Effects of Drug Abuse

Topics: Addiction, Drug addiction, Drug abuse Pages: 6 (1847 words) Published: December 6, 2013
Emily Yapp
Ms. Jones
English 3A
6 December 2013
Effects of Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is common in all societies. Families and communities are becoming less happy, suffering from serious injuries due to drug abuse, or torn apart by death. Around the world and throughout time, drug abuse has shown to be common among families. Abuse of any kind takes over everything in the abusers life. Drugs and alcohol abuse can affect a person’s capability to keep a job. Drugs and alcohol not only affects the person itself but everyone around him or her especial their families and the community. People around the world believe that drugs or alcohol are the solution to their problems, not knowing the problem becomes worst and a nightmare is about to begin.

Users experience medical problems when a drug causes direct physical or mental harm. Heavy drinking, for example, can damage the liver, brain, stomach and other organs. Heavy smoking damages the lungs and heart. Many drugs, such as heroin, alcohol and cocaine, can be fatal when taken in high doses. Drug use may cause mental and emotional problems, or intensify problems that are not evident without the drug. Feelings of persecution, for example, are common among heavy users of cocaine or amphetamines, and depression often follows such heavy drug use (Sproule). Some medical problems are linked to the way drugs are used, as much as the drugs themselves. Anyone sharing a needle to inject heroin, cocaine or any other drug runs a risk of becoming infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Hepatitis and other serious infections are also spread this way. People who use illicit drugs or combine different drugs (including alcohol) rarely know their risk of encountering problems. People who use illegal drugs often do not know exactly what they are taking, so they cannot accurately predict the drug’s effects. While prescription drugs are made and marketed under strict standards, illegal drugs are often produced with little regard for purity and consistency, and they may be diluted, or "cut" with harmful substances. Furthermore, some users take alcohol with other drugs, or mix drugs, without realizing that this may increase their risk of problems. Combining alcohol and sleeping pills, for example, can be lethal.

Taking drugs during pregnancy also increases the chance of birth defects, premature babies, underweight babies, and stillborn births. Exposure to drugs such as marijuana -- also called weed, ganja, dope, or pot -- and alcohol before birth has been proven to cause behavior problems in early childhood. These drugs can also affect the child's memory and attentiveness. (Riley). Babies born to women who use cocaine, alcohol, or tobacco when they are pregnant may also have brain structure changes that persist into early adolescence. While cocaine's effects are usually immediate, the effect it can have on a fetus may last a lifetime. Babies born to mothers who use cocaine throughout their pregnancy may also have a smaller head and be growth restricted. Babies who are exposed to cocaine later in pregnancy may be born dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Exposure to cocaine in the womb can lead to subtle, yet significant, deficits later in children. These deficits usually show up in areas such as cognitive performance, information processing, and attention to tasks.

Smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood, which reduces the oxygen supply to the baby Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning problems. Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within the brain...

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Jones, Hendrée, E., Loretta, P. Finnegan, and Karol Kaltenbach. "Methadone And Buprenorphine For The Management Of Opioid Dependence In Pregnancy."Drugs 72.6 (2012): 747-757. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
livestrong.com. (2011). Effects of Drug & Alcohol Abuse on the Family. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/86725-effects-drug-alcohol-abuse/
Riley, Edward P., and Philip M. Preece. Alcohol, Drugs, And Medication In Pregnancy : The Long-Term Outcome For The Child. London: Mac Keith Press, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
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