The Book, Drug Use and Drug Abuse, talks about the do’s and don’ts and everything in between about drugs. If you turn on your TV chances are, that in less than an hour you will have seen at least one person trying to sell you a drug. Do you have a cough? Try this cough syrup. Is your foot itchy? There is a cream to cure it. Are you sleepy, do you have a headache, an upset stomach, a toothache? There are drugs available that can supposedly take care of all these problems and many more.
When the average person thinks about drugs, the first thing that comes to mind is sickness. This is because one of the most important uses of drugs is in the treatment of illness. Some drugs can actually cure a disease. Antibiotics, are drugs that help fight against certain bacteria germs. Other drugs only help sick people feel better, without actually curing their illness. These drugs treat the symptoms, or sign of the disease. Most of the time people face their emotional troubles without help from doctors or medicines. Like a long walk with a friend, a movie, or a good night sleep. There are even drugs that help people when they cannot cope with emotional pain. These drugs work on the brain and nervous system of the body and change the way we feel.
Each year, Americans alone buy over $10,000,000,000 worth of drugs to treat there aches and pains. They spend an additional $32,000,000,000 on tobacco and alcoholic beverages. And how much is spent on illegal drugs is almost impossible to estimate. It is easy to see that using drugs is a very much a part of human life. What is not easy to see is the effect of all these drugs on our bodies. You will probably, if not already have, at some time be urged by your friends to try one or more recreational drugs.
Habits are so much a part of our lives that it is difficult for us to do without them. To understand what I am saying, try changing a few of your own habits. If you usually wake up at 1 in the afternoon on a Sat, try waking up at 6 in the morning. Stay in when you usually go out. You’ll probably start to feel completely miserable. You will be looking forward to “getting back to normal.” Many people who have drug habits say that this is why then need drugs, to feel normal. They have taken a certain drug so many times that it has become a necessary part of their lives. Without the drug, they feel uncomfortable and upset. Drugs can also physically habit-forming. After using certain drugs over and over again, the body changes. The drug actually becomes part of the body’s chemical makeup. Amphetamines are a good example of this. The sleeplessness that a regular amphetamine drug user feels when the drug is not taken is an example of a withdrawal symptom. Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant sensations that occur when a drug the body has grown accustomed to is withdrawn.
Causes of Addiction
Some drugs, such as narcotics, usually lead to addiction if they are taken regularly. Some researchers have shown that the tendency to become addicted to a drug could be inherited, or substances called endorphins. Meaning it is a physical cause. Endorphins are produced in the brain; they are natural pain relievers. People who become addicted to narcotics may not be producing enough endorphins in their own bodies.
Narcotics were probably among the very first drugs used as a medicine. Narcotics are drugs that relieve physical and emotional pain. They produce sleep or a dreamlike, half-awake state. Opium, morphine, and heroin are some common narcotics. Heroin currently has no approved medical uses, although is has been used experimentally to ease the suffering of patients who are dying of cancer. Because they are so effective in stopping pain, narcotics could have been some of the most useful drugs we have. Even though they are some of the most dangerous. This is because all narcotics tend to cause severe addiction. Add the power of narcotics addiction is such that most people remain addicted for the rest of their lives.
STIMULANTS AND DEPRESSANTS
People in every society, at every period in history, have had problems. Our modern age is no exception. The style of life today is very fast moving. Many people are finding it hard to keep up and still be comfortable and happy about whom they are. It’s easy to get thrown off track. More and more people seem to be turning to pills for help in smoothing over life’s little rough spots. Millions of people today have at one time or another taken pills to relax them. More have taken sleeping pills at some time in their lives. Drugs that provide pep to people who feel tired or uninterested in life.
DRUGS THAT CHANGE REALITY
From the first moment of life, we receive information from the world around us. This info comes to us through our senses. It is passed along to the brain by way of nerves. The brain, upon receiving the data, interrupts the mind of what the body has sensed. When a person has a hallucination, something may be sensed that does exist at all in the outside world. The person’s mind may experience, say, an object, a person, a place, or even a sound that isn’t even there. These certain drugs are known as hallucinogens. They are substances that can cause a person to hallucinate. LSD is probably the most well known and powerful hallucinogen out there. It is so powerful that the tiniest drop taken into the body will have a strong effect on the brain. Other strong hallucinogens are PCP (”Angel Dust”) the effects of PCP are; the user feels tremendous anger, they may do violence to themselves or to others. The effects of a bad PCP reaction can last up to a month, in some cases the user has convulsion, then goes into a coma, and then dies. Marijuana (”Pot”) may cause psychological dependence. One type of marijuana that is almost certainly dangerous is marijuana that has been sprayed with paraquat. Paraquat is a chemical that is used to kill weeds. Some pot grown in Mexico has been sprayed with this chemical. If you smoke marijuana coated with this substance, you will probably die in about 24 hours.
TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL
To most people, taking a drug means swallowing a pill or receiving an injection. But a person smoking a cigarette or drinking a cocktail is taking a drug as well. Tobacco smoke contains many drugs, including nicotine and tar. Beer, wine, liquor, on the other hand contains only one drug. But that drug, alcohol, has a tremendous effect on the human body. No prescription is needed to buy these drugs and they are sold just about everywhere.
When smokers inhale the smoke from their cigarettes, they take the drugs contained in the tobacco into their bodies. Only three seconds after the first puff, nicotine makes the blood vessels become narrower. The blood pressure rises, and the heart has to work harder to circulate the blood through the body.
The alcohol found in drinks is called ethyl, or grain. After the alcohol enters the body, it passes into the stomach. Some of it is absorbed into the bloodstream from there. The rest is absorbed in the small intestines. Once in the bloodstream, alcohol circulates to all parts of the body. The liver begins to break down the alcohol into other substances. If more than the amount is taken in, the alcohol builds in the blood, and the person becomes drunk.
As you can see, the book Drug Use and Drug Abuse goes into what can happen to you and why about drugs. And tells you ways you can prevent anything from happening to what you can do to help your self. What I got out of it was a learning experience to see what might happen if I did take a drug.