causes of drug and alcohol abuse pdf

Causes of drug and alcohol abuse pdf

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The Effects of Drug Abuse on Health

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People who have not struggled with substance abuse may find it difficult to understand why anyone would start using. There are, in fact, many reasons why some people turn to or start abusing drugs, and unfortunately the consequences can be life-shattering. While every case is unique, there are general patterns that indicate why some people use drugs, how addiction develops, and the consequences of drug abuse.

Alcoholism has been known by a variety of terms, including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. It occurs when you drink so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted to alcohol. When this happens, alcohol becomes the most important thing in your life. People with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when drinking causes negative consequences, like losing a job or destroying relationships with people they love.

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Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs.

When you're addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent.

For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication. The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by drug.

Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others. As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill withdrawal symptoms.

You may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager or other family member is using drugs include:.

Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug. Below you'll find several examples. People use cannabis by smoking, eating or inhaling a vaporized form of the drug. Cannabis often precedes or is used along with other substances, such as alcohol or illegal drugs, and is often the first drug tried.

Two groups of synthetic drugs — synthetic cannabinoids and substituted or synthetic cathinones — are illegal in most states. The effects of these drugs can be dangerous and unpredictable, as there is no quality control and some ingredients may not be known. Synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and then smoked, but can be prepared as an herbal tea.

Despite manufacturer claims, these are chemical compounds rather than "natural" or harmless products. These drugs can produce a "high" similar to marijuana and have become a popular but dangerous alternative. Substituted cathinones, also called "bath salts," are mind-altering psychoactive substances similar to amphetamines such as ecstasy MDMA and cocaine.

Packages are often labeled as other products to avoid detection. Despite the name, these are not bath products such as Epsom salts. Substituted cathinones can be eaten, snorted, inhaled or injected and are highly addictive.

These drugs can cause severe intoxication, which results in dangerous health effects or even death. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines and hypnotics are prescription central nervous system depressants. They're often used and misused in search for a sense of relaxation or a desire to "switch off" or forget stress-related thoughts or feelings.

Stimulants include amphetamines, meth methamphetamine , cocaine, methylphenidate Ritalin, Concerta, others and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine Adderall, Adderall XR, others. They are often used and misused in search of a "high," or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite. Club drugs are commonly used at clubs, concerts and parties.

These drugs are not all in the same category, but they share some similar effects and dangers, including long-term harmful effects. Because GHB and flunitrazepam can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, confusion and memory loss, the potential for sexual misconduct or sexual assault is associated with the use of these drugs.

Use of hallucinogens can produce different signs and symptoms, depending on the drug. Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance. Some commonly inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and household aerosol products.

Due to the toxic nature of these substances, users may develop brain damage or sudden death. Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced from opium or made synthetically.

This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone. Sometimes called the "opioid epidemic," addiction to opioid prescription pain medications has reached an alarming rate across the United States. Some people who've been using opioids over a long period of time may need physician-prescribed temporary or long-term drug substitution during treatment. If your drug use is out of control or causing problems, get help.

The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery. Talk with your primary doctor or see a mental health professional, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

If you're not ready to approach a doctor, help lines or hotlines may be a good place to learn about treatment. You can find these lines listed on the internet or in the phone book. People struggling with addiction usually deny that their drug use is problematic and are reluctant to seek treatment. An intervention presents a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help. An intervention should be carefully planned and may be done by family and friends in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional.

It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about the person struggling with addiction. During the intervention, these people gather together to have a direct, heart-to-heart conversation with the person about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment. Like many mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to development of drug addiction.

The main factors are:. Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the way your brain feels pleasure. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells neurons in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate.

These changes can remain long after you stop using the drug. People of any age, sex or economic status can become addicted to a drug. Certain factors can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction:.

Drug use can have significant and damaging short-term and long-term effects. Taking some drugs can be particularly risky, especially if you take high doses or combine them with other drugs or alcohol.

Here are some examples. The best way to prevent an addiction to a drug is not to take the drug at all. If your doctor prescribes a drug with the potential for addiction, use care when taking the drug and follow the instructions provided by your doctor. Doctors should prescribe these medications at safe doses and amounts and monitor their use so that you're not given too great a dose or for too long a time.

If you feel you need to take more than the prescribed dose of a medication, talk to your doctor. Once you've been addicted to a drug, you're at high risk of falling back into a pattern of addiction. If you do start using the drug, it's likely you'll lose control over its use again — even if you've had treatment and you haven't used the drug for some time.

Drug addiction substance use disorder care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.

Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Substance-related and addictive disorders. Arlington, Va. Accessed July 17, Brown A. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 24, Understanding drug use and addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accessed Aug. Your brain and addiction.

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Drugs, brains, and behavior: The science of addiction. Commonly abused drugs. Misuse of prescription drugs. Lessons from prevention research. Treatment approaches for drug addiction. Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide third edition. Ventura AS, et al.

To improve substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery: Engage the family.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Health

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Regardless of the factors at work, it is the ultimate goal of the nation's investment in drug abuse research to take more effective measures to prevent drug abuse and to reduce its associated costs and consequences. A comprehensive assessment of knowledge and research opportunities on the multiple consequences of drug abuse would have far exceeded the committee's allowable time frame and expertise. Consequently, it chose to focus on three areas that involve pronounced social consequences, where the need for strategic interventions are greatest: 1 the transmission and course of HIV infection; 2 fetal and child development; and 3 violent behavior. It should be noted that negative consequences can derive from patterns of problematic use that do not meet the criteria for abuse and dependence as well as from abuse or dependence.


addiction to a wide variety of drugs, including nicotine, alcohol, and illicit and Prenatal use of some drugs, including opioids, may cause a withdrawal.


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Once production of your article has started, you can track the status of your article via Track Your Accepted Article. Drug and Alcohol Dependence is an international journal devoted to publishing original research, scholarly reviews, commentaries, and policy analyses in the area of drug , alcohol and tobacco use and dependence. Articles range from studies of the chemistry of substances of abuse , their actions at molecular Articles range from studies of the chemistry of substances of abuse , their actions at molecular and cellular sites, in vitro and in vivo investigations of their biochemical, pharmacological and behavioural actions, laboratory-based and clinical research in humans, substance abuse treatment and prevention research, and studies employing methods from epidemiology, sociology, and economics.

Alcohol abuse

Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain. Different drugs can have different effects. Some effects of drugs include health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent.

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Alcohol abuse encompasses a spectrum of unhealthy alcohol drinking behaviors, ranging from binge drinking to alcohol dependence , in extreme cases resulting in health problems for individuals and large scale social problems such as alcohol-related crimes. Globally, alcohol consumption is the seventh leading risk factor for both death and the burden of disease and injury. In short, except for tobacco , alcohol accounts for a higher burden of disease than any other drug. Alcohol use is a major cause of preventable liver disease worldwide, and alcoholic liver disease is the main alcohol-related chronic medical illness. Alcohol use disorder AUD reportedly most often affects young men aged 18—24 years of lower socioeconomic status. Risky drinking also called hazardous drinking is defined by drinking above the recommended limits:. In the DSM-IV , alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were defined as distinct disorders from to

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Drug Use and Addiction

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