Drug abuse

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DRUGa medicine or other substance which

has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.

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ABUSE improper or excessive use or treatment

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DRUG ABUSE Is the recurrent use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs with negative consequences. Excessive, maladaptive, or addictive use of drugs for nonmedical purposes despite social, psychological, and physical problems that may arise from such use. Compulsive, excessive, and self-damaging use of habit forming drugs or substances, leading to addiction or dependence, serious physiological injury (such as damage to kidneys, liver, heart) and/or psychological harm (such as dysfunctional behavior patterns, hallucinations, memory loss), or death. Also called substance abuse.

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ADDICTION Defined as the physiological dependence that an individual develops after heavy use of a particular drug

Intense craving for a drug that develops after a period of physical dependence stemming from heavy use

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2 Essential Characteristics of an

Addictive Drug 1. Tolerance – another name for immunity to the effects of a drug that builds up after heavy use.

2. Withdrawal discomfort – is the sickness that a habitual user experiences when the drug is not taken regularly.

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ALCOHOL Most serious drug problem

Harmless when used in moderation but is one of the most dangerous drugs when used to excess

Depresses the central nervous system and thereby interferes with coordination, reaction time, and reasoning ability

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ALCOHOLIC Is a person whose drinking problem disrupts his or her life, interfering with the ability to hold a job, accomplish household tasks, or participate in family and social affairs.

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Most studies indicate that

More MEN drink (75 to 90 %) than WOMEN (55 to 65 %) Increasing more rapidly among WOMEN Catholics are more likely than Protestants to be drinkers Greatest among the college educated and those with high prestige occupations ALCOHOLISM – those with LESS education and LOWER incomes

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Most studies indicate that

More MEN smoke than WOMEN

The rate has been increasing more rapidly for WOMEN and TEENAGED GIRLS

About ¾ of all MALE smokers and 2/3 of all FEMALE smokers use more than 15 cigarettes a day

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TOBACCO NICOTINE – principal drug

Withdrawal Symptoms – drowsiness, nervousness, anxiety, headaches, and loss of energy MORE than TWO packs a day reduces normal life expectancy by EIGHT years and that LIGHT smoking (half pack or less) reduces by FOUR years

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MARIJUANA Most widely used illegal drug, and its users no longer accept their legal status passively Based on 6 full-scale investigators under government sponsorship, marijuana is relatively harmless and does not pose a serious threat to society

Effects: 1. slight increase in heart rate 2. dryness in the mouth 3. reddening of the eyes

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MARIJUANA Health problems: from liver damage to birth defects and decreased production of male sex hormones

Use declines rapidly in older age group More common among MEN than WOMEN More common among STUDENTS than NONSTUDENTS

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OPIATES Physiological effects: Reduced rates of metabolism and Respiration Psychological effects: Induce a state of tranquility, peace, or euphoria Withdrawal distress: Resembles a bad case of the flu accompanied by a feeling of severe depression

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PSYCHEDELICS Produce hallucinations and perceptual distortions

Dangers:• So-called “bad trip” – a terrifying experience that throws the user into a paranoic state• Suffered prolonged psychotic episodes• “flashback” or recurrence of the psychedelic state

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SEDATIVE HYPNOTICS Such as Barbiturates and Tranquilizers. Depress the central nervous system Moderate doses: slow down breathing and normal reflexes, interfere with coordination, relieve anxiety and tension Larger doses: produce drowsiness and sleep Methaqualone – “Love Drug” - a sexual stimulant PSP or “Angel Dust” produces a sleepy, dreamlike state. It also produces hallucinations. It has been used as a Surgical Anesthetic.

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STIMULANT Stimulate the central nervous system

Examples are caffeine, amphetamines and cocaine

Increase alertness, improve mental performance, and reduce drowsiness

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1. Biological Theories 2. Behavioral Theory

3. Personality Theories 4. Interactionist Theory

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1. Biological Theories◦ Physiological changes produced by the drugs eventually generate a craving that is so strong that the individual is powerless to resist.

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2. Behavioral Theoryo Behaviorists conclude that drug use is learned through a process of conditioning. That is, use of a drug often provides a reward (positive reinforcement). When experimental animals and humans use a drug and find it rewarding, they are stimulated to use it again.

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3. Personality Theorieso These people have inadequate or immature personalities. Drug addicts have thus been classified as narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, dependent personalities, immature, schizophrenic, neurotic, and character disorders.o Ausubel gave this description of the “inadequate personality”, is likely to turn to drugs in order to escape responsibilities.

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4. Interactionist Theoryo Drug use is determined by individual’s attitudes toward drugs, the meaning drug has for them, their overall world view, and their system of values – all of which are learned from interaction with people in a certain culture or subculture.

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1. The over-the-counter market

2. The Prescription Market

3. The Black Market

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1. The over-the-counter market

The most popular means of distributing psychoactive drugs. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are distributed in this way. A number of nonprescription medicines are sold over the counter as well.

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2. The Prescription Market

A wide variety of drugs are legally available only with a doctor’s prescription. The minor tranquilizers are prescribed most often. About 75% prescribed by doctors are used to produce sedation, tranquility, and sleep and about 25% are prescribed to increase energy or treat depression.

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3. The Black Market Many of the drugs prescribed by doctors are also available on the black market. Holders of legitimate prescription for such drugs sometimes give or sell them to other users.

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Responding to the Drug Problem

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1. Legal Repression The most common response to drug use has been to make it a crime, usually prohibiting the manufacture and sale of specific drugs and punishing users. Fear of the law clearly has discouraged many people from using drugs.

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2. Treatment The treatment approach, like the punitive approach, tries to discourage drug use. The difference is that punitive approach attempts to discourage users by cutting of their supplies or sending them to jail while the treatment approach encourages voluntary abstinence.

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3. Increased Social Tolerance This approach includes a variety of different solutions, ranging from relatively minor reductions in penalties for some types of drug offenses to full legalization of all drugs.

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4. Legalization Proponents of legalization believe that attempts at legal repression of drug use have been so disastrous that the problem can be solved only by taking the government out of the drug law enforcement business. Thomas Szasz, feels that the decision to use a drug is entirely an individual matter in which the government has no legitimate concern.

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5. Decriminalization It is a step halfway between prohibition and full legalization. Its advocate argue that the penalties for possession and use of a given drug, should be dropped but that sales of the drug should continue to the illegal. The aim is to stop punishing those who use illicit drugs but to discourage such use by forbidding sales.

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6. Maintenance Maintenance programs supply addicts or habitual users with a drug while denying it to the public at large.

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Lucero, Lorraine N.IV- 7 BEED