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Essay on drug abuse and alcoholism

The Science of Drug Use: Discussion Points | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

They can impact almost every organ in the human body. The most severe health consequences of drug abuse is death. Deaths related to synthetic opioids and heroin have seen the sharpest rise. In the past 12 months, , people aged 12 or older have used heroin for the first time. Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids.


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This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. Although initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs can alter brain chemistry. It can lead to intense cravings and compulsive drug use. Over time, this behavior can turn into a substance dependency or drug and alcohol addiction.

These can influence mood, behavior and other cognitive function.

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Brain damage may also occur through alcohol-induced nutrition deficiencies, alcohol-induced seizures and liver disease. In pregnant women, alcohol exposure can impact the brains of unborn babies, resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. It is reported that alcohol-induced brain problems can often be corrected with proper treatment. Abstinence from alcohol for months or years can help partially repair thinking abilities, like memory skills.

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Substance use disorders can lead to multiple behavioral problems, both in the short- and long-term, which can include:. These effects of drug abuse have serious consequences, like missed work, punishable offenses, accidents and injuries. In fact, alcohol and drugs are partly to blame in an estimated 80 percent of offenses leading to jail time in the U.

These incidents include domestic violence, driving while intoxicated and offenses related to damaged property. Legal and illegal drugs excluding alcohol are involved in about 16 percent of motor vehicle crashes.

In the past year, almost 12 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs, and almost 4, fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement. Illicit drug use poses risks for pregnant women and their babies.

Drugs may contain impurities that can be harmful to an unborn baby. Pregnant women who use drugs may be more likely to harm the fetus with risky behaviors and poor nutrition. Drug use can lead to premature birth or low birth weight.

It can also cause the baby to have withdrawal symptoms sometimes in the form of neonatal abstinence syndrome , birth defects or learning and behavioral problems later in life. An estimated 14 percent of adults with an illicit substance use disorder reported receiving treatment in the past year.


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  • Skip to content. Some other teenagers with no family history of abuse who experiment may also progress to abuse or dependency. Therefore, there is a good chance that "one" will hurt you. Teenagers with a family history of alcohol or drug abuse are particularly advised to abstain and not experiment. No one can predict for sure who will abuse or become dependent on drugs except to say the non-user never will. There may also be physical signs such as red eyes, a persistent cough, and change in eating and sleeping habits. Alcohol or drug dependency may include blackouts, withdrawal symptoms, and further problems in functioning at home, school, or work.

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    Substance abuse

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