Drug Abuse

Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Drug abuse Pages: 4 (1267 words) Published: December 12, 2005
The use of and abuse of illegal and prescription drugs are a health, social, and law enforcement problem that is affecting Americans across the country. Drug abuse is destroying the lives of many teens and adults and is also destroying families in the United States. The use of drugs is a major problem in the United States among all Americans, but drug addiction is the main cause for America's troubled teens today.

Exactly what is a drug? A drug is any chemical that produces a therapeutic or non-therapeutic effect in the body. Millions of people are abusing many different types of drugs today that are affecting the way the body functions. There are abused substances, which are prescription and over-the-counter medicines that prevent and treat diseases and illnesses and also to relieve symptoms; and there are illegal substances. Abused substances may include: tranquillizers, pain relievers (Percodan, Vicodin, and Oxycontin), sedatives, stimulants (Ritalin, diet pills), and sniffing chemical products (glue, paint, lighter fluid). Illegal substances may include: heroin ("smack), methamphetamines ("speed" or "ice"), cocaine ("coke" or "snow"), marijuana ("pot", "weed", "dope"), and Hallucinogens (LSD). The use of any illegal or prescription drug can become addictive overtime, causing people to become physically or psychological dependent on the drug. Drug abuse has several consequences; not only is it self-destructive, but it is also damaging to the health and safety of other people.

Many people who start using drugs never think that they will become addicted. In most situations the user has all control, but overtime the drug begins to control the user. Today, many people, especially America's teens, do not truly understand what an addiction is and the complete process of how an addition happens. The definition of a drug addiction by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) agency states: "a drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by...
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