Drug abuse is the excessive, maladaptive, or addictive use of drugs for non-medicinal purposes. It a state, emotional and often times physical behavior, characterized by a compulsion to take drugs on a constant basis in order to experience its mental effects. It gives rise to both physical and psychological dependence. Dependence which gives rise to mental, emotional, biological or physical, social and economic instability. The effects of drug abuse on an individual therefore form the basis for its cumulative effects on the society.
There are three basic characteristics that indicate that the user is dependent on a drug. First, the user continues to use the drug for an extended period of time. Second, the user finds it difficult to stop using the drug. They may drop out of school, steal, go to jail, lose their jobs, or leave their families in order to keep using. Finally, the user has withdrawal symptoms when drug use is suddenly discontinued, where they may undergo physical pain or mental distress.
Several types of drugs are susceptible to abuse by youth of today. These drugs range from most common and less expensive such as cigarettes and alcohol to expensive and more deadly such as cocaine and heroin.
1. Cigarettes - these are drugs the most easily available and accessible to youth. They are classified as drugs because the contain nicotine and it has physical and psychological effects on the body. Cigarettes are addictive and they cause lung disorders such as cancer.
2. Alcohol - Beer, wine, brandy and spirits are in the drug category mainly because of their chemical contents and potential for addiction. Alcohol has a toxic and sedative effect on the body and is available without prescription. It is a central nervous system depressant and its consumption can cause a number of marked changes in behaviour.
3. Caffeine - This is usually abuse through the excessive chewing of cola-nut or concentrated coffee. It is the active ingredient of coffee,...
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