Drug Abuse

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What is a DRUG?

A drug is any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body’s function either physically and/or psychologically. Drugs may be legal (e.g. alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) or illegal (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin).

A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.






Opioids are derived from the drug opium or synthetic versions that mimic the chemical structure of opium. This class of drugs interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain to block signals. Opioids are powerful. They cause both intense feelings of pleasure and can block pain. Opioid addiction is significant and is increasingly becoming the most serious addiction crisis facing America today.


2) Alcohol.

Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances across the world. It’s legal to consume alcohol in the US, even though alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It causes severe long-term damage to the liver.

Alcohol creates feelings of pleasure and lowers inhibitions.


3) Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates

(Benzodiazepines act as a sedative – slowing down the body’s functions – and are used for both sleeping problems and anxiety. They work by increasing the effect of a brain chemical called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid).



( Barbiturates are central nervous depressants. They reduce the activity of nerves causing muscle relaxation. They can reduce heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure)

These drugs function by interacting with a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

What is a Neurotransmitter(A neurotransmitter is a messenger of neurologic information from one cell to another.)These drugs impact the body and mind differently but generally create calming and sedative effects. Often prescribed to treat a variety of psychiatric and sleep conditions, they’re highly addictive.

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4) Cocaine and other stimulants. These drugs accelerate the activity of the CNS making a person feel energized, focused, and alert for long periods of time. The converse reaction is that a person feels edgy, paranoid, and angry.


5) Inhalants. Mostly consumed through breathing, these drugs can exist in vapor form at room temperature. Most inhalants are found in household items so they’re often used by adolescents and children. They tend to be less addictive than other substances but are incredibly dangerous.


6) Hallucinogens.

By interacting with the CNS, this class of drugs alters the perception of time, reality, and space. They might cause a user to hear things or imagine situations that don’t exist.


7) Cannabis.

One of the most widely used drugs across the world.

Cannabis affects the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.

Once this receptor is tampered with, it takes 4 weeks to get back to normal.

This drug comes in many different forms and affects each user differently.




Drug abuse or substance abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain. There are over 190 million drug users around the world and the problem has been increasing at alarming rates, especially among young adults under the age of 30. Apart from the long term damage to the body drug abuse causes, drug addicts who use needles are also at risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis B and C infections.


Cannabis, marijuana and hashish are the most widely abused drugs in the world. Around 141 million people worldwide consume cannabis. The use of stimulants such as amphetamine and ecstasy is also widespread, with nearly 30 million people abusing these drugs. Cocaine is used by around 13 million people across the globe, with the highest numbers of users in the United States. Abuse of heroin and other opioids is less common than with other drugs and is taken up by around 8 million people worldwide, mainly in South-East and South-West Asia and Europe.

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Drug abuse is seen in various different age groups and in individuals from nearly all walks of life and socioeconomic strata. However, men are more likely to abuse drugs than women, single people are more likely than married individuals and urban dwellers more likely than rural dwellers. Prisoners, street children and younger individuals are also more likely to abuse drugs.



Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, among others:


Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — daily or even several times a day

Having intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts

Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect

Taking larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time than you intended

Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug

Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it

Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use

Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm

Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn’t.



Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. …

Mental health disorder. …

Peer pressure. …

Lack of family involvement. …

Early use. …

Taking a highly addictive drug.





IRAN (Addiction rates in Iran are high compared to other countries, with a greater percentage of the country’s population using drugs like opium (including heroin) and crystal meth.

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AFGHANISTAN( The world’s number one producer of opium, Afghanistan is the center of the opium trade and now refines some of its opium into heroin. One news report estimates that 1 million people in the country are addicted to drugs out of a population of 35 million.

GREAT BRITAIN( More than 15 million people in Great Britain report trying drugs, and around 3 million take them on a regular basis. The number of people using drugs, according to 2014 figures, is up compared to 2008. Most people in Great Britain do not report a problem with drug use, but 1 million do report current problems. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug, followed by amphetamines and cocaine

THE UNITED STATE ( The United States is not a big producer or trafficker of drugs, but it is among the world’s top users of illicit substances. Americans are at the greatest risk of drug-related deaths and currently have the most people with prescription painkiller addictions in the world. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America with 22.2 million current users, while 3.8 million people misuse prescription painkillers. In addition, more Americans now report using heroin than in years past, while cocaine use remains steady.

RUSSIA ( Russian officials say there are 1 million heroin users, although other experts believe the number is closer to 2 million. The country’s drug use rose dramatically after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

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