By: NWIZU STEPHANIE
Drugs are commonly used by everybody, whether young or old. Drugs are not only useful for human beings; they are also useful for animals’ health. A drug is an effective substance in the life of any living thing to cure sickness and make life healthy. It is true that drugs are used for beneficial therapeutic purposes as effective substances for good health, but they are being abused by people, especially youths. They use it illegally and unlawfully, and thus it becomes harmful to the body.
Drug abuse is the use of drugs for purposes other than medical reasons, thus affecting the individual in a negative way socially, cognitively, or physically. The social effect may be reflected in an individual’s enhanced tendency to engage in conflict with friends, teachers, and school authorities. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin, or injection.
A drug addict using a variety of drugs
Drug abuse is usually caused by psychoactive drugs that are used by people for various reasons, which may include curiosity and peer pressure, especially among schoolchildren and young adults. The use of prescription drugs that were originally intended to target pain relief may have turned into recreational use and become addictive chemicals that may be used as part of religious practices or rituals for recreational purposes as a means of obtaining creative inspiration.
The extent of the drug addiction problem in Nigeria is reviewed. Drugs such as LSD, morphine, and heroin are not widely abused, though amphetamines are used temporarily by the students and more permanently by the laborers. Marijuana is much better known and significantly more used, especially among the marginal migrant population. The most commonly used drugs are tobacco (chewed or snuffed), marijuana, and alcohol. There is an increasing trend in alcohol consumption, although it is still largely limited to social drinking among the middle and upper classes, who are also the majority of private car owners and drivers. Drug and alcohol abuse are major occupational hazards among Nigerian professional drivers, which contributes to making Nigerian roads particularly murderous.
Drug abuse among the global youth population has become a serious problem affecting everyone. Addiction leads many people, young people prominent among them, into a downward spiral of hopelessness that in some cases ends fatally. They range from glue-sniffing street children and teenage ecstasy users to hard-core heroin and cocaine addicts. Drug abuse is responsible for lost wages, destruction of properties in schools, soaring health care costs, and broken families. It is a problem that affects us all, as parents, children, teachers, government officials, and workers.
Who’s Most Likely to Become Addicted?
Each person’s body and brain are different. People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try it again.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:
- Family history: Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, you’re more likely to as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.
- Early drug use: Children’s brains are still growing, and drug use can change that so taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.
- Mental disorders: If you’re depressed, have trouble paying attention, or worry constantly, you have a higher chance of addiction. You may turn to drugs as a way to try to feel better. A history of trauma in your life also makes you more likely to develop addiction.
- Troubled relationships: If you grew up with family troubles and aren’t close to your parents or siblings, it may raise your chances of addiction.
- Peer group influence
Signs of addiction
You may have one or more of these warning signs:
- An urge to use the drug every day, or many times a day
- Taking more drugs than you want to and for longer than you thought you would
- Always having the drug with you and buying it even if you can’t afford it
- Using drugs even if they cause you trouble at work or make you lash out at family and friends
- spending more time alone.
- Not taking care of yourself or caring how you look
- Stealing, lying, or doing dangerous things, like driving while high or having unsafe sex
- Spending most of your time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug
- feeling sick when you try to quit
While there is no way or guaranteed way to prevent someone from abusing drugs and alcohol, there are things everyone can do to avoid substance abuse. They include;
- Understand how substance abuse develops.
- Avoid temptation and peer pressure.
- Seek help for mental illnesses.
- Examine the risk factor.
- Keep a well-balanced life