Drugs and other substance abuse is one of the leading causes behind impaired mental health globally. Where drugs can have significant impact on user’s physical health, its effects on one’s cognitive functioning…
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There are several drugs that are categorized as substance abuse such as cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, sedatives, opioids etc. Drug abuse and its addiction is chronic disorder that affects one’s cognition and leads to impulsive drug seeking having negative impacts on mental health. Drug abuse leads to sever changes in brain’s functioning and its structure which also causes behavioral changes that may affect quality of life and social support. Drug abuse further causes disruption in user’s self-control and ability of making rationale decisions. Where it is difficult to identify what causes drug abuse, there are evidences available that indicate risks of relapse which further distorts user’s self-perception. There are also several risk factors that increase the risk of drug abuse such as genes, socio-economic status, personal history and adverse living conditions. In order to identify how drugs alter user’s behavior, it is important to understand how brain functions after induction of drugs into human body. Various studies have shown that once entered into human brain, it imitates natural transmitters. These transmitters are produced by brain and replacing actual transmitters sends irregular messages to the whole body resulting in disturbed behavior. In addition to that drugs abuse excessively sensitizes brain’s reward system that creates feeling of pleasure and satisfaction after use of drugs. Due to continued use, the brain adapts and reduces reception for reward system which increases user’s tolerance level. Therefore, higher amount of dose is required in order to create same amount of pleasure. Further behavioral consequences of drug abuse are discussed below:...
Further behavioral consequences of drug abuse are discussed below: 2. Violent Behavior and Drugs abuse It is important to note that use of drugs itself is an indication of unhealthy behavior. Where it can lead to various forms of mental illnesses, it can also be used as coping mechanism against mental disorders. Therefore, it can be said that use of drugs and display of violent behavior has a bidirectional relationship (Xue, Zimmerman, Cunningham, 2009; Mulvey et al., 2006). This notion is supported by research of Cooley-Strickland et al. (2009) as their research indicates exposure to violence in community settings a possible reason behind substance abuse in young age. This argument is further supported by Boles and Miotto (2003) as they consider socio-economic conditions surrounding drugs access and use to be the decisive factor causing violence. Volavka and Swanson (2010) explore such relationship between co-morbidity of substance abuse and mental illnesses leading to violent behavior. According to them, patients with severe mental disorders like schizophrenia are more likely to opt for substance abuse and illicit drugs and pharmacological effects of these two can result in inherent risk of violent behavior. Same argument is further extended by Swanson et al. (2002) as they consider substance abuse to be the major contextual variable leading to violent behavior. However, Swanson et al. (2002) mentioned drug abuse to be a possible outcome of trauma experienced earlier in life which leads to compounded impact of adverse social conditions. Where Stuart (2003) negates the idea of mental illness being a substantial reason of violent behavior, it does consider drug abusers to be at the highest
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