produces a temporary sense of exhilaration, superabundant energy, hyperactivity, extended wakefulness and loss of appetite (Oakley and Charles 2005).
Alcohol and tobacco are also classified as drugs. Alcohol abusers who are physically dependent on alcohol are known as alcoholics or alcohol-dependent persons. They crave alcohol, have an impaired ability to control their drinking and suffer withdrawal when consumption is discontinued. Unfortunately, even moderate drinking can pose problems for young people. Since ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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