Drugs: Addiction and Quitting

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Drugs: Addiction and Quitting
Leigh Jenner
Psychology 355
April 4, 2011
Stephen Northam
Everyone knows they should get or stay healthy. For most people getting healthy means eating a little less, exercising a little more, or abstaining from smoking and drinking. However, for those who have a problem with drugs—as well as alcohol—getting healthy is literally a matter of life and death. The problem with drugs and alcohol is that there are more factors than just a nice feeling. There are, in more cases than not, addiction issues that are related to a familial history of substance abuse. One must also consider the environment the individual either grew up in or lives in, on top of the original reason (s)he started the substance in the first place. According to White House Drug Policy the statistics on drug use in the United States are staggering. In the most recent poll, 41% of people have admitted to trying a drug. However of the people polled, only 12% are regular users (National Office of Drug Control Policy, 2002). White House Drug Policy only names two specific drugs—marijuana and cocaine—but the statistics on both are hopeful; regular uses for both have gone down. On Marijuana, the number of people who have used it was at 18.1% in 1979 to 8.3% in 2001 (more recent numbers not available). Cocaine use has gone down too; from 3.65% in 1979 to 1975 in 2001 (again, more recent numbers not available). Their quote of marijuana numbers makes sense because pot is the most used illegal substance in the world. When talking about drug use, the easiest examples to find are those involving marijuana. One reason for this is it is widely and erroneously believed that cannabis, as a plant, is not dangerous. Although it is not as dangerous as nicotine or alcohol, it is still hazardous to one's health and brain function. Anecdotally, people who engage in moderate to heavy pot use long-term tend to be slower and “goofier” than those who either do not indulge or are...
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