Core 1 Research Paper- Psychoactive Drug Use
13 October 2011
Psychoactive Drugs and How They Are Used
We drink our morning coffee; have soda with dinner, and might take a cigarette break at work. Psychoactive drugs are used in everyday life, and most of us don’t even realize it. Those listed are minor examples of psychoactive drugs, but most people wouldn’t even consider this a drug habit. They are substances that change our mood, thoughts, behavior, and consciousness. It affects the central nervous system, which alters the brains functions. From mild to more severe drugs have different categories they are placed under. These include: stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Psychoactive drugs, also known as psychotropic drugs, have been used since the prehistoric times. Over 8,000 years ago chewing Coca leaves was popular, and psychoactive drugs were mainly based from plants. They are chemicals that act mainly on the Central Nervous System. It affects brain functions and alters your mood, thoughts, consciousness, cognition, and behavior. Some are mild and some are very dangerously addictive. The main reason we consume these drugs in our everyday life is for pleasure, and that is why they are abused. They could also be used for spiritual reasons, or therapeutic like medication. The more you use these drugs the easier you become addicted, and reliant of it. Tobacco is one of the most widely used substances around the globe. Tobacco is an agricultural product made from leaves from a plant known as Nicotiana. It is also a very important cash crop for Cuba, China, and the United States. Today statistics show that 1 out of 7 Americans who try to quit after they are already addicted can’t. Tobacco is a psychoactive drug that is used in everyday life for instance: Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, dip, hookah, and snus. Not surprisingly, nicotine was the psychoactive drug responsible for the greatest mortality, accounting for slightly more than half of the deaths (Des Jarlais 335). The deaths were most likely from heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and many cancers. Alcohol is another psychoactive drug that is socially accepted as well. People may use this drug when they kick back after a long day at work, in a bar to socialize, or to simply make themselves feel better. There are three different classes of alcohol, which is beer, wine, and spirits. Beer and wine have lower alcohol content and spirits have the highest. Some of us have to be careful with how much we consume since there are diseases you can get after long time abuse. Most people drink everyday and sometimes this can lead to alcoholism. Alcoholism is a compulsive and uncontrollable consumption of alcohol. A lot of times people who become alcoholics are more prone to crime, financial problems, lose their jobs, and even their friends and family. An example of how alcoholism can ruins people’s lives is demonstrated in the movie “Leaving Las Vegas” starring Nicolas Cage, as Ben. This movie is about a film writer who loses his job, family, and friends due to this disease. Illicit drugs is another example of psychoactive drugs that are used daily. Illicit drugs can be chemicals, pills, liquids, or plants that can make humans become intoxicated. People use these illicit drugs because they get them “Stoned” or “high” which is the feeling they desired. These drugs are very dangerous because you can find yourself addicted quickly. Since its illegal you could end up in jail, or with a disease like AIDS, or hepatitis. Marijuana is the most widely used among high school and college students. It has a chemical called THC that alters perception. Others illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, club drugs, steroids and amphetamines are more dangerous. Addiction can be defined as a psychological and physical dependence on a psychoactive drug. It’s also excessive compulsions for an individual to do or take something. Someone is...
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