Biology on Drug Abuse and Addiction

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Biology on Drug Abuse and Addiction

Phillisha Baggett
PS 231 G
Bethune-Cookman University
Ms. Vance
November 3, 2012

Abstract
This paper will discuss what drug abuse and addiction is. It also will discuss what effects that alcohol, marijuana, and heroin have on the body.

Over the past couple decades drug abuse and addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States. As the years go by more and more people are leaning on drugs to make them forget what’s going on, for fun, or just for personal satisfaction. People never seem to only worry about the feeling they get from using them, but what about the long term effects? What about the body, the brain, your health? Well people like me want to know the effects, so I will be discussing these things throughout this paper. There are many different types of drugs and they all have different effects depending on how often they’re used. I will be going through a list of drugs and what type of effects they have on your body and brain. This isn’t just a simple outline of them, this is more than that I hope you’re prepared.

Drug abuse is a repetition of usage of addictive or illegal drugs. Addiction is being abnormally dependent on a habit. Today drugs seem to become the newest trend. Most of it is tried just for fun out of curiosity. Otherwise it used for more psychological problems such as: stress, anxiety, or depression. This doesn’t automatically make it abuse and there is no direct notice of level of drug usage to determine the movement from casual to problematic. When talking about drug abuse and addiction it isn’t about consumption but more on consequences. If your drug addiction starts to affect your everyday life you most likely you’re a drug abuser or you have an addiction problem.

Drug abuse and addiction can have many effects on the brain. These repeated usages of drugs can cause the way your brain’s appearance and function. From taking drugs it can cause large amounts of dopamine can be released into your brain. Dopamine triggers feelings of pleasure, which your brain remembers and wants them to reoccur. If you become addicted to any drug it can start to take place of normal healthy things such as eating and drinking (non-alcoholic beverages). When addicted changes in your brain begin to interfere with your ability to clearly think, exercise good judgment, control your behavior, and feel normal without drugs. Your addiction is bad when the urge is so extremely strong that your mind starts to find a way to deny or rationalize the addiction.

Let’s start with alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant it slows down reaction time and thinking and other activity with the brain. Alcohol rapidly enters the bloodstream and circulates to all parts of the body within a few minutes. When it reaches the brain it knocks out control centers, causing intoxication. (Hanley Center, 2012, “Get the Facts about Drugs and Alcohol,” para. 1). The addiction to alcohol is called alcoholism. Alcoholism is genetic. With consumption of alcohol it can cause many psychological effects such as to drink to escape problems, feelings, insecurity, etc. Little do they know that doesn’t solve them that only make those problems worse. Alcoholism can cause malnutrition, shakes, tremors, brain damage, mouth cancer, cancer in the esophagus, cancer in the stomach, heart disease, liver damage, ulcers, and gastritis. There are also many mental effects such as: Erratic behavior, impaired thinking/judgment, slower reactions, loss of self-control, moodiness, slurred speech, double vision, impaired memory, and depression. Alcohol can cause amnesia, because believe it or not the brain cells are not killed from alcohol; They are blocked by steroids that are created by the neurons in the hippocampus when large amounts of alcohol are consume which blocks memory formation.

Marijuana is a preparation made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant,...
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